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Archive for March, 2006

We Made Her Cry!

March 31st, 2006 at 03:15 am

The gifts were perfect. Kim loved the book and magnets. She teared up at the Bono/Kim photoshopped picture; I don't think because she's weird about Bono, but because she was touched at the effort that went into the gift. A resounding success! It'll be a tough trend to continue, the low amount of spending and high return, but the process rocked.

We were in a fast food mood. How did we handle it? First we decided that grilled cheese sandwiches provide that greasy love. Then, I decided not to have my usual two, but to have one, with a big bowl of vegetables. A healthier, cheaper, meal, with little effort. I want to succeed with my Credible Threat challenge and Minimum Wage challenge, but most of all I want to not feel stressed or deprived about it. Today was a good day.

Being Cheap Made Me Get Her a Much Nicer Gift

March 29th, 2006 at 03:30 am

Well, I am pleasantly astonished at how being frugal made me prepare a very nice gift for a friend, that is very thoughtful and tailored to her likes and lifestyle.

She loves traveling (Lithuania next week, Croatia with me in September), adores cats, loves magnets, reads a lot, loves U2, is a Shari Lewis/Lamb Chop fan, and her fridge is covered with everything and more.

She is getting: homemade magnets. (A set of five different cat designs, a black and white Photoshopped picture of her and Bono drinking and toasting the photgrapher, a very nice shot of her and her husband, a little cutout of her husband looking goofy, and Lamb Chop.) A card that has four cat magnets on it(store bought-local art place, made by a local). A piece of chocolate shaped like a cat. And, a book of essays by women travelers, using trade in I had from earlier this month at a used book store.

Cash expenditure for this totally amazing gift pack: $6.16. My Guy and I stretched our craft skills, and came up with what I think is a top notch gift set. I could of spent $30 on a less satisfying gift. (I could have foregone the card with magnets and chocolate, but I didn't and don't regret it. As I've said before, I love gift giving.)

And, since the book "cost" almost seven bucks, my partner chips in half the cost (the books traded in were mine), and I have spent zero. This is a win, win, win. Reports on her response tomorrow will be reported later.

Intimidated

March 28th, 2006 at 04:35 am

I hadnít really realized that blogging would mean people reading my writing. Yup, a bit dim over here in Northern California. Then, I got the Savingsí Advice newsletter that mentioned, among many other blogs, ďLRJohnson reports thatÖ.Ē And I received a personal e-mail mentioning my blog. And I looked at the Stats on the page. I realize that 20 visitors today is probably statistically the same as zero visitors in blog land, but it is mildly unnerving to think that 20 people stopped by. Were you amused? Bored? Intrigued? Did you click away lickety split? How compelling can it be to read about a woman challenging herself to live on minimum wage when she earns a fair amount more? There are folks out the doing it because they have to, not because ďitíd be fun to save more money.Ē Am I just thumb twiddling? Or is putting goals down in concrete a more valuable way to spend time than bad Monday night primetime TV?

Thatís enough for questions I mostly canít answer.

On the personal part: how tricky to be completely honest while realizing that people who know me are reading. Certainly it was my choice to send them a link, but aware I must be. Iíve seen on other blogs that people are totally anonymous. Is the fantasy that Iím open and unembarrassed and kind going to be put to the test? Will I slip and say the wrong thing? If a friend sees Iím trying to be frugal with a gift, is that in poor taste? What if the gift is cheap but thoughtful? What if itís more money and un-freaking-thoughtful? Is that worse? Huh? Huh?

Okay, those were more questions I can not answer.

I spent not a dime today. I thought the challenge would be easier, however I am enjoying being challenged, and frugal. Big props to me today.

Spree of Sorts

March 26th, 2006 at 02:33 am

Today I went on a spending spree, and spent $22.94. Last night I was reminded that two big birthdays are coming up. I decided when Iím out and about I should be scoping for birthday and holiday presents for everyone I know, all the time, to be alert and ready for a great deal on the perfect present, even if it is a couple months early. This time Iím cut a little short on time.

I did order a book online for one of them. My friends are going to London in a week, and made reservations at St. Johnís, and Matt wants the book by the chef, Fergus Henderson: The Whole Beast: Nose to tail Eating. I called the bookstore I have some credit at, and another local used place, and no go, so we ordered from Half.com. Thatís $7.10 for my share.

I had an idea for Kimís present: she has magnets, photos, and postcards all over her fridge. We have some of those larger thin magnets, like the promotional calendars, that Iíve been saving for a while. I was just going to glue regular photos (Iíve been traveling with Kim and Matt and have some pictures) to the magnets, but My Guy had a better idea: heís doing some Photoshop work on some pictures, so we will also have Kim inserted into a picture of her favorite band U2.

I had wanted to go to garage sales this morning. Due to rain I went to more thrift stores than garages sales. At one thrift store, I got 10 nice plastic hangers, a pair of kitchen tongs, and a nice basket for 84 cents. I felt good about that purchase. At a garage sale, as a fluke I found what my guy has been coveting: a stove top waffle maker. I had priced them and they are at least $38 new plus shipping, or a lot more at local stores. The garage sale was crazy overpriced, but I offered $10 instead of $15. Too much for an idle purchase, but not bad for something heís been really wanting. Then I picked up a $5 prescription.

So that was my wild spree. Nothing came up for future presents, unfortunately. But it was a good reminder, to always be on the lookout. For example, my friend Linda loves lighthouses; I can look all Yard Sale season long.

A great thing about thrift store shopping, even if I donít buy, is to be reminded of how cheap items can be. When I shop our locally owned neighborhood stores at Christmas, I always stop at St. Vincent de Paulís first, to get grounded.

Weíll be taking Kim out to dinner, but we have already purchased gift certificates. (One of those deals where I paid $15 for $30 worth of certificates; itís a great local restaurant.)

Friday night, I did spend more on groceries and toiletries, so thatís another $29.53.

Iíve spent $1000.98. I will make the Challenge for this month; however I did overspend in some categories, leaving me less to carry over for bigger, later expenditures, such as Insurance in July.

I am working on modifying my budget, so I will post new numbers for April at the end of March. I am working towards no more spending for this month, except perhaps for Matt and Kim.

I'm in the No Spend Zone

March 23rd, 2006 at 02:24 am

No money spent on anything today. Nice. I can only spend $186 more max this month, and not even that, because some money has to be saved for periodic expenses, like Car Insurance in July. But I think it will be no problem, and that is fantastic. I am pleased with myself for taking on the challenge; even if I slip here and there, it's a fun goal, that makes me live up to something. Yeehaw!

I like this frugal stuff

March 22nd, 2006 at 04:23 am

Only a bit more spending to report. Since Iíve gotten both of my paychecks with health insurance deductions, I can count $43.70. And, I spent a lot on entertainment on Sunday: $12.50. We went to a friendís house, and they made corned beef from scratch: I mean, they corned the beef. So they put in the labor, and it was frugal for them, but our role was to bring Guinness and bread. I also bought a small block of Irish cheese, and a little tart as a dessert. I donít necessarily regret it, but I think next time weíll plan more in advance-I canít make Guinness from scratch, but maybe I could have found it cheaper, and I could have made a dessert from scratch.

Overall, I've been liking thinking in a Frugal Mode. This month is a 3-paycheck month for me. Others are catching up with bills, or blowing it. I'm doing my Minimum Wage Challenge, and sweating $12.50 in the entertainment category. Which I LIKE. It doesn't make me feel like I'm missing out, or cheap-it makes me think about getting value from what I spend.

I am torn on whether bringing food to a friend's house is in the grocery category or the entertainment category. I started thinking entertainment, then realized it was food items. I am going with entertainment, because it was "party" food. It may be that I reduce my grocery budget and increase my entertainment budget.

Credible Threat

March 22nd, 2006 at 04:15 am

I had seen a show, maybe Primetime live, where the theme was Game Theory, and they had a piece on Credible Threat. The idea is that fear of something real-a credible threat-is an excellent motivator. They took pictures of people in tiny bathing suits, and said, ďIf you donít lose 15 pounds in two months, will put this picture on TV.Ē And it worked. Four out of the five did it, and the fifth came very close. So I mentioned it to a friend, and her thought is that we should agree to lose 20 pounds by Croatia, or wear a bikini for a day on the beach in Croatia and have pictures taken. So that gives me more than five months to lose 20 pounds. I weighed in a 196-not good, for me-I had been 170-ish last year. Iím 5í3-1/2Ē. So, 176 is very reasonable (Iíd be happy with 150), and 4 pounds a month is doable.

Errand Day

March 18th, 2006 at 11:57 pm

Stared the day earlier, itís been a while on a weekend. Up and moving by 9. We did three loads of laundry; I put some clothes in the dryer, like work clothes and woven shirts, and everything else hung outside. Itís been a while, the weather has been forbidding. Even when the weather was okay, we were hanging doing mostly jeans and towels, the big dryer hogs, to be lazy but still get some savings. It was also mild exercise, not an inconsiderable aspect.

I did the recycling, tons and tons of it. I only got $6.73, but thatís fine, I knew most was not money recycling. I recycle almost everything. Plastic, tin cans, yogurt tubs, paper, cardboard, glass. I exchanged an item at Walgreenís that I got in January for a new item, which Iím keeping outside the challenge. I sat in front of the jumbo pack of earplugs forever considering whether I should commit to the $9.99 for the yearís worth of them. I decided I was over thinking and I should just be able to exchange as no money in and no money out.

I spent .86 cents at the Postal Service, and will get half back from my boyfriend. I got 4 2 cent stamps to add to my old first class, and then two new ones. We rarely send regular mail; almost all bills are paid online.

I cleaned out the bread thrift store for $9.55, split between us. Around 8 loaves of regular bread plus 2 packs of bagels plus 2 packs of 3-in-a-pack brown and serve roll loaves, and donuts for my guy. The bread used to be 2 for a dollar for the old stuff, now the cheapest is 79 cents, which bummed me out, but, at least a $3.59 loaf costs 79 cents and not $3.59. I was glad I made room in the freezer. The brown and serve loaves was a fun deal; each loaf has 8 attached rolls, and there are three loaves, for 79 cents. So for 3.3 cents each I have these amazing, hot, tasty, French bread-like rolls. Yum. It has been a fine lunch with some cheese.

I then deposited some checks at an ATM (including $15 from Nielsen for reporting on my TV habits, but I earned and received it pre-challenge), and browsed the Co-op where the ATM is at. I almost got a treat, but I kept looking at items, and thinking, that plum nectar is nice, but, not 15 times nicer than orange juice, so why pay fifteen times more?

Where in Croatia

March 18th, 2006 at 07:08 am

So I've got a little more idea where travelling partners are thinking, for the trip to Croatia. Perhaps Zagreb, the Plitvice Lakes National Park, Dubrovnik (the Pearl of the Adriatic), Hvar, Split, and a trip across to Serbia. Just ideas so far, nothing finalized. We fly in and out of London, so we may stay a couple days on the way back.

I am getting excited with six months to go. I love that sense of anticipation. It's a decent length trip, too, almost two and a half weeks.

A tiny bit of spending...

March 18th, 2006 at 07:05 am

Today, I spent $4 on entertainment for going out after work with colleagues. We do this rarely; I didn't want to miss it. I got one soda for $2 plus tax, which I would never do normally. But this Mexican restaurant had no Limonada or Jamaica, so I got a bottled Jarrito. And I left a large tip, almost 90%, because our waitress hustled to do separate checks for a table of 20 people, and I ate plenty of the complimentary chips and salsa, and there is no way I'd leave a 15% forty cent tip in that situation.

And, $10 to report in the charity category, local public radio station needs an emergency backup generator (and with the storms lately, they really do).

A good week, many tempations avoided without any sense of deprivation.

The People Laugh

March 17th, 2006 at 03:08 am

I gotta say, work people find it so hilarious that I'm even trying this; it's comical how comical they find it. The thing is, not so long ago I lived on a lot less than now, and paid of debt doing it. $6.25 an hour at 30 hours a week, while paying off debt. So this isn't a huge leap for me; I donít have to cut out any lattes, manicures, brand name convenience foods, steak, days at the mall.

Someone asked how much I'd be saving by doing this, and when I told them how much additional savings they were surprised at how low it was to them. They are thinking I'm cutting spending at least in half. My expenses last year averaged $1591 a month. That included a trip to Mexico and a trip to Belgium/Poland, and lots of dining out, basically spending on whatever I wanted. I stuck the rest in savings. Frankly I thought I was living pretty pretty high on the hog. This minimum wage challenge means I reduce my spending by 32%, which is not so bad, really.

One co-worker, an Amy D. fan, thinks the challenge will be a piece of cake! Iím pondering going for the Federal Poverty Level rate of $798, which will go up in April. Donít think I can, but still pondering it.

Today I took a couple books to the bookstore for trade, and they accepted some; I got $8.50 in store credit. Iíll use it for gifts later. Delaying taking recycling in, that will happen this weekend.

The Electric Company

March 17th, 2006 at 03:02 am

My gas and electric bill was much better, though not at my goal. We went from $360 to $300, but when I look at a detailed analysis on the PG&E website, my billing cycle was three days longer. Anyone interested in details who has PG&E would check it out; it tells you how much increase or decrease you have in electric and gas, for rate changes, usage changes, or billing cycle changes. So according to them my bill was $20 higher than it would have been due to the longer cycle. If I consider that I went from $360 to $280 for the same number of days, thatís a 22% decrease. Weíre chipping away. I am pretty happy with %22 in one month.

My current totals:looming success?

March 16th, 2006 at 03:19 am

Well, I need to learn more formatting. I paid bills and decided to just post a summary; even though I see spacing in my editable entry, when I see the actual post it is all lumped together. Grrrrr. Normally I like a challenge but headache is coming on and I need a bath. I can spend 240.44 more this month without trouble. Wish me luck in formatting AND in my goal!

Item Budget Spent Balance
Savings $39.00 $39.00
Rent $400.00 $400.00 $0.00
Household $21.00 $1.00 $20.00
Netflix $10.00 $9.65 $0.35
Electricity $100.00 $152.30 -$52.30
Charity $20.00 $20.00
Gasoline $15.00 $26.21 -$11.21
Phone $9.00 $8.53 $0.47
Workout $17.00 $100.00 -$83.00
Grocery $145.00 $30.85 $114.15
Ent./Rest. $20.00 $7.75 $12.25
Repairs & Tires $20.00 $20.00
Car Insurance $51.00 $51.00
Reg, AAA $13.00 $13.00
Clothing $25.00 $25.00
Internet $30.00 $31.02 -$1.02
Cable $5.00 $5.25 -$0.25
Health Ins $44.00 $44.00
Health-copay $62.00 $60.00 $2.00
Toil, Haircare $27.00 $27.00
Total 1,073.00 $832.56 $240.44

Total spent is $625.81

March 14th, 2006 at 05:11 am

If anyone has suggestions on how to past a spreadheet into the blog so that my budget and expenses are easy to see, I will accept and perhaps even implement those suggestions.

Well, a few budget hits to report. Last week my boyfriend and I underwent some drama re: meals out. One night I was home sick all day, and he came home with burritos from a local, healthy little place. I totally appreciated it, but I felt guilty, too: me being on a budget doesnít mean I want to be a mooch. He correctly pointed out that Iíve been treating him an awful lot lately, so Iíll accept the free burrito. But then, a few days later, he went out for fast food. (I was home in bed, feeling unwell, again.) I thought I had expressed I wanted three items off whatever dollar or value menu was where he went, and that I wanted no beverage. I ended up with a Meal, which isnít exactly expensive but was less food, more non-water beverage, and more money than I wanted to spend. He wanted to just let me pay $3, but that isnít right. So, Iím paying the $5.50 my meal cost including tax. And we are both clearer that I donít want to cheat, and that I want cheap food if from the outside, and Iíd rather avoid using my funds for fast food. Whew.

If anyone points out that fast food is not the best to eat on a budget especially if one feels unwell, Iíd have to agree. I have a lot of issues with fast food. Fast Food Nation was an excellent book. For socio- economic, health, environmental, etc., reasons, Iíd rather not eat it. (I will defend to the death your right to eat it, so hush.) However, even though it is not so great, my taste buds adore it, and sometimes I do use it as a numbing drug, since I no longer smoke or drink. Iím not necessarily excusing it as much as admitting that I have a love/hate relationship with the greasiness.

I filled up the tank for $26.21. My monthly budget is $15, but I use less than a tank a month, so Iíll just not have to use the $15 next month.

I did pay $100 for my Water aerobics class at the Adult School. This class will go five months, so itís a pretty good deal. I have a question into Jesse on the YNAB system: you are supposed to save/budget for bigger expenses that donít happen monthly but you can anticipate. What I canít see, yet, is how it works if you spend a lot at the beginning for the next few months. I should be able to spread the $100 over five months, but according to the system I have $83 less to spend in April. Weíll see what Jesse says.

(YNAB is You Need a Budget, JMJJ215's site/program. I bought it for 19.95 as part of the $20 challenge, to track my Challenge progress.)

I took a further hit: my work offered low cost blood tests, one a regular work up, one for thyroid, for $25 each. My doctor recommended I take them (Iíve been having some issues). So thatís $50, but it's not monthly. And, I paid a $10 prescription co-pay for one of my meds for a three month supply.

I am excited, still, and undeprived, still. Hey, it's day thirteen.

Croatian Food sounds excellent

March 14th, 2006 at 05:04 am

I love simple rustic food, like suasages and potatoes and beans. Oohh I'm excited.


Iím not sure exactly where Iíll be in Croatia or Serbia, yet. The brief bits I read about it were in a book my friend had. I do know I want to do beach, maybe Zagreb. If anyone has been, Iíll take recommendations. The idea of beach weather plus rainy afternoons sounds mighty fine. The pictures of Plitvice Lakes National Park are compelling. Once I get some books and do some online research I'll know more. I love both City and Country adventures in other countries.

I am heartened by and appreciative of peopleís well wishes, and giddy with the thought of months of anticipation. I like knowing about a vacation way ahead; itís more time to be able to say, silently, when faced with a difficult person or situation, ďOh thatís alright you nuggety nugget, I can put up with you today, because soon Iím going to be eating Burek (meat pie) while on a beach. So hah.Ē

Zdravo! (A Croatian hello)

March 12th, 2006 at 09:29 pm

Iím going to Croatia in September.

I have already stated that if given the opportunity to travel, I wonít pass it up. A friend, who is super savvy about online deals, found us a $412 round trip flight to Europe. Iíll be going for two weeks.

Spending on travel has never been something Iíve regretted. I get so much out of traveling; I know itís a worthwhile expenditure. I also travel pretty cheap-Iím not into hostels, but I am into renting apartments. The more people travel together, the cheaper it can be. Also, research counts, and the Net makes searching open to everyone. Last year I stayed in a very nice Belgian B&B for $17 U.S. a night, as 4 of use shared one ďsuiteĒ-one adult bed, and in a separate room two ďkidĒ beds. The bathtub was superb-super long and deep-I am an aficionado. The B&B was in an old beautiful Belgian home, very quaint. The breakfasts were excellent.

I will still plan on living on minimum wage in all other aspects other than the Croatia trip. I will keep a separate log of every travel expense, down to the travel books Iíll buy (used), to see how much a two week Europe trip can cost if down on a budget.

Croatia is supposed to have amazing beaches. We may also visit Serbia. It will be incredible!

A Grocery Run

March 11th, 2006 at 11:52 pm

My boyfriend went on a grocery run. We had a long list of staples to refill, so I though it might be high, but it was $64 total. $32 each. We have always done a lot of bulk and staple, but it was just a nice surprise that a "big" grocery run could be that small. Flour, sunflower seeds, dry powdered milk, bulghur, eggs, potatoes, things like this. Our grocery bill has always been pretty decent; it's the dining out that can get us. I even got some club soda.

I made jam today, two batches, with some plum puree I've had in the freezer. (The low sugar Sure Jel takes 6-1/2 cups cooked plums, and our peanut butter tubs actually are exactly 6-1/2 cups. It's kinda neat.) Even before the challenge, I was working on emptying the freeezer and cupboards. The goal was threefold: use up stuff that has been sitting a while (asian sauces gotten as gifts, etc.), be more creative with homecooking, and create space for "convenience" meals-casseroles, etc. put in tubs for later.

The jam took me about an hour-I remember when I first started it was an all day project. I need to remember that certain things I'm intimidated by will be the same way, such as baking bread, or painting rooms, or refnishing furniture.

Day nine and still fine.

March 10th, 2006 at 02:04 am

No more actual spending to report. I did make plans to take a newly transferred co-worker out to lunch-before I wouldnít have even thought for a second, but now, I realized, ďShoot! Even with Linda paying half, this will still cost me $4-5 dollars out of my entertainment budget!Ē It doesnít happen until the 29th, so I wonít count it until itís spent.

I will have to fill up my gas tank soon. A tank is about $25 Ėit will last more than a month, but will still be a hit.

Every penny on my mind, can you tell?

Iíve gotten tighter with my electric. I still think old wiring accounts for the fact that our usage is twice what our appliances account for (see old posts for rants and facts) but Iíve become much more vigilant about turning off lights. Even if I only save a couple bucks, those bucks are real!

We have some recycling to do-I think I will allow the proceeds to be a part of my budget. If anyone objects or thinks itís violating the spirit of the rules, I wonít. A lot of my recycling I bring home from work (no formal recycling plan) so it isnít even from soda Iíd buy. Plus, I already planned on allowing club soda and seltzer under my new rules, so Iíd still have those bottles and cans.

I have some books to take in to try for trade-they arenít worth much at all on half.com, but they are in good shape. I want to turn them in for trade, to use as good gifts later on. Normally I might just get rid of the books, or, use the trade money for myself.

Last year I spent an average of $1546.42 a month. I just put my net check into Quicken, and donít count union dues, PERS Pension, 457 deferred compensation plan, or health insurance. If I count my insurance that would be an additional $43.70 a month for a total of $1590.12. So, for every month I successfully do this, I will have ďsavedĒ $553.12 ($1590.12 less $1037). If I do it for three months, thatís $1659.36-not enough for me. Iíd like to have the whole ďturn $20 into $5000Ē thing happen, so that means doing it for the rest of the year. Thatíd be $5531.20 saved. So, I can do this for the year, and still blow $500, and meet the challenge.

Just Been Sick, Not Giving Up

March 9th, 2006 at 12:49 am

A few postless days were due to illness, not a spending spree.

Someone posted on the $5:15 challenge forum that they already meet the challenge, so we know it can be done. Its giving up all the extras that those of us with more income will have trouble with. Or, paying for convenience, because we can.

I haven't spent anything (though I may owe my boyfriend for some yams). So I'm still doing good, with 402.25 spent. However, I know I won't have any AAA or Car reg fees, so I have to save that for next month. I will definitely spend on my health insurance.

My boyfriend asked, "how long do you have to do this?" I hadn't even thought of a date. I figure at least three months (and accounting for savings for items I won't have on those 3 months, like biannual auto insurance), but I'd like to do it thtough the year. Even if I slip, or go travelling, at least I will have nipped an awful lot. So I am planning three months absolute minimum.

A new mindset

March 5th, 2006 at 01:10 am

Okay, this challenge is doing good and bad things to my head.

On the bad side-Friday, I called my doctor's office at eleven to confirm my noon appointment. Well, my appointment was at 10:15 (my last appointment had been at noon). So, I may be facing the "missed appointment" fee, and I don't know how I'm gonna handle it. I think it might be $80 - I was almost charged earlier this year for cancelling a same day but I had a migraine, so they waived it. I don't think they'll wave it again in such a short period. If I was really minimum wage, I'd try to claim hardship, but I can't, so I either need to take the hit or pay it outside the challenge. I will most likely just pay a portion each month and suffer-as this challenge wasn't meant to be super easy.

On the plus side, my frugal mindset is back. At work I declined 2 offers to go out to lunch. One person, who I've treated a lot in the past (yeah, my combined vice-dining and giving gifts) offered to take me out (her house finally sold) but I declined, saying I appreciated the offer but I was into my packed lunch, and explaining like it felt I would be cheating on the challenge.

We had our payday "pool" - buy 3 tickets for a dollar, half the collected funds go to the lucky winner of a the drawn ticket, the other half goes to the Employee Recreation Fund. As I work for the County, this money is used for items that taxpayer dollars can't go towards, such as microwaves and a refrigerator in the kitchen. I decided to pitch in a $1 of my entertainment money, after mulling it over. Now everyone at at work knows and thinks I'm a big goober, but are humourously supportive. Of course I didn't win the pool.

Last night, Friday night, we did get pizza, but it only cost me $1.25, as we used a $20 gift certificate we already had. It was 2 pizzas, with soda and breadsticks, and we picked it up.

I could feel guilty, but I figure, it makes the most sense to use these gift certificates I have when I'm trying to save money, so I'm not really breaking the rules. Normally, I would either make a store brand Boboli pizza or get take and bake-$22.50 is a huge amount of money for pizza even when I'm carefree. But, as I said, I was using a gift certificate.

Today, I am using up freezer and fridge food, and I made two pasta casseroles, and one is going into the freezer as a "fast food/take out" for when I don't want to cook.

I am hanging some laundry in the house, even though it is very cold. I will see if it dries at all; we aren't running heat in any room, so it may not work. I have a sweater on but my hands are so chilled I am having trouble typing. I did do the double spin, and I ran it on the short cycle with the lid up, so it stopped part-way and soaked until I put the lid down. I figure I got a long cycle wash for a short cycle price.

Spent so far: $402.25 ($2.25 entertainment, $400 rent)
$670.75 left for the month, depending on my doctors bill......


Day Two

March 3rd, 2006 at 05:34 am

It's day two, and I lied yesterday-I didn't spend nothing, I forgot about rent. So yes, $400 out of my $1073 gone, but all budgeted for.

Today, I actually spent nothing. A couple of people at work think this idea is goofy but are rooting for me.

It's funny-if I think "I wanna get burritos from Amigas" my next thought is "Not on the challenge." So I have conceivably (because I almost ordered again on half.com) saved $20 to $30 already. Unprovable, but neat-o.