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Viewing the 'Food, glorious food' Category

Slightly Over on Grocery Spending

January 8th, 2017 at 04:47 am

I hoped to spend only $50 this week, but I've got girlfriends coming for lunch on Monday, so today's grocery spending was $57. That included extra milk, lasagna ingredients,and everything possibly needed for the week as well as some notable bargains. We too continue to eat it all as my DH is still plowing through the bean soup for lunch while I had the last vestiges of the NY ham, and DD had leftover chicken soup. Dinner featured yet more delicious eating it up--this time the CSA veggies. The glazed CSA butternut squash (yum) had wild rice, cranberries, onions from the CSA. I subbed two aging clementines for the required OJ. We had that with pork tenderloin on the last of the CSA pears and apples. We still have lots of leftovers.

I also moved a treasure trove from the basement freezer upstairs. Honestly, except for some fresh fruit and veg, we don't need food for a good month. I'm looking forward to drawing it all down. Really, I dream of an empty downstairs freezer.

Great double couponing meant free yeast, some odd frozen cauliflower "tots" from Green Giant, Hormel lunch meat, and tortilla chips ready for tomorrow's Packer game.

NS Yesterday but Cabin Fever Today

January 5th, 2017 at 06:00 pm

All my family is home now; child sniffling on the couch, husband rooting around, dog happy that everyone is home. And it's very cold here with negative numbers for the wind chills. As directed by the Frugalwoods folks, I'm clearing out the pantry. I've got bean soup on the stove with bits of the NY ham and tomatoes and chiles from the pantry. I've made some wild rice which will be stuffed into the remaining CSA butternut squashes.
Every bit of laundry is done, and now I either/all need to face the office, the Christmas boxes, the basement, and school planning. Or escape to Costco with a friend for an hour or so. I honestly think it will do me good to get out, and I raise my right hand and promise to spend no more than $5. We need milk and spreadable butter. I spent nothing yesterday. I made my SB goal. I should go out.

The UberFrugal Begins

January 1st, 2017 at 08:11 pm

We had a lovely NYE. Rather than sacrificing our rather modest tradition of pizza, a movie, and a jigsaw puzzle by the fireplace, we went ahead with it. We saw the Dev Patel movie, Lion, which I recommend although the more cynical among us may find it sentimental. In my current mood, I thought it was very good.

I did some bargain grocery shopping on double coupon day yesterday, and the freezer is well stocked. Lots of pasta bargains, the usual chicken breast markdowns for the dieters and some freebies.

In an unusual situation at our church, they had no volunteers for the nursery this morning, and they sent out a call for paid help. DD was interested, so she made some spending money, and I tagged along. They tried to pay me as well, but that's silly, and I refused. Through both services we had one very charming little boy who played with toy cars on the playroom rug. We came home and made pumpkin pancakes which were delicious, I must say. We've now used up the non-carryover part of our flex spending, we gave some time to church, and (!) I sold my ice skates for $12. I hate to admit it, but I think my 50+ years of skating are done. My fear of falling has overcome all the joy I used to get out of skating. I'm happy to have them out of the basement and happy to have the $12. Now to find some more crud to declutter--especially if it brings in some cash.

Unemployment Claim Filed

December 30th, 2016 at 05:08 pm

This has been an interesting morning. DH and I filed his first unemployment claim. I'm a little amazed at how much the state already knew about him. The form seemed to fill itself. He's updating his resume now. I've never claimed unemployment, and he found the process much easier than in the UK where unemployment is means tested.

I have more returns to do today. DD has been a great help, particularly yesterday when we returned some things to Target. She got me out of the store without buying a thing. Target is horribly tempting, but I resisted even the after-Christmas sales.

I also have $100 of flex spending that won't carry over to next year, so I'm planning on marching everyone out for a flu shot this afternoon. And I'm signing us mentally up for the Uberfrugal Month Challenge. One thing that has already struck me is lunch prep. DH is an easy person to feed; he'll eat all sorts of leftovers, but we've spent 16 years with him getting a free lunch at work every day. I see many more pots of soup and rice and beans in our lunch future.

So, today's goals are:
finish the returns
flu shots
list three things for sale

Low- Cost Fun

December 29th, 2016 at 04:59 am

My dinner group did a soup swap tonight. Seven of us and families gathered at a friend's house, made enough soup to sample and containers for everyone to take home.

I brought some wine and crudites; others brought cake, popovers, hummus and crackers. It was a lot of fun and we have enough different kinds of soups to keep us going for days. I also filed some reimbursements for my flex spending and thought about returning some Christmas gifts, but I sort of ran out of oomph. Anyone else exhausted by Christmas?

Really? It's Been Over a Month?

October 7th, 2016 at 12:27 am

Ah, yes, it has been over a month since I've posted. Between DD's 5:45 alarm and a full load of classes, I'm pretty beat when I get home. Things are as busy as usual at the university, and overall, my students seem fine. I've managed to finish up the summer's freelance work, keep teaching my evening class, and get a very few things done.

I could easily spend $8/ week on coffee, especially between classes. I've been holding my office hours in the library coffee shop which only adds to the temptation, so last night I unearthed an old electric kettle for my university office. My office mate and I have decided to do either instant coffee or tea there. We both feel a little broke.

Our state budget woes continue, and while I have a full load scheduled for spring semester, she doesn't. Last fall I sort of fell into the habit of stopping at the grocery on the way home to fill in for the week and pick up lunch. But that's off my list too--either lunch from home or lunch at home almost every day. Thankfully with two classes each day beginning at 8am I can usually go home--unless there's meetings or other appointments.

I've transferred some cash that was sitting in Paypal into my online savings. Most of the cash was from Swagbucks which I let run in the background while I'm grading papers. I spent nothing today and picked up the CSA veggies--some of which went into the spinach, broccoli, red onion, red pepper quiche. We also roasted some carrots with thyme--delicious. I feel very boring, but seem to be on track.

One Big Chunk

August 22nd, 2016 at 07:46 pm

To deal with DH's upcoming pay cut, I have been nosing around for more bargains. Here's what I've done, starting with the minor.
A large pot of soup for lunches and tonight's dinner successfully using some wilting veggies.
Less expensive back-to-school shopping than anticipated. DD is fine with much of what she has. We can buy more to supplement as the school year progresses.
A Costco trip that filled in some gaps
A cheap Hotwire motel for next week's Minneapolis trip.
and my large triumph--a truly bargain flight for DH's trip to his nephew's wedding in October. He's going alone as mid-semester trips are impossible for DD and me. I'd been looking for weeks for a good fare between Chicago and Heathrow and struggling to find anything in the strict timeframe under $1000. We'd used consolidators before without any problems, and since he's flying alone, I thought, "why not?" The ticket has gone through, he's flying AA for under $600. I can't tell you how happy that makes me. If you have a consolidator horror story, please don't tell me. Crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.

And on the income side, my grades are in for my summer class, learning platform and assignments ready for tonight's new eight-week class, freelance project bill ready to be submitted. I still have loads of freelance work, but it can wait a few days.

DD and I are off to visit my brother and fam in MN tomorrow. Hanging out at the lake seems like a good way to wind up the summer.


Challenges and Successes

August 19th, 2016 at 06:40 pm

My DH's employer called yesterday and asked for a meeting. He's an IT contractor, so meetings are rarely good as they know he'll be off the clock to meet. The company where he's been working is facing their usual sporadic financial challenges, and they want him to take a $1/hr pay cut. There is really no choice, and frankly, the $1 didn't sound awful--but it does add up to almost $2000 a year.

At the dog's physical therapy appt this morning, I realized again how much we pay for her anti-inflamatory. I did a quick check and found I can buy it online for $55 cheaper.

Now for a place to find that other $1945! I don't think I can work more. My full time 4/4 teaching load is plenty, and I'll have an adjunct class until mid-December. I'll try to crunch the grocery budget a bit.

The CSA really keeps us fed through the summer. We had the most brilliant panzanella salad last night using some drying up Italian bread and a load of veggies. Maybe we'll try a credit card offer or two?

Some In, but More Out

July 28th, 2016 at 05:24 am

We started out the day with some more vet spending. The round of vaccinations, heart worm treatment, etc ran a cool $225. I came home to a $200 rebate from our health insurance for our CSA membership which just made it into the checking before we headed to the graveyard of no-spending: Target. DD needed a new phone, and we slightly upgraded her current pre-paid phone. It's mostly from her birthday cash, and she's v excited. As current phones go, it was cheap--well under $100. I'm a bit shocked at how many of her friends have $500 phones. But she understands our attitude towards things like that, and never complains.
While there, we also bought the graphing calculator required by her school which was on sale for $89.

On the way home we stopped at grocery as it's double coupon day, and I needed a few things for dinner. Our local grocery chain has been purchased by Kroger, and it appears they're eliminating all their own brand organics. I was WAY too excited to find most of those items tucked away around the store for 75% off. Oh my word, I got $4 granola for 75 cents, cans of chili beans for 35 cents, organic applesauce for 75 cents--it was pure delight. I loaded up the cart. We checked all the expiration dates and bought a few extra things for food shelf donations. We spend $65 and the register tape (never completely fair) said we saved $98.

It's been an interesting day; I'm sure enjoying having DD home. We spent part of the evening watching the convention and the rest reading her required book for Honors English in the fall.

Scavenging Payoffs

July 8th, 2016 at 02:06 am

Much to my delight, the prepaid Visas earned for our health assessments arrived this week. It was a nice $300. However, my DH seems to feel he should be able to blow that $300. I, of course, disagree. We agreed that we both could have $25 from our cards to spend on whatever. And I spent all but $5 of mine today on the dog's post-operative therapy. Bleah. But I guess it's paid for and not on the credit card.
Our CSA box is keeping us jam-packed full of veggies. I made a big pan of stuffed shells with spinach filling tonight, and we still have loads of things. Last week's box had brilliant strawberries and garlic scapes which I've had lots of fun with. Pole beans will be the challenge of the weekend.

I spent 45 minutes on the phone with Vanguard today, and am again very impressed with their customer service. I still had some stocks rolling around in an old IRA, and we got that all transferred. Looking at the statements led me into doing some retirement calculations. Thanks to some major years of contributions when I was younger, I think I can do 100% income replacement right now. That's with Social Security and that's just me--not my DH who has been lax. He's been a contractor for years without a 401K match, I nag him all the time about restarting IRA contributions, but he HATES finances. I'm going tot have to take over his as well as mine. There's UK money, but not a ton, and there's been no progress on his dad's estate. We actually sat down and talked this through tonight--which is tremendously satisfying for me and boring as heck for him.

Other things accomplished this week has been some minor decluttering and the opening of a new savings account purely for the $200 bonus in 90 days. But all of that is done.

Cheap Weekend

May 16th, 2016 at 03:16 pm

One way to have a cheap weekend? Tackle house tasks you've been putting off? My Dh is done with his spring class, so he's now available for many chores. He's started cleaning the basement, I spent some time dejunking various spots and we had a fabulous time yesterday digging out creeping bell flower. If you want to know exactly how fun that was, google it.

Our big evening out consisted of $5 tickets to DD's school musical. She ran the stage crew. We have several more evenings of that kind of fun ahead of us as the band concert and spring sing are happening soon. And there's plenty more garden work to keep us busy--despite the SNOW flurries we saw Saturday.

We've been getting by remarkably well on freezer and cupboard stores with just a few trips for milk and fruit and veg. Our Meatless Monday menu looks like it'll be a Southwestern bowl burrito.

Happy weeks to you all!

Small Potatoes

April 28th, 2016 at 07:28 pm

My first blog entry since coming back to the grey,cold Midwest is indeed full of small potatoes. I'm digging out from a mountain of unopened mail, events and a house that both need some organizing.

In budgetary matters, I'm working our way through a mountain of food that is the usual response to my DH's trips to Costco. We just happen to have 20 sleeves of Oreos, 36 containers of applesauce, and enough Mandarin oranges (?) to feed most Mandarin speakers. While I'm happy to use up the applesauce and oranges in DD's lunches, some of those Oreos are going to the university tomorrow. Our learning platform has been down half this week, and many of my colleagues need a cookie.

I've made a swift $25 off Swagbucks that is assigned to DD's French camp fund, listed some things on FB lists, and taken a couple of textbook surveys totaling $30 in Amazon gift cards.

This weekend's fun includes taxes. I've filed for an extension, but need to face the music soon. Yes, real life is grand.

Finally Friday!

October 16th, 2015 at 09:58 pm

And a chilly Friday it is. I've been cooking up a storm today--making coleslaw, chili, and baking pumpkin bread before turning to the broccoli and cauliflower cheese tonight. We have SO many CSA veggies that need to be cooked up, it was about time. But yesterday was the last weekly CSA box for the year. We switch to every other week until they end at Thanksgiving.

Overall, I've loved it. It's made me try tons of new vegetables like celeriac and kohlrabi, and we certainly eat everything they've sent. Special bonuses have been the honey and maple syrup. As an added incentive to do it again next year, I've just discovered my health insurance offers $200 back on a CSA membership, and as we paid $600, that's a great deal.

I think I've been cooking to avoid grading papers, so I'd better get back to it! Happy weekends to you all!

Working Away at those Goals

August 5th, 2015 at 06:31 am

We all went over to the bathroom remodeler this morning to go over detailed plans with them. As I suspected, there's no way we can get an English-length (6 foot) bathtub in our 1960 house. But we spent an hour going over choices of tile, and they'll send us a bid in a few days. We had them bid both the family bath and our en-suite, but I'm not sure we can afford to do both now. It will be interesting to see their numbers. Even for our smallish bathrooms, I think it will be in the mid 20s.

DD and I hit Costco and Target to begin school supply shopping. We've done a brief inventory of last year's leftovers, so we didn't spend too much. I always keep a running list to see if I can beat the School-Pak boxes offered by the district--which I always succeed at. One year I beat their numbers by $70.

After the Costco hot dog for lunch, DD and I went to the dentist. Thankfully I still have a balance left on my flex card, so nothing out of pocket after the insurance and the flex. A month ago my kitchen sieve/strainer broke, and I was surprised to see how much they were. The OXO ones were $18, but I spotted one for sale on a local FB list for $3--which we now own. I roasted some garden zucchini and peppers to go with our black bean burgers tonight. We're trying to move from one to two meatless dinners a week, and I must admit, the dread zucchini has helped!

More accuracy checking work tonight, so I'm ahead of schedule with the project managers and editors.

Tomorrow DD and I are off to Minnesota again, the beautiful North Shore with my best friend. We're there until Monday and we're all looking forward to hikes, pie, and a visit to the Wolf Center in Ely.

I'm really enjoying these summer days. It's been a good balance of work and play.

London Again

August 4th, 2015 at 03:44 am

I've received the final go-ahead from my family and department, so it looks as if I'm going to London again next year, pending enrollments. I'm very excited, and we've already started some planning.

Not a lot of financial news. I put a $12 rebate check in the bank, had a haircut, took DD to pick up her school registration, dropped off batteries and a computer mouse for recycling, and then did some grocery shopping and hit the library. Tomorrow we go to check out the bathroom remodeling bids.

The zucchini keeps coming fast and furious so tonight we had zucchini quiche. I froze some over the weekend along with peaches.

Happy to have the windows open tonight and happy to have new library books and wonderful peaches!

Making Jam and Chutney

August 1st, 2015 at 01:48 am

My day was spent making jam and chutney. We made 36 jars of peach ginger and peach and blueberry jam and another 21 jars of chutney. It was lots of fun doing it with two friends. And it was delicious!

Fun but a Little Expensive

June 10th, 2015 at 07:02 pm

A bunch of went on a tour of Milwaukee's only urban creamery yesterday. They're known for their artisan cheese, and we've been meaning to go for a while. I traded a friend some FB sales for admission price, so the $3 was free for me. But I did spend $18 on cheese. Yikes. And then we went to lunch to the tune of another $20. And then DD and I went to Dairy Queen after dinner.


Hmm--fattening and expensive. But fun! I got a couple of frugality/financial planning books at the library and heard about my friends' financial woes. I'm grateful we're in a better place than them, but sure wish things would turn around for them. Everyone is working extra jobs, buying used clothes, etc, but summer is lean for teaching staff. We probably should not have gone to lunch and should have packed lunches. We've discussed that before, but haven't quite got it together yet.

Nothing spent today although I have been shopping airfares as my MN girlfriends want a autumn hiking trip. They've already booked, but I can't find anything quite cheap enough yet. I think I have some time and am crossing my fingers that fares go down not up.

Steering Back on Track

June 1st, 2015 at 06:31 pm

After the Door County expenses, now comes DD's summer camp expenses. So, to keep things as much in line as possible, we're going to need some simple weeks with limited spending. We have lots of food around, and not a lot of obligations. DD and DH have been going out to Noodles or some such place on the nights I teach. It's more cash, but I feel strongly it's better for them. They spend more time in conversation rather than hurrying back to their respective screens.


DH is flying back to the UK to see his dad later this week. It's another slightly optional expense, but his 89-year-old dad is failing and they need time together.

So, as you can see, we need to hold it down. I'm always looking for ways to economize and stretch. Hit me with some new ones! This is the week to try things!

More Stuff Out, Some Cash In

April 27th, 2015 at 11:41 pm

I sold a few more things on FB, and donated others today. I'm happy to have all of them leave my house!

Since I've been home I've rather unconsciously changed how I do meals, buying fewer things, and making a more concerted effort to use things up. I honestly think it comes from having a smaller fridge in London. My DH loves a really full fridge, but I have a hard time finding things and like a more pared-down selection. I'm happy with it, and I've heard no complaints from the eaters in the household. We've slowly been working our way through our freezer stocks as well. I'd like to empty the fridge freezer and clean it and the chest freezer. On that note, we had Trader Joe's frozen croissants this morning! Not very punishing is it?

Because I went to the university to do a teaching observation this morning, I got a bunch of errands tackled on the way home. Tomorrow's tasks include starting a serious look at our net worth. That will help us talk more about a move.

Not the best of days

April 24th, 2015 at 03:56 am

It's been kind of a frustrating day here in lots of ways, many of them vaguely financial. DH's car needs at least a new muffler if not a whole new exhaust system which they want $1500 for. Ugh. He likes this garage, but I think they're too expensive, so we went back and forth on that a bit. He doesn't drive much--some weekend errands and just to the bus in the morning, so that seems a lot to spend on that car. The A/C quit working last year, but they want $1000 for that, and we've mutually decided it's not worth it. Then, after much consultation about selling some patio chairs, my potential buyer found others. Now the dishwasher appears to have clogged or something and is leaving sediment all over the dishes. We've rinsed out the water jets and will wait to see how it behaves, but I ended up with three sinks full of dishes.

I still have a couple of FB sales pending, but am sort of frustrated with the process right now and will concentrate tomorrow on other things. I think the tree pollen must also be bad because I'm a bit thick.

But there have been good things--I read two capstone projects, made a good quiche and excellent pumpkin chocolate chip muffins--all from the freezer and pantry. Onward--




Another Very Good Day

March 4th, 2015 at 09:05 pm

My first class went on a long walk today through all the Bloomsbury squares. Now we've been here for six weeks; a person would think they might have discovered them before? They're a two-minute walk away. But it was fun to show them where Virginia Woolf lived, and Yeats, and Dickens, and a host of others.

My other class also went well, and I had been a bit grumbly about students who have been a little lax. Yet when I left, my most trying student said, "Don't leave. We like your classes best." I went home with a big smile on my face.

I spent nothing until I went grocery shopping this evening, when I spent 20 GBP. I had a voucher for double loyalty points, so stocked up on things I'll need soon like more coffee, bottled water for upcoming trips, and laundry soap. I'm a bit pleased as I've managed to wean myself off half and half in my coffee and switch to whole milk. Perhaps I'll get it down to 2 percent someday, but think I must be saving some fat and calories.

I have a huge pile of grading since last night was theatre night. "Once," the musical we saw was very good, and my colleague bought me a drink which you could have on the stage! Very fun.

September Song

October 1st, 2014 at 03:00 am

I'm again way behind on many things, and as much as I'd like to blame myself (ha), I think it's work. Those of you remotely interested in my mundane freelance work might remember I took on a textbook accuracy checking job. There remains more to do on that job, and their checker on another text just quit, Do I need more work? No. Do I want more work? No. Did I take on more work? Yep.

That work, my busy classes, the London recruiting (which has taken on mammoth proportions lately), and a sick kid for four of the five past school days has turned me a bit ugly. I honestly didn't even enjoy apple picking last weekend. I'm tired. I haven't done my ebay listings or a lot of administration around here.

But tomorrow is sort of the end of the teaching week, and London apps are due tomorrow. I've got to get things done this week. End of whine.

Good news? I parked illegally all day and got no ticket. There's an open bag of Kit Kats in my office and I haven't eaten any. My newbie prospective London students are cute as can be. The child is doing better. I made swell chili and great homemade applesauce. Tomorrow is payday. Ah, much better.

Happy Shopping Except...

July 6th, 2014 at 06:55 am

Oooh, I had a good shopping day today. I bought some nice groceries on sale at Target and even remembered my coupons. More grocery shopping followed that, all with great deals and double coupons on a few things. I'm not a huge Kohl's fan (blasphemy here in Cheeseland), but I picked up a cute black tee for very cheap after joining their new loyalty program. One more card to try to keep track of....

Yesterday DH and I did a walk around our house looking at trees that needed trimming, bare spots near the fence that needed something, and lots of other areas that needed a couple hours weeding. So after the football today, he trimmed shrubs, and I stopped at the garden center for some drastically reduced hostas. Hooray! Just what I wanted. Except for the third time in six days I was overcharged, this time for $10, and none of the clerks could figure out how to do a price adjustment. Twenty minutes later they finally figured it out. I'm very happy I brought the thermal bag for my frozen groceries, or I would have a car dripping with not-so-frozen yogurt soup.

I love these three-day weekends. We seem to get so much done. We finished some Netflix series that we've been watching, got most of the laundry done, and actually feel ready for the week ahead. Well, except for that weeding.

DH had a fraud alert on his Chase card Friday, and it indeed was fraud. This is his third Chase card this year. We expect the new card Monday.

Getting There

November 21st, 2013 at 04:14 am

I feel like the worst of the semester is behind me. All my students are working on big projects, and only need feedback from me. Nothing new or too major to assign, and only three weeks to go.

Tomorrow my London contact arrives to do the meeting with this year's students. Unbelievably, there are three I still haven't met, so finally I'll see everyone tomorrow.

I've been pretty frugal, and I've also been trying to diet a bit. I've kept up with Swagbucks up to now, but imagine if we're traveling over Thanksgiving, I'll abandon the monthly goal. My Nectar Adpoints are very slowly adding up to help with my London grocery bill. I've done some Pinecone surveys and some Christmas shopping at the church bazaar. Now I just need a few days to tie up loose ends and do an analysis of things that need to be done for the semester, the London trip, home, and Christmas.

My dear friend with cancer is home, but the prognosis is not good. She's a very stubborn soul, so I'm hoping she'll let me help while I can.

It's going to get very cold here, and I've made yet another pot of turkey broth from the turkeys I roasted for the shelter. It smells heavenly here. Nothing like a big pot of homemade soup.

Colds and Cold

November 11th, 2013 at 11:10 pm

My DH was home Friday with a cold that stretched all weekend,; no one felt great but it was nice to be home together. He had it worse than me, but I woke up this morning thinking I was too sick to go to school. But two ibuprofen later, and I got through the whole day, just a little slower than usual.

Because of the rain/snow mix this morning, I parked in the ramp at school, something I rarely do, but between having a cold and the weather, I think it was worth it. The wind was howling off the lake, and I was glad to stay warm and dry.

Staying in most of the weekend, we didn't spend much. We got take-out Saturday night; nothing like spicy hot and sour soup for a cold.

I also volunteered to roast two turkeys for the local shelter's Thanksgiving meal. I did one yesterday, carved it, and then froze the meat and pan juices to bring to church later. It made the house smell so good. I'm making soup from the bones now.

Only a little bit of snow lingers here, but it sure is cold.

Some Hopeful News

October 2nd, 2013 at 02:17 am

When DH's boss went into a meeting today, he asked if he could have a copy of DH's CV to circulate as they still suspect they'll run out of work for him. Sure enough, someone said they could perhaps use him until the end of the year. That would give us a bit more room, and perhaps another longer-term contract will come up between now and then. So, we're a bit more hopeful.

But we traced out yet another austerity budget and found that we can live, very carefully, on what I make. And that without my adjunct job at night. We couldn't do it long term, as there's no room for car repairs, house repairs, or much of anything besides property taxes, utilities, food, and other necessities. But it is doable in the short term.

As I was cleaning up the fall garden today, I found some of last spring's spinach and radish seeds. It may be late for them, but I put a row of each in and some lettuce. It's a long shot, but the seeds were just sitting there. Why not, eh?

First Week Fatigue

September 7th, 2013 at 02:02 am

We're all dragging around here after the first week of school. Does everybody get worn out like this?

But I had a cheap and very nice day. Next week is my birthday and a friend took me out for lunch at my favorite tapas spot. While she paid for lunch, I have a loyalty card there, and have now earned a $25 bonus.

On the other cheapskate front, we got a free rotisserie chicken at the grocery store today with a coupon as well as a free Bird's Eye Voila meal. We won both in the supermarket's latest inane game. But free food is good and we had the chicken for dinner.

Now, back to reading my students' introduction assignments. Looks like I have some real corkers this semester.

Home Time

August 18th, 2013 at 05:12 am

Ok, I'll admit it. I'm a spoiled brat and am bored being home. I'd rather be in Minnesota with family and friends, denying the imminent onset of the semester, a passel of new students, and the early morning start times.

But here we are. We spoiled ourselves with a massive dinner tonight with fabulous vegetables from the farmers' market. The corn and tomatoes were so good. And I sort of invented a new cocktail with orange San Pellegrino, white rum, mint, and a squeeze of lime. The patio was beautiful even if the house is filled with laundry, stacks of mail, and piles of school supplies to be delivered and new school clothes to be put away. If the mosquitoes hadn't been so hungry and yet another Kate Atkinson novel waiting inside, I might've slept out there instead.

Tomorrow is the closing day of the municipal pool. Reality can wait until Monday, yes?

Halfway Through My Summer Class

July 24th, 2013 at 07:26 pm

Yep, it's midterm night tonight. This class has been so much better than my "Mysteries" class. I'm really enjoying them, although they're a little goofy.

I had dinner with friends last night. These are the same ones that are moving soon, so we finalized the times I'm taking them to the airport next week. My meals out spending will certainly decrease when they leave, but I'll be sad. Hoping to visit them in Germany next spring.

DD and I have started some school supply shopping. I always play a little game with myself trying to figure out by how much I can beat the pre-packed price. My simple life!

Party and Upcoming Spending

July 23rd, 2013 at 04:10 am

We spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 for the weekend party. I didn't think it would be that much, but we seem to have lots of wine left over and DH was given lots of wine as well.

The only spending other than food, drink, and paper goods was on some flowers for the house and big beverage jars for the outdoor bar. We've eaten leftover food for the past couple days, and don't have much left. All in all, not too bad.

On the selling front, I sold something on ebay for $5 and a book for $50. The biggest triumph from the entire party prep was the dejunking. We still have the garage to do, but the rest of the house is MUCH improved.

Besides class and study abroad planning, I'd like to spend the next five or six weeks relaxing, reading, and financial planning. To that end, DD and I went to the library today for a few more books. We spend a lovely afternoon just lazing about and reading.


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