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Did I Say It Would Be a UFM?

July 24th, 2018 at 08:26 pm

I am so wrong, says the woman who spent $800 on rugs today. And I had coffee drinks, bought a crate of peaches, and a bunch of craft supplies.

Truly I was planning on buying new rugs for the dining room and family room. Would you be shocked if I told you our dining room rug was bought in the 1980s? It's done its duty. And the family room rug is part of my vast redecoration scheme in there. More on that as it develops, but I did look at paint colors and get a bid on the painting. We'd attempt it ourselves but it's a vaulted ceiling and a huge room. You'll see it's on my 2018 goals.

The peaches have become a summer ritual for us, but this year half of them will go to my friend whose husband's kidney comes out tomorrow. If you're a praying sort, keep them in your prayers. please. And the craft supplies (slime--eww) were for her son who is making slime with friends tomorrow to keep him busy.
I'm really pleased with the rugs; they were part of the Bon-Ton going out of business sale and were supposedly 70% off. I think that's a dubious figure but I really like them. Much jazzier than my usual traditional taste.

I made a huge Greek salad for dinner to use some CSA veggies and will shortly head off to bed with my new library book.

Relaxing Week

June 21st, 2018 at 08:48 pm

Well, it has been relaxing--especially since my department's part of the grant fell through. I thought it might; we just weren't the best fit. I just wish they'd have figured that out before 10 hours worth of meetings. So DD and I have been hanging out, and I've really enjoyed it.

We even enjoyed cleaning the closets today. She found an old state quarters map, and was thrilled to pop out the quarters and add them to her cash stash. No luck on jobs yet. Having a summer birthday sort of hampers that. We've spent some money on summer fun. We joined the local gym and have been every other day. We took a free water zumba class which was pretty funny. A bunch of older ladies, me, and mu daughter in the pool dancing to "You can Leave Your Hat On" had me laughing all day. And DD is also taking an advanced French conversation class to keep her French up over the summer. She loves French, and may very well do some sort of international something. I think it's in the genes.
We sold some clothes from the closet purge this afternoon too and took the rest to the charity shop. All in all, a very satisfying rainy solstice. We've also been making great use of the library; she has a stack of books, and so do I. Tonight we watched the last Star Wars; last night it was My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I think we're doing a darn good job of balancing lazy and productive. I am planning an ultra-frugal July, but we have so much stuff in the freezer, it shouldn't be too hard. And the CSA starts next week too. My new class starts in 2 1/2 weeks, so I've been writing the syllabus. More to do, but only tackling one job at a time. The weekend looks like it will have lots of World Cup, a Scandi midsommer celebrations, and probably the art museum with friends tomorrow. Not sure I could tackle this much leisure all the time, but it's nice to have a few weeks of it!

Still Making Soup But Eating Paczki Tomorrow

February 12th, 2018 at 03:11 pm

Many of you will remember last year's discussion of paczki. I need to remember to buy some tonight or get up early to find some tomorrow morning.

But paczki aside, it's still cold, snowy February around here. Between last week's car bill and the gas bill, it's still cold, snowy, and frugal February too.

My DD had a snow day on Friday, we had a low-key weekend of library visits, Olympics viewing, and paper grading. All that was punctuated with soup making, crisp baking, quinoa salad prep, and brushing snow off the car every 15 minutes or so.

To increase motivation today, I closed out a small saving account with a teeny balance which will go to the UK House fund when it actually transfers. I seem to be in super-slow winter mode with lots of eating and lazing about. This needs to stop, and will, I vow, by Wednesday. After all, there's still some cranberry apple crisp left.

Still Uber-Frugal

January 8th, 2018 at 10:47 am

Not much willpower required as we're in a quiet zone right now. I'm finally almost over my cold, and only spent some cash on groceries over the weekend. We went nowhere else and did nothing. How's that for boring? DD has school exams coming up and rejected the offer of a movie. I'm working on a conference talk and spent a good part of the weekend doing a lit review. Later today I'll put it all together, create a PowerPoint, and an annotated bibliography. I love these projects so I'm happy as can be.

Tomorrow I'll go glasses shopping and spent some time at the university working on my annual review and next term's projects. It will be good to get out!

Leftovers loom for lunch (how's that for headline?), and perhaps for dinner as well. I tried a new pot roast recipe from Cooks Illustrated that was pretty darn good, so I'm looking forward to the dinner leftovers. I need to do some intensive tidying around here too. DH and I are still working on our jigsaw puzzle--a Monet sea scene. I feel a little dorky saying it, but we're enjoying doing it together.

January quietness hasn't turned into January blahs yet--probably because It's so nice to have a break from the classroom. Two more weeks of this bliss to come.

Let's Do an Ultra-Frugal Apres- French Week

October 30th, 2017 at 10:29 am

My ravaged budget will need more than one week, but I'm starting with one. The groceries left over will help us through this week. More on the French soon--fun, but budget destroying. And sleep destroying.

Leftover soup for lunch. Leftover tacos for dinner.
List a few items for sale, and come up with a plan.

So Close

October 4th, 2017 at 07:08 pm

I thought the brilliant new bathroom (aka the budget buster from hell) would be done today, and I could share pictures. But something funny happened today; at least I think it was funny still. I came home to the dumpster gone, the floor protection all rolled up, and the bill on the countertop. But no bathroom mirror. So I gave their office a call, the receptionist put me on hold for a loooooong time, and I finally got the master carpenter who assured me the mirror was coming on Friday. I honestly think they forgot to order the mirror. Everything else has been sitting in our living room for 7 weeks, and the carpenters sounded a little flustered.And the junior carpenter mistakenly drilled a hole in the tile today when he was hanging the shower curtain rod, so the crazy tile setters are coming back tomorrow. As much as I'm eager to get in there, the extra couple of days will, I hope, mean I can wait for the cash DH transferred from the UK to hit. A long day full of students and endless meetings, but I brought my lunch and only spent the requisite $2 on coffee.

We roasted a turkey breast on Sunday, have had two dinners from it, and lunches all week. Thankfully we have another in the freezer because semi-austerity is going to have to continue for a while. CSA veggies tomorrow will help too. In a effort to keep my big goal coming, I transferred $25 from Swagbucks and am adding on the trifling interest for September. Very eager to start paying myself back for the bathroom.

It Was an NSD

August 29th, 2017 at 01:44 pm

My second consecutive NSD day hopes were dashed when my friendly carpenter wanted the second part of the bathroom cash. I expected him to ask for it a week ago, so perhaps I earned a few cents interest on that $8000. Ugh. But things are progressing in there.

My class started last night with nine students. It's beginning composition and usually we read a variety of essays from a textbook assigned by the university. I've decided to tweak it and make the readings all essays about people and their relationships with money. They're all adult learners, so why not talk about money, right? We'll see how it goes. I pulled a bunch of essays off the web, but would welcome anyone's suggestions for more.

The bright spot is more junk is leaving my house. We keep throwing random things into the dumpster, and the red wagon has been picked up as has the light fixture. Count that as $20 in. I've just listed a small table which has sold too!

Cleaning the Garage

August 27th, 2017 at 09:22 pm

DH and (briefly) DD and I spent the bulk of the afternoon cleaning the garage. We got a lot done, and happily I found a few things I can sell. I'll try to get them listed tomorrow. But what a yucky job. We tossed a bunch of wood and pipe found in the garage, recycled garden pots, threw away big sheets of plastic, folded tarps, and sorted all the various types of garage-dwelling liquids. We have two shelving units in there and have always rather slovenly just put all the various things on either shelf. I wiped down the shelves and separated the garden stuff from the automotive stuff. It looks much better. After a shower and a drink, we complimented ourselves on a job well done.

Dishwasher Costs for CCF

August 23rd, 2017 at 02:54 pm

I've been curious about how much it costs to run the dishwasher after your earlier post, CCF. Here's what I found from the SF Gate:
Multiply the wattage of your dishwasher (most models fall in a range between 1,200 and 2,400 watts) by the number of hours you run it each day. Divide this number by 1,000 to find the number of kilowatt-hours the dishwasher uses. Multiply this number by your cost per kilowatt-hour to come up with the daily cost of running your dishwasher. For example, suppose your dishwasher is rated at 1,800 watts, you run it for two hours a day and your electricity rate is 13 cents. Multiply 1,800 by 2 to get 3,600 watt-hours, or 3.6 kilowatt-hours. Multiply this figure by 13 cents, resulting in 46.8 cents. So it costs you just under 50 cents a day to run your dishwasher.

Those are pretty much our Dishwasher wattage and costs per kilowatt hour. Fifty cents a day.

From Budget Sieve to Sinkhole

August 23rd, 2017 at 01:35 pm

Last night we got a call from the bathroom contractor that, while not unexpected, has turned my budget sieve into a budget sinkhole. The toilet in the family bath they’re re-doing has been leaking and many of the floor boards are rotten. All was revealed when the tile came up. That wasn’t too awful, but taking off the drywall also revealed that our ensuite shower—located just behind the family bathroom—was leaking from the dial and had been doing so for some time. The drywall was completely soaked, the joists and lath were rotten through and through. The only real cure is to tear out that shower as well.
The previous bid on that bathroom was way too high for us, so I’ve asked their designer to try to find ways to bring that price down. We could live with the current vanity and sink; the sink is an attractive marble-look Corian, and while the vanity could benefit from a paint job, it’s mostly fine. I’d consider installing some sliding shelving baskets in there ourselves to make better use of the space. But no matter what, it’ s going to be a chunk of change. I’ve been resisting an uber-frugal month, but we certainly need to cinch things in. A tighter food budget only does so much. I wonder if I can find some things to sell? I’d look for extra editing work, but I have a full class load and my evening class from Monday until Christmas. Thinking, thinking, thinking.

My Budget Sieve

August 22nd, 2017 at 09:07 pm

I've needed at least one or two new tires for a while, but over the weekend, we decided to take a look at all of them, and one was very bad. So today out went $573 for four new tires. That included free installation, and I'll get a $60 rebate. Looking at the fine print it appears it's not a cash rebate, but a gift card to one of several retailers--Best Buy, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Home Depot, Staples, or Target. So now my Target gift cards just keep on piling up.

I've also paid the insurance today, transferred more money out to pay the bathroom remodelers tomorrow, and it looks like there is some damage to the bathroom floor that will need addressing before the new one goes on.

Good thing we've got tomatoes.

Gutted

August 21st, 2017 at 07:39 pm

Not me, just the bathroom! Our bathroom contractors showed up at 7:30 this morning and spent the day taking out the sinks, toilet, vanity and wall tile along with removing the light fixtures and towel bar for reuse. I'm giving the relatively new and nice Kohler faucet to a friend; she may also take the light fixture. While I'm still a bit anxious about the cash, we're also excited. DD and I watched the eclipse at the university. We have a widely respected astronomy department, and the director of the planetarium is a real treasure. We were able to buy glasses there for $1, and had a great time sitting with friends. Lots of them constructed box viewers, brought picnics, and enjoyed the humid afternoon.

I do have a bumper crop of tomatoes. It may be time for a caprese salad. While I've enjoyed the tomato canning of years past, I'm probably going to pass this year. The semester is sneaking up on me, and I'd rather get prepped. We had BLTs for dinner tonight with some coleslaw. Any one have some fabulous summer easy dinners to share? I have the August menu blahs. I can figure out how to use my CSA veggies but am uninspired otherwise.