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A Summer Bug

July 29th, 2019 at 08:41 pm

or was it food poisoning, I'm not sure, but the last five days have been mostly attending to digestive matters. I'm still not right, but am better every day. I have not been out of the house since Thursday, so except for some upcoming travel reservations, have spent very little. And I don't doubt the grocery bill will drop since I haven't eaten much, skipping dinner every night. Today went better, and I made a double batch of the NYT summer minestrone, freezing one large container for a later dinner.

On the financial side, I've sold a half dozen more books, including my DD's ACT and SAT prep guides. Lots of things are lagging but that's the way of the world, I guess.

DD and I have a MN jaunt planned for Thursday, so hoping to be at full speed by then.

Another Snow Day

February 12th, 2019 at 08:22 am

With 10" of new snow overnight, we're all home again. I think this is a good opportunity to get a lot done--caught up on grading, laundry etc.

I spent nothing yesterday as I brought my coffee, and made a great big pot of soup from Thanksgiving turkey stock. I have another turkey in the freezer, and this might be the perfect weekend to roast it.

No real money news, but would like to get the taxes done this week and get a bit ahead of the game.

Back to it!

A Frugal 4th!

July 4th, 2018 at 12:48 pm

It's been a hot day here, but we've managed to make it a Frugal 4th so far. Most of the frugality has come from cooking. This is a strange thing to admit, but despite being 1000 years old and cooking a lot, I've never made pancakes without a mix before. I've always had Bisquik or Krusteaz around, but not today. I'd promised DD red, white, and blue pancakes, so found a recipe online and stirred some up. We decided they were a great success, though a bit putzy. I may make up some dry ingredients ahead and store enough for a few batches for us. I wonder what other surprises the Ultra-Frugal Month will offer? I also stirred up a batch of granola, made potato salad for tonight's dinner using some of the lovely garlic scapes from the CSA along with some radishes, and roasted some CSA beets.
DD is off to Summerfest, our big music festival, with her friends, so the Old Brit and I will have the day to ourselves. I have lots of prep work for my upcoming class as does he. The midweek 4th doesn't seem quite as festive to me. But still fun and time to think about ways to make the country better for all of us.

An NSD!

January 26th, 2018 at 03:31 pm

I had a long meeting this morning, and at the end, colleagues talked about going out for lunch, but we talked so long it just didn't happen. Lunch out might've been nice, but it saved me at least $10 to go home, read papers, eat leftovers, and watch Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry bake on PBS.

A frugal dinner of a bargain frozen pizza awaits. And the remains of the going-into-meal-4 rotisserie chicken are now in the slow cooker becoming broth. My shriveled grape tomatoes just finished roasting with a bit of oil and balsamic, and they may dress up the pizza. That rotisserie chicken was first served as is, then chicken tortilla soup, then chicken pie, now broth. Amazing. I'm a little tired of being frugal, and have to shop for a potluck dinner tomorrow night, but we'll stay the course for the next week. Since it's hardly like we're going to Monaco the following month, I think it will also be a mostly frugal February.

One More Day!

November 20th, 2017 at 03:40 pm

I am SO looking forward to Thanksgiving break. And I think my students are too; it's that time of the year when we're all weary and can use a break. To make the day better,I've just realized it's been a no-spend day! That hasn't happened in a while.

I spent the better part of the weekend catching up on paper grading, writing the final case of the semester, cooking, and cleaning out a few closets. Our church had a coat drive and I found two to donate, and three things to list on FB. Two of them sold--jeans and a Christmas sweater DD wore years ago. I'm adding $10 to my junk sales list We also enjoyed our third symphony performance. I'm really pleased with that birthday gift for my DH. We've enjoyed the evenings out.

Wishing you all as pleasant a day as I've had. Stuffed spaghetti squash for dinner too!

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!

Party Time!

July 15th, 2017 at 02:01 pm

Oh my word--I wish I was one of those people who entertained without stress. My poor DD. This was her first birthday party at home in years, and she must've caught my nerves. She was awake at 1am the night before fretting over having chosen what she feared was the "wrong" flavors for her ice cream cake. She worried about the guest list; she threatened to cancel. My maniacal cleaning probably didn't help. For some insane reason she thought she should invite friends from 5-11, plus I had to drive 45 minutes south to pick up her friend who has moved. So how did it go? Fabulous. People told her it was the best cake they ever had--a Baskin Robbins Oreo ice cream cake. Four pizzas, endless bags of snacks, our new patio lights, games and chatter until their parents hauled them away. One girl slept over and they weren't up until 11. Her first party with BOYS.

DH and I sat outside for much of it, admiring our new patio lights and enjoying a nice bottle of rose'. I'm exhausted, but the whole thing probably only cost $125 or so. England in 12 days.

Uber-Frugal Fail

July 8th, 2017 at 07:36 am

I had meetings at the university yesterday, and I'm pleased to say that one of my spring semester students won a writing prize. DD and I had our traditional Friday summer lunch out--frugalish with coupons and a Noodles gift card we're using.

The frugal fail came at the mall. I wanted to pick up a baby gift from the Hanna Andersson store for my niece. I used to shop their outlet all the time when DD was little, and their clothes are so cute. I did fine there--and adorable jacket with a snail embroidered on it and a sale shirt. But I made the mistake of going into Loft and trying a few things on. After successfully avoiding buying anything there, I promptly went home, found everything I tried on for MUCH cheaper on their website and bought it. Granted it was less than half the store price, I got free shipping, and 2% back from SB, but I probably didn't NEED it. And it was only $64 for four things--and a black summer cardigan is useful--oh I'm going to stop rationalizing and call it a lapse.

It will be better today. I may limit the grocery spending to $30 and focus on eating through the fridge. But we need milk, eggs, berries, etc.

The 9+ hours in the car on Wednesday have made me achy, and I need a walk. I also need to iron, enter grades, and so some tidying.

Home!

July 6th, 2017 at 10:49 am

After a very long drive from west central Minnesota yesterday, we're home safe and sound. Sometimes I think we take these long uneventful drives for granted, but about halfway home yesterday we saw a young man on the side of the interstate with his car engulfed in flames. We could hear the sirens coming, and he was quite a distance away from the car talking on his phone. What a bad day for him, but he looked unhurt. We spent about $18 on lunch, another $8 on beverages (mostly icd coffee to keep me going), and $30 on gas. I bought my favorite Norwegian lefse for a couple friends, spending $30 there. Despite packing snacks and water, we did spend a fair amount on road food, so I'm planning on an NSD today.
There's all the food DH buys when we're away to use up. That might keep us going for a week at least and we need to start to draw down upstairs freezer food before our UK trip. That should keep us uberfrugal for a few days.

I cashed out $25 in Swagbucks, need to deposit my adjunct check, pick up the CSA box and a piece of marble someone is giving away. I'll either use the marble for pastry making or in the garden. It's hot and humid here so it may be a great afternoon to spend tidying the basement.

Successful Lunch and the End of Class

June 26th, 2017 at 07:55 pm

My lunch for friends went very well, but after wine on the patio, it was too chilly to eat outside and we came in to eat lunch. Everyone stayed for hours, then I rushed off to class. I spent nothing today, but sure wish I had more leftovers. My classes are over until late August. The highlight of tomorrow is our appointment with the bathroom remodeler. That will likely NOT be a NSD.

Rainy Night

June 22nd, 2017 at 07:50 pm

We've had heavy rains all evening--the aftermath of a very muggy day.
It was a no-spend day here, and I picked up the CSA veggies, some of which went into our pasta tonight along with the garlic scapes. We have a lot of lettuce, so salad on the menu for tomorrow. I need to find ideas for the salad turnips that came with the CSA box. I'm busily dejunking my home office, and scads of paper have made it to the recycling bin. Barclays has raised their savings rates to 1.15% which will help make us a bit more cash. And I cashed $25 out of Swagbucks which went to the UK House fund. Between that and reading a few capstone projects, it's been a quiet day.

Kohl's Off/Aisle

June 20th, 2017 at 01:04 pm

A struggling strip mall near us just got a Kohl's Off/Aisle store. I'd not heard of them before but they are a sort of Kohl's outlet/overstock/return store. We popped in there a few days ago and I bought two black tees for $4 each and a summer top for DD for $6. I thought they were quite the bargains, but when I got some I found a rip in each tee--and one wasn't sized correctly. They allow exchanges, but no regular returns, so we went back today and got a pair of decent looking Lee shorts for DH and some baby socks for a gift.

I hope they make it; it was all summer seasonal things now, and while I don't see myself buying much there, it was typically Kohl's middle/low range semi-disposable clothes. The shorts for DH will be fine as will some summery tops for DD, but probably not for me.

Yesterday was a NS day; I brought snacks for during my teaching hours, and we ate fridged leftovers for dinner. I bought taco ingredients for tonight as we dodged the rain drops this morning. I plan on an easy day of reading and a little cleaning. Maybe a walk later. Time to enjoy some summer.

A NS Day!

June 13th, 2017 at 08:00 am

Oh, the shock it--I spent NOTHING yesterday. DD and I went for a hot walk, ate our semi-successful mason jar salads ( PSA: Use a wide-mouth jar unless you want to wear that salad), did a library run, and then I taught/counseled/urged/cheered on/goaded my evening class. Two more class nights left, and still my ex-con student is my clear favorite. Last night's line after trying to teach APA citation: "I'm going to stay here tonight, Miss, until I get it. If they have to throw me out of the building, I'm going to figure this out." We won't discuss the one who left with his work undone.

I've been again running Swagbucks in the background while I read papers. They're starting to add up again. Anyone have a good tip for high online savings rates? I see Barclay's has 1.05%, but I read somewhere that some online rates are as high as 1.25%.



Two Down, Two to Go

May 10th, 2017 at 10:54 am

It's been a busy week, but I said goodbye to two of my classes this morning. They're so weary, but they were both good classes. I still have some grading to do for both of them, but they're the easy one. My health science writing classes will end tomorrow. I still have an avalanche of their papers to grade, and will spend the rest of today on those.

Tomorrow should also be full. After my classes there's the department award ceremony and I'm humbled to say I won the teaching award. I'm pleased to say it comes with some cash. It remains to be seen how much cash, but I'm happy about it no matter what.

We've sort of been coasting around here until my grading is done. I did cash $75 out of Swagbucks and put $50 in my 100K fund. we'll have 97599.32 to go. Little by little, I guess.