Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

Making dinner with what you have. It can happen!!

7 Jul

I’ll start by saying I’m a fan of eating out.  I mean, if I could, I’d probably get every meal outside the house. I like the variety, the lack of clean-up, the lack of making it myself.  I’m lazy about food, I know this.  I wish I could take a pill to get full and not have to chew anything.  It’s not that I have anything against food, really, not for other people anyway, I just find the whole “eating” thing inconvenient.  Having to stop whatever I’m doing to eat a sandwich really throws a wrench in my day.

Having said all that, I avoid cooking.  Not because I don’t know how but….eh, see above.  Usually, I’ll open the fridge and decide there isn’t anything to cook, anyway and crack open a box of Kraft dinner.  Mac ‘N Cheese is the ultimate lazy person’s food.  Like, 10 minutes and you’re off!

This particular evening, maybe two weeks ago, I was feeling energetic.  We had some stuff lying about and I decided I was going to make dinner with what we had.  Sometimes, I’m up for a challenge.  We had a few sweet potatoes, some Tempeh (that, if I’m being honest, was two weeks past the eat by date..I figure, it’s made of mold anyhow, what the Hell!) and some lettuce and apricots.  That’s about all there was in the fridge next to the condiments.  Google is a wonderful thing, and I wound up with this:

 

I roasted the sweet potatoes and tempeh in soy sauce and cinnamon, along with some other stuff and made a salad with my own dressing (sweet honey balsamic vinaigrette!) with broiled apricots. If you have never broiled an apricot, you’re missing out. The flavor is amazing and I could eat a whole box of them. (Chewing and everything!) I was always afraid of the broiler and it’s fire, but no more…

I felt like a genius and a good-with-money-person for not jumping to the conclusion that we had nothing to eat and had to order out. I guess it can be done.

Also, did I mention I graduated college in 1997? Probably not. There’d be no need to…until now! I just paid off my last student loan this week. It feels like someone took a piano off my head that I didn’t know was there. I feel rich just having one less bill. I feel like that piece paper that lives in some box in some closet in my house that says I have a dance degree is now really mine and somehow more valuable.

As a celebration, I put 50 bucks in the bank, so we’re doing this again! It’s on and it’s go time and there are more bottles in the garage! Yeah!


(Not actual garage.)

Advertisements

Didn’t mean to blow that $220, but there you have it.

15 Jun

I’m not making eye-contact.  I know you know I’ve been avoiding you.  I’m sorry.  I just wasn’t ready to admit that the whole $220.28 I had saved was gone. 

But it is.

I woke up one day, got in the car with Addie to hit Babies R Us (I hate that place anyway) and realized my car was driving funny.  I’m not an expert on cars, but I’ve had this one for 8 years or so and seem to know when it just doesn’t feel right.  It kind of felt like I had a flat tire, actually.  So being the responsible driver I am, I pulled over and got out to have a gander.  It wasn’t a flat, but my front driver’s side tire looked pregnant and about to give birth any moment.  Awesome.  I didn’t even know it was screwing around.

 


(Actual car. She should have used protection. Especially if she was messing around with this guy….)

So I almost gladly scrapped the Babies R Us outing and hit the nearest tire store.  Addie doesn’t like going ANYWHERE, really, and the tire store was no exception.  Sometimes I wish people in line behind me would talk to her.  When she’s being afraid of people, she stops squirming and screaming.

Anyway…the gentleman behind the counter agreed that I needed a new tire and then quoted me for 4 new tires.  “How much for just one? One really cheap one?” 

Apparently, you aren’t supposed to get just 1. SO I got 2.  Any guesses on how much that adventure cost?  I won’t make you guess, I’ll just tell you:  $256.

Sweet.

I don’t know why, in the name of sweet baby Jesus, every time I seem to save something, the universe sends me some awesome event to bite my savings account square in the ass, but it does. 

So there you have it.

I DID, however, collect some more bottles and return them the other day for $15.46.  Didn’t save it, though.  Bought food.  And coffee.  And a lottery ticket. 

I’ve also listed some things on Ebay, so hopefully they’ll sell and we can get this freak show back on the road.

In the meantime, I hope you all are enjoying your Summer!  Clip those coupons for hot dogs! They’re all over the place!

Slaying the Dragon of My Past

27 May

Here’s another article I wrote for http://www.theconversation.tv. Posting it because I have nothing to write about saving money. I haven’t really been doing that much lately. But here’s a tip: Find a second run movie theater and go there! My husband and I saw The Woman In Black AND got popcorn all for 10 bucks! Of course, they checked my purse before entering (I had a soda hidden under my wallet…they missed it! Phew!) and our feet definitely stuck to the floor, but still….10 bucks! Yeah!

Slaying the Dragon of My Past.

Fun picture of sandcastle taken by ALexandra Rubisx at www.alibellphotography.com

l

Money is Everywhere!!!!!

21 Apr

This is going to be my new mantra.  Mostly because I don’t feel it’s anywhere.  I’m having a hard time saving any these days and currently, if you’re out there keeping track, I have $202.77.   My monthly $25 seems all that’s going in there and it’s disheartening.  As stated before, my Starbucks “problem” doesn’t help me any and my debt, let’s face it, doesn’t either.

I watched a video on Yahoo about a single Mom who told her kids “money is everywhere” and they seem to find change everyday.  And there’s a tip for you:  Don’t feel like you’re too good to reach down and pick up that penny, folks.  It tells the Universe you don’t give a crap about cash.  Respect the monies and they will respect you.

Image

I know I keep talking about the damn bottles in the garage, but seriously, there are a butt-ton of damn bottles in the garage.  It’s starting to smell in there.  There’s a cardboard recycle bin outside of work that no one is in charge of emptying…so the other day, after everyone left, I emptied it into a giant green trash bag.  Imagine the smell of death…now throw rotten fish on top of that.  That’s kind of what this bucket smelled like.  But I got a giant green trash bag full of (dirty) bottles and cans.  On the drive home, I just prayed silently that no Cockroaches leaped out of the bag into my car.

It’s safe to say I’ve gone to the next level.

Image

I also have a pile of stuff to list on Ebay, but Jeez…who has the time?  Back before I had a kid, I found the time…and now…it seems it’s just not there.  But the money is plenty appealing and I’m sort of in love with the virtual yard sale thing. 

Do you know I’ve actually had people steal from yard sales I’ve held?  What’s WRONG with people????

Anyway, time has also been taken up writing articles for www.theconversation.tv so feel free to go check those out when you get a moment.   It’s been a fun ride and it’s inspiring me to figure out how the heck I can turn that little hobby into a career.  I mean, Kim Kardashian did that, right?  Only with being stupid on t.v?  So how hard could it be, really.

Let me know if you find money everywhere once you put that “money is everywhere” mantra into your head.  Even if it’s change.  And swiping a cup from a bum doesn’t count.  You have to find it sans person attached…

Image

Starbucks adds an addictive chemical to their coffee that makes you crave it fortnightly, smartass.

23 Mar

I haven’t been writing as much as I’d like because I’ll admit:  I’m not doing as well at this frugal deal as I’d like. 

I blame Starbucks.

My favorite movie in college was “So I Married an Axe Murderer.”  There’s a line where Mike Meyers (playing his own Scottish Dad) is talking about KFC and states they put an addictive chemical in their chicken that makes you crave it fortnightly…smartass.  And that’s about how I feel about Starbucks.  I’m sure you could argue that the chemical is caffeine.  But then, that’s not conspiracy enough for me.

                                                Image

I got another couple of $3 checks in the mail for filling out online surveys. And I honestly have a garage full of bottles waiting to be returned.  I have no idea how much that will be.  $23?  $30?  Not more than 30, I’m sure.  I’ll bring them to the recycling center when my Mom is in town in two weeks.  I’m not bringing the baby to a recycling center.  And I can’t fit her AND the bottles in my car. 
Not been doing so hot at not spending money eating out to lunch, either.  Is it laziness?  Probably.  Laziness and a heaping side order of forgetfulness.  I leave my lunch at home a lot. 

Image

I haven’t touched the money I HAVE saved and that’s a pretty big deal for me.  I’ve gotten to this place before and then have had to take the money out to pay for….something.  Whatever.  Groceries, a bill…a new sweater.   So I’m budgeting a bit better than I was.

I need to celebrate the little victories.

High five.  (That’s Addie’s new trick of the week.)

Image

 

It’s 2012. So before the world ends, I’d like to pay off my debt.

3 Jan

I’m not a huge fan of resolutions.  In fact, I don’t remember the last time I technically made one.  Who keeps them past February first?  I AM, however, a fan of change.  Genuine, gut-wrenching, this-isn’t-working-and-I-need-to-do-something-about-it change.  I’m not word-mincey and I’m pretty honest.  For example, I have no qualms with telling you I’m in about $30,000 worth of debt right now.  And I earn $40,000 a year.  Do the math on that and you’ll know it’s not a great situation.  About half of my take-home pay a year goes to paying off my debt.  Yes, I suppose I could join the “screw ’em” mentality of thinking and just stop paying it; no one in this economic climate (or any other, let’s be real) would give me a mortgage anyway, and that’s always been my reasoning for maintaining a decent credit score (which, yes, is now screwed.)  BUT…it’s just not who I am.  I keep promises I make, I pay back money I borrow, I don’t call in sick to work unless there’s a good reason and I always blow on my coffee before I drink it.  Which is a decent segue to this photo:

This is a Starbucks tumbler that I can bring into the bucks everyday in January and get free coffee. I have very few vices, but coffee is one.  AND there’s a Starbucks below my work, so, as you can imagine, I spend way too much money there on a regular basis.  It’s too easy to go downstairs as a treat or to get out of the building and spend $7 a day.  Seriously.  While I’m there, I usually get a coffee cake or that exorbitantly priced cheese platter.   I’ll feel ok with handing them my cup everyday and walking out dropping nothing.  I won’t even bring my wallet inside.  My husband bought this for me for Christmas and it cost $19.95.  It will be paid for in a week of free coffee.   STEP ONE in the savings!!

I have a daughter.  Her name is Adelaide and she’s sitting in her pack ‘N play right now quietly playing with blocks as I type this.  She’s the best baby on the planet.  (Unless YOU have a baby, then probably to YOU, THAT’S the best baby.  But whatever…) 

We want to make sure she has everything she needs and she doesn’t have to spend her adult life paying back college loans like I have.  (Though in the spirit of keeping it real, almost all my debt is that bad credit card kind.  Only about .5% is now loans.  But I digress.)  I went into the Google yesterday to figure out how to set up a 529 account and there was a link to a page that would allow me to figure out how much it will be, approximately, to send her to school when she’s ready.  You know how there are some things on the internet you wish you never saw?  Well, add this to my list:  In 2029, when Addie is 18, it will be about $294,000 to send her to school for 4 years.  This isn’t even Harvard.  Good God, what if she wants to go to Harvard!?   Proceed with freaking out and tightening of the boot straps.

                 HARVARD——>For the smart and rich.    

So while I’ve never been good at saving money (my personal savings account currently has $.70 in it.  Cents. Not dollars.) I need, NEED to be better about it.  I can usually do things that aren’t for myself pretty easily.  Somehow, if it were for me, it just wouldn’t happen.  But, I guess, that’s a different blog.

So because accountability is huge in accomplishing goals we set, this blog is officially ON.  Read, comment, add ideas, etc.  I’m not into fear and I’m into thinking prosperously, so this isn’t about lack.  It’s about creating more of what is already out there.  There’s enough for everyone and I’m tapping into it…but along the way, I’m going to make a game of putting cash in the piggy bank.  Stay tuned….