Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A little swerve in the budget road...

OK, for some odd reason today I have been eating anything that isn't nailed down and can remotely be classified as food..don't worry, the cats and dogs are safe and alive...

I ate a really large breakfast this morning and then headed off to The Beadery in Newton. After getting there, I worked for a little bit, then got really hungry. Since I had assumed the huge breakfast would tide me over until I got home, I had not packed anything. So $5 later, I finished half an egg salad sandwich and a Tazo Mango tea....I probably could have lived without the tea as far as the budget goes. After getting home today, I inhaled bagel bites and a candy bar..WTF?!! Tomorrow will find me at Twist and the pottery studio, but I fully intend to pack a lunch.

I am heading to Texas with my Mom in law on Friday to see my niece and nephew. I love going with my Mom in law and having a girls weekend. Last year we hit the outlet malls on the way back to Oklahoma. We plan to do that again, but I will be really conservative if I buy anything. I do intend to buy a lot of Texas wines while I am there. In Texas you can buy wine--really good wine--in the grocery store. We are going to have a wine tasting at our house sometime this summer so I want to get a variety of Texas wines to sample.

A friend is coming over tonight for a visit. At some point, I would like to bake cookies and a cream cheese poundcake to tide the boys and hubby over while I'm gone. On Monday I plan on hanging out at home and baking challah bread and brownies to freeze. I love baking and it is a budget stretcher, so it is good all around. I am thinking about teaching the boys to make sopapillas this week since I have a large stockpile of honey here at the house.

Spending today: $5 on lunch

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Busy Day

I went to Twist today and managed not to spend a single cent. Given that there are shelves and shelves of luscious yarns, this is a major deal for me. At one point I had 4 sets of Addi circular needles, 10 balls of yarn to complete a sweater and some more stuff. I put it back. I really need to focus on working from my stash. We are going to have to be in major conserve mode in order to make up for the huge dent the fuel bill is making in our budget.

I even managed to get to the pottery studio today. The studio owner is selling my favorite wheel for $400....Is this the equivalent of being offered chocolate the day you decide to lose weight? I think so. DAMN. I really want a wheel to be able to throw at home (in the garage) on late nights and days I can't justify using the gas to get to the studio. Darn....I guess if it is meant to be, the perfect wheel will come along when we have the extra cash for this type of investment...

Today I cooked dinner from what we had in the freezer and canned goods.

Impulse or etc. $ spent by me today: $0

Day 2 of no spending..even for a pop, and I have to admit, I was tempted. I brought my lunch and a snack to the yarn shop. I even packed a pop so I wouldn't spend the 50 cents.

Hubby is going to have to pick up a small bag of dog food. The cats are getting eyed by the dogs, so I feel compelled to feed the little well spent..however, I intend to buy a much bigger bag at Sam's on payday and monitor how much we feed them instead of just keeping the bowl filled 24/7. He is also going to put a little gas in my car.

Thursday I am going to use up some bananas and make banana bread. The good thing about banana bread is it tastes even better if you freeze it for later. I found some killer recipes for challah bread online and am using the library inter-library loan to get a peak at a book I have been dying to cook from but can't justify the $25.

Little things that will hopefully add up. Gas is $3.50 in our area right now. Although that is less than what they are paying elsewhere, it still takes such a huge bite out of our budget that I am going to have to REALLY watch my spending everywhere else.

I plan to shop more at thrift stores also. I should have been doing that all along, but it is to the point where I am really motivated to use up and make do, or do without.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Stayin' home......

Learning to appreciate the simple pleasures such as these pictures that I took of flowers at Botanica (in Wichita) earlier this month.

Since gas is just shy of $3.50 in my neck of the woods, it is taking a huge bite out of our budget.
As a result, I am making more of an effort to stay at home and conserve gas in an effort to save money. The past week has been a real drain! Isn't it funny how the little things and the little checks are the ones that crash the accounts? I am taking a cue from this blog and making myself actually acknowledge what I have spent each day. It is a simple gesture, but I think it is brilliant. Why didn't I think of that?!

Since it is Monday, I have decided to focus my efforts this week on using up what we have in the fridge for meals, baking snacks such as cookies, and making bread/muffins on Thursday and Friday. When I finally got around to cleaning out the fridge last night, I was not amused at myself because of the amount of leftovers that had gone past their prime and had to be tossed. Wasted $....

I am also making an effort to actually use the public library for books instead of clicking the BUY button at Amazon....this one is the hard one!!

If you have any suggestions or observations, please feel free to share them with me. The rest of the week, I am trying to bundle my trips and really consider whether it is a need or a want when I am tempted to whip out the debit card or check book.
Since the weather is warming up, I put out a flat of seeds in Jiffy pots this weekend. Hubby and I are going to build raised garden beds next weekend so we can plant a garden this season. I figure even a little garden will reduce our food costs. I definitely want to grow some lettuce, tomatoes and watermelons, along with squash and a couple zucchini (it only takes a couple of these to feed an entire army!). This year I am also planting little pie pumpkins. I will can/freeze the flesh when they ripen so we have plenty for pies and some for pumpkin butter. I think with food prices and gas prices rising, a lot of people are looking for little ways to ease the sting. I am actually looking forward to canning tomatoes. I LOVE canning. I am seriously considering planting blackberries (the THORN LESS kind) so we can have fresh berries, jam and blackberry honey...

Spending for today: Stayed home: $0