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Another NSD & a change in my menu with ideas needed

January 9th, 2012 at 08:40 pm

I got off work at 1 and came straight home. I haven't spent a penny today! I didn't buy any coffee or tea at work, no food, nada! Unless I have to go out for some reason I should be at home the rest of the day, not spending money. Smile

I took a breakfast sandwich and ate it when I got a couple minutes. I sure am glad I took it, too, because I got very hungry and would have bought something if I hadn't had that sandwich.

So now I'm at home. The other package of boneless ribs the boss and I bought is thawing. She's requested some cooked in a way other than how we had them for New Years so I'll do something with them this evening. I'd like to use the slow cooker and am considering marinating them in Dale's then sprinkling them with garlic powder and pan frying them a bit before putting them in the slow cooker for the night.

I'm open to other ideas on how to prepare them but whatever I do it needs to be done tonight as I have to be at work at 7:30 in the morning.

2 NSDs, cooking for one, odds & ends

January 8th, 2012 at 05:42 pm

Wednesday was a no spend day and yesterday was another. Awesome! I can't recall the last time I managed that but hope I have many more in the future. Smile

Today was destined to not be one because of the laundry. I went to the washateria this morning but it was closed. I needed to burn about 20 minutes until it opened so I drove to Albertson's and am glad I did. They had boneless, skinless chicken breasts on sale for $1.79 lb so I got 2 packages of those. They also had boneless sirloin steak for $2.99 a lb so I got a few of those. When I got home I divided it all into one serving portions, used the vacuum sealer, and now have plenty of meat in the freezer again. I hadn't planned on spending that $20 but my supply of meat was getting very low and I don't pass up a good deal on meat, especially when I'm so low on it.

When I got home I put the clothes away (by the way, I spent $2.50 on the laundry) and ended up getting sidetracked by canvas bags. Yes, canvas bags. I had several in the closet and they all had stuff in them and for some reason it was bothering me to not know what all was in them so I cleaned them all out, threw away the old trash, gum wrappers and whatnot, put away other items, etc. and now I have them all hanging together on one hanger. In the process of going through them I found my iPod headphones I thought I'd lost, several small bottles of bath/shower gel, and 15 cents. It was almost like Christmas! Wink

I spent some time yesterday looking at "cooking for one" sites and am dismayed how few helpful ones there are. I found a lot of sites saying that's their purpose but they don't give a lot of practical information or actual recipes. Contrary to what one would think, it isn't always as easy as cutting a recipe in half or thirds or whatever. Yes, it often works that way but not every time. I did find a few sites with helpful information and recipes, though, and will spend time today pillaging and plundering.

Tonight's dinner will be the turkey ham and cabbage from my menu but I'm going to change it a little. I have about 3 ounces of chicken broth languishing in the fridge so I'm going to use that with a bit of butter and olive oil to fry the cabbage, onion, sweet potato, and turkey ham all together. I might pass on the green beans but am not sure about that yet.

I work tomorrow but it's a fairly short shift and I don't get a meal break so I shouldn't need to take lunch or buy anything there. I might even be able to make it a NSD!

Menu for January 8th - 14th & a new goal

January 7th, 2012 at 03:16 pm

I know that menu planning helps me stay within my food budget and eat better so I'm returning to that and am going to work hard to take it seriously. It might seem silly for a household of 1 but it is what it is and I need to take whatever actions necessary to keep the food budget under control and still eat nutritious meals.

Since my very recent epiphany that I love to cook but don't necessarily love to eat after I've cooked, I've decided to concentrate on cooking very small amounts of food and not preparing a new dish unless I have no leftovers or the ones I have are planned for in another meal. Over the last year or so my skill (to me it really IS a skill to cook for one and not a horde or even just two if that's what one is accustomed to) in those has improved but as evidenced by the containers in my fridge I'm not yet proficient and improving that area of my kitchen life has become a goal for 2012.

Breakfast today was the last of the mexican stew (I think I hear a choir of angels singing in the background!) and I get the feeling fried cabbage and onions might be in my future for this evening!

The rest of the week I'll have, in no particular order:

Stir fried chicken and vegetables with a small amount of brown rice (had this tonight)

Pan fried tilapia with 1/2 a baked sweet potato and salad

Large salad with chicken, tomato and plenty of cheese

Pan fried sliced turkey ham with baked cabbage, 1/2 a baked sweet potato, and green beans (had this)

Vegetable soup with homemade noodles

Tuna patties with salad and spinach

Whatever leftovers are in the fridge (had this)

Now, I think it's okay to change the plan a little. You know, I'm not in the mood for spinach so I have green beans with my tuna or I'm not in the mood for tuna so I have boiled eggs but I've decided it's not okay for me to decide I don't want tuna and prepare a five course meal including cornish game hen and scallops. Wink There's nothing wrong with a meal like that but I need to plan for it. I think that's a fairly reasonable request - does it seem so to you???

Saturday evening edit - I decided to have the stir fried chicken and vegetables tonight and succeeded in preparing just enough for one meal. I did make a little bit extra brown rice but it will get eaten tomorrow morning.

I paid close attention to how much of each ingredient I used to ensure I wasn't preparing too much and it worked well. I used one boneless skinless chicken breast, 1/3 of a yellow squash, 1/3 of a zucchini, a very small amount of chopped onion and chopped red bell pepper and a few baby carrots. That seemed to be the right amount of those ingredients for one good sized meal. I'll have to remember that because it seems to me that slightly smaller quantities with liquid and spices would be right for soup.

Thrifty eating, another $5 a month cut out, cable gone & a weekend off!

January 7th, 2012 at 04:29 am

I worked today and took lunch and a drink but still ended up buying a drink while there. I also had to get half and half (a requirement for my coffee!) so this evening I went to Albertson's and spent $12 on a few things. I still have $15 in my grocery budget to last til the end of next week so I'm doing fine on that.

Dinner was more of that delicious Mexican stew and a bit of the King Ranch Chicken. It was a very good meal but I'm so thankful there's just a little of that stew left! I'll probably have it for breakfast and finally be done with it.

I changed my Spotify subscription to the $4.95 a month plan so that cuts out another $5 per month. That isn't a lot but it all adds up, right? Between not spending money on cigarettes and the other changes I've made, my monthly outgo should now be about $346 less.

346! That's a substantial difference, y'all!

The cable company sent their tech out this evening to disconnect my cable television service so that's done.

And I'm actually off this weekend. It's not often I get a weekend off so I'm going to savor this one and relax. And probably look for other places and ways to cut expenses!

Finally had a NSD, $1 bill challenge, 3 weeks of not smoking & more

January 6th, 2012 at 11:59 am

So yesterday I finally had a NSD! I didn't even leave the apartment except to go out on the patio to enjoy the absolutely stunningly beautiful weather we had! I just checked my calendar and I have no bills due today. I don't need gas in the vehicle, don't need to get groceries, and if I can refrain from buying anything at work, I can get another NSD. That would be fun.

Here it is the 6th of January and I have one little dollar bill for the $1 bill challenge. *sigh* I've been staying out of stores, don't stop for cigarettes anymore, etc so I haven't had need for any bills, I guess. Wink

But hey, today makes three weeks since I've bought/smoked a cigarette! That's equal to $178 not spent on those things and that's a neat way to end my week!

Interesting that although I canceled the cable TV service a couple of days ago it's still working. I'm not watching it, though. I figure I need to get used to not having it so I just leave it off, flipping it on in the morning to see if it's still working. It is as of an hour or so ago. The change was supposed to be effective immediately but I don't know much about this stuff so I'll let it go a few days to see what happens.

The mexican stew and king ranch chicken in my fridge are going to work with me today and I hope both containers are empty when I clock out! I have the feeling they will be. I just have to come up with ideas to keep me from cooking when I have a fridge full of leftovers to eat.

That's about it for yesterday and this morning. Nothing too exciting other than the Quit. Smile

Thursday epiphany - seriously!

January 6th, 2012 at 12:30 am

I had an epiphany today - not in the religious sense but in the "a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience." sense. (Thank you, dictionary.com!)

I was looking in my refrigerator for the cheese I needed for the King Ranch Chicken written about at homesicktexan.com (Thank you, CCraw!) and as I looked at the five containers of leftovers that need to be eaten it hit me - I love to cook but I don't necessarily love to eat what I've cooked! Let me repeat that. I love to cook but I don't necessarily love to eat what I've cooked. Slowly now. I-love-to-cook-but-I-don't-necessarily-love-to-eat-what-I've-cooked. The light bulb went off as I looked at the stacks of food that were soon going to have to make room for the leftover King Ranch Chicken and I almost fell over. How could I not have seen this before?

I love to cook but the eating of what I cook is often simply a chore to me. I eat enough to judge the recipe, rip it up, spit it out, etc. but I don't actually dig in and enjoy it. I don't savor it. I don't linger over the scents and flavors like I do food that I don't cook. I basically eat it without paying much attention to it because by the time it's ready, I'm bored!

It explains so much;the almost constant overflow of food languishing in the fridge, the overspending on the grocery budget, the leisurely pace at which I grocery shop when all other shopping means I run in, grab what I need and get the hell out, perhaps even the lack of interest I have in plating and presentation of the food. Of course, the latter can also be explained by the fact that I feed just me. But still. Do you see where I'm going with this?

It might not seem to be much of an issue but it is when one is opposed to waste and on a limited budget. Today I made King Ranch Chicken when I have two containers of chicken and dumplings, a large container of mexican stew, and two containers of beef and barley soup. I didn't need to prepare another dish! But I did. And now I have six containers of leftovers in the fridge.

I dislike how most food tastes when it's cooked, frozen, then reheated though I don't mind it with soups and things with very little to no meat. So freezing everything isn't the answer. The answer is apparently to make smaller amounts, make myself eat what's in the fridge before preparing more, etc.

If you have ideas on this, please share them with me as I absolutely have to get this under control.

Now that I'm aware of this I might find it easier to control it but I need some input and suggestions. I'm trying to figure out what to do with the food that's in the fridge now. The mexican stew will be fine in the freezer but not the other stuff. Oh wow, how could I not have seen this??

WANTED: Your favorite quick homemade meals

January 5th, 2012 at 04:51 am

One of the budget busters for me is food. Not necessarily my daily food but eating out and 'convenience' foods bought because I'm tired, hungry and my cranky pants are just too darn tight. I have the eating out issue under control for the most part but still need ideas for quick homemade meals.

It would be great if they were also healthy but even if they're not I can probably play with the ingredients enough to make it healthy.

One of my favorites is what I had this afternoon before I headed to work: pan fried tilapia with mukimame. It takes less than 15 minutes to make and is so much tastier than a hamburger, not to mention a lot healthier, too!

So, what are some of your favorite quick homemade meals?

Orange Jello Salad gives me such a happy :)

January 5th, 2012 at 02:26 am

I mentioned finding sugar free, splenda sweetened mandarin oranges today and being excited because it meant I could have one of my favorite desserts again. CCraw asked for the recipe for that dessert and here it is.

Orange Jello Salad

1 can mandarin oranges
1 sm. can crushed pineapples
1 lg. pkg. Orange Jello
2 lb. cottage cheese
1 container Cool Whip

Drain together mandarin oranges and pineapple. In large bowl, sprinkle Jello over cottage cheese. Let dissolve. Mix, then add fruit, mix again. Add container of Cool Whip. Mix.

I always preferred it without the pineapple and whipped cream, though, so today I just used about a third of a small package of sugar free orange jello (dry), somewhere around a cup and a half of cottage cheese, and about half the can of sugar free mandarin oranges. I don't use particular quantities - I just add and mix until it tastes right. Smile

I took some to work with me and had it on my break and I can't even tell you the happy it gave me!

Ugh, a spendy day!

January 4th, 2012 at 07:12 pm

I paid the rent and water today and they came to $576. I also did some grocery shopping. Y'all, I did pretty well at resisting but still spent $32.36. I've budgeted $100 for January so that's a third of it. One of the items I got was my Vitamin D supplement and it was $6 of the total so meh, perhaps it isn't as bad as I figure.

I don't think I splurged, really, though the can of sugar free mandarin oranges might be considered a luxury. I love that silly salad with cottage cheese, dry orange jello, and mandarin oranges but it's way too high in carbs for me and would require a lot of insulin to enjoy so I haven't had it in close to 15 years. So when I saw the can of splenda sweetened mandarin oranges I got very excited! I can have one of my all time favorite desserts again!! In moderation, of course. Smile

I guess considering the dead weight I cut out today a little splurge of $1.38 for mandarin oranges isn't so bad.

Go, me!

I got rid of a lot of dead weight today! Amazing!

January 4th, 2012 at 04:34 pm

A little while ago I canceled my cable TV service and downgraded my cable internet to 'standard'. The prorated bill for this month is $69 but next month it will be $60 plus the one time fee of $45. The month after that it will be just the $60 or so. Wow, what a change that will be from the $116 I've been paying!

$56 a month is nothing to sneeze at and not having cable TV will encourage me to read more and get out of my apartment more.

I also canceled a $45 every three months subscription to a website I access but only occasionally. No need if I don't use it!

Then I went to Netflix and changed my membership to streaming only and cut my expense there by $8 a month.

The total for those three changes comes to $79 a month! When that's added to not spending, on average, $258 a month on cigarettes, the total is astounding at $337! A month! Yippeee!

Ladies and gents, that's half my rent! Or a nice sum of money to split between charity and my vacation fund.

Wooohoo, what a way to start the new year!

19 days without smoking = $162 not spent on cigarettes

January 4th, 2012 at 12:42 pm

162 pennies in the jar. Absolutely beautiful. Smile

Have you walked away from cable television?

January 4th, 2012 at 04:03 am

I'm on the verge of canceling my cable television. I'll keep cable internet as it's one of very few internet options where I live but I can save somewhere near $38 a month by giving up the television option.

Update - I just called the cable company and I currently have "enhanced" cable internet. If I get rid of the cable TV, the monthly cost for just the internet will be about $90 and there's a one time fee of $45 billed to me. The total bill is about $116 a month so I'd save only about $26 a month by getting rid of the cable TV.

The only thing that's holding me back is uncertainty about whether there's enough web based viewing options to satisfy me. That might sound silly but let me explain. I very rarely watch local news or any news. I get almost all news online. I don't watch shopping channels or cooking shows and only rarely watch the occasional comedy show. So what do I watch? Movies and what I call "The Law & Order channel", TNT. I also watch USA and History. I like series like 'Bones', 'Lie to Me', and 'The Mentalist' and am into biographies and history shows, also. I'm not necessarily opposed to other shows but find myself drawn to shows like the aforementioned ones and am not sure there are enough shows like that with web based only viewing.

I have Netflix and at the moment have both streaming and DVDs but am going to streaming only this month.

So, have you given up cable television for web based viewing? If so, how has it worked out for you? I'd really like to do it!

Today's spending & auto insurance update

January 4th, 2012 at 01:34 am

The complex office was closed today so I didn't pay the rent or water but will do that in the morning. Before work today I bought an iced coffee and a small tube of hand lotion to keep in my apron pocket. The total was less than $3, so it wasn't a no spend day but it was a very looooow spend day.

The mexican stew I took to work was very well received. My boss ate some on her lunch break and the rest was scarfed up by a young man who seems to always be broke and hungry!

I called Geico and it turns out I have comprehensive, collision, roadside service and a couple other things on that policy (I'd forgotten) which explains the rate difference. I checked to see how much 6 months would be if I do away with those things and it's still about $70 more than the Progressive quote. Since the vehicle is a 2002 and paid for, carrying those things on it probably doesn't make much sense anymore. I'm going to call a local independent agent to get a few more quotes before I make a decision on what to do but it looks like I'll change auto insurance companies unless Geico gets on the ball.

Tonight's dinner was the last of the chicken and noodles. It was delicious and knowing that food won't end up in the trash made it tastier. Right now I have the last of the frozen meatballs from Target warming. They'll be packed, along with a little bit of brown gravy and steamed squash, for my work lunch tomorrow. Thanks to CCraw for the idea on a way to make the meatballs more palatable. Wink

I guess that's about it for today. Oh yes, today is Day 18 of not smoking and I feel great!

Auto insurance opinions needed

January 3rd, 2012 at 05:09 pm

I currently use Geico for auto insurance. My policy renews this month at $770.40 for 6 months. I can get the same coverage with Progressive for $323.00. Wow, that's a huge difference and it might seem like a no brainer but I don't know much about Progressive.

Do any of you use it and what are your thoughts on it?

January budget, using leftovers, & more boring stuff ;)

January 3rd, 2012 at 03:52 pm

I need to pay rent and water today but other than that, there shouldn't be any spending. I hope! I need a lot of NSDs as January's budget is slim, indeed. My car and life insurances are up for renewal this month so I have a lot money going out and not much coming in!

I'm going to cut my grocery budget to $100 for this month. Considering that I can't eat enough of the high carb, low cost foods like rice, beans, and pasta to do much good it's definitely going to be a challenge. My diet is mainly meats and low carb vegetables with a tiny amount of the higher carb things thrown in once in awhile for variety. I'm going to have to make better use of the foods I already have on hand and really limit my trips to the grocery/food spending. I know I can do this but I might need a cheering section. Smile

In light of the above, I have a mexican stew simmering on the stove and will take that to work with me. My boss will most likely eat some as will some of the other folks hanging around. I've had a few people online and at work express the opinion that it's odd to take food for all to work but it isn't odd to me. I still struggle with cooking small quantities, leftovers seem to languish into oblivion in my fridge, and I'm not real big on food that's been cooked, frozen, and reheated so in addition to making very small quantities of food, I make larger quantities and share it. I call it Random Acts of Food Kindness, or RAOFK for short. Wink Some of the young people where I work don't have money, don't have much food, and absolutely love to dig in to whatever I bring. And I love cooking for others so it's a win win situation. It might look like I'm spending money on food for other people (which doesn't help my budget) but this stew is made entirely of leftovers and if I hadn't created it I'd have thrown it all out!



Not bad, huh?

Day 17 of not smoking, homemade noodles & more

January 2nd, 2012 at 11:06 pm

So today is my 17th day of not smoking. 144 pennies in the jar, each penny representing $1 not spent on cigarettes since December 16th, the day I quit. Pretty impressive, I think! I've had very few cravings for a cigarette and although I've had some rough moments it's been much easier than I anticipated. I'm not sure why that is but it is. I'm happy about it, though!



I think I might be sick with a bug so I've been resting on the couch all afternoon. I know I have to eat something, though, so I have 4 chicken thighs boiling and will use the meat for chicken and noodles, complete with homemade noodles. I have just a few store bought noodles so I made a tiny batch of homemade herb noodles to add to them. I really don't eat noodles often at all but gosh, I love them, and the homemade kind is the best!

Noodles aren't hard to make and they're absolutely delicious! I generally put some kind of fresh herb in them but cheese is fantastic, too. Try this, play with it, and make it your own.

Homemade Noodles

1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp milk
1 cup flour (I generally use a combination of soy and whole wheat flours)

Mix egg, salt and milk. Add enough flour to make stiff dough. Roll thin, let stand 20 minutes. Roll up and slice 1/8 inch thick. Spread to dry for about 2 hours. Drop in boiling broth and cook 10 minutes.

And that's it! Nothing to it, really, and they're so much tastier than the kind you buy. If you try this recipe, let me know how it works for you.

Tomorrow I pay rent and the water bill but that should be it for the day's spending. I have a special work project Wednesday and it involves spending money so that won't be a no spend day. Darn it! Perhaps Thursday! It seems as though finding those no spend days just gets harder and harder.

2012 goals - not very firm yet but progressing

January 1st, 2012 at 03:55 am

I've never been good at goal setting. No, that isn't true. I'm good at setting goals but the achieving of them seems to trip me up. I'm pretty sure it's because I make goals then just kind of wait for them to happen. Umm, that hasn't worked out well for me yet so I'm going to try to set up some steps to achieve the goals I have for 2012 and see if that makes a difference. ;-)

Although tomorrow is January 1st, my plans are still pretty vague - you know, I want to do things like 'save money', and 'waste less' but don't have a lot of ideas on how to succeed.

I do have a few steps in mind, though, and here they are:

Start a $1 bill challenge for 2012. Thanks to Be A Wealthy Warrior for the idea. I'm not sure it will work for me but I'm happy to give it a good try.

Continue to take snacks, meals, and drinks to work. Doing this with leftovers really helps reduce food waste and is just an all around win!

Stay with my beautiful quit! Not spending $240 or so a month on cigarettes is pretty awesome. I'm going to split the money I don't spend on cigarettes between the local charity that needs help and my vacation/cruise fund.

Make consistent use of You Need A Budget and my Dave Ramsey envelope system. I know that the two of those work beautifully to keep me on the straight and narrow path but I have to be more faithful with them.

Work hard to have two no spend days a week. I know I can do it.

So, that's all I really have in mind right now. I'll ponder all this awhile longer and will come up with a more firm plan.

As usual, suggestions and ideas are welcome!

I did it, I bought one ounce of Flowerbomb!

December 30th, 2011 at 05:14 pm




It's absolutely incredible. I love it. It was $75, more than I normally spend on good smellin' stuff but as a reward for two weeks of not smoking, it's perfect! I won't reward myself like this often but wow, just wow. Smile

14 days, 119 pennies, and the new year is upon us

December 30th, 2011 at 02:55 pm



Look, you can't see the bottom of the jar now! Smile

It's been 14 days since I've had a cigarette. I haven't cheated, haven't bummed one off someone, I simply haven't had the taste of a cigarette though a few nights ago I came close and could have smoked one. I was sorely tempted, too, but I got through it.

There are 119 pennies in my jar and later today $119 will be transferred from my checking to savings account. I've decided to split the money I don't spend on buying cigarettes. Half of it will go to a local charitable organization I've found that needs it and the other half will be saved to take myself on a cruise. I think it's fair to give away at least half the money I'd normally waste. Also, I've wanted some Flower Bomb perfume for well over a year now (and I can't even tell you how much I want it!) but it's way out of my price range and I think I might take some of the money I haven't blown on cigarettes and buy myself a tiny bottle of that before I start saving for a cruise. Wink

I feel great. I'm sleeping better (not remembering any dreams again), have no coughing, my mood has stabilized, and I certainly smell better! I haven't gained weight...yet. I have to really keep an eye on that. All in all, it's going beautifully.

Today I must pay my rent and water bill. The electric bill isn't due for two weeks and since I need to put my not smoking money into savings I'll pay it on the next pay day. I have to prioritize that not smoking money because if I don't, I'll blow it on something stupid!
Before I head to work today I'm going to re-work my irregular income planning sheet, too. It needs to have a few changes made to it.

Anyway, Happy New Year to me. And you!

10 days, 76 pennies, and still counting!

December 26th, 2011 at 12:00 pm



10 days, 76 pennies, and counting. Yesterday held a bit of temptation as I went outside with my sisters a couple of times when they smoked. I couldn't stay out long because I was feeling a little stressed, a cigarette would have been awesome (for about 15 seconds) ,and they'd have given me one if I begged enough. I didn't cave, though. I went back inside and got busy doing something.

76 pennies are in the jar (it doesn't look like so many but trust me, it is), each one representing $1 I haven't spent on cigarettes.

Go, me. Smile

7 days, 59 pennies (dollars) and counting!

December 23rd, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Today makes 1 week since I've bought or had a cigarette. Whew! I've survived the first week! However, I know from past experience that I can never let my guard down. Not a month from now, not a year from now, not ever. And that part is a little tough to deal with. Meh, it is what it is, though.

Here's my Not Smoking jar this morning. It has 59 pennies in it! It's absolutely ridiculous that I've spent $60 a week, give or take, on cigarettes for however long! Oh well, moving on is the ticket, right? Next Friday I should be able to move about $120 from checking to savings. Not bad for two weeks of not smoking!



Anyway, I was off yesterday, am off today, and close tomorrow. I haven't spent much money at all in the last three days and that's a very good thing, indeed.

Today I have to run to the dollar store for eggs and more cleaner for the walls. Other than that I shouldn't have any spending. I love these no/low spend days. Smile

It's almost over...

December 22nd, 2011 at 04:59 am

Zeus in a feather boa, it's almost christmas which means the insanity is almost over! I can't even begin to say just how happy that will make me. Work will slow down and be much less stressful. In fact, it will slow down enough that some folks will whine because they aren't getting enough hours! I might be a tiny bit whiny over that but not too much. I hope. Wink

I just know that it's time for it to be over. Past time....

I won a pair of earrings! And here they are. :)

December 21st, 2011 at 06:12 pm

A blogger I read recently gave away a pair of pyramid earrings she made and I won! I got the earrings today and am very excited about them.

Here's a picture:



They look like they might be a bit heavy but they're not. She used sterling silver wires, too, so hopefully they won't bother my ears.

I tried to get a decent picture of me wearing them but meh, the picture didn't turn out too great. However, here I am with the earrings. Smile



Anyway, that's my excitement for today. I work this evening but am off tomorrow.

I received a call from the local imaging center reminding me that I have an appointment in the morning for a mammogram and bone density scan. The mammogram is 100% covered by my insurance but because I'm under 65 the scan will cost $75. I hadn't planned on that expense but I do try to make medical issues a priority and bone density is an issue with the women in my family so I'll do it. But I won't have another one done for at least 5 years, Doctor SoAndSo!

Didn't spend much today - cleaning walls and other fun stuff

December 21st, 2011 at 02:23 am

I remembered to take my lunch and snacks to work today but forgot my breakfast so I spent $2.42 for a breakfast burrito and after I got off I bought a Trenta Iced Coffee for $3.40. That's all I've spent today. I imagine the folks at the place where I got my cigarettes are wondering if I'm sick or dead or what as they're accustomed to me stopping by every couple of days! Meh.

After I got home I cleaned some more of the walls. I'm almost finished with the bathroom and kitchen. Wow, it's amazing just how disgusting smoking makes them! I'm using hot water and some great smelling variety of Mr. Clean with Febreeze and it really makes a huge difference in how the walls look and how the entire place smells! I know from past experience that in a few weeks, with more cleaning and no smoking in here, it will smell almost as though it was never smoked in. Almost. I'll be content with that.

Next on the list is washing every fabric item in the place. I'm taking my time doing all this. No need to rush but the sooner it gets done, the better off I'll be!


Almost 4 days in and $34 not spent! Rockin' on :)

December 20th, 2011 at 12:48 pm

As of right now, I've not spent somewhere around $34.00 on cigarettes. It's hard to say exactly how much I've not spent since my smoking habits varied so much day to day, hour to hour, and stress to stress, but it's certain that I've not spent anything at all on cigarettes since I bought them on Tuesday last, two packs for $9.50. Not only have I not spent any money on them, I haven't bummed a cigarette from anyone, either. So, I've not smoked at all since around 1 PM Friday.

It really doesn't seem to bother me much, the not smoking. Yes, I think of smoking now and then but I wouldn't say I often truly crave a cigarette. Part of that might be that work is keeping me so busy I just don't have much time when I'm there to think about it. But I think most of it is the use of the Nicotine patch.

I'm not getting anywhere near the nicotine I did by smoking yet I seem content with things so far. When I quit for almost a year, I used the patch for only 2 weeks then stopped and was fine. For a year. I've decided to use the patch longer this time, most likely according to the directions, which is 10 weeks and three steps.

In preparation for that, I bought a box of 14 Step 1 patches yesterday for about $20. I'll stay on Step 1 for 6 weeks then go to Step 2 and we'll see how it's going.

So far, I'm fine, though. A little edgy at times, a little snappy with folks once in awhile but not a rip roarin' B*$#@. Yet. Wink

In addition to the patches I bought yesterday I spent $36 on a prescription and that's it for the day's spending.

I work a long shift today and am taking breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

Thanks, LuckyRobin! Here's my jar :)

December 19th, 2011 at 02:48 pm

LuckyRobin had a good suggestion for a visual reminder of how much money I haven't spent on cigarettes. I have a pretty glass container from Ikea (heart pound!) and right now it has one penny for each dollar I haven't spent on cigarettes.

One of my sisters has some pretty stones she's bringing me this weekend and when I get those I'll replace the pennies with stones but for now, this is awesome!



Oh yes, I realized the widget I have isn't calculating correctly so I'll just keep track mentally of the money I haven't spent on cigarettes. As of right now it's $25!!!

Here are a couple of observations on the days since quitting smoking:

I no longer feel the need to get to work 30 to 45 minutes early to make sure I have time for that last smoke or two or three or....

When I'm at work if I don't get a break, it isn't quite as big a deal as it used to be. Yes, I should still get them and I need them so I can sit down, have a snack, etc. but the need to smoke is gone so it isn't quite so important.

Very interesting....

Spent $18.40 today and still no smoking!

December 19th, 2011 at 05:26 am

I was scheduled to work a pretty long shift today but this evening the place was very, very slow so I got to leave an hour and a half early. On the one hand, I like that because I was tired and ready to go but on the other hand those are hours I won't be paid for!

It's now been 58 hours since I've had a cigarette and I estimate I've saved a little over $17 at this point!

I mentioned in another entry that I'd love to have a visual reminder of the money I haven't spent on cigarettes and LuckyRobin made this suggestion:

"If you want a visual reminder try something like using an old mayonaise jar and for every dollar you save put in something like a marble. If you don't have marbles, something cheap like beans or unpopped popcorn kernals. You'll be able to see your daily progress as the jar fills without running to the bank for money."

I just love this idea! Isn't it great?

After work tonight I did a little shopping for a few things I really needed. I spent $18.40 but should be good for a few days. I'm pooped and headed to bed. I hope you all have a marvelous and productive Monday.

Whew! Still going strong and suggestions needed

December 18th, 2011 at 01:22 pm

So I went to my friend's house last night. We had roasted chicken, broccoli, and macaroni & cheese. I usually don't eat macaroni & cheese because of the carb count but I was starved and decided to have a small amount. I bolused for it and it was delicious, even if it was just the boxed stuff. Wink

After dinner we watched the football game. My friend went to his den and smoked a cigarette but I wasn't at all tempted to follow. I was too into the game at that point and wasn't about to miss even a few seconds. It appears that the Cowboys might have broken their December 'curse' but time will tell about that, huh?

This morning I put a widget on my dashboard. It's just a little no smoking sign that shows how long it's been since I've had a cigarette and how much money I haven't spent on cigarettes. It's nice to have it there if I need a little resolve booster. I also started washing the walls. What a job that is! It really does help to get rid of the cigarette smell, though, and I have a Scentsy burner going with Hazelnut Latte in it. It smells so good and does a decent job of masking the cigarette odor.



Anyway, so far so good. I figure I've not spent somewhere between $9 and $13 on cigarettes since Friday. It's hard to know just how much I haven't spent since some days I'd smoke less than a pack and other days I'd smoke two or more. In light of that, I estimate that I've not spent $12 on cigarettes! Because I used my debit card for cigarettes and putting the money not spent on those in a jar would mean a trip to the bank to get the money out, I'm going to just keep a running tab and next Friday I'll transfer that amount from checking to savings. If someone has a better idea, I'd love to know it. I'd really like some kind of visual reminder but going to the bank every couple of days to get cash for a jar seems a little counterproductive to me.

I work tonight and need to get busy now coming up with something to take for my meal. I'm thinking leftover cornish hen will make great chicken salad to have with some fresh vegetables and dip. Smile

28 and counting!! :)

December 17th, 2011 at 11:08 pm

No, that isn't my age though don't I wish it was? It's also not the number of thousands of dollars I have in savings! Wink

It is, however, the number of hours I've gone without a cigarette!

I was so very tempted to buy a pack this afternoon on the way home from my very long and very, very busy day. I thought, "Well, I can smoke one or two then stop" but I know myself. If I buy a pack, I'll feel guilty for 'wasting' them and I'll smoke them all. Then I'll buy another pack. I'm better off simply not going there. No matter how much stress I'm under or how good one sounds at the moment.

I took my lunch and enjoyed it and didn't even really want a cigarette after eating. The day was so busy and stressful that I did break down and give into temptation eventually. I bought a Trenta iced coffee with plenty of cream after my shift was over. I spent $3.40 on that and part of me really didn't want to spend the money but the biggest part of me desperately wanted that iced coffee!

I work again tomorrow and have decided I'll not buy coffee, tea, or anything else at work. I'll be happy with my lunch and diet pepsi or water.

But yeah, 28 hours without a cigarette. Yaaaay me! Smile

And although I'm beat, a friend has asked me over for dinner and the Cowboys game, I said I'd go, and I'm going. He smokes occasionally so this might be a bit of a temptation but we'll see how it goes.

Thank you for the continued good thoughts and support. I very much appreciate y'all!

Basically a no spend day

December 17th, 2011 at 05:16 am

I forgot to take my check book to Target so I couldn't pay the $84 on the Visa that I'd used to pay for my Novolog. I put the check book in my purse so I'll remember to do that tomorrow. I did take my lunch to work and didn't buy a single drink during my shift today.

To top that off, I didn't stop anywhere for cigarettes on the way in or on the way home and am now eating the garlic chicken I prepared and am about to go to bed since I have to get up at 5 AM.

My lunch and snacks for tomorrow are packed and I'm determined to not smoke tomorrow.

One day at a time.


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