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Update on work, eating at home, not smoking, etc.

February 4th, 2012 at 05:56 am

I haven't posted in a bit. I've been pretty busy with work, though. It's going great now that the wild and crazy season is behind us. This week I was only scheduled for 22 hours, though, which isn't enough. My boss wrote me in for four more hours then another 14 hours. That put me at 40, which is what I'd hoped for. Unfortunately, Wednesday I woke up with a sore throat and by Friday I was sicker than a dog. I went in anyway but they sent me home after two hours. So much for that 8 hour day on my pay! I work today, though, for six hours and I hope they let me stay the entire time as 32 hours are definitely better than 26. The month of February is historically slow so the hours will be slim and I'll be grateful for any and all I get!

I'm doing well without cable TV. The fact that I still pick up TNT, CNN (a little snowy but quite viewable), and a few others helps. Not sure how I'm still getting them but I'm glad I do. I don't watch much TV, though, and when I do it's usually a Law & Order episode I've streamed via Netflix on my PS3.

I'm very tired of my too large cell phone bill and want to go back to a prepaid phone. I'm just about at the point of paying the $200 to get out of the contract. I have a Straight Talk phone I bought months ago when I was having issues with Verizon's service. I used it for a month and it's now inactive. I can port my current Verizon number to it but it's not an easy phone to txt with and since I do txt a bit I need to be able to do that easily. So, perhaps I need to find another Straight Talk phone that's a little easier to txt with. The biggest problem with Straight Talk, though, is that it doesn't seem to work that well when I travel to Austin. Of course, I only do that once or twice a year but it's a five hour drive and I take some back roads and a working cell phone is a thing of beauty on those drives! I'd hate to have car trouble on one of those back roads and have no cell phone. Hmm, what a quandary.

I haven't been out to eat in awhile. Quite awhile. I'm still spending more than what I like on groceries but a lot less than what I was on eating out so that's a good thing.

Today is Day 50 of not smoking! Yes, I haven't had a single cigarette or puff from one for 50 days today. Smile I've saved about $425 by not smoking, too! That's nothing to sneeze (or cough) at. Wink

Day 34 of not smoking:how did I afford it?

January 19th, 2012 at 02:33 am

34 days without a cigarette and I'm $289 dollars richer! Sort of. Actually, I don't know how on earth I managed to afford cigarettes since I can't imagine having spent $289 in the last 4 weeks. I don't have it to spend so how did I do it? Misplaced priorities, no doubt. Oh well, I'm working on that slowly but surely and at least I'm not blowing money on smokes anymore.

I haven't heard from the management at the kitchen store where I applied for a part time job. Hopefully they'll get in touch with me soon. It would be great to earn another hundred or so a week.

I haven't spent much money the last few days. I've been taking my meal to work with me and haven't gone anywhere or done anything spendy. I do have to go to the grocery store this morning for a couple of things but shouldn't spend much at all.

All in all it's been very quiet and very non-expensive since Saturday. Gotta love that!

25 days without smoking, another NSD & my fridge is leftover free!

January 10th, 2012 at 03:45 pm

Today is Day 25 smoke free. I've not spent $212 for cigarettes and I feel great! I'm sleeping better and surely smell better. I've finished my main wall washing project but every two or three days I wash another wall. I do this to keep the place smelling fresh and to remind myself why I had to wash the walls to begin with. I suppose it's a form of doing penance.




And I'm very excited that today has been another No Spend Day and a No Leftover Day! Why? Because to have two NSDs in a week, much less in a row like yesterday and today, and to have a refrigerator with no leftovers, not because I threw them out but because I've cooked less and eaten any leftovers, show that my focus and hard work are starting to pay off.

For some people, having a NSD might not be a big deal but to me it's almost monumental. Not necessarily because I overspend on big things or a lot of things but because it's been my habit to spend small amounts almost every day. You know, I get a drink or two while at work, maybe a quick breakfast, and perhaps an inexpensive lunch because I forgot to take mine. And while I don't spend much when I do that, perhaps $8 or $9 for the day, it adds up. If I do that three days a week, I've blown $24 to $27! Over a month, that's enough to pay my electric and water bills and buy some groceries.

So, I see this week as evidence that what I'm doing is working. I have a long way to go until NSDs come easily and seem natural to me but I'm closer today than I was yesterday. And that's what it's all about.

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

January 6th, 2012 at 03:59 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

19 days without smoking = $162 not spent on cigarettes

January 4th, 2012 at 04:42 am

162 pennies in the jar. Absolutely beautiful. Smile

Today's spending & auto insurance update

January 3rd, 2012 at 05:34 pm

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!

Day 17 of not smoking, homemade noodles & more

January 2nd, 2012 at 03:06 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.

I did it, I bought one ounce of Flowerbomb!

December 30th, 2011 at 09:14 am




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 06:55 am



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 04:00 am



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 04:46 am

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

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

December 20th, 2011 at 06:23 pm

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!