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A dumpster diving tale

February 24th, 2008 at 09:33 am

I'm not a dumpster diver, though I've dug through one or two full bins in my adult life. I'm also not a curb crawler, though I've found a few good things on curbs. However, I don't set out to locate items using either of those methods. I just kind of happen upon them now and then. Like this morning.

DH took the trash out at his office and seemed to be gone a long time. When he returned he came into the room where I was resting (I have the flu..ugh!) with a new plastic rolling cart loaded with boxes. Apparently, someone had dumped a lot, and I do mean a lot, of good office supplies in the dumpster. In addition to the cart itself, there were 25 expanding file folders, a case or two of perfectly good, still in the wrapper paper, both letter and legal sizes, 5 desk top organizers, several hole punchers of various sizes, a brand new AT&T phone, 35 new and unused 3 ring notebooks, 3 steno pads, and more pens, highliters, markers, sticky notes and flags, rubber bands and plastic paper clips than you can imagine.

He told me there was more and asked me to go along with him. So I did. On that second run, we got two easel pads (but no easel) a very large roll of butcher paper, a clothes hanging bag, more expanding file folders, desktop organizers, notebooks, pens, highlighters, markers, sticky notes and flags, rubber bands, and plastic paper clips. Oh, and we found change in the organizers, .44 to be exact. That goes to my $20 challenge fund. There's more but my brain isn't operating too well thanks to the virus and that's all I can remember right now.

When I feel up to it, we'll go through it all and decide what to keep and will Freecycle the rest of it. My thought through all this was, "Why would someone throw all this out??" For the life of me, I can't imagine the reason for such waste. This stuff is perfectly good and all of it is almost new. What silliness...

$20 challenge update

February 16th, 2008 at 10:43 am

I finally got around to counting the money I have in my $20 challenge box and the total is $107.35, enough to open a savings account! So early next week I'll open that account and when every time the challenge money gets to $100, the money will be deposited into that account.

Go me! Smile

Too many bills, not enough money...

January 24th, 2008 at 01:26 pm

Bills are due soon and we don't have enough money in the envelopes for them all. We're close on several of them and not so close on a few. Business has slowed down, which is normal for this time of year, so we just haven't brought in all the money that we need. However, things should pick up sometime between the first and middle of February and fortunately, that's close. But we have bills due before then.

We haven't used hardly any of my last paycheck so we'll more than likely use some of that to cover the shortage this week. Rats, that isn't what we want to do! But we're trying to pay bills on time and if we have to use it, so be it. And I'm thankful we have the money to use.

On the brighter side of things, my new $20 challenge total is $77.02. Yippeee! I should be at $100 very soon and once I am, that will be used to open the savings account where all future $20 challenge money goes when it hits the $100 mark. So, I feel a little better knowing that although we'll more than likely have to spend some of my pay on bills, I'll have $100 very soon to put in the bank. It softens the blow just a tad.

New challenge total

January 22nd, 2008 at 06:30 pm

I found .63 in my work apron earlier today and then a bit ago found a nickel and penny on the ground outside. So my new challenge total is $75.64.

Go Denise!

More money for the challenge

January 21st, 2008 at 05:47 pm

Thanks to some meatless meals, found change, and not buying snacks while out and about I've added $5.85 to my challenge money, making my new total $74.95. I do believe I'll make it to $100 this month. If I can do that every month, how great is that?

Ouch! Today's spending

January 20th, 2008 at 01:02 pm

DH has an eye infection and the drops the eye doctor gave him didn't clear it up so I just went and got the prescription drops. After my discount, they cost $68! We didn't have that in the budget for this month but oh well, infections happen! At least I got the discounted price.

While there, I picked up a bag of frozen Orange Chicken. Since the Cashew Chicken was so good I wanted to try this one. I also got a dozen eggs. Again, I used my discount but it still cost me a little over $6.

The total discount I got was $8.27 and I'm adding that to my challenge money giving me a new total of $69.10. Go me!

So, today's spending is about $75. I hope there's no more spending today...

Midnight musings...

January 18th, 2008 at 10:46 pm

It's actually after midnight but I figure "Midnight musings" sounds better than "12:34 AM thoughts"...

Anyway, I'm listening to archived Dave Ramsey shows, reading news stories about the President's proposed stimulus package, and eating a bean burrito. I need to get to bed soon but can't sleep. Fortunately I don't have to be at work until 4 PM so I should be able to sneak in a nap or two.

After hearing the commercials on Dave's show, I checked out
Text is e-Mealz and Link is http://www.e-mealz.com/index.shtml
e-Mealz. It seems like a pretty good deal at $1.25 a week so I looked at some of the sample menus. I was particularly interested in the low carb menus but was disappointed that they featured quite a few items we don't eat and they don't seem to have a menu plan for kosher diets. We don't eat rabinically kosher but it's very close to our diet. Not that I am seriously considering signing up for e-Mealz but I know a few people who might really benefit from it. I already do what e-Mealz says they do but I don't spend hours on it like the commercial mentions. It takes me 10 to 20 minutes to create a frugal but healthy menu plan for two weeks and I think we do pretty well feeding two adults for $30 to $45 a week with some weeks coming in well under the $30.

Speaking of frugal food, it's the time of year when we normally begin garden planning but we haven't considered it yet because we don't know where we'll be when it's time to plant. We might be in an apartment and only have a few pots in which to plant but it's possible we'll find an affordable lot somewhere and be able to put in a full sized garden. I'm praying for the latter.

Tomorrow before I go to work I'm cooking a whole chicken. It will feed us dinner tomorrow night and several meals through the week, including my lunches at work. Yaaay for stretching chickens! We'll also eat some meatless meals which means more money will be added to the challenge!

Okay, I'm off to bed now. I'm finally tired and it's about 1 AM.

Challenge update & my plan :o)

January 18th, 2008 at 08:11 pm

I didn't spend $2.75 of the money I took to the laundrymat today so that goes in the challenge. So do the eighteen cents I found in a washer and the seven cents I found yesterday on the ground. In addition, I'm adding $3 for the three times we were out and about and I didn't get a snack or drink and $2 for two meatless meals the last day or so.

The new total is $60.83. Go me! I look forward to seeing what it is at the end of January!

Although I'd planned to, for two reasons I didn't get cash from the bank today to equal my challenge amount. One, I can't get money from the account until Tuesday and two, I think I'll spend it if it's lying around here.

I've thought about this quite a bit and have decided to open a savings account next week with the minimum deposit of $100. Whenever my challenge balance equals $100 I'll withdraw that from checking and put it in savings. I know I can do that. If I have cash in my pocket I want to spend it and if I have a debit card I want to use it. But when the money is in an account and I can look at the register and see the amount written there, I don't want to spend it. Why is that? I haven't a clue but that's how I am. And if the money in savings, that's a very strong signal to me that it isn't for playing.

On a related note, when we opened the new account this morning DH asked for a debit card for himself. I turned mine down and the banker lady looked at me like I had two heads. I don't want it, thank you! I think we'll have trouble if we both have debit cards. If he has one and gives me a cash allowance every week we'll be okay. I think. I just have to make sure to not take all my allowance with me when I go out...

$10 more for the challenge!

January 16th, 2008 at 09:34 am

I got email from Jeffrey a bit ago congratulating me on winning 3rd place in the the December blog contest and asking for my paypal address so he could send my prize to me. I didn't even know there was a prize! Yeeehaw! I entered the contest for fun and am now $10 richer for it. Gotta love that, folks!

That $10 is going into my challenge money and the new total is.....


Go Denise, go Denise!

Thanks to anyone who voted for me. Smile

Where is your challenge money?

January 14th, 2008 at 08:45 pm

I mean physically, where is it? Do you keep it in a jar, in a savings account, somewhere else? Just curious as I haven't figured out just where to put mine yet and am looking for ideas.

Monday's spending, new challenge total and more

January 14th, 2008 at 07:17 pm

I spent $6 on a dozen homemade chicken tamales this morning. The maker of the tamales does a very good job and delivers them hot and fresh. I don't get them weekly but talked to her about giving me a discounted price if I buy 6 dozen or more. She agreed so I might do that soon. It's nice to have them in the freezer for nights when I work late or we're simply in the mood for them. They're great with a little chili on top, reheated for lunch at work. Yum!

Later we went to Wal-mart for a few groceries and spent $34.75. We used $8.80 in coupons for free stuff so that was a nice savings and that $8.80 goes in to my challenge money. The new total for the challenge is $42.83.

I have my lunch and snacks packed for work tomorrow;a turkey pastrami on whole wheat sandwich, a few potato chips, a tin of kippers (I run everyone from the break room with those!) and an apple. I have no drinks to take but I can get free ice water from the grill so I'll do that.

This week we'll have two of the four needed signs installed for the shop. It will cost $200 for the two big ones to go by the road. Next week we'll have the two smaller ones brought in and install them ourselves. Those signs will cost about $100 but we'll save $100 by installing them ourselves rather than have the sign company do it. The signs are vital, though. We're on the major drag in this town but the little office complex we're in is easy to miss. Signs will help increase the business and make us easier to find for the ones sent here by the local optical shops. A well written map doesn't seem to do the trick!

I also need to get my car registered so I can drive it instead of the truck. That will cost about $60 plus gas for the 50 mile trip to get it registered. And I need to pay my car insurance, about $55.

Wow, this is going to be an expensive week so I really need to make sure to take my lunches and snacks to work and not buy a thing that isn't necessary. Fortunately, the shop gives us some daily cash flow but today was slow as was the last part of last week. I get paid Friday, though. Half of that goes to savings and the other half to bills if we need it. If not, it will sit in savings. Hopefully the rest of this week will be good for the shop and we can save more than half of my pay.

Hey, a girl can dream! Smile

Not a no spend day, after all

January 13th, 2008 at 04:50 pm

Well, I ran off to work without my lunch bag so when my lunch period arrived I spent $2.75 for a Margerita Pizza from our grill at work. It was pretty good and meatless so there's another dollar to add to the challenge money. My new total is $34.03.

I'm off tomorrow and don't need to do laundry but I do need to get cat food and a few other things so tomorrow won't be a no spend day, either.

Tonight's dinner was Contessa Cashew Chicken that I picked up at work recently on sale. For less than $3 we got three servings of pretty good Cashew Chicken over rice.

Tomorrow I'll put a beef roast in the slow cooker and we'll have that with vegetables and maybe a salad. Yum!

I have to admit I'm somewhat discumbobulated over the Cowboys losing tonight. Grrrrr!

I bit the bullet...or, the laundry is done!

January 12th, 2008 at 06:01 pm

I finally got to the laundrymat! Six wash loads and $12 later, the clothes are washed, dried, and put away. I have to come up with a wash schedule I can live with so I don't fall behind and get overwhelmed like I did this week. I think if I wash clothes twice a week that will be sufficient.

It's just the two of us and I generally wear my work pants at least twice before washing them. So, maybe washing clothes on Monday and Thursday will work. It should, anyway, as long as I keep to the schedule.

I work tomorrow from 10 AM to 5 PM. I'll take something to snack on during my 15 minute break, a couple of drinks, and a lunch. Hopefully it will be a no spend day for me.

And I found 18 cents in the truck while I was looking for the ignition key I dropped. That 18 cents goes toward the challenge so now my challenge money is $33.03.