BUDGETMAW's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=BUDGETMAW BUDGETMAW's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Sunday http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5987638 I can't say it's been a busy day, but it has been productive. I started by putting away or at least organizing everything I had previously unpacked, then unpacked the last box that the movers packed, and got everything put away. I still have a few boxes that I packed. I got everything that I unpacked today put away. It, and most of the stuff from before, was mostly kitchen stuff - china, dishes, a few knickknacks. Just a few more things and my dining room will be mostly presentable! I still n... Sun, 30 Aug 2015 20:56:37 EST Saturday http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5987130 I went to the Farmers Market this morning to pick up the organic, pastured pork fat (to make lard) that I'd ordered, but the farmer forgot to bring it. I picked up some things for Mom, but nothing for me. Then I went to the U-Pick place and picked some green beans and raspberries for her, but nothing for me. I'm still sticking to my Spend No Money on Food challenge. I keep thinking that I should terminate the challenge next Friday, so I can go to the FM for myself next week and to the U-Pick ... Sat, 29 Aug 2015 23:51:09 EST Thursday Challenges http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5986046 Yesterday I installed the sewing machine in cabinet. Today I actually used it! Which shouldn't be a big deal - I remember sewing a dress for myself in grade school, and sewed quite a few clothes when I got out of college. For some reason I quit sewing somewhere along the way. I've had sewing machines, just didn't use them. It's been at least 20 years since I sewed on my own machine, though I have used Mom's a few times. I've been afraid to. Don't know what I've been afraid of, but so it goes.... Thu, 27 Aug 2015 23:02:37 EST Wednesday Challenges and Successes http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5985438 Today was a better day than yesterday. My attitude was better than it was yesterday afternoon and evening and that makes a huge difference. <BR> <BR> Got up about 7 and worked in my yard, showered and then went to Mom's house to gather dead leaves for my compost pile. I must not have plugged in the battery on her leaf blower right the last time I used it because it had no juice at all. So I ended up sweeping the patio with a broom, instead. Then we looked at pots in the patio cupboard, then ... Wed, 26 Aug 2015 22:49:41 EST Tuesday - One challenge is over, another begun http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5984837 Today was the last day of my Spend No Money on Food Challenge. Piece of cake. I am prone to stocking way up on food, and I've done the same here. <BR> <BR> I'm starting a new Spend No Money on Food Challenge, this one until the end of the month. With one exception. I called a local farmer and ordered ten pounds of organic, pastured pork fat to make lard with. I said I'd pick it up at the Farmers Market on Saturday. So that is one thing I will spend money on. But nothing else! Not even the c... Tue, 25 Aug 2015 23:15:25 EST Monday http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5984139 Just one more day of my Buy No Food Challenge! Though I'll probably extend it through Friday. There's nothing that I need, and last Wednesday's ads are only good through Tuesday, so can't get anything from them, and Sunday's ads will be good through Saturday. Though mostly I'm ending on Friday so I can go to the Farmers Market on Saturday. <BR> <BR> One of the women in my Monday bridge group is an avid - and successful - gardener. She said their garden is 90'x30'. Me, I think in terms of a 4... Mon, 24 Aug 2015 22:04:34 EST Sunday - Busy morning, lazy afternoon and evening http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5983459 Got up this morning rarin' to go! After bragging everywhere I could think of about the scale, I decided to weed eat the dead weeds left after spraying. Somehow along the way I decided to move around the furniture in the office, so I did - and the boxes, including five boxes of books. <BR> <BR> Found the weedeater, the guard, and the extension cords (in three different places), got it put together and started on the back. And ran out of string. So went to Walmart and then to Lowe's to get th... Sun, 23 Aug 2015 22:21:09 EST Down EIGHT POUNDS since last Sunday! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5983093 Down FOUR POUNDS "officially" - that's last week's average weight minus this week's average weight. Down just over FIFTY POUNDS in just under five months. <BR> <BR> That's why I'm posting this everywhere I can think of posting it. Losing eight pounds - or even four pounds - in a week isn't all that unusual when you're first starting out, but it sure is after five months! Sun, 23 Aug 2015 10:16:47 EST Saturday's Challenges - Not! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5982859 No particular challenges today. Nothing new, nothing special attempted, nothing special learned, just a nice ordinary day. Got quite a bit accomplished, but nothing special. Just stuff. <BR> <BR> Didn't buy any food (I even skipped the Farmers Market!), didn't spend any money. <BR> <BR> Got my first bill for gas service. Eleven days, only two of which I was staying here. Didn't use the furnace, didn't use the dryer. $265.56! That's 352 therms, or just over 29 therms per day. Don't know wh... Sat, 22 Aug 2015 21:52:54 EST Friday challenges http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5982315 A strange day. But then, aren't most of them? <BR> <BR> Nothing special this morning, but when I went to take a shower after lunch the water was only lukewarm. I assumed it was because the guy left it turned too low when he showed me how to change the temperature of the water heater, which he did, but turning it up hasn't done any good. And I didn't find that out until about 6 this evening. I called and asked that I be put at the top of the list on Monday. In the meantime, I should be able ... Fri, 21 Aug 2015 22:27:35 EST Where'd they go? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5982030 The 50+ pounds I've lost since March 15, that is. Wherever they are, they can darn well stay there! And take some more with them, too, please. Fri, 21 Aug 2015 11:03:09 EST Thursday Challenges http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5981799 Stayed out of the stores - didn't buy any food. Mom gave me a bottle of half and half that she got for bridge (no one wanted any) and I picked some cherry tomatoes from "my" plants at her house. <BR> <BR> I'm trying something new - making lard in the crockpot. One site said to leave it on low overnight, so I will. I'm afraid it will burn, though. Hope not. If it works I'll see about getting some fat from an organic farmer near here. I talked to him at the Farmers Market a couple of months ag... Thu, 20 Aug 2015 23:20:22 EST Wednesday challenges http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5981189 As I've mentioned before, I'm still trying to define exactly what my 15 minute challenge is. Somethings obviously qualify - trying something new, learning something, doing something that I wouldn't have done if it weren't for the challenge, things like that. And then there are other things that seem like they should qualify but don't seem to fit in that description. "Extras," if you will. Things that, while they may not be new or something I've procrastinated on (though they might be), are de... Wed, 19 Aug 2015 23:19:59 EST Pantry Challenge http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5980963 I've decided to go for a week without buying any food. Kind of gutsy since I just moved in three days ago! I know I have lots of meat and lots of veggies and a few eggs and condiments and cream, so I can't think why I should need to buy anything else. Of course, there will probably be things on sale and I'll think that I need to get it because it's such a great price, but unless it is a really, really, REALLY price, I'll skip it. I can do this! Wed, 19 Aug 2015 15:01:11 EST Tuesday's Challenges http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5980425 I need to come up with a name for these daily challenges. Something shorter than "Do something new or learn something or try something or do something you wouldn't otherwise do" challenge. Any ideas? <BR> <BR> A bit of a mixed bag again today, though everything has been successful today. I got the whole backyard weed patch sprayed, and part way down the side of the house. I feel like it should count here somehow, even though I've sprayed part of the backyard before so it's nothing new and no... Tue, 18 Aug 2015 19:45:30 EST Monday, August 17 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5979880 No adventures today, unless you count using my shower for the first time and trying out my chained up (or chained down?) shower curtain. Which worked just fine, by the way. The shower curtain stayed inside the shower and it stayed where it belonged and didn't come in and try to wrap itself around me. <BR> <BR> Instead of adventures, my 15 minute challenge today was along the lines of doing something I wouldn't otherwise do. I swept my patio, which has needed it since long before I moved in ... Mon, 17 Aug 2015 22:27:58 EST Today's 15 minute challenge http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5979147 It's been an up and down day as far as my daily "15-minute" challenge is concerned. Which isn't really a 15-minute challenge anyway, but it's the theme for this month's New Leaf Challenge thread and that's what made me decide to do it. I call it my creative/productive challenge, but it's really more a try-something-new-or-do-something-you-woul<BR>dn't-normally-do challenge, though I interpret that pretty loosely. I suppose another way to look at it is a don't-procrastinate-just-do-it challeng... Sun, 16 Aug 2015 20:48:20 EST Time to Regroup http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5978689 I was looking at the free books on Amazon, and thinking that I should start meditating, or knitting, or sewing, or whatever. Starting a new project/taking up a new hobby, anyway. I guess the idea is that this last major project, which culminated in my moving into my new house, is over so it's time to start something new. Wrong! I need time to rest and relax and regroup (and get things put away!) for a while, first. I've told myself nothing new until the first of the month. (Can you believe th... Sun, 16 Aug 2015 00:30:23 EST Yes! Today! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5978603 And I'm in! I've officially moved in. Brought all (or most, anyway) of my stuff from Mom's, and am planning to spend the night here tonight. And for most of the nights to come, too. Unfortunately, I need to unbury my bed before sleeping in it tonight. I think it's mostly sheets and blankets and curtain rods, but I'm sure there's other stuff in there, too. Sat, 15 Aug 2015 21:26:39 EST Maybe tomorrow? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5978095 But then I've been thinking that for several tomorrows. <BR> <BR> The inspector came this afternoon and signed off on it. I think that's the end of the inspections. At any rate I'm willing to take a chance on it being the end of them! <BR> <BR> Mark is going to try to come by tomorrow and install the new locks. If he can't, I'll by the locks myself and install the new doorknobs myself and wait for the new deadbolts. I managed to get them out once and put back in. <BR> <BR> Today I bought a... Fri, 14 Aug 2015 22:27:35 EST Still Not http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5976966 So SereneHeather inspired me to try to rekey my locks myself. Didn't work. So tomorrow I'm going to try to take out one of the door knobs and take it to Home Depot, where they'll rekey it for $5. If I can get it out and back in again, I'll take out the other one and get it done, then ditto with the dead bolts. And if I can get them out and replace them, then I should be able to install a new set of locks to replace the one that's a different brand, right? And then I should be able to get them... Thu, 13 Aug 2015 00:14:22 EST Still not in my house http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5976209 But I think it's getting closer. I hope. <BR> <BR> I don't know whether Gary thinks he's through inside, but I don't. Mostly just little things, like cleaning up the paint in the kitchen sink and on the hall floor. And I told him that I wanted the locks re-keyed when he was done, since I don't know how many people have keys to my house, or who they are, but I'm pretty sure he's not going to do it. I'm not moving in until the locks are either replaced or re-keyed. I hadn't budgeted for re-key... Tue, 11 Aug 2015 20:56:45 EST Not in my house http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5974389 Went over to the house this morning, and Gary was there. Still working. Hadn't put the shelves or bars in the closets or hung the doors. So I didn't move in or unpack or anything. Left and played with cats at the animal shelter instead. He said he'd spend tomorrow in his shop at home making the screens for all of the windows. <BR> <BR> Went to the Farmers Market and got some zucchini, a cucumber, and a red bell pepper. Also two peaches, one for Mom and one for me. A splurge, but the season ... Sat, 8 Aug 2015 22:08:13 EST In my house! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5973985 Well, not quite, but Gary said this morning that he'd be through inside today and that I can move in over the weekend. I'll at least start unpacking and putting things away. I got rid of so much stuff before I moved that there really isn't all that much to do, though I'm sure it will take a lot longer than I think it will. <BR> <BR> I've been weighing every extra thing for the house against what I can squeeze my budget to pay for it, and had pretty much come to the end of the possible squeez... Sat, 8 Aug 2015 02:19:51 EST And on the third day... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5969992 I blew it. Mark said he'd come over today and show me how to use a spray tank to kill the nasty bindweed in my backyard, so I went out and bought one. I have mixed feelings about whether that violates my no spending commitment, or whether it falls under the heading of necessary stuff for the house. Come to think of it, I bought a new hose for the dryer, too (they sent over a hose for the gas range instead of the gas dryer), but that definitely doesn't violate the commitment, since Gary sent m... Fri, 31 Jul 2015 23:18:46 EST A Wake Up Call http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5968964 So I've been very frugal with my spending, or at least with most of my spending. When you're renovating a house and buying all new appliances and having the whole place painted and all new carpet and flooring and so forth, it's hard to be totally frugal. Or at least, it's hard not to spend a lot more money than you'd normally think of as being frugal. But I've been doing pretty well with that and have been quite frugal with the rest of my expenditures. I haven't bought any new clothes, even t... Thu, 30 Jul 2015 00:44:13 EST Rats! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5968655 Last night I committed to not spending anything for the rest of the month. All three days of it. This morning I got set to go to Home Depot or Lowe's and get a spray tank thing so I can spray the forest of weeds in the backyard, and realized I can't get it until Saturday. Rats! Oh, well. Three more days won't make much difference back there. And the discipline is good for me, right? <BR> <BR> On the plus side, the carpet is down and Gary has started laying the vinyl. He says he'll be through... Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:17:04 EST For the rest of the month... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5968296 OK, that's only three days, but still, for the rest of the month, I AM SPENDING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Zilch. Zip. Nada. Zero. Not one tiny itty bitty little cent. Oh, rats. It just occurred to me that I have prescriptions to pick up at Walmart. OK, other than those, not one cent. <BR> <BR> I'm still staying with Mom (thanks, Mom!), but hope to be in my own place next week. Finally! Gary has it almost all painted, and the carpet installers are there this week. Yesterday, today and tomorrow, tho... Tue, 28 Jul 2015 23:14:03 EST June 12 - It's getting real! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5944246 I closed on my house on Wednesday. I signed the contract with the contractor yesterday. Demolition starts Monday. It's happening! I took Mom over to see the house this morning and she wasn't impressed. I have to admit, it does look a mess and there's a lot to do, but I think it will be great when it's done. <BR> <BR> So far there hasn't been much that I've been able to do budgeting about, or rather that I can really be frugal about. It's been HUGE decisions and monetary outflows. From now o... Fri, 12 Jun 2015 22:57:45 EST Catching Up http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5933530 Haven't posted anything because I haven't had anything to say. I'm still staying with Mom, and she buys the food. She buys what's convenient, not necessarily what's cheapest. I have bought some meat when it was on sale. Mom's letting me store it in one of her deep freezes. I got several pounds of pork chops when they were $1.79 a pound, and today I got a 5 pound box of hamburgers for $9.99, or $2.00 per pound. I may go back and get some more. That's a great price for ground beef. <BR> <BR> ... Sun, 24 May 2015 15:12:09 EST Leftover Casserole Soup http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5927740 Last night I asked Mom how she wanted the leftover chicken fixed for supper (she cooked a whole chicken in the crockpot a few days ago) and she said she wanted Creamed Chicken on Biscuits, but that it probably wasn't very good for me. No problem. I made four biscuits for her and made her some creamed chicken using leftover chicken, half of the juices from cooking the chicken (she didn't want any of fat, silly woman!), a chopped mushroom, and milk and flour. For myself I made a sort of Chicken... Wed, 13 May 2015 22:10:56 EST May 12 - And I'm Home! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5927099 In Idaho, that is. I've moved. Arrived last Wednesday, looked at houses on Friday and put in a bid on one on Saturday, heard yesterday that my bid was accepted, did the paperwork for the actual sales contract today, and should hear Thursday or Friday whether the paperwork was all in order. It's a HUD house, paperwork has to be done in California, and it's government. Need I say more? The realtor is going to try to line up inspections for next Monday and Tuesday. They're especially important b... Tue, 12 May 2015 18:26:31 EST March 19 and 20 - More Zero Spending Days! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5896734 Didn't spend anything at all yesterday or today. I had a house showing yesterday when my cleaning lady was supposed to come, so we rescheduled to Saturday. And the friends I had lunch with paid for my lunch. Didn't even have to pay for parking, as I found a spot in the free lot. <BR> <BR> My house sold! Offered, countered, and accepted. Closing is supposed to be on or before May 11. <BR> <BR> Looked at a new car, and negotiated them down about $2000, but then didn't accept it because they ... Fri, 20 Mar 2015 22:50:47 EST March 18 - Not a Zero Spending Day http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5895648 But not bad, either. I went to breakfast with the cleanup crew from the homeless shelter. We're a group from the same church, and it's a nice social occasion. And I put a dollar in the parking meter when I did my tutoring session. But that's all I spent. The no spending part kept me from buying a box of cookies or something "to keep me awake" and from getting pizza for lunch, when I saw the pizza place right outside the library. A good frugal day. <BR> <BR> Today (Thursday) I need to go out ... Thu, 19 Mar 2015 02:29:15 EST March 17 - St. Paddy told me not to spend any money! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5894840 Today was a no spend day. Zilch. Nada. Zip. Zero. Well, unless the computer automatically paid one of my utility bills today, but I'm not counting that. <BR> <BR> My goal is to have the rest of the month as no spend days, but there are so many exceptions! There are utilities and health insurance premiums and things like that, that are due when they're due. OK, I can make an exception for that sort of thing. And then there are things I have to pay for the house, like the guys who came and wor... Tue, 17 Mar 2015 20:21:54 EST March 16 - Being Frugal http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5894192 Knowing I need to be extra frugal saved me about $20 today. First, instead of eating lunch at the restaurant where we played bridge, I just had water and left a tip for the waitress. No, it's not something I can do all the time. I figure I need to eat lunch at least once a month, can have just water once a month, and have iced tea the rest of the time. That seems reasonably fair to the restaurant. The others all eat lunch there, so the restaurant is getting lots of business for letting us use... Mon, 16 Mar 2015 20:15:29 EST March 15 - Need to be extra frugal! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5893639 I did some rough projections today, and realized that I need to be really frugal from now on. I'm planning to move to Idaho as soon as I sell my house, and that's not a cheap process. There's the cost of getting my house ready to sell, and the cost of moving my stuff and myself, and the costs of getting settled out there, and I need to buy a new car. I don't trust my 20+ year old Ford Escort to get me there. <BR> <BR> Anyway, for some reason I had never really figured out what I'd end up sp... Sun, 15 Mar 2015 23:09:28 EST February 8 - Budget Challenge Thread! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5871829 Budget Tip #38 - Visit Our Budget Challenge Thread! <BR> <BR> Which isn't exactly a challenge, except that budgeting is always a challenge! <BR> <BR> Budgets - food budgets in particular - have come up recently on our main daily threads, so I started a food budget thread at Challenge Central. Low Cost, Low Carb, High Value. Please suggest a better name! <BR> <BR> Come over and chat with us about budget woes and budget successes. Tips, idea, recipes, complaints, venting, questions, challeng... Sun, 8 Feb 2015 12:45:10 EST February 8 - Elegant Dining http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5871825 Budget Tip #36 - Eat Your Meals in Courses! <BR> <BR> You know how they say that it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to signal your brain that you're full? And most of us eat until we feel full, so we eat too much? Try restaurant dining at home! <BR> <BR> Serve your meal in courses. Maybe start off with a light soup, then your main "meal." Or start with a salad instead of soup. Or somehow split up your meal or add a light bit of extra as an extra course. Your meal will take longer to... Sun, 8 Feb 2015 12:39:59 EST February 7 - Moving! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5871233 Budget Tip #36 - Moving! <BR> <BR> I'm moving sometime soon. At least, I hope it's soon. As soon as my house sells, anyway. I'm going to move back to Idaho. That's where Mom lives. And while she doesn't need taken care of, I have nothing to hold me here except inertia. I didn't move here planning to stay more than a year or two, and it's been ten. And I definitely didn't buy this house planning to stay in it. <BR> <BR> If you are moved professionally, they charge by the pound. If you move ... Sat, 7 Feb 2015 12:07:48 EST February 5 - Plastic Newspaper Sleeves http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5870208 Budget Tip #35 - Plastic Newspaper Sleeves <BR> <BR> You know, those plastic bags that newspapers come in when it's wet out? I've never counted, but I must get at least a couple hundred of those a year. And then what do you do with them? <BR> <BR> They make great pooper scoopers! Put your hand all the way in, and pick up the waste through the plastic sleeve. Then pull the plastic off over your hand, leaving the waste at the bottom of the bag. Tie it off, and you're done. They're a great siz... Thu, 5 Feb 2015 17:48:40 EST February 3 - This and That http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5868751 Budget Tips # 32, 33 and 34 <BR> <BR> No, I haven't run out of things to pontificate about. I decided to sell my house all of a sudden, and it seems like things are happening very quickly - or need to. I'm a wee tad distracted. <BR> <BR> Budget Tip #32 - Cabbage, Carrots and Onions - Used to be, these were pretty cheap all year round. That was probably back in the days when fish was cheap, too. Remember those days? Fish and hamburger were what you ate when money was tight? A long time ago, ... Tue, 3 Feb 2015 14:54:52 EST January 31 - How Big Is and Apple? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5866419 Or a carrot? How much juice is in a lemon? <BR> <BR> Budget Tip #31 - Standard Produce Measurements <BR> <BR> Don't you hate it when a recipe calls for the juice of one lemon? Or a small onion? What do they mean? Well, it turns out that folks have calculated these things for us. (Though, to tell the truth, I usually don't measure anyway.) <BR> <BR> Here's a link to a site that gives a lot of this information. It says that it will "solve all of your produce conversion questions," but of cou... Sat, 31 Jan 2015 09:39:41 EST January 30 - Freecycle! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5865915 Budget Tip #30 - Freecycle! <BR> <BR> Do you know about freecycle? It's sort of like online classified ads, except that everything has to be free. You can post that you have something to offer, and anyone who is interested emails directly back to you. Or you can post that you want something, and anyone who has it emails directly back to you. I've not posted directly on it before, though I have responded to some requests for things and have gotten some things. <BR> <BR> As some of you may k... Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:27:12 EST January 29 - Super Bowl Snacks http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5864948 Budget Tip #29 - Cheap Super Bowl Snacks <BR> <BR> Did you know that Americans spend over a billion dollars on food for watching the Super Bowl? Yikes! And the average American eats over 1000 calories on Super Bowl festivities! The calories aren't necessarily so bad for us low carbers (depends on what they are, of course), but the money! <BR> <BR> Here's a link to a post I wrote for our local food pantry last year, with ideas and recipes for a delicious and relatively inexpensive Super Bowl... Thu, 29 Jan 2015 03:41:46 EST January 28 - Aldi http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5864452 Budget Tip #28 - Aldi! <BR> <BR> Don't know what the sales are in your neck of the woods, but the Aldi here has 10 oz boxes of grape tomatoes or 8 oz boxes of mushrooms for 89 cents. Celery is 69 cents a head. Avocados are 49 cents each. One pound bags of baby carrots are 69 cents. Wed, 28 Jan 2015 11:28:10 EST January 27 - Be Prepared! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5863291 I'm a little bit early with this, but that's just the way it is. <BR> <BR> A couple of days ago I was thinking about going grocery shopping. They were predicting nasty weather - a combination of rain, snow, sleet, freezing rain and similar stuff - so if I was going to go I needed to go right away. I decided it wasn't worth going out (sheer laziness), but it reminded me of the way people shop before storms. <BR> <BR> Have you ever been to the store right before a blizzard or hurricane or st... Mon, 26 Jan 2015 21:15:12 EST January 26 - Don't Go Shopping! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5863119 Budget Tip #26 - Don't go shopping! <BR> <BR> Seems pretty obvious, doesn't it? If you don't go shopping, you won't spend any money. As long as you include online shopping in the shopping category. <BR> <BR> Rats! I can't find what I'm looking. Oh, well. You've heard it before anyway. That people go to the grocery store to "just buy one thing" and they walk out with a cartful. Seems like the number I've heard is six. You go to the store to buy just one thing (a gallon of milk, say) and you ... Mon, 26 Jan 2015 16:35:57 EST January 25 - Do What Veg Says! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5862588 Budget Tip #25 - Do What Veg Says! <BR> <BR> I'm too lazy to come up with any budget tips for today, so I'll just say to read VEG954's suggestions in reply to my post yesterday! Thanks for some great ideas, Veg! Sun, 25 Jan 2015 23:31:22 EST January 24 - Use It All! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5861751 Budget Tip #24 - Use It All! <BR> <BR> Do you remember Melissa d'Arabian on Food Network? Maybe she's still there. I don't get that channel anymore. Anyway, I really liked her during the shows where folks were competing as the Next Food Network Star, so I made a point of watching her show. She lost all credibility with the first episode of her show, Ten Dollar Dinners. She was supposed to be showing how to cook economically. On her first show, she made a pie, including homemade pie crust. Fi... Sat, 24 Jan 2015 18:29:56 EST