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Archive for November, 2005

End of November

November 30th, 2005 at 08:02 pm

Wow! Hard to believe it's already the end of November! 2005 has just flown by. In 15 days I'll no longer be in the 20 something crowd. - yikes, I'm getting old. Smile

Work was s u p e r s l o w w w w w today. I played around on the net for a couple hours, then read about 3/4 of the 3rd book in Kingsbury's Redemption series called "Return." Guess it's good to be getting paid to sit at a computer and surf the net and read, right?? I hate the feeling of wasting other people's money though.

Unfortunately, I did not get any calls today for temp jobs this week. So, tomorrow I have the day off, and unless I get a call, I guess I have Friday off too. Wow, my paycheck a week from Friday is going to look real nice - NOT!

I don't know if anyone here has had or even heard of Anderson's Split Pea Soup - but there's a resturant in CA that almost exclusively serves it. And it is VERY good. About 7 years ago I ate there, and while I was there I bought two cans of Split Pea Soup. Until tonight, I had not opened either one of them. Let's just say that either my tastebuds have really changed, or the canned version is just plain nasty. I'd have to most likely go for the later.

Other than normal bills going out of my account today (electric for Dec, cell phone for Dec, car insurance for Nov, etc) there was no spending today.

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Awesome financial blog!

November 30th, 2005 at 08:07 am

Hi! I just couldn't help but post early today. A friend of mine sent me a link to this blog on the msn.com site and I've been reading it here (at work -going slow.) I just thought it looked like something ya'll might be interested in.

It's called "Women In Red" blog: http://spaces.msn.com/members/MSNMoneyWomenInRed/

I hope ya'll check it out - I think you'll find it quite interesting!

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Small Frustrations

November 29th, 2005 at 07:19 pm

Work was okay today, though I did feel quite frustrated. Candice (who called me yesterday) ended up not coming in to download her assignments. Then two of the other surveyors were no shows - though I had talked to them on Friday night and knew neither of them had done their Saturday assignments - but I thought they'd be coming by. Then another surveyor came by and he hadn't done his assignment!!! So, with the surveyor who quit last week, that left 11 surveyors. There are 16 Saturday assignments left. *If* Candice deigns to show up so I can give her a new assignment, that will leave 15 assignments. So, essentially that means that we *won't* be finishing on Dec 10. Everyone was told from the beginning that they would have to do weekends. Two of the surveyor's who didn't do their assignments - it was their THIRD time not doing their Saturday assignments. They both are from New Orleans and have amazing stories to tell. But the last time they asked for the weekend off because the woman's son was playing in a football game at UTA - I told them that I could not give ANY more Saturdays off or we weren't going to make it. But they went ahead and took this weekend off anyway.

If I were truly in total charge of this, and I didn't need every warm body possible to finish the project, as much as I like both of these surveyors, they would be gone right now. I guess I just don't understand this kind of work "ethic." Maybe its because they're getting the supplements from FEMA and so aren't relying on the money for living expenses. I really hope that previous statement doesn't sound mean or heartless. I don't begrudge any of the victims of Katrina or Rita getting helped back on their feet. I guess I just really don't understand how you can say you're going to do a job, understand totally what that means, know that time is running out, and yet still just take off.

What this does to me is it puts me in the position of a fourth week of only 20 hours unless they're are some temp jobs on a Th/Fri. I was truly looking forward to this project ending so that I could possibly get a 5-day a week job - though maybe that wouldn't have happened right away, so instead I should look at it as though giving me another 20 hours for sure.

In other news ... Last night I got a call from my college rommate/best friend Tracy. She interviewed for a K-1 position in Atlanta, GA and she was hired!!! She was SO very happy. Such an answer to prayer. She's not sure how she's going to handle telling her school kids, but at least she's got one less thing to worry about. The school she's been teaching at for the past four years is having to go to just one teacher for grades k-8, and she didn't want to take that on. She'll begin her new job in January.

Spending Log:
Dry Cleaning: $23.56 - 4 dresses suitable for professional office wear + 2 blouses
Walmart: $4.25 junkfood Frown
Cell Phone: $49.26 (450 minutes/Cingular)
Credit Card: $61.00 ($39 - min payment; $11 - extra; $10 - Netflix sub)
Car Insurance: $61 (Geico)
Pet Insurance: $9.95

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Pizza! Pizza! -- Jorge comment

November 28th, 2005 at 06:28 pm

Jorge, here is a link to where you can get the free download of Ad Aware: http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/
Hope that works for you!

After work dad and I went to Kroger's, and amazingly there were PLENTY of pizza's left that qualified for the deal! So we got 8 Red Barron 4-Cheese pizzas (our Friday night pizza) for $16 - saving nearly $24 from what it would be at Walmart for the same 8 pizzas. We're set for Friday night supper through January!

On the way home from work I also stopped by the library to drop off some books. While there I checked to see if any of the other books in Karen Kingsbury's series were available. Lo and behold, they had the next two books!!! Woo Hoo!!

Work was medium slow today. Not my usual busy busy Monday. However I am still waiting on four surveyors to come in tomorrow to download. On the way home I *finally* got a call from Candice!! She told me she had done the assignments and would be coming in to download tomorrow. I told her she had a lot of people worried about her, and she told me that her mom was supposed to have called us (me and the employment agency.)

Dad was in a bit of a sour puss mood tonight. Before I marry someone there's a couple tests I'm going to put them through. Driving in heavy traffic, in medium traffic, and a fairly long-distance drive. Finding out how they behave when overtired and hungry. I'd rather be single for the rest of my life than put up with a sour puss/road rager.

Anyway, no spending on my part today (though I was sorely tempted to stop and get some more chocolate - made chocolate pudding pie tonight for supper instead.)

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Keep your spyware killers updated!

November 27th, 2005 at 05:35 pm

Today was another nice lazy day. I didn't even get around to doing any cooking or anything else really productive. I did read a Karen Kingsbury book - the first in her series called "Redemption." I'm now reading the second book in that seres called "Remember". So far, so good. Smile

This evening I got on my computer after finishing "Redemption" to check my email. My computer wasn't connecting to the net however, which I found quite strange since I have cable internet, and it's an always on type connection. So I ended up rebooting my computer. After logging back in, a screen came up for a program called "PowerScan." I didn't recognize it as anything *I* had put on my computer, so I googled it and found out it was a spyware thing. So then I realized I hadn't updated (or ran) adaware in awhile. But alas, adaware somehow wasn't on my computer anymore!! *I* sure don't remember removing it! So, I put it back on from the Lavasoft site (the free one of course) and ran it. It found 263 adware files!!!!!! Needless to say, I think I'm going to have to get vigilant about running that thing again. I've fallen down on my duty of protecting my computer. Frown

I need to record Desperate Housewives for my dad, and maybe watch Crossing Jordan, then get to bed at a decent hour tonight. Can't sleep in tomorrow - back to the old work grindstone. Smile I hope I get called for temp jobs for Thursday and Friday to help pad my paycheck - January might just be a pretty lean, lean month if all I have is three weeks of 20 hours a week (plus of course this past week since the paycheck doesn't come till Dec 2 - would count towards January.)

No spending today - didn't go anywhere either.

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

A Walgreen's Story

November 26th, 2005 at 08:10 pm

Today was essentially a very lazy day for me. Spent most of it on the computer. Smile However, yesterday my dad had asked me to mail a card for him, so that meant I had to go out to the post office. Since I had to go out anyway, I decided to stop at Taco Bell and then at Walgreens since I had a little grocery budget money left. Smile

After stopping at the post office, I went to Walgreen's. I picked up my pint of Dreyer's Nestle Ice Cream and a Coke, then went to stand in line. One of the employee's came over and told me she could get me in Cosmetics, so I gladly followed her there. While ringing up my purchases, she mentioned that they had some lotions left that were free after rebate, AND that if I bought one, THEY would send in the receipt + rebate form for me!!! I'd been thinking that it was about time to get some more lotion (with Vitamin E) and since it would be free, I went ahead and bought it. All I had to do was fill my name and address out on the rebate form (I also entered my rebate card # to get the extra 10%). She kept my receipt and marked my purchase, and she will send it in for me! I have to say that that is some remarkable customer service! I hadn't done any Walgreen's rebate shopping in awhile, but that was easier than pie!

Tomorrow I am going to try and figure out a couple things I can make with my stockpile of food. I'd like to make Special K roast, but I'm not sure I have enough cottage cheese. Maybe I'll make lasagna or some other kind of cassarole with my oodles of noodles. Smile

Found out that at Kroger's this week you can get our friday night pizza for $2 a pizza if you buy 8 of them. That is almost $3 less than Walmart's price. I'll have to let my dad know about it so he can get some on Monday - that is, if they have enough of the plain cheese ones left by then. Frown

Spending:
Walgreens: $6.39 (junkfood + lotion)
Taco Bell: $2.39 (7-layer burrito + pintos&cheese)

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Short post - Really! :)

November 25th, 2005 at 08:53 pm

Got to work an hour early. Rolleyes Wasn't a very exciting day. Spent 8 hours sitting at a desk answering the phone maybe 3 dozen times, transfering calls to various places when needed. Easily finished my book two hours before the end of the day. Spent the last two hours reading msnbc.com and cnn.com since those were the only two websites "allowed". Those last two hours really dragged!

Got home and got to hear how disgusted my dad was at Albertson's. He'd gone there to buy a couple Red Barron Pizza's (on sale 3 for $10) and the one we've been eating for Friday night supper wasn't on sale. Smart guy ended up getting a no epiration raincheck. I will definitely have to look into some coupons for that!

Otherwise a pretty slow day. I am so looking forward to sleeping in in the morning (if Monkey doodles who's sitting in front of my monitor will let me!) Smile Ha ha! Just as I was writing about him, he turns his head towards the monitor like he's reading what I'm writing. Smile Smile Cat's are just too funny!

Spending:
Wal-greens: $2.34 junkfood (chocolate bars on Black Friday sale, couldn't resisit - really!)

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24th, 2005 at 07:22 pm

Today was pretty good. Dad and I went up to my mom's place. When we got there dad gorillia glued the pieces of the top piece for her desk. Then we started on our journey to find a place to eat. Most of the places we were thinking of were closed, so we ended up eating at Furr's Cafeteria. I owed my dad half of the Sam's Club membership renewal, so I told him that I would treat for the meal. All of us were being fairly conservative with what we took. Then when we got to the register we found out that they were charging one price for all you could eat! So when we got to the table the watier told us that he would bring us anything we wanted so we wouldn't have to cut in line. I ended up getting some more veggies, but was satisfied with what I already had. Dad gorged himself quite simply. Mom ate her three nibbles and pronounced herself "stuffed." Rolleyes

When we got back to Mom's apartment we watched "The Fugitive." I'd given my dad the DVD for his birthday (back in July) and he hadn't had a chance to watch it yet. Mmm mmm, Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. Smile Smile Smile

Got back home and had an email from a good college friend of mine. She sent some pictures of her kids - she has two girls - adorable of course. Smile I hadn't heard from her in awhile, so it was good to get a bit of an update.

Tomorrow I have to get up super duper early - no not for Black Friday sales - but for a one-day temp job as a bank receptionist. I have to be there by 8, and I figure with holiday traffic, I'll need to leave here no later than 6am. Ugh! I am NOT a morning person!

I finished reading "There's Something About Christmas" on the way to my mom's place. Sniff, sniff. I think I'm going to have to stake out the shelf in the library with more of Debbie MacComber books. Smile Am now starting on a new book by Melissa Bank called "The Wonder Spot." So far, so good. Smile

My calves have been really, really sore today. I guess I didn't stretch them enough last night after gliding on my gazelle.

Spending today:
Furr's Cafeteria: $28.97 -- 3 meals + 1 IBC Rootbeer (that was me, my special treat on Thanksgiving, couldn't resist.)

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

My Gazelle arrived!!!

November 23rd, 2005 at 07:14 pm

Woo Hoo! My Gazelle arrived tonight a little after 6pm just as I was fixing supper. Smile Smile The estimated delivery date was Nov 30 and I didn't think my patience would hold out that long. Smile After dad and I ate, we worked together to put it together. It wasn't really too difficult, but it was good there were two people working together. I already did my first workout on it -- ~20 minutes. I LOVE It!!! Now I can get my cardio in while watching tv shows and not having to mess with videos or worry about what the weather's like or how dark it is, etc.

I had a short day at work today, which was good because I had NOTHING to do!! After work I picked up my check. Smile Then I stopped at Walmart. Instead of just putting enough on my shopping card for one tank of gas, I went ahead and put enough on it for the tank of gas, plus my December gas budget. That way I don't have to go in there every time I want to fill up (and be tempted to buy something else - like chocolate!)

I watched some of my Lost Bonus Disc DVD when I got home. So far it's pretty cool, but I don't think I'll watch all the parts. Then tonight Lost was on an hour later than usual, which was good because we weren't done putting together my Gazelle till nearly 7:15pm. It was AWESOME!! I bet posters on television without pity.com are going to be complaining loudly about the charachter Ana Lucia having flashbacks - but I still thought it was a very well done episode.

I read some more of my book "There's Something About Christmas" last night. In fact I had to force myself to put it down so that I would get a good night's rest. I'm going to read some more tonight, probably knowing me, I might even finish it. Smile

I'm really liking using the program "You Need a Budget." Since my income each month right now is who knows what - depending on what assignments I get/# of hours - basing my next month's spending on what I earn in the current month is the way to go. Customer service is awesome also. I had a question about something, and emailed Jesse (the creator of the program) and had a response the next day that gave me a through explanation. I think it was well worth the $20. Smile

Spending Today:
Walmart:
Junkfood - $2.14
Gas ---- $19.08 ---- $1.96/gallon w/card !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(I'm not counting my December gas budget until I actually spend it from the card.)

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!!

Under $2!!

November 22nd, 2005 at 06:09 pm

Woo Hoo! Walmart has their gas for $2.02/gallon, and with the shopping card discount, it becomes $1.99!!! Maybe it will even go down another cent or two by tomorrow night when I need to fill up again. Smile

Work was ok. When I got there this morning my access card wasn't working. Luckily one of the people who works in my section pulled up behind me and opened the gate with his card, and let me in the building. The security guy fixed my card for me, so hopefully it will work in the morning. Otherwise, nothing very interesting happened today.

I stopped by the library on my way home and picked up four more books. I was really looking to see if I could find the first book in a series - I had inadvertantally picked up books 2 and 3 last time. They didn't have the first book.

When I got home I clipped the necessary coupons, and made up our shopping list (using the grocerygame list plus a few other things we needed.) I divided the coupons between my dad and I and we went shopping. They had restocked on an item which was still on sale, and I still had coupons for (making it free.) Dad added a number of things that weren't on my list, otherwise we would've had a better percentage. My list - $15.50 shelf total -- Actual Cost $4.08 (12 items). My dad's list -- $32.03 shelf total -- Actual Cost $22.10 (17 items). Total shopping trip: $47.58 shelf total / $26.18 actual cost (29 items) = less than $1 an item!! Pretty good considering that we bought milk, frozen vegetables, a frozen pizza, 3 boxes of cereal, plus other stuff. Also, my dad's Kroger card now has over $100 spent for November, so he's earned the $.10/gallon gas discount. He drives by a Kroger gas station at least once a week, so he'll be able to use the discount without doing any extra driving. Smile

As for me, today was a no spending day. Smile

Oh, for supper tonight we had mashed potatoes (free), vege chicken strips ($1 - 1/2 box), cream corn ($.25), and cinnamon rolls ($.50). Free and cheap food tastes so good! Smile And, I am taking the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Smile

I finished Amy Tan's book "Saving Fish from Drowning." It was really good. I actually ended up staying up late to finish reading it. Smile Tonight at the library one of the books I got was "There's Something About Christmas" by Debbie MacComber. I've only read a few pages, but it looks pretty good.

Keeping It Frugal In Texas,
Laura

My day

November 21st, 2005 at 07:33 pm

I had a late start this morning. Just couldn't make myself get out of bed in time to exercise. Made it to work with plenty of time to spare though.

Work was fairly busy all day long. One of the surveyor's came in in the late afternoon and told me that she had to quit. Her mother in law's alzheimer's was getting worse, and she was needed to take care of her. I told her I was sorry to see her go, but that I understood.

I got a call from the employment agency offering me a temp job as a receptionist on Friday. I very gladly accepted. It will definitely make next weeks paycheck much better than I was expecting.

Dad mentioned to me that my grandma and his sister might be coming here for four or five days over Christmas. I'll be happy to see them, and I know he will be very happy to see them too. But ever since I've moved out on my own, the only Christmas decorating I've done is in my classroom - and even that was just basically a paper chain and some garlands and one strand of white lights - plus kids artwork. I don't have any Christmas decorations. I don't have money to spend on decorations or the extra electricity for lights. I don't have the storage space for any of that either. So, anyway I hope that they won't be too disspointed to come and spend Christmas in a home thats NOT decorated - and if I'm offered any temp jobs during that week, I feel like it would be necessary for me to take them. So I guess he'll have to be their main host. I hope they stay in a hotel, because if they stayed here they'd have to share my bed (a King) and I'd get to sleep on the futon in my living room. No privacy at all. I guess I really have space isues don't I?

Today I wore one of the tops I bought at Goodwill in July for $2. It's blue, and soft, and has ribbing? going vertically. I wore it with my red skirt thats kind of fitted. When I looked at myself in the mirorr I was really surprised. Either I'm actually slimming down some, or the effect of the outfit was very illusional. Smile Even my dad made a comment tonight at supper asking me if I had lost weight. Smile hee Smile

k, time to be heading off -- no more sleeping in, ya hear! Weight lfiting here I come!!!

No spending today. Yay!

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

My last ride (hopefully!)

November 20th, 2005 at 03:25 pm

This morning I somehow took a lot longer to get ready, and ended up having to speed all the way to the Garage to meet my bus on time. Did not like doing that very much at all. I kept having visions of getting stopped by a cop and then missing the darn bus anyway and having a ticket to boot! Thankfully I got there a minute before my check in time. I had some trouble getting a GPS reading on the first trip, so I have the feeling that first trip will need to be redone.

So anyway, this assignment should be the last one I have to go on, and I sure can't say that I'm sorry to say that. It's not hard work, sitting on a bus counting how many people get on and off. But it makes for some awfully short nights, and can just get to be quite tedious after awhile. I much prefer being in the office supervising. Smile

I picked up a double newspaper on the way home. The coupon inserts are pathetic, but maybe one or two coupons might be worthwhile later on. I checked out the TV guide and to my surprise all but one of my regular tv shows (Everwood) is going to have a new episode this week. I also checked out the Career Builder, but there really wasn't anything very interesting in there.

I finished watching the last disc of Sex and the City. Although I've read where other viewers were very dissapointed with how it ended, I thought they ended it well. However, I am sad to know that there is no more where that came from. But now I can move on to the other 60 movies in my Que. Smile

Today while I was on the bus I started reading Amy Tan's "Saving Fish from Drowning." I've enjoyed other books by her such as "The Bonesetter's Daughter" and "The Joy Luck Club" etc. So far I am also really enjoying her latest book as well. It's on a 7-day loan from the library, so I do need to get it back by Wednesday to avoid late fees. I used to read so much more than I have been lately. I guess I'm spending more of my reading time on the internet than I did before. I guess its a good thing in a way, because I was starting to run out of books that I enjoy that are also available at the library. I checked out frugalreader.com but I could see that getting quite expensive with the shipping - plus I really don't know if I have very many more books that I could part with, at least for now. Between all my moves this summer I got rid of ~45% of my library, maybe more.

Spending Log:
Dbl Newspaper: $1.99

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Good News!

November 19th, 2005 at 04:50 pm

On Friday morning I got a call from Lynn at the employment agency. She told me that they had finally managed to get in touch with Candice. It had been nearly a week since we had heard from her, and I for one was really getting worried. It turns out that she had to have emergency surgery. I don't know what it was for, but she'll be able to be back to work this week. I'd started to really let my immagination run wild on this, so am glad to know concretely what happened!

On Friday afternoon I stopped at Walmart and picked up some more supplies for my personal foot and hand spa kit. Smile I had picked up most of the supplies for the hands in October, so this month I picked up the supplies for my feet. In all, the supplies cost ~$35. A little more than the cost of a professional maincure/pedicure, but will last much, much longer, so the actual cost will probably be more like 10 cents per mani/pedi. All my supplies fit quite nicely in the dishpan (for soaking my feet in) and really doesn't take up much room. I got this one nail polish for $.88 - it's kind of clear with sparkles and little confetti type stars. I thought it was pretty cool. Smile

Today I went out to lunch with some of my Pathway classmates. It was really great seeing them and catching up. They were talking about going to the Christmas banquet ($40 per person!) and the Step Beyond training ($349 - not including hotel!). Although I would dearly love to go, I just can't justify it. For the banquet you're supposed to dress up really fancy. My one "fancy" dress fit me 30 lbs ago, so I would need to get something else. Even if I could find something at Ross or at a consignment store, it would be at least $20, plus the cost of the banquet. So today's little get together is what will have to do for me until after the holidays when we have another get together.

For Thanksgiving my mom, dad and I are going to eat at Jason's Deli. Then we're going to go to mom's apartment and watch a movie. My mom wants to see On Golden Pond, so I told her that I'll make sure I watch my two DVD's I have right now from Netflix and get them in the mail on Monday, and then put On Golden Pond to be next in my Que. It should easily be here by Wednesday. Our family used to have a traditional Thanksgivng meal. But in the last six years, I don't think we've had one traditional meal. We've either been invited to someone else's meal, or like last year dad and I ate at Golden Corral, and then I ate with my Mom at Jason's Deli (they weren't on good speaking terms then.) I do sometimes miss making the meal and eating some of our traditional foods, but I don't really miss the cleanup!! Smile

Oh! I almsot forgot to mention! I relisted my LAN cable on Ebay that didn't sell last time. This time I put a buy it now price - and somebody bought it! Woo Hoo! I'm going to get it out in the mail on Monday. I really need to get some other items listed - like the Oriental scarf, which would probably make a good Christmas gift for someone into scarves (which I'm not - and received it as a gift from someone who actually bought it in the Philipines I think.)

I received my refund from the dating site on Friday afternoon. Yay! I also ordered the Gazelle from target. It says it will arrive here by Nov 30. I'm hoping that's a generous estimate and that I'll get it much sooner than that!!

Almost forgot! Dad checked out this gym that is near where I live. He found out that they do offer Pilates classes twice a week - Mon: 7 - 8 p.m. and Wed 5:30 - 6:15 pm. You can do the classes without having to actually be a gym member. A one day pass cost $10.87, but you can get a 10 day pass for $50 which makes each class only $5! So what I am planning on doing is going to the class on Wednesday to check it out, and just buy the one-day pass to start. Then, if I like it and think I can handle it, I'll get a 10-day pass, and then go once a week. So for ~$60 I'll have 11 weeks of Pilates classes where I can have someone tell me directly what I need to improve on. Smile I'm hoping that by the end of the 11 weeks, I'll be well versed enough that I can continue on without instruction.

Ok, I need to go watch my DVD so I can mail it out on Monday. Smile

Spending Log:
Friday:
Walmart: 19.70 -- pedicure stuff

Saturday:
Walmart -Gas: $20.50 --$2.01/gallon w/giftcard
Abuelo's Mexican Resturant: $8.87 (meal + tip)
Walmart: $3.14 -- junkfood

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup :)

November 15th, 2005 at 07:46 pm

Mmmm mmmm good! Campbell's tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich - not much better on a cold winter's evening. Smile Though it's not that terribly cold yet - at least not like they were predicting (Freeze warnings, etc.) It at least gave me a good reason to make some soup tonight.

I did my weight lifting routine today. To make my routine a little shorter, as well as work a little harder, I upped my weights and lowered the reps. It felt like a pretty good workout. Two of the exercises I think I'll increase the weight next time, but keep the rest the same.

Work was okay today. I am worried about one of the surveyor's though. I talked to Candice on Thursday, but have not heard from her since then. She was supposed to come into the office today or yesterday to download her work, and get her new assignments. I left a number of messages, as did the employment agency. I really hope she's okay. She's a single mom with the cutest little girl.

After work I stopped by the employment agency to pick up my check and I talked to Lynn. I mentioned to her about wanting to make sure that I'm able to get some temp jobs to fill in the hours in case my hours get cut back again in the supervisory position. She told me that wouldn't be a problem, just let them know what I need. Then I also mentioned that I although I'm more than happy for any and all temp jobs, what I would really like would be a long-term permenant job. She told me that she thinks that may be a very good possibility!! Before I went in I was getting the down in the dumps, despairing feeling, but after talking with her for a few minutes I felt so much better and so much more hopeful.

Dad was in a bit of a mood tonight. We went to Kroger's to do some grocery shopping and he asked me how much I thought we would spend. I was at a bit of a loss as how to answer. Finally I told him that it depended on how much he decided to get of the things that weren't free after coupon. Dad "grumble, grumble" "grumble, grumble". Then finally I just said, well well, the milk and bread will be about $5, then if we get lets say 5 boxes of GG veggies, that'd be another $5, then however many pudding boxes you want ... That at last seemed to mullify him. He ended up getting ~$35 worth of groceries for ~$16. Smile Smile

When I checked my bank account today, I noticed a renewal charge from one of the dating sites. Well, I definitely didn't want to renew at that site, and hadn't even realized that my membership was up for renewal. So I went to the site and it took about half an hour to figure out how to contact them. I wrote them an email teling them that I could not afford the renewal fee and that I thought it was rotten that 1)there was no notice sent to me letting me know that my account was up for renewal (thus giving me a chance to cancel if need be) 2) that there was no option in the account settings where you can say you don't want to auto renew, and 3) that there was no phone number to contact a real human being to discuss this. Oh, I also mentioned that another very rival site *does* do all those things. Smile Within about two hours I had an email telling me that they had refunded my renewal fee and cancled my account (like I had asked.) Once I have a permenant job I might start looking again, but until then I think its pretty much a waste of time.

Oh! When I checked my bank account I also noticed that a transfer I had made from ING had already arrived. I'm using that money for my credit card - the purchase of the Gazelle, along with paying some more of it down so its not so close to its limit. I pay twice or more the mininum every month, although I do have the money in ING where I could pay it off all at once - it's just hard giving up the numbers in my ING account. I know money wise it makes more $cents to not have CC debt (esp at 21%!!!) versus the minimal 3.5% savings rate, but I still like seeing those numbers in my ING account. So anyway, the transfer went much faster than I thought it would, so I upped the date of my CC payment which will save a little bit of interest.

BTW - I've had this card now since 2002 and have never had a late payment. I have asked three times for my interest rate to be lowered - and each time it ends up going UP instead of down!!! I would dearly love to get a different CC - but again, that is where a real, steady permenant job comes into play.

This is quite long enough now. I probably ought to be heading off to bed. Tomorrow is my Pilates day. Smile

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Long, busy day

November 14th, 2005 at 07:29 pm

I so did not want to get up this morning to exercise. I came so close to talking myself into sleeping in the extra hour. But then I talked myself back into it. Reminded myself that I had been doing so well. Reminded myself that I've gotten in at least 4 workouts a week since Sept 28, and now is not the time to take a chance on breaking that cycle. So I got up, did my warmup, and then did my Pilates routine. I'm starting to get much better on many of the moves, but still am having SO much trouble with the roll-up. Hopefully it will come with time and practice.

Work was SO busy today! From the moment I got there, through the entire whole day, I barely had time to breathe. Then one of the surveyors calls me a little before 4 to tell me he was on his way. I told him I had enough to keep me busy till at least 4:30, so I'd be there. Long story short - three calls later, he ended up getting there at 5:15!!! By the time I was finished with him, it was 5:45, and way too late to go pick up my check from the employment agency. Good thing I'm not depending on it to live on!

When I got home, dad had cooked supper. He used some of the Morningstar honey roasted chicken wings (gotten on sale), made up the package of Hungry Jack EZ mashed potatoes (free w/coupon), and the GG frozen box of gean bean cassarole (on sale). All in all, a scrumptious, filling, and inexpensive meal. Smile

After 7th Heaven, I went to Walmart and bought a gift card. Why you might ask? Well the cheapest gas I could find was $2.11 -- Walmart had their gas for ..... $2.11. So, with the gc, it was only $2.08!! Just a few cents more, and we'll be back to under $2!!

I think Monkey doodles wants some loving. He jumped up onto my lap as I was typing and is trying to get at the keyboard. Smile What a funny cat. Smile Smile

Walmart Gas: $19.50 ($2.08/gallon - had about 40 miles worth of gas left, but that would just get me to work, and leave me stranded for $2.18/gallon gas!)

Walmart: $3.xx junkfood Frown (I just needed some choclate -really!)

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Grocery Deals and other deals

November 13th, 2005 at 04:16 pm

Been a pretty lazy weekend for me for the most part. On Friday dad and I went to Albie's to take advantadge of the double to $2 cpn sale. I had a whole fistfull of coupons and a list. We picked up one of the shop and scan things (both of our first times using one) and were off. As we were going along, and the total kept going up and up, my dad was starting to get nervous. So I told him that I would pay for anything over $50. Smile In the end, we bought 49 items, and the total after coupons came to $48.95 - we saved over $50. Smile Smile

This morning I asked the bus driver if she wanted her coupon inserts, and she let me have them. Then after work I stopped at Kroger's to pick up a newspaper. There was only one Ft Worth paper left, and it was missing half the sections - but had all the coupon inserts (plus one extra!). So I bought a Dallas paper, then got the Ft Worth paper for only $.50 (I asked for a discount since the paper was in such shambles - hee, like I really cared - all I wanted were the cpn inserts!) Then I went out to my car and clipped the coupons I needed for this week (yes, I do keep scissors in my car.) Ended up buying 26 items for less than $13!! Smile Smile Some things I bought - Campbell's Soup, GG Frozen Boxed Veggies, Jello Pudding, Smart Balance butter, cooking spray, green cabbage, Uncle Ben's Flavorful Rice, Pioneer gravy packets, Listerine pocket pals, etc. Smile

Yesterday I spent many hours researching for the best deal I could find on a piece of exercise equipment. I used froogle.com as well as just searching normally. I also read numerous reviews on various machines. I finally realized that for the amount of money I was willing to spend, probably the best thing I could get would be the Tony Little Gazzelle (yes, the one advertised on tv.) Then I started trying to figure out if I could get it through mypoints and so recoup some of the money I spent. -- I could!! At Target they have the Gazelle for ~$99.xx plus ~$20 shipping, so ~$120. Target is a Mypoints.com store, and is offering 6 pts per dollar. - so either 600 pts or 720 pts if they include shipping dollars. But then I thought, couldn't I sweeten the deal? I could buy a Target giftcard, and then use that same gift card to buy the Gazzelle. If I had a Mypoints credit card, the deal would be even better, but alas, I don't. I'd really like to get my Gazelle fairly quickly - and, lo and behold, what does Target have? Internet Gift Cards!!!! Does this sound like a feasiable plan?

I really wish mypoints.com had walmart as a store partner (they are a redeem card partner.) That way I could buy gift cards from them - earning points - and use it at WM gas stations for the $.3 discount - as well as when I download songs for my MP3 player I could earn points. Maybe I should email customer service with that idea. I've pretty much exhausted all the free trial and surveys they have for earning points, so I'm not sure how I'm going to get back up to the 10k level again to be able to get good gift cards for Christmas gifts.

I can't believe how tired I am! I tried going to bed by 10 pm last night, but my mind got whirling with the mypoints idea - so finally I got up to check it out. Then when I got back to bed I still couldn't get to sleep. My alarm went off WAY too early for my taste (5:30 a.m.) and could barely get myself out of bed. I just kept telling myself that today's assignment was worth ~$45 (after taxes) and that's almost enough to pay either the electric or water bill!

I think I'm going to talk to Lynn at the agency about finding something for me at least 3 days a week till this project is over - even if it paid a little less, it would possibly be more than 30 hours so it would even out, and then I wouldn't have to worry whether or not Geostats will actually have something for me to do to make 30 hours a week after this coming week is over.

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Busy Day -- Also, reply to Kashi :)

November 10th, 2005 at 08:12 pm

Today I had two new surveyor's come to train. One of them was actually training today, and the other one is training on Saturday morning, then taking her first run later that afternoon. It was a much more hectic Thursday than the last couple of Thursdays have been, but that was good. I took both of the surveyor's for a walk - out the building and around the corner, through the car access gate, through the back parking lot, and back into the building. The male surveyor was having no trouble keeping up with me, but the female was lagging majorly behind. I guess I'm just so used to fast walking that I don't even think about it - especially since I've been doing so much exercise purpose walking lately. When I realized how far behind she was I *really* tried to slow down, and even stopped a couple of times.

When I got home today Monkey (my cat) was SO happy to see me. I turned the water on for him in the sink, and then sat down. He ignored the water in the sink (amazing!) and jumped up on my lap purring away. Smile Whoever said cats don't mind being alone REALLY doesn't have a clue about cats!

Today I did my Pilates for Dummies DVD for the second time. I think I like it better than the other two DVD's I have - although Ana Caban's Beginner's Pilates Mat Routine is a better format for explaining some things, so really, the two together are a good start for a newbie like myself. Now, if I could just manage to do the Roll Up (can't even manage it in the modified beginner's position!)

I got a charge in my bank account for my cable bill - it was the same amount as the last few months. I'm going to call them in the morning and find out just WHY I got charged that same amount -- ARGHH!!!

Yesterday I figured out how to set my dvd/vcr. If I hit the record button, it records. But, it won't do a timed recording (and all the info is right). I so miss my DVR. Frown Frown Frown Hey Kashi, if you're reading, yes, I would seriously love some info on how to hook a Tivo through my cable internet. I've gotta find out if I can still get a rebate though, cuz I'm not too sure how i can justify spending $200 on tv gadget when I don't want to spend $300 on an exercise gadget. Smile Smile

Other than the cable bill going out of my account today -- no spending. Smile Tomorrow though will probably be a different story. The Albertson's here is having a Quad coupon sale, meaning they'll quadruple any coupon up to a total value of $2. So, like my Morningstar $1 cpn would be worth $2 and my $.55 Baby Bell Cheese rounds coupon would be worth -- $2! Smile I just love when Albie's does their coupon thang. Smile Smile

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Back to the Basics

November 9th, 2005 at 07:27 pm

Of Cable that is. Today I completed the process of downgrading my cable service to just the basic service. Though I was sad to let go of my DVR, I know that I just can't justify the cost - especailly now that the 3 month promotional deal is over.
So now it's back to recording the old-fashioned way, and getting annoyed when people call or talk to you during your shows. Frown I wonder if that Tivo rebate still exists? I wonder if Tivo works without a phone line?? Hmm... will have to check into that.

Got my ebay packages mailed out yesterday. I probably should work on putting another few items up there.

Yesterday had a conference call with two of the people from Geostats. Jean (the one in charge of money) told me to put back into circulation the weekday and Sunday assignments I'd been told to keep out for myself (by Deb, another person from Geostats.) Jean said that they'd have other stuff for me to do. I'd like to know what that is, cuz once we're down to just Saturday assignments, I'll only be able to justify maybe 12 hours a week - barely pay my gas.

I posted in several groups yesterday that I am looking for an Eliptical or Norditrack type machine. Haven't had any response, except for someone telling me I should check the garage sale ads for this weekend. I really want something that I can do indoors besides videos, because I'm already starting to get bored of them. Also, wth it getting dark earlier and earlier, anytime I get home after 5, we can't go walk. Who knows how long this spring like weather is going to last, or how long my dad will still be here to walk with me.

Tonight for dinner I made Soft Tacos, and had enough leftovers for lunch for the next two days. Smile I wish I could find vegetarian refried beans in bigger cans, like the other refried beans come in - it would make it easier to make a bunch of tacos and burrito's ahead of time.

Spending Log:

Tuesday:
Post Office: $2.39 - Ebay

Wednesday:
Walmart (Gas) $21.29 ($2.13/gallon)

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

My Points . Com ROCKS!

November 7th, 2005 at 06:56 pm

I realized after I posted that I had forgotten something majorly important!! In the mail today were two more envelopes from mypoints.com!!! I got the $25 Macy's gift card for my Mom, and the $25 Office Depot gift card for my Dad. So in less than two weeks (closer to one week than two) I received all 4 gift cards that I ordered! This is the way to do Christmas!! (Ok, so it will probably take me another two years to save enough points again to do this, but if every other Christmas is a no-cost Christmas -- well, who's complaining??) Smile


November 6:

I did my bus ride in the morning, then came home and read for awhile. My stomach wasn't feeling that great. My mom called to find out where were going to meet, and at first I thought I was going to make it, but then realized that it probably wasn't a good idea the way my stomach was acting up. So I ended up not going (okay, I really didn't want to go anyway, but my stomach really WAS feeling yucky.) I also didn't have to put any money out for a gift like I thought I was going to have to do. I talked to my mom Saturday night, and she told me the invitation specified "No Gifts.!" Yeah!!

I went to Kroger's after doing some coupon sluething. Also, my mom came by after the party and brought me her rack of dumbells (which she never uses.) So now I have 2,3,5 and 5 lb dumbells. I guess I could hold two dumbells together to make heavier weights like an 8 and 10 lbs weight - thought that might not be the safest thing to do.

Spending:
Kroger's: $1.92 ($8 retail value)

November 7:
Dad and I had a bit of an argument this morning, but got over it. He did laundry today and mailed a whole bunch of coupon inserts for me to the lady who runs the Coupon Club I used to go to (but now is at least a 90 minute drive one-way). Work went fairly smoothly. I still need one more person to come in and download their data before I can send in the timesheet.

During one of the slowspells at work today I checked my checking account and saw a deposit of about $50 made in my account today. I couldn't figure out where that came from so I called my dad and asked if he had perhaps made a deposit in my account today, and he hadn't. So I called the bank. They figured out that it was someone else's deposit, but the number (account) had been off my one digit. They were very grateful for me bringing that to their attention. Smile Wish I had the $50 still though. Smile

On the way home I called my friend Karin who lives in New Mexico. She and I had a good chat. She told me that she's most likely going to be finding out the sex of her second child this week. Both her husband and her are hoping for a sister for their son.

Dad and I went to Kroger's together to take advantadge of the Morningstar Veggie food sale, as well as the Red Barron Pizza sale (had coupons for both) plus used a number of coupons for other things. He wanted to pick up some other items as well that I didn't have coupons for, otherwise we would've done better percentage wise.

On the way back from the store, we stopped by my mailbox. In my box was the second Pilates DVD from Amazon. Yeah!
I haven't opened it yet, but it looks good.

I got an instant payment from both of my Ebay bidders today. So I'll need to get those items shipped off tomorrow - and definitely use my PayPal Debit card to pay for the shipping - get 1.5% cashback. Smile Did you know that PayPal is paying something like 3.8 % interest? Better than ING, though not quite as much as Emigrant.

Spending Log:

I didn't spend any money today.

Dad bought at Kroger's: $44.32 ($80.00 Retail value)

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Lazy Day

November 5th, 2005 at 04:02 pm

Didn't really do much today. In the mail today I got my next two Sex in the City DVD's (Season 6, disc 2,3) -- Watched both of them. Smile I only have two more discs to watch, then I'll have seen the whole series. It's going to be hard giving Carrie and gang up. Smile

I downloaded two MP3's today from Wal-mart. "Look Away" by Chicago, and "Wandering" by Ben Folds. "Look Away" has been a favorite of mine since I was a freshman in highschool. I can remember riding in the car with my roommate Monique after a homeleave (we attended boarding school) singing to her Madonna and Milli Vanilli and Chicago tapes. Smile "Wandering" is a song that played at the end of an episode of "Everwood" two weeks ago. I thought it was so beautiful and sad (and it really fit the scene it played background for.) Last week I couldn't remember what song it was I wanted to download for my exercise reward, but this past week I was listening to the radio, and all of a sudden the name "Look Away" popped into my head, so I knew what I wanted. Smile

Dad had asked me yesterday to mail some letters for him. So today I went out about lunch time and mailed them. Then stopped by Taco Bell and Dairy Queen. Frown They don't have their blizzard special anymore -that's actually a good thing though, I won't be so tempted to buy them anymore at full price.

I'm going to have to get to bed fairly early tonight - I have a bus assignment that starts at 7 a.m. Then of course I have the 50th Wedding Anniversary tomorrow evening. I'm going to try and get ahold of my mom and see if she's using her dumbell collection - if not, maybe she'll bring it with her tomorrow so I don't have to go buy some. I need a 3lb, 8lb and 10 lbs - I have a 2 lb and a 5 lb set.


I now have 3 watchers on my phone card auction. I hope at least one of them actually bids before the auction ends - or maybe all 3 of them will bid. Smile

Spending Log:
Wallmart.com -- $1.94 (2 song downloads)
Taco Bell: $2.24
Dairy Queen: $3.21

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Getting Tired

November 4th, 2005 at 08:12 pm

I think my dad and I were really getting on each other's nerves today. It just bugs me so much when he is so negative. He had lunch today with the family friend, and somehow the friend had him rehash the STUPID thing he did a few years ago which put him into this whole situation. And of course, as he's telling me this, he has to start rehashing some of it to me!!! Maybe I'm being selfish, but I am so SICK and TIRED of hearing all the various things associated with his STUPID decision. I am SO ready for him to be done with his time here in Texas and be able to move back to CA. He is so hopeful to have Sundays off again - but in my heart I am dreading it - the weekends are the only time I have my place completley to myself.

I can't even have a liesurely day off when he's around!!! No, he gets here and he starts in about getting the house cleaned, going grocery shopping, etc. etc. etc.!!!! When he first started living with me, we tried the avenue of splitting all expenses evenly. Utilities, rent, groceries, etc. I was supposed to do the grocery shopping. But so many times he'd come home and have bought groceries besides the ones I'd already bought, that eventually I just gave up. When I moved to my current place I told him that all I asked of him was to pay for anything related to food, and I'd do the rest. He spends SO much money on groceries!! He buys the packs of bottled water from Sams and then fills half my fridge with them!!! I've totally given up on even trying to do couponing, because he pretty much shops at Wal-mart exclusively -- and .... UGH!!!!

I do have to say that he does do a lot around here. He washes the dishes (since I don't have a dishwasher). He vacuums (since that's not terribly high up on my agenda, but it is on his). Sometimes he does the laundry, etc.

I do love him very much. He's my dad - nuff said. But after being used to being on my own for most of 8 years, sharing space with someone whom you're not romantically interested in, is NOT FUN!!

I'm just SO TIRED of hearing about the various people who bug him - and there are a lot of them. I'm TIRED of hearing him rehash the same things to the same people over and over -while I get to listen to him because he's sitting in the office talking on his cell phone, while I'm on the internet. I'm so TIRED of hearing him getting upset with a radio host because he disagrees with him -- like today, he was listening to Rush Limbaugh, and telling him how stupid he was because of some of his financial/economic views he was expressing. I asked him why he was listening to Rush if he disliked him so much. He told me that he liked him, but just didn't agree with his financial/economical views. Sure seemed to me like a needless exercise in getting your blood pressure worked up.

At this point there's really not much I can do to change any of this. At most, he'll only be here a few more months - hopefully a lot less. I know he's as frustrated as I am with the living situation.

Sorry for the rant. Guess I'm feeling a little over emotional and tired right now, and letting things get to me more than usual.

Good things - I got my brother's giftcards from mypoints.com today. That was pretty darn quick shipping. Smile Today was my brother's birthday - and I actually got to talk to him (and not an answering machine!) Hard to believe that my baby brother is 25. Got a call from my college roommate/good friend Tracy today. She's definitely decided that she is going to have to be moving/changing schools. She actually said she'd be open to coming here to Texas!! That would be so cool to have her here. She's a teacher, just like I used to be. Smile I gave her my teacher colleague Tammy's number so she can find more out about my old school. They'll more than likely be needing a new lower grades teacher next year.

Well, I didn't spend anything today, but I did get my water bill.

Water Bill (includes sewer, trash) : $59.70 (down from $77.59 last month!!! Never in my life paid this much for WATER!!)


Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

Thursday (a little late)

November 4th, 2005 at 06:33 am

Work was fairly slow. I had LONG periods of time with nothing to do but surf the net and read the book I brought along, then Poof! I have three surveyors descend on me within five minutes. I was happy to see them though, since it gave me something to do that was work related. Smile I picked up my check after work, although Lynn (from the employment agency) asked me to not say anything about it to anyone else - I guess they don't want others to know the checks are actually ready on Thursday afternoon.

When I got home I helped dad unload the Sams Club purchases, as well as his other shopping. He had stopped by Half-Price bookstore so I had asked him to look for a couple books for me. He found the book "Pilates Body" ($4.99) and Weight Training for Dummies ($7.98). Those were both books I had looked at in Border's a few weeks ago, and really wanted, but couldn't justify the expense. The library didn't have either one of them, so I told him that if they were under $8, to go ahead and pick them up for me (both new are $20++).

After that we went on a 20 mintue walk - by the time we got back, it was fairly dark (around 6 pm). It's so weird having it get dark so early. I wish we didn't have to have daylight savings time and that it could continue to be light out till 8pm. Oh well, nothing I can do about it.

Looks like I've finally gotten a bid on one of my Ebay items. The phone card has a couple of watchers, so maybe that will sell too. Is $2 a good price for a 120 minute phone card, or am I overpricing it?

I have to go to an 50th wedding anniversary party on Sunday. Really don't want to go - I was wanting to go to the Pathways graduation - several family members of my classmates are graduating. But I can't go to both. Also, by going to this anniversary thing, I'm going to have to buy a gift. I'm either going to go in halves with my mom on a gift, or get an Olive Garden gift card. Either way it will be $25. Frown I guess I would have spent about half that on gas money to go to the Pathways graduation, but still ... Ok, done with my bellyaching.

Spending Log:
$13.00 -- Dad for two books

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

My DVD arrived! - And Networking :)

November 2nd, 2005 at 07:54 pm

A few weeks ago I ordered two Pilates DVD from amazon - used sellers. Before ordering I forgot to change my shipping address. So both DVD's were sent to my Dallas address. I thought it would be very unlikely for them to reach me three address changes later, but, miracles of miracles, one of them did! I can hardly wait to do it in the morning. Smile

Today at work was for the most part very slow. The lady who hired the firm who hired the temp agency who hired me (what a mouthful!) spent probably a good two hours talking with me about some possible career avenues. She was suggesting that I might want to get a fellowship where it basically pays my tuition and books, as well as some professional travel, as well as providing a 20 hr a week internship in city goverment/planning, while pursuing a Masters of Public Administration - which would take about two years. Then when you're done with that, you have a wide range of possibilities open. I would have to enroll at UTA - but would not be able to begin till the summer session, since the Spring semester enrollment is already past. But I would need to take the GRE anyway, as well as see what student loans I could get. Because while the fellowship pays for tuition and books, and provides a 20 hr /wk job - that job barely would cover my rent, let alone any other expenses.

I'm not sure what I think about this yet. If I went this route (and was accepted) it would be at least the next 4 years of my life - you "repay" the fellowship by serving in some compacity of community service for two years after graduation. I don't know that going back to school is really the way I want to go.

I do know however, that if I continue to make the kind of wages I am right now, I will never be able to afford a house, let alone have much of anything to put away in savings. Right now I am able to live on it without dipping into savings, only because my rent is paid through February. Once I have to pay rent again, if I'm still making in the same area - I'm not sure how I'm going to do it.

Even with my financial worries, I still don't regret quitting teaching!

Spending Log:
Electricity: $60.08 (am anticipating next month's bill - switched to a diff. elect. company)
Auto Warranty (Extended) $105.25
Gas: $22.10 ($2.23 / gallon)

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

A new month and library fines

November 1st, 2005 at 06:55 pm

Well, it ended up that I didn't get any trick or treaters last night. Frown So this morning I took my huge bag of candy (minus about 10 boxes of nerds) to work and put it in the driver's breakroom. All of it was gone within an hour. Smile

Work was pretty busy for the first three hours. Then the last three hours -well, didn't have much to do. Luckily there's an internet connection. Smile

I'd checked out some books from the local library here about 5 weeks ago. I'd only read 3 of them - they were three weeks overdue. So today on the way home from work, I finally took them back. I was worried about what the fine was going to be. Somewhere I thought I had read that it was $.60/day - so I was expecting a fine of around $80 or more. Thankfully that wasn't the case - my fine was $11.90. Almost the cost of a new book. Frown Part of my problem was that I am used to being able to renew my books multiple times online - for three weeks at a time (thank you Dallas libraries!) But in the town I'm in now, they only allow you to check books out for two weeks, renew twice, and can't renew online or over the phone. So, that just means that I'm going to have to figure out a way to make sure the books aren't late.

Part of the reason I went there was to see if they had any good books on strength training or Pilates. Let's just say their selection was paltry. They had a lot of books on Yoga, but none on Pilates. I was hoping for one of the Dummies or Idiot's Guides for either Pilates or Strength Training - but no such canoodle. I did find one book by Kathy Smith on strength training, which may be helfpful.

When I got home, I found my washer and dryer and kitchen table full of pots and pans and silverware and a waffle iron. I was wondering where they all came from. I figured my dad might have found an estate sale or something. When I moved from Dallas to Forth Worth (first move of the summer) my mom had packed my kitchen for me - but had inadvertantly NOT packed my pots and pans. I didn't figure this out till three day's later, and when I went back to my old apartment, they were ALL gone. Frown So anyway, when my dad got home, he told me that while he was helping a good family friend clean out a storage unit today, he came across the aforementioned stuff, and after dad told him about my pots and pans having been stolen, he gave them to us. This will make cooking so much easier - included were also two glass baking dishes! I've never had a waffle iron before - I hope it works, can't wait to try it out. Smile

My dad had another surprise for me too. He had taken three more boxes of stuff - one box was full of Elvis Presley newspapers (day he died, etc). Charles (dad's friend) thought maybe I could Ebay it for him. (Did some quick research, and it doesn't appear worthwhile.) Another box was full of religous tracts/music. The third box though was full of gold for a reader like me though - about 35 Reader's Digest Condensed books!!!!! I thought about reading them and then Ebaying them, but after a little research, realized again, that it wouldn't be worth it. I have enough reading material to keep me from the library for a LONG time! Then I or my dad can just take them to Half-Price bookstore and get rid of them! Smile

Ok, better start closing this out so I can take a look at the Kathy Smith book before tomorrow morning.

Spending:
Food: $.85 (bottle of water at work - forgot my water at home)
Library Fines: $11.90

I am using a combination of the free program justbudget.com and the not free program youneedabudget.com . I think both of them will be helpful, in different ways. I really like YNAB better than the excell spreadsheet I made back in January for myself. This seems so much simpler than the one I made.

So, anyway, hanging it up for the night. Smile Happy November everyone!

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura