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Archive for April, 2012

Restarted price book

April 29th, 2012 at 07:41 am

Over the past couple of days, I've pulled prices from some grocery receipts and started a new price book using Excel.

Most recently, I was using Splash Shopper on my old Palm PDA, and liked it. I'd refer to the database on the Palm, and use the desktop version to input the prices. But I've switched to an ipod Touch as my PDA, and I wasn't impressed by the reviews I've read for their app. I've tried some other apps, but it's tedious trying to enter much information on the ipod. Plus, I want to be able to choose what information I record.

For example, I want to record both price per pound and per item for some things. When I go to Shoprite they price bell peppers by the pound, and when I go to Walmart they are priced by the piece. At Aldi, right now they're in 3-packs. In Excel, I can add as many columns as I want for different types of unit prices, rather than having to choose just one.

I'll email it to myself when I feel it's done, so it's accessible on the ipod. But I still might print it out and carry it in my purse. I don't like whipping out the ipod inside stores if I don't have to.

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

April 28th, 2012 at 05:15 am

Here in the U.S., today you can turn in old or unneeded prescription drugs to many local police departments, no questions asked. I'm interested in it as an easy, environmentally-safe way to dispose of some clutter, but I suppose law enforcement wants to make sure certain drugs stay out of the hands of people who might abuse them. DMom has quite a few old bottles we can empty out, and this only runs from 10 to 2, so I want to get out early and not miss it.

http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/ind...

Getting back in the swing of frugality

April 26th, 2012 at 06:31 am

Monday was an NSD. I spent some time before my afternoon shift doing some produce prep and planning out food for the week.

Tuesday I spent more than necessary because my organizational skills fell short. I forgot to take my mug in to work, so I bought coffee in order to have the use of a cup throughout the day. I'd planned to pick up salads for dinner but didn't take the time to dig out a coupon before I left home for the day. I also forgot to take my empty iced tea pitcher home to refill; luckily I had another container at home to use this morning.

Wednesday I needed to order a shower gift for a coworker's daughter before all the less expensive items in her wishlist are purchased--otherwise a NSD.

I've been trying to use up some food items before they get so old I'm afraid to eat them. So far: the end of a cucumber, a bit of leftover pasta salad, a jar of cheese that had a use-by date of March, one last Wasa cracker, a Dinty Moore beef stew that had a use-by date earlier in April. Today I'll be making some Jello that's dated February, and using up some cooked corn by adding it to a can of vegetable soup. I'm taking some dry creamer into work to help use up some instant coffee I keep there. It isn't drinkable otherwise and I end up either buying coffee or using my own K-cups which aren't that cheap, either.

Today can't be an NSD because we're paying the property taxes, but there's hope for tomorrow. Smile

How things have changed, how they've stayed the same

April 23rd, 2012 at 06:09 am

WORK--I'm still working full-time, although for how long I don't know. Of the people left at my job, I'm now the one with the least seniority, so I am the most vulnerable if and when more budget cuts happen. In July, my take-home pay will go down a bit because we'll be paying more toward our health insurance. My schedule won't be as predictable now, because we full-timers will have to cover holes in the schedule that the part-timers used to cover. We'll also have to work more Saturdays, at least two a month, because there are fewer people in the rotation. This means at least two weeks a month where I'll have to commute six days a week instead of five. (We're only open a few hours on Saturday, so you don't get another full day off for working it.) That means more money spent on gas, and losing more time on driving. We've been warned that we may end up with unpaid furlough days later in the year if the money runs out.


FAMILY--My mother is almost 95 now, and still living by herself. There's some dementia creeping in, and I'd feel better if she were in Assisted Living. DH hasn't had a paying job since he left an awful one in 2007, which has been fine with me. He does a lot of the running with my mother, taking her to the foot doctor, physical therapy, the bank, etc. As it is, I've been using up most of my vacation days on Mom issues; I don't know how we would have managed if he were working and we were constantly stressed about which one of us could get time off for something or other. There's always some little crisis coming up.

DH's INHERITANCE--DH's mom's estate still isn't settled; she died over four years ago now. It turned out that the brother who was designated executor wasn't coping with things because of dementia. A lot of time had gone by before this came to light. DH and his sister were named as co-executors and when they got to work on the project discovered quite a bit of cleanup and repair work that hadn't been done on her house. It's a pain getting there to do anything because it's several hours away from everyone, plus it's a gated community and there's always a hassle getting in, or getting repair people in. They started out asking over $130,000 for the house; since then, thousands have been spent on repairs, the price has been lowered below $70,000, and it still hasn't sold. There has been only one offer, which was withdrawn at the last minute.

OUR HOUSE--We were counting on a chunk of inheritance money to get repairs done on our own house, but at this point we don't feel it can wait anymore. Despite my job situation being shaky, we're getting estimates on having repairs done on the front of our house. A few weeks ago, before I knew whether or now I'd be laid off, I applied for a loan against my pension. If I had been laid off, I wouldn't have started getting billed for it for six months, giving us a little extra financial cushion to work with. It would be a way to stay in the pension system and still be able to get a pension at age 60, while getting use out of some of the money in the meantime. Now that I haven't been laid off (yet) we're planning on using the pension loan proceeds for the house repairs.

DH is now battling diabetes, so I've been concentrating on buying healthy foods rather than cheap ones. Both of our pets have died (they were both 16), so there were some final expenses but we no longer have to buy pet food and supplies. We miss them, but don't plan to get new pets any time soon.

Back after 2-1/2 years

April 22nd, 2012 at 02:04 pm

A quick test message will have to do for now--just lost a long post about why I'm back, but I don't have time to redo it.

Basically, there have been cutbacks at my job; I'm scared and feel the need to save money like crazy. However, time and energy are always an issue and I don't know how I'm going to manage it.

Gee, I hope this works!