Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekend Spending

This weekend I spend $18.99 on a fur-lined hooded fleece jacket and $10.97 on a Gamecock's t-shirt to wear to the game.  The jacket is wonderful - it's lightweight but warm and it will be great for when I go home to visit at Christmas.  I don't own a "winter" coat, I usually just wear a Columbia zip front fleece jacket that I got at JC Penney last year for about $15 - it serves the purpose well.  I also picked up a $5 pair of fleece gloves while I was at Walmart for the trip home - I brought them to the game but only wore them for the first hour or so until it warmed up quite nicely!  I still can't get over what a great experience that was, and how generous of my boss and his wife to give us the tickets.  They work at the gates each game and often don't make it up to their seats, but it was still a very generous thing for them to do for us.

I moved to SC with only my van full of stuff - I left most of my belongings behind in Wisconsin in a storage unit that is costing me $120/month.  I basically transferred here on short notice and I couldn't afford to pay $1200 - $1500 to rent a truck or ship my stuff here without knowing if I liked it enough to stay.  I moved here in August so this is my fourth month down here.  To be honest, I really miss home, so my goal for the near future is to try to transfer nearer my home in Michigan.  Luckily I work for a company that provides the opportunity to move around.  I have a $400 voucher from United Airlines that I'll use to fly home for the week of Christmas, assuming I can get a few days off.  I'll need both the jacket and the gloves when I go home to visit.  While I'm home, I'm planning a quick trip back to WI to get my stuff.  I haven't yet worked out the details of it but I'd rather donate whatever won't fit in the van than continue to pay a fee to store it. 

The t-shirt is actually well-made and I wore it to sleep in last night, so it will do double-duty for me over the winter months.  It says "Go Fight! Go Cocks!" on it which my nephews will get a good laugh from - I know I did!

Tonight for dinner I made homemade "pizza".  I try to eat gluten free but I fall off the wagon often.  My idea of homemade pizza is using a store-bought thin crust from Bi-Lo's deli.  They run about $3.50 and I get 2-3 meals from it so I feel that's a reasonably priced meal.  Tonight I cut up some fresh green pepper slices and put them on top of some leftover spaghetti sauce that was already in the fridge.  I topped it with some slices of fresh mozzarella from the fridge and popped it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. 

I ran to Bi-Lo today and did a quick shop for a few groceries.  I'm not sure what I did with my receipt but I know I spent just about $30.  One of the things I plan to really watch closely over the next few months is my grocery spending.  For a single person who rarely eats out, I think I spend too much money each month.  I don't waste much food, but I do have a pantry that is pretty stocked with the basics - that's good, but I find myself randomly spending money on fresh fruits and veggies and I think I could do better if I planned my meals in advance.  Today I bought half-and-half (I like a little in my coffee and I don't want to use Coffeemate or something similar - again, read the label!  It's full of hydrogenated this-n-that and it's not good stuff!), a Lean Cuisine pizza for a work lunch on a day I that I know I have meetings, two packages of a Chinese pepper-chicken dinner that I've had before - each was on sale for $4.99 and had a $1 peelie on it, so for $3.99 I get two meals of spicy chicken and peppers.  It's a dinner that is low fat, low carb, and relatively low in sodium, so I don't feel too bad buying a "convenience" food like that.  I also bought 2 two liters of diet Coke.  Yes, I'm giving it up but it's not easy!  I've been drinking it since I was about 10 years old and it's a tough addiction to break.  I'm doing very well, though - I'm not mindlessly cracking open a can every couple of hours and I'm limiting myself to one (or two...) glasses of it a day.  Nice to know I spent $3 today and that's all I'll spend on it this week.  I used to drop $15-20 a week on Diet Coke easily.  I also got cat food today so I'm stocked on that for a couple of weeks.  I bought two bags of shredded cheese, too - it was $2 a bag which is a great price, and two big bags of frozen veggies that were B1G1 free.  I also got a free roll of paper towel because I answer the survey that is at the bottom of my receipt each time.  I also spent $4 on a skein of yarn at Joann's - I printed a 40% off coupon for it from their website.  They pretty much always have a coupon for one item available so I print one anytime I plan a trip there.

Today I spent most of the day at home.  I slept late - for the first time in a few weeks - and worked on an eternity scarf that I'm trying to knit for my niece.  It's taking longer than it should because I tend to get bored with the simple pattern.  I'll post a picture as soon as I finish it.  I did one load of laundry for $1.25 wash, $1.25 dry.  I used my washer balls (about $8 each at Amazon - you use them instead of detergent) for the first time and I have to say I'm happy with how clean the clothes look.  They were incredibly soft, too - without the use of any fabric softener.  I dried the load because it was full of socks and those don't dry well in my apartment, but usually if it's tops and pants I just hang them to dry in my closet doorway - drying in a dryer can wear your clothes out faster than air drying, plus air drying is an energy saver that's easy to do.

I chatted with my family a bit this weekend - the brother of my uncle passed away unexpectedly.  I use a cell phone that is a second line on my brother's account so it doesn't cost me anything - he pays the entire bill, which is really nice for me.  When I left Michigan to work in Wisconsin a couple of years ago he gave me the phone and calls between us are free, plus it's a local number to all my friends and family back home.  Before that, I used a Tracfone - I'm not a big user of minutes.

Tomorrow is going to be a long day at work - I have several meetings and a number of items I need to get done so I plan to go in earlier than normal.  Hope you had a great weekend!

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