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Archive for May, 2011

End of an Era

May 31st, 2011 at 02:03 pm

The firm that I worked for 26 years had a staff discount cards for those that work for them and all retires that had work more than 15 years with this firm, they were worth 5% off goods purchases. About 5 years ago this firm was bought out by another firm which changed its staff discount system so that after 5 years all retires will drop off the system that was yesterday for us that were with the old firm.

I did go to some of the stores over the past week and bought my lasted staff discount items, 5% doesnít seem much but every little helps. I did buy my grocery last week as our flooded local store reopen, and bought a film, slides & photograph scanner $99.00 (RRP $139.00) less my 5% discount that I still need to load on to my computer also bought a new Sunbeam electric skillet that I wanted but couldnít find one on special but I ran into one yesterday so I bought it for $39.00 (RRP $59.00) less my 5% discount.

Am I going to miss these discounts the answer is NO. As I will not be so company focus in my shopping now and I can get just as good specials with other companies be it that will now pay 5% more for my goods but that is not the case if I work the system right by buy store cards to use at these stores. A few companies are selling these cards with a discount of 5% off the purchase price and not just the company that I work for. I just have to make sure that I donít lose them or use them before expiring which is around 1 year for some and 2 years for others.

So here is to the new shopping era.

5th monthly financial summery for 2011

May 28th, 2011 at 02:36 am

As I work on 28 day cycles, my dates may be out to a calendar months so here are the figures for my last period.

Itís time to start again on reviewing my monthly daily living allowance.

These are the categories for this challenge.
Items === Approx Budget===Spent
Eating out===$35.00=====$52.10
Groceries===$135.50 ==== $113.30
Non-Food===$17.00=====$10.92
Clothes ====$35.00======$11.40
Grooming===$15.00=====$6.25
Gas======$25.00
Pets====== $50.00=== ==$22.58
HH items===$42.50=====$3.20
Fares== ====$9.00
Entrainments= $12.00
Garden =====$10.00
Gifts & Donations =$35.00===$13.50
Medical =====$15.00======$5.60
Diabetes Expenses====$50
Misc ======$9.00========$6.00
Personal Allowance =$85.00 ====$67.08
Note only one amount is a no spend

Budgeted for this period $580 spent $311.93
No Spending days over the 28 days = 14 days in total.

Personal allowance covers confectionery, lotto, books, stamps, craft & hobby supplies.

Eating out including meals out with family and friends, we all go Dutch.

As for medical this is the extra out of pockets amounts that came up this month just medicine.
As for my medical visits out of pocket expensive if they are related to Diabetes then I will class them as Diabetes Expenses will come under this new category.

Diabetes Expenses Ė nil
A most will be one off items or once per year expenses. But I need to track these items on my small budget and pension. Each time I pay for some thing in this category I will need to cut something in other categories.

My credit cards are still paid in full each month.

I do keep my bill money separated from this summery. This year I will be budgeting around $650 per period month to cover all my bills. This month bills were around $350 so balance banked this month. These funds do cover all my fixed bills for the year if I can stick to this schedule as I have done for the past ten years or so. This budget will be tight but just doable. On my budget excel modelling chart I can pay the full amount this year.

As for food out, I dined out 4 times this month costing between $5 & $20 a time most were around the $20 mark as I can no longer eat at fast food outlets. That $9.00 meals at casino is looking the healthiest and best deal in the city for now.

I didnít go over in any other category but for eating out this month so I had a good month spending wise. Most of my social outing are dining out this is part of my social outings money and spending allowance.

If any changes to my spending habits will need to come out of my daily living allowance categories of my budget as my bill categories are very tight now. Still need to work on a few categories as you can see but over all I had a good month.

Strategy: - Track your daily spending down to the cent by writing it down daily.

Eating out this week and little gambling

May 25th, 2011 at 02:23 am

On Sunday my niece came for a visit, she had flown in to work here for the weekend, as she lives in another state she is a trainer in the medical field. When she has finished training she comes to my place until she fly home again. This time it was for two nights and one full day free here. So Sunday night we went out for dinner at a local Asian restaurant, we had Thai Yellow Curry and spring rolls, she paid as she had a meal allowance for that day. Next day we went to our local shopping strip to look at op shops and antiques shop. Which we didnít buy to much just some oddís and ends. I didnít go out with my son & niece in the afternoon as I had other things to do for her and mother that she was taking back with her and they needed some time together as each time she has come up here before he has missed her, but that night we all went to Irish pub for dinner, I had steak & chips and pancake & ice cream cost of meal $16.00 and $5.00 on pokies.

Today I had lunch out with my ex work friends, only 5 of us this month. Some them were airing they problems with they retired husbands, and they knee operations. Both topics are not my lot. I had Salmon Quiches & Salad with Fruit Salad Cost of the meal $9.00 and playing the pokies $3.00.

I hope not to eat out again this month if I can help it.
No hotel or casino will ever make a lot of money from my style of gambling.

Eating out so far this week $25.00 and pokies $8.00

Strategy - If you got family heirlooms that you wish to give to your interstate relatives then give them some things to take home when you see them and have the joy of seeing them taking it home.

Walking and local shopping area

May 20th, 2011 at 11:53 pm

My exercising is working I am losing weight just a little but its going down that what counts. I am trying to walk more than I did before that a lot as I didnít walk as much as I should have. Now walking twice per day up to hour per day, six times per week, today walked up the to the local strip shopping centre twice that takes a little longer than just doing the four blocks on the ridge.

Shopping area was busy this morning around 11am with most of the coffee shops were full and most of shops busy for once. Went again around 3.00pm again in the same area the coffee cafes were all closed and most of the shops too! Itís was as all quite this time.

We have three charity shops, large antique store, shoes & bookmakers shop, three hairdressers, Indian and normal supermarket, bakers shop, two coffee shops plus two restaurants as well chain food outlets a little further along, number of chemists shops, camera shop and second hand bookshop and apple computer repair shop, Irish pub and a few more odd businesses. The area is getting revamped with my modern shops and businesses. All this is less than 400 metres from my house.

Yard Work and School Fete

May 15th, 2011 at 02:24 am

Today I did the mowing as the grass need doing this is a year around job in this part of the world. I will mow again about eight times before next spring. I still have to wait until I have my neighbour husband around to start the mower for me. When he is no longer around then I will need to get a new key start mower. I will be saving my pennies for that time in future too many another things need doing before then.

After finishing off the mowing I got dressed and went around to my neighbourĎs house with the last of my Chokoes and some lemons, she was getting ready to go to the local school fete and asked if I would go with her. I never say no but I wasnít planning to go today. I put $15.00 in my pocket and went to the school fete as both our children were past pupils of this school so you feel it right to donate if you find something to buy, she bought some stuff toys for her grandkids and plants, I bought lots of Earth Garden magazines about 54 of them @ 20c each I just love this kind of book and have been buying ones like it for years some of these date back to 1973 a bit like ĎThe Mother Earthí and five cookbooks of which I may have two of them but these were updates, one was Laurelís Kitchen and Diane Seedís cookbook that I didnít have but I like the pictures in these books as they watercolour drawings I think I may have 5 or 6 of them now. Most are on Italian cooking but not all so I have found out. I also bought a framed oil painting of the bay with an Australian bush scene in the foreground it was I nice size and on wood. I do have another one painted near 1770 which is a town in Queensland, a relative painted that one. The painting only costed $2.00 so it was a good buy itís now hanging in my kitchen under my air-con and signed too!

All up I spent $13.00 at the fete I only went to the white elephant stall near where we parked the car.

Strategy - If you will use it and cheap enough then have a treat now and then!

CHICKPEA CURRY

May 13th, 2011 at 02:17 am

Serve 1

1 tsp oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup onion (diced)
1 tsp curry powder
180g chickpeas, cooked
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 cup water
1 cup green beans
1 cup cauliflower
100g natural low fat Yoghurt
1/2 to 1 cup cooked basmati rice

1. Heat oil and onion and garlic. Add curry powder and heat until aromatic.
2. Add chickpeas, tomato and water and simmer for approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
Add green beans and cauliflower and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes.
Add more water if necessary.
3. Serve on basmati rice with yoghurt.

Handwritten recipe author unknown.

I found this recipe in a cookbook I just bought it sounds interesting. Another way to use Chickpeas.

Mother Day & Car Problems

May 11th, 2011 at 02:44 am

It was Mother Day last Sunday, I went to have dinner with my family at their local Hotel Bistro I didnít mind driving up to their place as I donít spent that much time with them. I got a beautiful leather coin wallet and cookbook on Diabetes that I said I would like to get some day. What I had to eat this time, Chicken Breast & Prawns in a Mustard Sauce with Mashed Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes and water to drink. I got a Senior Card discount off the meal too!

On driving out my car hit a bump and I wondered why! I could fine a cause so I drove up on the freeway to their place went to the Hotel in they car so only had to drive home again on the freeway at 80km all the way home. The car drove as normal so I thought only to have that bump again as I drove into the garage. I had a good look this time and found tat my front tyre was almost flat. As the car just came from a service just a few months before it had to be a nail.

Next morning I rang our car club which I am a member and they charged the tyre and said I will need to get it fixed ASAP. Tomorrow will do fine as I was planning a driving the car then.

After doing what I had planned to do by driving my friend to the bus so she could go on a bus trip with Italian speaking friends. I had two recommendation for a place near sonís place so I drove up there to get the tyre fix as I am looking for a cheaper place to get my car service in the near further.

The tyre cost $25 to fix which is a good price and that price was on they price for that job. As for the next car service which is a big one I will be going there too I think! I was quoted around $1500 at the car dealership which has a car service department as well! Without all that overhead I was quoted around $650 for the same job. Thatís an awful lot of money and I have just six month left on parts replacement warranty which I donít think I will use. As the timing belt is due to the age of the car has to be replaced this time. My style of driving requires me to have things fix on timing scale not on mileage.

Strategy - Try to drink water with your meals when you are dinning out and if you on a special diet try to stick to it as best you can.

Strategy - Donít believe all the sale talk, do your own leg work.

Harvesting from my garden

May 8th, 2011 at 01:21 pm

I have a few vegetable plots and fruit and herb trees. Over my lemon tree my choko vine has grown over it so I am planning of removing it some time next week then prune the lemon tree some what as it has some problems that needs looking into. As I was working down stair in the backyard area I look out at my tomatoes vines to a sea of ripe red small tomatoes then looking past them seeing last season lemons that need picking for juicing as I have two seasons crop growing as itís has two crops per year. Then looking at the choko vine thatís over lemon tree help large Chokoes hanging there waiting to be picked.

Having finishing off my washing I collected my washing basket filling it with 12 large Chokoes 7 large lemons and small container of full tomatoes as well cutting off the flower heads of my aniseed seeds so I have fresh seeds for next year. I donít need to plant any seeds as many a seeds drops as I pulled these plants out so they will self seeds this year. My herb garden is doing well and a new crop of Italian parsley is coming along fine. My curry tree was prune last week so drying some leaves to use in my cooking. Will pick some bay leaves to dry soon too!

My crop (sorry about the colour.)


This Is the corner of the garden that the chokoes grow in.

Dinner out with family & friends

May 3rd, 2011 at 03:21 am

Two outings in the same week first off a Birthday dinner at Mexican Restaurant Montezuma's , it's not a expensive restaurant so picking the most suitable meal from the menu is the biggest challenge
Taking into account what I learnt at my diabetes class I had to pick something with beans in and with not a lot of cheese. The family always orders cheese and bean dips with corn chips for starters. You get three dips so I had a bean dip with corn chips, this turn out a big mistake as it filled me up for the dish that I order. It was the house special Montezuma's Delight as it had a white corn tostada smothered with frijoles, cheddar, heaped with diced raw vegetables salad, ranchero sauce, sour cream topped with two black olives. I had the Pollo/chicken version, it was nice and eatable but I only could eat half of it and had to ask for container so I could have the balance next day. But it wasn't as nice as the sour cream did't microwave as good. Next time I will not have the bean dip and corn chips and then I may be able to eat it all. Cost for the meal $18.00 plus 1/3 the dip and I had water to drink.

It was lunch date with my ex work friends at the casino and as they have put up the cost of the meals in restaurant that have been going to we went back to cheaper one. There they reduced the prices for members but with limited choices. Looking at the menu when you are on no mashed or chip potatoes or jasmine rice with limited cheese choices, there isn't much to choose from. The choices from memory were Beef Lasagne with mashed potatoes and mushy peas, Battered fish salad with chips, 2 Lamb & rosemary sausages with steamed vegetables & mashed potatoes, Chicken kebabs with pickled salad and jasmine rice and Smoked salmon quiche with salad. I had the Smoked salmon quiche with salad with small bowl of fruit salad and 2 cups of coffee plus water all included for $9.00 for members and $14.00 for non members . You could have had 30cm square of cake instead of the fruit salad but I had had my fair share of sweet things this weeks and I had taken along with me small Easter eggs to share with the others also. At night I had a bowl of lentil soup with toast for evening meal.

Strategy - Try to drink water with your meals when you are dinning out and if you on a special diet try to stick to it as best you can.