Tuesday, November 30, 2021

No Spend November Week #4 and Summary

We survived a no (actually low) spend November!

November 22:  Big Lots $3 for sundries, Baskin Robbins $5 for coffee drink

November 23:  Albertsons $11 for groceries

November 24:  Mexican restaurant $15 for lunch, gas $44, Baskin Robbins $5 for coffee drink

November 25:  $0

November 26:  99 Cent Store $17 for groceries, Burger King $8, Baskin Robbins $5 for coffee drink

November 27:  $0

November 28:  Baskin Robbins $5 for coffee drink

November 29:  99 Cent Store $13 for groceries

November 30:  Black Bear Diner $18 for lunch, Baskin Robbins $5 for coffee drink

Total spent this week:  $174, again, this is way over our $125 budget for the week but this also includes two extra days added to the week to complete the month.

And some other things...

  • We finally had to turn on the heat because it was getting cold!  It was nice having two months of really low utility bills though.
  • Needless to say, we eat out way too much and I am literally addicted to Baskin Robbins coffee drinks  :(
  • I avoided buying anything on Black Friday/Cyber Monday.  I had several things sitting in my Amazon shopping cart but after some thought, I decided I really didn't need the items so deleted everything (and saved myself several hundred dollars!).  I would really like some new high-end earbuds and headphones but in reality I use these things maybe once a month at most so I don't really need these things when the ones I have work perfectly fine for the short time I use them every month.
  • Today is our 31st anniversary!  Hubby and I have been together exactly 35 years (we met the Saturday after Thanksgiving) and married for exactly 31 years--we got married the Friday after Thanksgiving.  In a bowling alley.  In the middle of hubby's bowling league.  It was the most inexpensive wedding ever but it was memorable and all of our friends were there and it was so much fun.
  • We got several freebies this week: a friend gave us a $45 gift card for a grocery store which we used this week for groceries (we bring an elderly lady breakfast once a week when we bowl with her and this week she gave us a nice card and this gift card).  The SIL paid for us to have a nice lunch out this week because we went and claimed her lost jewelry which she was very thankful for.  The SIL also paid for hubby and I to get manicures and pedicures for our anniversary which we had done today (see my nails above).  Hubby also got 16 free games of bowling through one of his bowling leagues so we went bowling yesterday and played a couple of games each.  
  • Needless to say, if we didn't eat out all month and I made coffee drinks at home instead of buying them, we would have probably hit our goal of $500 for spending this month but hubby was still impressed that we spent around $700 this month instead of our usual $1200 to $1500.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you are all having a wonderful Thanksgiving!  It's just the hubby and I for Thanksgiving this year so we made a quick dinner for two (with lots of leftovers!), watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, and then watched a movie on Netflix...IMHO a perfect Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2021

No Spend November Week #3 Update

I thought this was a cute decoration one of our neighbors just set up for Christmas.  In other news, this was a busy week!

November 15: Sam's Club $40 for groceries, post office $28 (!) to mail a package to Japan, Seafood City $25 for groceries

November 16: Baskin Robbins $5 for coffee drink

November 17: Black Bear Diner $40 for lunch, Baskin Robbins $5 for coffee drink, bingo $18 for hubby and I to play one session

November 18: $0

November 19: Tire air check $2 for tip to service guy

November 20: Black Bear Diner $43 for brunch, Baskin Robbins $5 for coffee drink

November 21: Albertsons $14 for groceries

Total spent this week: $225 which is way more than the $125 we were aiming for :(

And some other things...

  • Hubby's sister came to visit this week which explains the couple of times we took her out to eat at her new favorite place in Las Vegas, the Black Bear Diner.  She took us out to several nice restaurants as well and we even spent the night with her at the new Resorts World Conrad Hotel (she gets free rooms at many places so she wanted to check out this place.  I thought the place was pretty unimpressive and overly expensive but it was nice of her to invite us.  Hubby and I haven't done any sort of stay-cation on the Strip in years so this was a good experience).
  • All of this activity also explains my (several) trips to Baskin Robbins.  I can't drink regular coffee but I can drink coffee when I kill the taste with plenty of ice cream :O  and I needed all of the oomph I could get since we woke early and stayed up late running all over the place with the SIL.
  • I sent a birthday present to a friend in Japan and shipping costs more than the gift!  Unfortunately gift giving in Japan is a never-ending thing and I don't want to insult her by not sending a gift so I just suck it up and pay the exorbitant postal cost.
  • The SIL came to town for a $750k bingo event.  While we can't play bingo 12 hours a day for three solid days like she does, hubby and I did play one session with her.  Of course we didn't win but when she went back to play the next night, a lady sitting next to her won $47,000!  I guess luck is a big part of winning in bingo!  Unfortunately the SIL spent $4k over the weekend for this bingo event and only won a few hundred dollars  :(
  • The air pressure in our tires was low so we got a free tire check at Discount Tires (our favorite tire place) and hubby gave the guy a small tip.  The guy said a lot of people have had low tire pressure lately since when the temperature drops it reduces the air in the tires.  This is a great service they provide and they even rotate our tires for free once a year too!
  • This was an interesting infographic about food costs around the world.
  • Finally, it is almost December and we still haven't had to turn on our heat yet!

Sunday, November 14, 2021

No Spend November Week #2 Update

Continuing on with our challenge, here is how we spent our money this week...

November 8: Black Bear Diner $20 for lunch (our weekly lunch date), Albertson's $8 for groceries (loss leaders).

November 9: $0  A no-spend day!

November 10: Arco $20 for gas, 99 Cent Store $15 for groceries, Burger King $8 for lunch.

November 11: Southpoint buffet $5 for tip (the buffet was free for both of us for Veterans Day), Great Clips $5 for tip (hubby got a free haircut here for Veterans Day), Albertsons $11 for groceries (all loss leaders).

November 12: 99 Cent Store $4 for groceries, bowling alley snack bar $7 for lunch (we should have packed a lunch!).

November 13: Baskin Robbins $5 for coffee drink (my once-a-week indulgence!), Panda Express $9 for lunch.

November 14: Ross $21 for a birthday gift for my friend, Dollar Tree $4 for sundries (card, shoe laces, etc).

Total spent this week: $142 which is still more than the $125 we were aiming to spend this week!

And some other things...

  • There were many freebies and discounts for Veterans Day and since hubby is a veteran, we took advantage of the free buffet offered to vets and their guest at the Southpoint Casino and hubby got a free haircut at Great Clips too.  We decided not to get any other freebies because we don't need to be eating a mountain of fast food!
  • The weather has been so perfect that we haven't had to use the air conditioning OR heat for more than a month.  Usually the weather changes faster than this and we go from AC to heat in about a week so this will be a nice savings on our heating/AC bill!
  • Since I am sort of a science geek, I found this 'Timeline of the Human Condition' pretty fascinating.
  • Looking back at our spending, I see that we ate out way too much this week!  On the bright side, we skipped our weekly trip to Costco/Sam's Club because we have pretty much everything we need and shopping at these stores just makes us want to buy stuff we don't really need.
  • The economy still seems to be going off the rails.  Service everywhere is pretty meh, prices on everything, especially food, seem to go up daily, shortages seem to be everywhere as well (lots of random things we look for at the stores seem light or missing all together--our grocery store is missing many kinds of deli meat and didn't have ANY whole turkeys in stock!).
  • The government giveth, the government taketh away.  I was happy to hear that hubby would get a nice little COLA added to his social security check starting in January.  Then a few days later I saw where his monthly payment for Medicare which is taken out of his Social Security check would also increase dramatically.  Bummer.
  • Finally, I just came across this freebies website and since I need a calendar for next year, I ordered this free calendar which was listed on the website.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

No Spend November Week #1 Update

The first week of our No Spend November Challenge looks like it will be a low-spend month instead of a no-spend month.  We are trying to keep our discretionary spending under $500 for the month and judging by our spending so far, we better tighten up our spending a bit more to reach that goal!  Here's how we spent our money for the first week (this doesn't count monthly bills):

November 1: Sam's Club $24 for groceries (this is the least we've ever spent there!), Mexican grocery store $6 for groceries (their produce is super cheap), Buffet at Asia $26 (our favorite buffet, obviously we should have skipped this for our challenge but it is our habit to eat out once a week), another Mexican store $12 for groceries.

November 2: Great Clips $20 for a haircut and tip (hubby cuts my hair once or twice between professional haircuts; it's been about three months since my last professional haircut and I was looking pretty shaggy!), Albertson's $13 for groceries.

November 3: Arco $12 for gas, 99 Cent store $14 for groceries.

November 4: Movies $8 (we haven't been to the movies in ages and hubby really wanted to see No Time to Die before it left the theater so we went on senior day when tickets are $4 each)

November 5: Food at the bowling center $8 (we really should have packed our lunch like we usually do when hubby bowls but we were running late so we ate there).

November 6:  A no spend day!  Actually I participated in a preparedness exercise with the city and they provided all kinds of food and snacks so we didn't spend anything this day.

November 7:  Baskin Robbins $5 for a B n R Blast (at least I cut this bad habit down to once a week instead of twice or three times a week!

Total spent this week: $148  eeekkk  We were hoping to spend around $125 so we need to cut down a bit more next week!

Saturday, October 30, 2021

November Is...

 ...just around the corner!  This year sure has flown by!

...a great time for walking in Las Vegas!  The weather was perfect for a 12k walk along the south Las Vegas Strip this morning (see photo above).

...NaNoWriMo.  AKA National Novel Writing Month.  Yes, people actually do write entire novels during the month of November for this challenge.  I am thinking about doing this challenge in November but we will see what happens.

...No Spend November.  Hubby and I are definitely doing this challenge in November.  We don't need to buy anything (our pantry is full to overflowing, we certainly don't need clothes, I have really cut down on shopping for anything but necessities) and we want to cash-flow Christmas for the kids and grandkids.  We generally give them cash instead of gifts but with five kids, 13 grandkids, and three great grandkids, Christmas usually runs around $2500 so we are going to see how very little we can spend throughout the month of November.

...Thanksgiving.  We actually have no plans for Thanksgiving so we will do our usual small dinner at home for just the hubby and I.

...Time to turn clocks back in most of the country.  Daylight savings time ends on November 7th so we will do the usual, set clocks back an hour, change furnace air filters, replace back-up batteries in the smoke detectors, switch the ceiling fans to run backwards, etc.

...Veteran's Day on November 11.  These discounts will really help us stretch our money during our no-spend month.

...Finally, a couple interesting articles I read recently:  From crazy coupon lady to felon--eeeekkk!  And this guy who came up with a unique solution to cut his food bill.