Friday, October 6, 2017

Weekend plans?

Does anyone have weekend plans? We don't make plans usually. We always hang out at home, go to the park, go for walks, go to the library, or just enjoy each other's company. Last Saturday we went to a bar and grill to listen to some live music. We had a GREAT time. We each had soda, tea, and appetizers (chips and salsa). It was a lot of fun and the music was amazing.

Meals yesterday consisted of scrambled eggs for breakfast. Lunch was tomato soup (for myself and my son), my husband had tuna sandwiches, and my daughters had ramen noodles. Dinner was two from scratch cheese pizzas. I made the crust with my bread machine. There was nothing left of the two cheese pizzas I made. I had mozzarella cheese in the fridge, used a half jar of lurking spaghetti sauce, and of course, some onion powder, garlic powder, and Italian  seasoning. My kids loved the pizzas.

I made a vegetable pizza for my husband and myself. We used the same pizza crust recipe for the bread machine. I had some small colored peppers (red and yellow) that I cut up, two chopped up roma tomatoes, some fresh garlic, and sliced onion. The pizza was pretty good. It was less expensive to make verses ordering out from a pizza place. There were two pieces of veggie pizza left this morning that my husband had for breakfast.

My son had his carnation instant breakfast this morning when he woke up. He also had two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. My daughter had a bowl of cereal. My middle daughter had some leftover pork, gravy, and mashed potatoes that were in the fridge.

My husband asked for scrambled eggs, bacon, and fried potatoes for dinner tonight. This is an easy meal to make. We have some laundry to get done. I have washed two loads so far. I was at Dollar General this morning to get some drain clogger stuff for the kids bathtub. I found a shopping cart full of xtra laundry soap 75 ounces marked 50 percent off. I asked for the price and it ended up being 1.30 a bottle. I only bought one bottle but will consider going back for the rest (there was about 12 in the cart) since we use this liquid detergent for laundry.

Have a good day!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Meals today

I had a bagel with cream cheese, a cup of decaf tea, and a small peach. My son had an instant carnation breakfast shake. We bought a 6 pack of them in bottles for him. He has not been eating much and he is so thin. I am concerned about his nutrition. The bottles of carnation instant breakfast have 15 grams of protein verses the dry mix that has 13. The bottles are easier for him to get and use since he has a developmental disability.

My daughters had bowls of cereal.

Lunch consisted of a ham sandwich for me, my DH didn't want anything, my girls made sandwiches, and my son refused stating that he wasn't hungry.

Dinner consisted of the rest of the pork tenderloin in the crock pot with the remains of mushroom gravy I had in the freezer, mashed potatoes, and a small salad of sorts with two roma tomatoes, sliced cucumber, and two small yellow peppers.

I am completing the modules that are required for my work. I had 29 to start with and as of right now I have only 5 more to complete. I am making a lot of progress, but it gets tiring staring at a computer screen for hours at a time.

We did a load of laundry, folded about four loads, and my son put them away. We ran the dishwasher once and are about to run the second load in a few minutes. I didn't do dishes yesterday because I thought my family may want to do them (HAHAHA).

We got the water bill. The last water bill was 145 dollars for the month. This month is was 146 dollars and some odd change. I guess that is going to be our norm here in this rental. The rent is paid for October and November. The bills are paid in full. Our freezer is full, the pantry is full, and we are blessed.

I have learned a few things about us and our pantry since moving here to Florida and having limited funds. We are not buying things that won't be used. I no longer have the mystery challenge of what to do with odd and ends that have been in the pantry for a long time. I have used almost everything in the pantry when our funds are tight and found that my family will not complain if they are hungry enough.

I spent 198 dollars at Aldi on Thursday and it felt really good. I guess having my old job give me my vacation time in the form of a direct deposit works wonders for the budget, even if the federal government took a large sum of it to the tune of a bit more than 2 thousand dollars.

October 3rd meals

My kids had cereal for breakfast. Lunch consisted of some frozen ravioli that I had in the freezer from Aldi. I simmered them and added some jarred spaghetti sauce. There was nothing left over and there were also no complaints. 

Last night's dinner was a medium size pork tenderloin that I bought a couple of weeks ago from Aldi. I cut pork chops an inch thick and baked them in the oven with some salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder. We also had fried potatoes (4 medium size potatoes with 1/4 of an onion, and one clove of garlic), left over baked beans (finally they are gone), and I sliced a few roma tomatoes, half a cucumber, and two mini yellow peppers to have as a side dish. 

I was going to use the lettuce I bought from Aldi, but I think it sat too long and went bad. I will try and not make that mistake again. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

What's been happening?

I finally received my PTO from my old job! I did have it in my checking account on Thursday. I was so thankful. I paid November's rent, got my car registered, paid the bills, got groceries, and we went out for dinner. I still have half of the money in my checking and this has to be transferred to my savings.

My husband asked me to buy a new box spring and mattress. Ours is terrible and very old. I will have to look at prices this week.

Dinners have been very sporatic. I did 20 hours at work last week on orientation. I was given 29 modules to complete for critical care staff. I was told to complete these at home and I would be paid 37.5 hours to complete them before October 7th.

I start in the cardiovascular intensive care unit on October 10th with a night shift position. There's a 12 percent differential for 3 to 11, 12 percent diff for weekends, and 20 percent diff for 11 to 7 pm.
I also enrolled the five of us in our health benefits.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Today's meals

I worked from 8 until 430 in hospital orientation. This morning I put four large chicken breast in the crock pot with a boullion cube, some water, onion powder, garlic powder, and celery salt. I added 6 small potatoes and two large carrots. I cut up the potatoes and carrots. Everything went into the crock pot.

I took out frozen hot dogs for lunch for the family since my daughters were working, but my son and husband were home. They ate the hot dogs.

Dinner tonight was awesome. We have two large chicken breast left over. There's a few chunks of potato and carrot left. There is an awesome amount of chicken stock in the bottom of the crock pot. I put this in the fridge to let the fat go to the top and I will remove the fat and put the stock in the freezer. We had left over corn and Brussel sprouts from last night with our meal. My husband make a very small salad too.

Breakfast: This morning I had half a bowl of cereal and a cup of decaf tea with skim milk and two tsp of sugar.

I am not sure what we will be having tomorrow. I will serve the left over chicken from tonight. Just not sure what I am going to do with it yet. Work lunch consisted of left over taco stuff made into a salad. I added some pizza cheese to it since it is all we have.

My husband did a great job with dinner. He washed some laundry and cleaned house today.

Monday, September 25, 2017

What's been happening?

Work has been busy learning the hospital and how they do things. We have an extensive orientation. I have a hospital orientation until October 7th. I will have a few weeks with a preceptor after this time and I will be on my "own" then.

My birth certificate came in the mail. I am waiting for my marriage certificate to come in the mail. When I get the marriage certificate I will get both cars registered.

We have limited food in the pantry, fridge, and freezer.

Wed: My husband made chili with ground turkey and black beans. It was amazing.
Thurs: We had pasta, broccoli, and chicken drumsticks.
Fri: we went out
Sat: we went out
Sun: We had pork ribs (ohama steak house package from August) baked in the oven with BBQ sauce, meatballs with from scratch beef gravy, mac and cheese, corn, and brussel sprouts. I was hoping for left overs for my work lunches, but there was not much left. We also had a small salad and corn bread.
Mon: My husband made tacos. We had a kit in the pantry. We used 80 percent lean ground beef. We had a prepackaged "rice kit".

I took out a family pack of chicken breast that I bought a while back from Aldi in the fridge. I will put the chicken in the crock pot in the morning with some carrots and potatoes. I have some chicken broth that I can add to the crock pot. I was going to add half a thin sliced onion to it also. Having dinner ready when I get home eases some stress in the evenings.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


A couple of things! I started my job yesterday!! So very excited. I also found out this morning that my family and I have immediate coverage for medical, dental, and prescription coverage! I will get more to that in another post. I am so thankful to be working again. I have this week and half of next week for orientation. I have a week of classroom stuff to complete for week three. I will be in the ICU working with a preceptor for a couple of weeks until I can find my way in a new hospital regarding policies, procedures, and such.

We had some leftovers from Sunday dinner in the fridge. Our cousins brought over some sweet tea, potato salad, and a fruit salad to share.

Monday, my middle daughter, made the last of the marinaded chicken quarters, mashed potatoes, corn, and green beans. It was amazing and dinner was ready when I got home from work.

My daughters started a new job this morning. It is a part time temp position for both of them. They will work from 8 am until 330 in the afternoon. I am proud of them.

Tonight's dinner was a bunch of leftovers. We had a couple pieces of chicken, some potato salad, baked beans, one small piece of meat loaf, corn, fruit salad, and green beans. Every one got to pick and choose what they wanted and there was nothing left.

Lunches for work: Yesterday being the first day, the new job provided the lunch for everyone. There was a box lunch, with bottled water or tea. I took the roast beef box lunch and bottled water. Today, I packed the last of the gravy, rice, carrots, and beef that was in the fridge. It was pretty good. I had cereal this morning before work and my girls ended up having scrambled eggs.

I did make half a box of pasta for lunches tomorrow. My girls requested mac and cheese for tomorrow. We had a half a jar of cheese sauce in the fridge. I mixed it with the pasta and my girls will pack this for their lunch tomorrow.

I had half a container of ground beef in pasta sauce. I added some of the cooked pasta to this and warmed it up on the stove. This will go into my lunch tomorrow.

I got home from work, my husband took the dog out to go for a quick walk. My son gathered all the laundry. I washed two loads of laundry and my husband helped me clean up the kitchen. The dishes are in the dishwasher, the pans are washed, the floor is swept. I have one load in the dryer and the last load in the washer waiting to go into the dryer.

I stopped by our new "home" which is just the ground being broken and there is a frame on the ground!! There are permits hanging at the construction site. I am so excited.

I got a hold of human resources at my old job. I spoke to the head of human resources and explained about my overdue PTO "vacation time" that is due to me. I was told that the paperwork wasn't filled in on time and sent to the office. I have finally been approved for my "vacation time" and will receive this as a direct deposit on September 28th. FINALLY.

I received a notice from Wells Fargo. I had the mortgage paid off until September 1st. They sent me a check for 605.55 and this will be deposited into the bank. My husband was given 105.55 and the rest will be put into my checking account to pay the bills until I receive my overdue PTO.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday dinner

Sunday dinner consist of chicken thighs, drumsticks, mashed potatoes, green beans, and a small salad. Our cousins are coming over tonight for dinner and we usually alternate houses on Sundays.

I took out the 10 pound bag of chicken quarters from the freezer the other day and put it in the fridge. The bag has thawed. I was able to separate the quarters into individual thighs and drumsticks. I used nine quarters and have enough chicken for the nine of us this evening.

I have six chicken quarters left in the fridge. I put them in a freezer bag and put some garlic and herb marinade on them. I bought the marinade from Aldi a while ago. They will be cooked tomorrow for dinner.

We are going to have mashed potatoes, steamed green beans, and a small salad for dinner with the chicken. I seasoned the chicken with some salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and a small amount of poultry seasoning. The chicken is baking in the oven right now.

We should have enough chicken for each person to have two pieces each. If there is chicken left over I will send some of it home with our cousins and take what is left to work this week for my lunch.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Electric Bill

Our last electric was 188 dollars and was paid in full. My husband had been living in the rental for about three weeks before I got here. He arrived with the older children on July 15th and got the keys. He had been staying with his cousins from July 12th until the 15th.

We received our new electric bill. I arrived August 5th. I was surprised when I opened the email from the electric company. The bill was 101.44.

Yep. 101.44 total.

We use the oven. We use the AC at 78. We keep the ceiling fans on all the time. We have five ceiling fans and they belong to the rental. We wash clothes twice a week (Sunday and Thursday). We probably wash 4 loads each day. The dryer runs for 30 minutes total. I showed the kids how to set the dryer. The settings on the washer are for cold water wash and cold water rinse. The washer has a second rinse cycle but we do not choose this option. We wash on the medium cycle. We do have a television. We don't watch much TV. The blinds are closed in the bedrooms. I do open the blinds in the kitchen to let some light in. We have two large windows in the living room. The one window has a set of blinds that we keep closed. The other sliding door blinds we open half way to let some sunlight in. We use the crock pot. We use the rice steamer. We use the microwave. We use the dishwasher once a day. The fridge temp is set at 37 degrees. The freezer temp is set at negative two.

We all have cell phones and laptops that are used a lot.

Our bill dropped drastically. I am not sure what will happen with the next electric bill since so many people lost electricity and had down power lines from IRMA. I am going to wait and see if the bill increases. We will not change what we are doing. I think 101 dollars and 44 cents is an amazing electric bill for a house this size.

Old Jugs

Milk Jugs.
Juice jugs.
Water Bottles.
Any reasonable size jug.

Do you keep them? Put them in the recycling bucket? Throw them in the trash? I used to put them in the recycling bucket and still do at times.

I have been cleaning them out and rinsing with hot water after use. When we found out that we were heading for a hurricane I actually put tap water in the jugs. I filled a couple of them about 3/4 full with tap water and put them in the freezer. The thought was that if we lost power we could keep our food cold and prevent the loss from spoiled food.

As I keep thinking about this I thought that it would be great to boil the water and put the boiled water in jugs to have in an emergency. I have two in the freezer right now. I have one in the fridge full of "sweet tea" and another that is thawing. We will have cold water to drink and it will help keep other foods cold. It will prevent the refrigerator from having to work as hard. (I think I read that in the tightwad gazette a couple years ago).

My husband told me that he thought I was weird for using the older jugs. He didn't say much to me about it other than he thought it was weird. Oh well. He doesn't complain when he has cold water to drink or tea with ice.

Does anyone else reuse the jugs? If so, what do you do with them?

Plastic bags

We all have them. It's those plastic bags that we get from the store. It could be the bags that hold our sliced bread. It could be any bag, even a produce bag, that held a pound of apples.

The city we live in does not let us put these bags in the recycling for pick up on Thursdays. We have always used these bags to help with cleaning and scooping of cat litter. The bags get used to line bathroom trash baskets. We use these bags also to pick up our dog's mess when we take him outside to use the "facilities". My kids usually walk Jackson. When we owned our home we had a fenced back yard and could let him in and out as he wished. Now that we are renting there's no fenced yard and he needs to be walked a couple times a day.

Some times I use the bread bags to put dryer lint in and throw away when full.

We shop at Aldi and have our own brown bags that we use all the time. We do stop at other stores occasionally and have two bags that are filled with other plastic bags. We do put a bag in the car to have a place to throw things when we are out and about in town.

What do you use those bags for? Any thoughts?

Forgotten meal

I forgot to add that we had burgers from Aldi the other night. The burgers were 85 percent lean and 100 percent pure beef. We added one slice of cheese to each burger after they were baked in the oven. I did cut up some lettuce, cherry tomatoes (I sliced in half), sliced a small bit of onion, and cucumber. Everyone got to pick out the condiments they wanted. I opened one of the two last cans of baked beans that we had and warmed those up.

Overall, it was a quick and satisfying meal for the five of us. There were some baked beans left over and those are in the fridge for another meal. We did not have hamburger buns and people could have the burgers on regular bread if they wanted.

What's been cooking?

I went to Aldi the other day to get groceries. We have been using what was in the pantry prior to our shopping and will continue to do so supplementing with what I the other day.

My kids have been eating toast with peanut butter for breakfast. I also bought a toaster. We apparently didn't bring our old one with us in the move and I just noticed this week.

We finished the last two cans of tomato soup in the pantry and these cans were put into the recycling.

Dinner last night was two single serve meatloaves and one chicken cord on blue (both were single servings int he grocery package that my MIL sent in August). We had left over corn, broccoli, and brown gravy in the fridge. I warmed the veggies and gravy in the microwave and the kids got to pick and choose from. I steamed some white rice to give them something else. There wasn't much to choose from. We have a small portion of a meat loaf left (think about one small slice).

The night before we made pasta with jar sauce and ground beef. There is a moderate amount of ground beef and sauce left. I was going to add the meatloaf to this and serve as a small amount of pasta for lunches tomorrow.

When I got up this morning I put the last package of beef tips (in the grocery package from MIL in august) in the crock pot with a bag of baby carrots (bought several weeks ago and didn't use). I added half an onion, two cloves of fresh garlic, the last can of cream of mushroom soup, a cup of beef broth, and let this cook all morning. I will steam some more rice (my older kids like rice and it is filling). I am going to make a small salad to go with this and we will have a late lunch early dinner tonight.

I have thawed the 10 pound bag of chicken quarters. I am going to cut the legs from the thighs and have sticky chicken tomorrow for dinner. I am not going to use the whole ten pound bag for sticky chicken. We usually have Sunday dinner with our cousins and this would be more than enough for the five of us, the four of them, and help with leftovers for the week.

I also made a pot of tea on the stove. I made a lot. I used the biggest pot I could find. I boiled water, added four decaf tea bags, and half a cup of sugar. It will go in the "tea jug" in the fridge. The tea jug is just a washed and clean gallon container that had milk in it before.

Been down a few days

Comcast and Sprint have been down the past few days due to the electric companies in Florida doing their tree work and the after effects of Hurricane Irma. We did not have services for two days. I know, seems harmless right? 

Not when we have internet junkies in the house! 

We found out about an hour ago that it was back on. My husband and kids cheered in our bedroom. The house is really quiet now and everyone is enjoying their internet time. 

Our electric bill came in the mail. It is only 101.44 this month. THUD! Not what I was expecting but a very nice surprise. 

Our water bill was 145 dollars and a HUGE surprise. I looked over the bill and found that our home has automatic irrigation for the lawns in Florida. It is set by the home renter and is mandated in the lease to water the grass twice a week. I spoke to my husband. It is middle of September. We are going to look at the water irrigation meter today and figure out how to change the settings from twice a week to once a week. I can not afford a monthly water bill of 145 dollars. It stated that the use from the reclaimed irrigation water was 11,000 gallons and personal home use of water was 5,000 gallons (included showers, kitchen use, washing machine, cooking etc). I can not justify using twice the amount of water in a month to keep the lawn watered. I seriously can not justify that. It rains often in Florida (almost daily). 

My vacation time (PTO) Update: I emailed my director twice this week. I finally was able to call HR and left a message on the voicemail of our representative. I am hoping for a call back this coming week. I am determined to get this benefit from my old employer. I met the qualifications, worked for eleven years without any misconduct, and never had issues while being employed there. 

253 hours X 32.78 an hour is over 8 thousand dollars before taxes. This money would help my savings account and us to pay bills until I get my first pay check from my new job. 

I start my new job Monday!! I am so excited but very nervous. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Mid month budget

I emailed my old director again this morning regarding my vacation time that is supposed to be given to me that I didn't use in the eleven years I worked for her. I emailed her to give her an update and asked if it would be deposited into my checking account this week. Tomorrow is a regular payday for this company. I am waiting for her response back.

Prior to getting the vehicles registered I need to get a certified copy of my birth certificate and marriage certificate. The DMV requested that I go online at and could get these two documents ordered and sent to me. The cost was about 70 dollars each.

I went online to the cities where I was born and get married. I was able to download the appropriate forms and I will get them printed out. The costs will be 10 dollars for the birth certificate and 15 dollars for the marriage certificate. It will take a bit longer to get to me through the mail, but I can't afford 140 dollars for the two documents.

I was looking at my budget. I have about 975 dollars worth of bills sitting on my table. I am going to have to take the money out of my savings to pay for bills, get gas for one car, and to get some groceries. I really don't want to take the money out of savings, but I don't see any way to get the bills paid, and unless my vacation time is more delayed, I really don't have a choice. I can always put the money back in my savings account when it gets direct deposited from my old employer.

I start my new job on Monday. I am so excited. I feel that we are blessed to have been able to move, begin new lives, sell our old house, and be able to rent while our new house is being built.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Meals, Life, Finances

Well the pantry, fridge, and freezer has many bare spots and the recycling bin is very thankful to be filling up.

I gave the kids the choice of either pancakes or oatmeal with milk this morning. They choose oatmeal. Lunch consisted of peanut butter with jelly, turkey, or tuna sandwiches. Two kids had peanut butter and jelly. One child declined. My husband and myself had tuna sandwiches. I opened two cans of tuna, mixed it with some mayo, added half a stalk of chopped celery, and 1/4 of an onion. Everyone enjoyed their lunch. Yesterday the kids had french toast for breakfast. I save all the bread ends in the freezer until we have enough for french toast. The kids and my husband had french toast. I did not have any. There wasn't enough for the five of us.

Dinner consisted of opening a package of pork chops. These were very large and only had four in the package. I baked them in the oven and when finished cooking we emptied 2 dredges of BBQ sauce on the pork and let it finish cooking. The BBQ containers were washed and went into the recycling. We made a package of red beans with rice. It was a prepackaged kit. The box went into the recycling. I also steamed some Aldi green beans that we had in the freezer.

We are almost out of milk. We used the last of the eggs yesterday. I made carrot cupcakes (a box mix in the pantry and used the last bit of frosting in the fridge). My kids had scrambled eggs the other morning for breakfast. I used the last of the butter yesterday for the eggs and had to scrape the butter container. We have no cheese. We have some pork and beans. No other type of beans at this time. We love beans.

For drinks: we have bottled water, tap water for the animals, decaf tea, and a small package of lemonade. I am making a gallon of tea to put into the fridge for those who want something other than ice water. (boiled water, four tea bags, 1/2 cup of sugar, one empty cleaned out milk gallon jug).

Snacks: a few carrot cupcakes are left and I will have to look around to see what else we have. We have no fruit.

Produce: a few potatoes, a head of lettuce, a couple of cheery tomatoes, 6 medium size onions, fresh garlic, a pound of baby carrots

Bread: a package of hot dog rolls, half a loaf of bread (I need to get some yeast. I have everything to make homemade bread including a bread machine). I have a Jiffy corn bread mix.

I took out a bag of chicken quarters that I bought a while back for 89 cents a pound and it is a ten pound bag. These are thawing in the fridge and I will come up with a plan. The ten pound bag will make quite a few meals for the five of us with leftovers which will be a blessing.

Frozen veggies: several bags of corn, peas, green beans, brussels sprouts

Meats: 2 large packages of chicken breast, two small packages of pork ribs (from mother in law grocery package in August), 2 pounds of ground beef, a pound of hot dogs, one pound of bratwurst, 3 pounds of ground turkey, one package of bacon, two single serve meat loaves (grocery package from MIL in August), one single chicken cord on blue, one package of beef tips (grocery package from MIL in August), and half a pork tenderloin.

We have spices. We are limited on canned goods. We have two cans of beans, one can of corned beef hash, two cans of tomato soup, one can of mushroom soup, and I am sure there are a few other things. We are out of canned tomato products.

So, with that being said I was looking over this post and noticed that I was rambling about groceries. We have finished paying off the old bills in Virginia. We have to get the two cars registered in Florida. We have to pay October bills. Funds are very tight and I am concerned that I will have to transfer money from my savings to the checking to pay the bills if I do not receive the vacation time that I did not use at my former job this week.

We have not been to the store since August 27th for any major grocery shopping. I am a bit stressed but thankful that the water/gas/trash bill is paid and the electric is paid. The rent is paid until November 1st. I start my job on Monday. It is a blessing.

Today's thoughts

The hurricane has moved on and I believe has become a tropical storm. We still have a bit of wind where we live, but we are blessed. We have a home, never lost electricity, had some shingles come off the roof, and a lot of broken tree limbs. I put in a maintenance request for the lost shingles, a few three limbs that are broken in half but hanging off the front tree, and for the clean up of the limbs that my family took from the ground and stacked them near the garage.

I have been in contact with my director at my previous job. She stated that she would ensure that I would receive my vacation time cash out. I spoke to her about a week and a half ago. This Thursday is a normal pay day for the company I used to work for. I am hoping that it will be direct deposited into my account this week.

253 hours X 32.78 an hour is a nice amount to receive and would help tremendously in getting the bills paid and put enough into savings. All taxes will come out of this money.

I start my new job next Monday. I have HR orientation and will receive information on the benefit package. I need to find out from this employer if they will allow me to roll over my 403 B into their retirement plan. I will know next week.

The new house hasn't been started to build yet due to the hurricane. We drove by there yesterday and there are several stakes in the ground. The utility lines are marked. It is a start. The mortgage loan was approved at 4.2 percent interest. My credit score is 731.

My savings account has 33,000 in it for the down payment and closing costs. We will be putting 20,900 down at closing. I want to keep 10,000 in the savings for emergencies and a cushion. The 3,000 extra will just stay there and gain interest. The savings account is in my name only to prevent my husband from spending foolishly. This savings account is considered an investor's savings and the bank stated that if I set up the savings this way I would gain more interest. I agreed. I earned 3.16 cents in less than a month in interest. It is free money. I will take it. Every little bit helps.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

What'a been happening?

IRMA is here and we are safe at home. This morning I made breakfast for everyone. I scrambled some eggs in bacon fat (I am out of butter) and served these to the five of us. Everyone ate and did not complain.

Lunch consisted of cleaning out the left overs from the last few days. The kids go to pick and choose what they wanted from the last bit of chicken, peas, broccoli, pasta, and a few slices of pizza that were in the fridge. All the left overs are finally done.

Tonight's dinner consisted of thawing a pound of ground beef and making 15 meatballs. I baked these in the oven. I took five potatoes and boiled them to make mashed potatoes (I scraped the butter container to get some for the potatoes, it wasn't really enough). I steamed some corn and I made brown gravy from two packets in the pantry. I put the gravy over the meatballs and mashed potatoes.

There's some corn, mashed potatoes, and a bit of gravy leftover. They will go into the fridge for another meal. I am not sure what the plan is for tomorrow because IRMA is supposed to get worse overnight.

Our lights have been flickering on and off. We have the radio on to hear the weather reports. We still have cable and cell communication. We have been told that there are tornado warnings and watches. We have some broken tree limbs in our back yard. The winds are terrible and the rain is just overwhelming.

Friday, September 8, 2017


We have been keeping up to date with the local news regarding hurricane IRMA. Southern Florida has mandated evacuations. We are not in southern Florida but Lake county (here in central florida) has decided to open shelters tomorrow morning at 8 AM for residents. If needed we will go to the shelter and stay until it is safe to leave and go back to our home. We have a rental home that was built in 2005 and appears to be sturdy and safe. The property management company has contacted us several times to give us information how to be prepared. They requested that we contact them through email once a day to ensure that we are safe and well. They are also going to be coming to each property to assess for weather related damages.

What has been cooking? Thursday morning we had left over chicken for breakfast. The kids had left over fried chicken and the last of the baked beans for lunch. These two things are finally gone! Lunch for my husband and I was a small bowl of chicken salad that I made using the marinated chicken breast that I baked slowly the other night. We will have some of the marinated chicken left. I only marinated two large chicken breasts and this had made enough lunches for a couple of days.

Thursday night's dinner was steamed white rice over shredded chicken, carrots, and gravy. The other day I put the other two chicken breasts in the crock pot with a bag of baby carrots, and a can of cream of chicken soup and the last of the chicken stock I had in the freezer. This cooked all day and I shredded the chicken. This was able to feed the five of us last night with a small amount left over to be used today.

Tonight's dinner will be pasta, with meatballs, and sauce. We need a break from the chicken! I have a pound of ground beef thawing and will make meatballs out of it. I have to jars of spaghetti sauce in the fridge with 1/4 cup left in each one. I will finish those two end jars up and if needed open another jar from the pantry. The kids will have some Parmesan cheese on their pasta. We will either steam some broccoli or peas to have with our meal.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

What's been cooking?

Well, not much really. Last night we had leftovers served buffet style. I offered fried chicken, baked beans, potato salad, hot dogs, Italian sausage, and green beans. We still have some fried chicken, baked beans, and a small amount of potato salad left.

I did marinade two chicken breast yesterday and put them in the oven. I baked them at 325 until done and sliced the chicken breasts. We will use this chicken for sandwiches this week. I actually did cook the chicken in the hopes that we would have some proteins available if we lost electricity during the storm. We can make sandwiches or just eat the chicken cold with items from the cabinets.

I put the other two chicken breasts in the crock pot (my cousins gave packages of chicken breast to my husband when he moved in the house in July. We have been working on using this up). I finally used the last package this morning. I put the chicken in the crock pot. I added a bag of baby carrots (from the fridge bought a couple of weeks ago), the last couple cups of chicken stock I made a while ago that needed to go, and a can of cream of chicken soup. I added some pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, poultry seasoning, and celery salt. This will cook all day on low. We will simmer some long grain rice and serve with dinner this evening.

Our pantry has not been filled in a while. We have been using what we have until I get a pay check the first week of October. I emailed my old director yesterday to find out how long it will be until I receive all my paid vacation time that I did not use. I am trying to be patient and wait for a response back from her. She is not known for her timely responses to questions.

What's been happening?

One word. IRMA.

We have been getting ready a bit more seriously than we would have in Virginia. Being in Florida means that there are no mountains or a valley to protect the residents like we have in Virginia. We have shelf stable foods. We have bottled water. A TON OF WATER. We have cat food. We have litter. We have dog food. We have some cash in my husband's wallet. Not much. We have two cars with gas in them. We have four flashlights. We have a radio. We bought a lot of batteries. We have candles. We have matches. We have two coolers in the garage. I paid for the flashlights and batteries. We had everything else prior to the arrival of IRMA.

Shelf stable foods: canned beans (3) , tuna (2), peanut butter (2), jelly (2), dry cereal (1), bottled water, canned soup (in an emergency we can eat canned soup cold) (4), saltine crackers (1), canned soda (it is what it is), one can of corn beef hash, kool aid packets (several packets), two boxes of town house type crackers. We do not have much in the pantry since we have been using what we have to keep expenses down. We can supplement this with food from the fridge and freezer unless we lose electricity.

Water: We have several gallons of water. We have three cases of 20 ounce bottles. We have been filling zip lock bags with water and freezing them. We have an ice maker that I have been filling zip lock gallon bags with to keep in the freezer. I have an empty jug of tea that I washed out and filled with water to put in the freezer. (I have a couple more empty jugs that we will fill and put in the freezer later today).

Filling the bathtub: My husband suggested last night that we fill the bathtubs. We have a regular size bathtub in my kids bathroom. We have a spa size tub (which we hardly use) in our bathroom. I would consider filling the bathtubs with clean water to use for flushing the toilets and providing the cats and dog with water to drink.

Cash: My husband has a couple of dollars in his wallet. 99 percent of our money is in the bank.

Cars: Both cars have gas. We also have a full gas can in the garage if needed. There has been rumors that the gas stations have been running out.

Medications: We have three weeks supply of medications for everyone. We are going to need refills eventually, but at this time, we should be prepared and have enough for the next week. I also bought generic Tylenol and generic ibuprofen from the dollar store the other day.

Toiletries: We have a 12 pack of toilet paper. We have shampoo and bath soap.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017


My DD#1 refused breakfast. She said she wasn't hungry. DD#2 had an fried egg and cheese sandwich. DS #1 had a fried egg and cheese sandwich. My husband did not want breakfast. I made fried potatoes with onion cooked in bacon fat. It was just OK. This cooking with bacon fat will take some work. I thought the potatoes were very bland. I scooped out 1 teaspoon of hardened bacon fat from the small container I had in the fridge and melted it in the frying pan. The spices from the bacon were at the bottom of the container and I didn't get any of that in the potatoes. Maybe I need to use more bacon fat when cooking with it.

We are staying home today. I hope anyway. I have some chores to get finished here. Our last electric bill was 188 dollars for the month. It is due to be sent out again and we have used the dryer for a month. I am a bit concerned at what the bill will be because we had that episode for a week with the dryer not working properly.

The water bill came in. It is 145 dollars. This includes trash/recycling pick up/water/sewer/ and fees. This will be a monthly expense which is new to us. In our old home in Virginia we got a water bill every two months and it was about 140 dollars total. We will have to figure out how to balance the new monthly expenses.

The bills from Virginia are finally paid off. We still have to get our cars registered in Florida. I have to get my Florida license, but first have to get a copy of my birth certificate and marriage license, to take to the DMV.

Things are a bit tight here financially. We are doing well overall, and I start my job on the 18th. I am looking forward to getting a paycheck and health insurance. I have emailed my old director to find out about my PTO cash out. I have not received that yet. This is a bit concerning for me as I worked for the company for 11 years without any issues or concerns.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Labor Day

It has been a good day at home. We survived the storm and lost electricity for about 45 minutes while attempting to feed everyone. We had company so there was 9 of us to get plates of food.

I made potato salad (cheap, easy, and filling), baked a small package of eight hot dogs, a small package of Italian sausage links, opened two small cans of baked beans, served a small frozen container of Omaha steak (care package a few weeks ago from MIL) of green beans, and I cooked a pound of pasta for my kids to make mac and cheese. They use a basic white sauce and we added some Colby cheese to it.

My husband's cousins brought two large containers of fried chicken, soda, and sweet tea from Publix. We don't shop there and go to Aldi instead. Publix ix right next to our house, but the prices are a bit harder on the budget. The chicken was amazing. Just saying.....totally amazing. I never fry chicken. I don't even know how to fry chicken. I do like chicken and often either bake it or put it in the crock pot.

I washed four loads of laundry today, using half the amount of detergent recommended, and used two dryer sheets total. I figure we can cut our pennies and eventually it will help us become wiser about where our money is going.

The hot dogs, sausage, beans, green beans, potato salad, and mac and cheese come from our own kitchen. I cooked everything except the mac and cheese. My kids did the mac and cheese and put it in the crock pot to keep warm. They did a good job.

My son and oldest daughter finished off the last of two boxes of cereal this morning. We have a small bit left in the last box which will probably go tomorrow morning. My husband ate the last five strips of bacon last night. I didn't know because I was looking for it to add to the potato salad this morning when I was making it. He said it was great.

My middle daughter chose to eat the marinated pork from last night with some steamed corn for breakfast/early lunch. There was a bowl of rice left over with some cut up pork in it. I put some butter in a pan, melted it, added some sliced onion, and the rice/pork mixture. I told my husband that it was fried rice. We did not have any soy sauce or anything like that. He said he liked it and didn't complain at all.

The left overs from yesterday are gone. I have a bowl of potato salad, a large bowl of baked beans, a small bowl of green beans, a bowl of mac and cheese, and a huge container of fried chicken left over for tomorrow. We will be eating this for lunch and possible dinner tomorrow. My cousins took some of the soda home that they brought over. They did not want the chicken or the sweet tea. They said that they usually don't eat any leftovers.

We do and always eat leftovers. I have a small amount of bacon fat in the fridge from yesterday's adventure with the cracked black pepper bacon. I considered using this to fry eggs, but the bacon was so spicy I am unsure if my kids will eat the eggs if used in bacon fat.

Any suggestions other then fried eggs? I would consider using the bacon fat to fry potatoes later this week.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

This weekend

A couple of weeks ago I bought two packages of marked down pork for 3.67 total and both packages had a dollar off coupon in addition on it. I didn't look closely at the packages when I bought them. I took them out of the freezer on Friday and it said "pork fat". 

Well, I let the two packages thaw in the fridge. When they were thawed I trimmed off all the pork fat and found that there was a medium mixing bowl of lean pork that we could cook for meals. I had some Aldi marinade in the pantry and used some of this to tenderize the meat and provide some flavor. The pork sat in the marinade for 24 hours in the fridge. 

I baked the marinated pork this afternoon at 325 in the oven. I took some frozen corn out of the freezer and put two teaspoons of butter in a pan and simmered both the corn and butter. I had bulk white rice in the pantry. I had some scratch chicken stock in the fridge that needs to go. I used 1 and 1/2 cups of chicken stock and 1/2 cup of water in the steamer and added one cup of long grain rice to steam. 

Dinner was amazing. I have a bit of rice left over. We have a small bowl of pork and corn left for tomorrow to have for lunch. I was considering making a fried rice for lunch using tonight's left overs. I have never made it before and found an easy recipe online. I will attempt to make this tomorrow. 

Last night we had pancakes and smoked cracked pepper bacon for dinner. The pancakes came from a mix that my husband bought prior to my arrival in Florida. The box is almost empty. The plan is to finish using this up during the week. The cracked pepper bacon was from the grocery package that my mother in law sent a couple of weeks ago. It was a 12 ounce package. I cut the strips in half and baked them in the oven. We have five strips left and those are in the fridge to incorporate into meals this week. 

I saved the bacon fat to use to fry eggs and potatoes this week. I am trying to be more frugal and save some money at the grocery store. 

Things that need to be used this week:
left over marinated pork
left over rice
left over buttered corn
5 strips of bacon
corn bread

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Lunch today

My son opted to have two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. 
My middle daughter opted to have chicken noodle soup. 
My oldest daughter opted to have the last package of ramen noddle soup. 
My husband and I finished off some bagged salad, added a small cucumber, a few cherry tomatoes, and a bit of cheese. 

We emptied the last two bags of tortilla chips (into one medium size bowl) and offered the last remaining salsa with gaucamoli along with some strawberries and watermelon for all of us. I put this on the dining room table for all of us to share as part of our lunch. We used up a lot of lurking stuff that may have other wise gone to the wayside. 

That's it. A basic lunch. More later. I have a nap in the future since I spent the morning cleaning house and doing some house chores. 


Monday: My husband and I went to see the mortgage lender to submit paperwork. I am approved for the mortgage for the house. We are putting 10 percent down (20, 900) and the mortgage will be for a total of 184,410 dollars. The paperwork has been accepted and the loan has went to the processing department for a 30 year loan with 4.2 percent interest fixed. The hold up with the loan process will be the submission of two paychecks from my new job which I start on the 18th.

Tuesday: I went to my new job for HR forms, a physical, and a drug test. The forms are submitted. I had a physical. I completed the drug test. I submitted all my vaccinations, ppd testings, titers, and had all my correct dates on each form. I needed a second ppd test which I received and have to go back today at 2 to get it read.

Wednesday: We ventured into Orlando and took the kids to Epcot. My husband bought season passes. This does not come out of my budget. This is strictly his spending money that he has after he pays his bills every month.

Thursday: We are staying home most of the day. I did some house work. Our pest control folks came back because we found some ants in the living room. The pest control folks have been here twice now since we began treatment for the rental. The pest control folks found another colony outside near the living room sliding doors and put some bait down. They will be back in a week to evaluate for progress. We have only seen a small amount of very tiny ants in the living room. It is best to take care of this problem before it becomes a huge problem. I have to go back to my new job and get my ppd test read at 2 this afternoon.

Meals this week: My kids had cereal with milk or the choice of eggs for breakfast. Lunch was either sandwiches (pb&j, turkey breast lunch meat from Aldi with cheese, hot dogs, or soup). Dinner on Monday was sloppy joes. Wednesday dinner was ohama steakhouse single meatloaves (from the care package from mother in law) and we baked two of the single meatloaves. We divided the meatloaves into slices for the five of us. The kids were able to choose salad (lettuce, cheery tomato, cucumber), or left over potato salad, and watermelon to have with their dinner. Tuesday's meal was a combination of left over lasagna from the family meal with our cousins, potato salad, and water melon.

I am aware that some of the meals are very carb heavy. We are not snacking between meals. Everyone is eating what they put on their plates and are working hard on not wasting food.

I called HR at my old job this morning and waiting for a call back. I did not receive my PTO cash out as today would have been my regular payday. I did refill everyone's prescriptions last night and paid 96 dollars for 6 medications for both my daughters and husband. I got mine refilled the week before for a tune of 65 dollars. We are all set on meds and continue to have some refills still.

I found a good source for medication discounts. Has anyone ever used "good rx" to get discounted medications? When I was completing my clinical requirements for my master's degree at the free clinic we were able to use this "good rx" to see how much ordered medications would cost patients to pick up at the pharmacy and if they were too expensive there was always alternative meds that could be ordered.

We will not have alternative meds ordered for the five of us until I receive health benefits in November. I start my new job on the 18th and will receive my benefit package then to review and sign up for. I am still waiting to hear from my previous job about receiving a certificate about having health insurance and have to speak to Lincoln Financial about transferring my 403 B to an IRA.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Home buying process

Our old home closed the other day. We owed 67 to 68 T on it and sold it for 120 T. After everything was finished we were wired 45 T into our joint account and everything is said and done.

I took about 85 percent of that money and put it in a savings account in my name only. I took about 10 percent and put in my checking account to cover the household bills since I will not have a paycheck until October 5th. My husband has some in his account.

I paid September and October's rent. 1500 a month. Done. I paid every bill that I had sitting in my shoe box (sound weird I put the bills in an old shoe box and keep it on the shelf in the dining room). Every Bill Is Paid. I have more than enough money in my checking account to cover the bills for September and part of October as long as I am careful.

I went to the grocery store this morning and spent 145 dollars. I live Aldi.

I paid 2,000 dollars on my sister's mortgage. She is in the process of a loan modification. I don't know any more details than that. I told her that I would help her once the house closed and I did my part. She was very thankful. I did tell her that I wouldn't be able to do much more.

I went to speak to the building company about the homes we toured on Thursday night. The model home that we toured was sold and set to close this weekend. It was a very beautiful single level family home. 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1800 sq feet, comes with stove, fridge, and dishwasher. Everything is electric (which is what we are used too). The ceilings are just regular, where as the rental home we have vaulted ceilings.

We are paying 1500 in rent for this home. We thought that we would be long term renters for a while after our house closed. We found that while renting in the short term is OK, we would really like to have a home of our own instead of paying someone elses's mortgage.

I gave the building company a good faith payment Friday afternoon. I have a realtor that is helping us through this process. The mortgage loan will be in my name only as my credit score is 720 and much better than my husband's. Our rent is 1500 and the mortgage would be about 1200-1250 a month which is a bit more easier to the budget.

We are putting 10 percent down on the purchase price of 205,900. I have been approved and qualified for the mortgage loan at 4 percent interest. I have a credit score of 739, 711, and 731 at the three credit bureaus. I am going to meet with the lender tomorrow at noon to go over the required documents that I have to give them. I have all these documents in a folder next to the lap top for tomorrow.

The rest of the money from the house is going to stay in my savings account for an emergency fund. There will be 13,000 in it after paying the 10 percent and closing costs. The insurance and taxes (oh goodness the taxes on the newly built home) will be put in an escrow account.

The home will be completed in November or December of this year. I will have to increase my savings. I am still waiting for my old job to pay my PTO cash out. I am hoping it will be here on Thursday in my bank account. It will be put right into my savings account (which I have access to online).

What's been happening??

Well, our house finally closed this past Wednesday! The funds were distributed and as of Wednesday I was debt free. 

Thursday: I did not get to HR at my new job this week because I lost my CPR card during the move from Virginia to Florida. The HR office told me that I could call the Lake County CPR office and see if they had a course that had an opening. 

We looked at a couple of new homes being built on Thursday night. There is a new development opening that is building two up to five bedrooms homes in the area. We were looking at 4 bedroom single level homes. We talked a lot about the renting verses buying. We did put a LOT of money into our old home. It was a town house built in 1990 and we bought it in 2002 and it needed many repairs through the years. It was a 3 bedroom 2 bath home which we bought when the kids were very young. 1300 sq feet total. 

I went out with my cousin to her house and we had dinner there. My husband took my oldest daughter to her job in Orlando and stayed in Orlando walking, window shopping, and spending time with our middle daughter and son. They came home when our oldest daughter got out of work. 

Friday: We decided to buy a home. We are currently renting and have been here since July 12th. I have been here since August 5th. The house is a 4 bedroom 2 bath home. Two car garage. Very small yard (I have to cut grass, so I prefer a small yard). It is in a development called Chelsea Oaks South. More on this later. 

Saturday: We spent the day at home and enjoyed a day just hanging out together. We cleaned house, took naps, fed animals, watched home movies. We had sloppy joes for dinner. 

Sunday: We are having dinner with our cousins tonight. They are bringing lasagna and cheesecake. We are providing the salad and some watermelon. I went to Aldi this morning and spent 145 dollars. We had a trunk full of groceries and honestly everything is filled in the pantry and freezer. It is a great feeling. 


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Frugal Activities

We are using what we have to care for the family (there's five of us). My daughter needed her hair cut for her new job. She started yesterday. We did not have the funds from the sale of the house yet and I ended up cutting her hair in the bathroom. I cut an inch off the back and trimmed the rest of it. It looks pretty good.

It rained yesterday so the yard got watered.

I emailed the title company this morning to see how long it takes to disperse the funds from the sale of the house. I am waiting for a response back from them.

Breakfast this morning will be either scrambled eggs with frozen hash browns that I will put in the oven or egg sandwiches (we still have some left over hamburger rolls). I am pretty sure that the egg sandwiches will be requested.

I am waiting to hear form my old job when I will receive my paid time off cash out (277 hours) and my 133 hours of sick time at my base rate of pay (32.78) since I need this money to add to the funds from the house to pay bills and have the rest in savings for the down payment on a new to us home.

I have to contact the folks representing my 403B to see if I can get this rolled over into an IRA.

Dinner tonight is about 7 potatoes cut into chunks, the last four carrots, half an onion, some garlic powder, basil, and pepper were out into the crock pot with a one pound package of beef tips. The beef tips were in the grocery package from my mother in law. I added the last can of mushroom soup to the crock pot.

We are running out of things and the freezer remains full. The fridge is half full. The cabinets are getting empty. The bills are caught up until the end of August. I should get my PTO cash out on August 31st since my last two day paycheck was on August 17th.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

you tube

The landlord got a new dryer delivered to us nine days ago. We have been having issues with it not drying clothes well and I finally was able to figure out why. The air flow to the vent was blocked by "wadded plastic and paper" leading to the outside exhaust.

Holy crap. I was able to watch a you tube video to see how to take off the clamps and silver tubing to get the blocked stuff out of the exhaust.

It worked. I am so proud and horrified that there was a bunch of stuff wadded up into the tubing and exhaust. We are very lucky. The dryer did dry a full load of clothes in about 30 minutes.

Tuesday triumphs

The house is finally closed and sold. I was told that funds will be allowed to be dispersed as soon as possible. We have some bills to get caught up on, rent to pay for September (I all ready paid 875 and owe 650 for September first for a total of 1500) and would like to pay October's rent since I will not have a pay check until the first week of October.

I would like to put 90 percent of the money in the bank for a down payment for a new to us home. I am going to have to work on saving as much as I can to have a reasonable down payment and to ensure that this buying process goes a bit more smoothly then the selling/moving process.

My oldest daughter starts her new job this afternoon. Everyone was on their own for breakfast. I told everyone that there was a bi of cereal amd milk or eggs for breakfast. They all chose eggs.

Lunch is a hot meal today since my daughter has to work. I am cooking a box of elbow pasta and using a jar of spaghetti sauce for lunch. I have a package of 15 meatballs from the grocery package that my mother in law sent us and will be using them in the sauce. We have some left over corn and green beans in the fridge that need to be eaten, along with a small amount of tomato and cucumber slices.

Monday, August 21, 2017


I washed the comforter from my oldest daughter's bed and hung it over the dining room table to dry. Breakfast/lunch was a choice of cereal (we have about a half a box of pumpkin spice cheerios left), ramen noodles, the last couple hot dogs on rolls, some left overs from last night, and the last bit of cake for dessert.

Tonight's dinner was burgers. I put them in the oven because I was not comfortable using the hot plate to cook them as I don't feel the hot plate gets "hot enough".

The ground beef was mixed with one egg, a couple handfuls of breadcrumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasonings and put shaped into patties for the oven. I made the only package of alfredo noodles that my girls requested. I cut up the last bit of cucumber that we had in the fridge, sliced the last tomato we had, and cut some onion slices for the burgers. I topped the finished burgers with sliced cheese. We only had four slices of cheese so I did not have cheese on mine.

I offered everyone plain hamburger buns or onion rolls for their burgers. I offered cucumber on the side was a veggie.

Monday is our trash pick up day. The city we live in offers curb side trash pick up. Our trash has been reduced since we also have curbside recycling on Thursday mornings. I am loving this service since when we lived in Virginia we had to take our own trash to the county landfill. We pay 8 dollars a month for this service.

Monday madness

The currier was here this morning to help us with signing paperwork. He left and faxed everything from his office. The buyers had their closing at 2 pm today.

So, DONE!!!

WRONG! I got a text message at 445 telling me to check my email because there was a revision of the first page of the document on the buyers end. I am supposed to sign it, scan, and email back to them. The email was times 4:48 today.

So my husband and I were able to down load the document and take it to his cousin's house. There son printed it out for us and we signed it. My husband's cousin was not home and, we unable to scan it to the title company. I emailed the realtor and told her and she stated that the title company needed it by morning.


Anyway, the first page of the document is sitting on their desk at my husband's cousin's house with my email, the title company email, and a flash drive of mine. Closing is delayed until tomorrow.

My husband got upset with me. He asked me to call the realtor at 3 because he said he would feel better if everything was completed. I sent her numerous text messages (5 total with 5 of her responses) and spoke to her twice over the phone. He is pissed off at me about the title company and the number revision on the buyers end. I tried to tell him that I spoke to her twice and showed him the test messages. He ended up yelling me me for the ten minute ride back to our house. He accused me of renting the house (which he knew about and was OK with since we needed a place to live) with out his knowledge, he loves the rental home, and wants to make an offer on the rental home in the spring. He yelled at me about a couple of other things, like the budget, meals, our lifestyle, how I pay the bills, and when my starting day at work is. Some of these things, like closing on the house, and my start day at my new job are out of my control.

I tried to tell him that I am doing the best I can with what I have. We both agreed to move 1000 miles across the country. The kids agreed that as a family we could move. Everyone (all five of us) felt that it was in our best interest to take the job offer, relocate, start new lines, get away from the cold weather, and begin our future.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday plans

We all slept in this morning in hopes of recovering from the past few days and to improve our moods. It worked. The house chores are done. We all had various things for lunch as I told everyone to have what they could find.

My son finished off the last of the honey nut cheerios. My daughter finished off the last of the pasta that was left over from last night. I had a tomato sandwich on an onion roll. My husband opted to have ramen noodles. My daughter opted to have a bowl of chicken noodle soup.

My kids helped and did all their chores. I do not give my kids allowances because I feel that they are to do chores because we have to work together as a family. My middle daughter and my son cleaned the cat box. All three kids sorted through the recycling and put everything in the garage. My son took out the trash and put it in the trash container in the garage.

My middle daughter washed the kitchen floor with a bit of water and a very small amount of spic and span, I told her to use less than a cap full of spic and span as funds are tight and we are trying to make things last. I washed two of the kids blankets from their beds and hung them over the dining room chairs to dry.

My husband cleaned our bathroom. The kids are in charge of cleaning their own bathroom.

We are going to our cousin's house for dinner tonight. We are bringing the protein and using some of the grocery package from my mother in law. We are bringing the four small steaks and two containers of frozen "red smashed potatoes" that came in the grocery package. Our cousin and her family are supplying burgers and hot dogs for the kids. There are five kids and four adults. They are supplying canned corn and beans. It should be a great evening.

I took our a package of ground beef to make hamburgers tomorrow for the five of us. I have one fresh tomato left, a couple of hamburger buns from the bread store, and a package of onion rolls for the burgers. I am also going to make some potato salad tomorrow morning to have with our burgers. I don't have a grill or anything like that so we use the oven a lot.

I am hoping that everyone has a good day.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

What's been happening?

Wednesday, my mother in law had two boxes of groceries delivered to us from Ohama Steaks. I was so surprised. Immediately we put the food in the freezer. There was two packages of pork ribs, one package of four filet, two packages of frozen smashed potatoes, two packages of frozen seasoned green beans, four packages of mini meat loaves, and some various other gifts. It was amazing and everything looks great in the freezer. Wednesday we just stayed at home and ended up having a bit of a disagreement about the budget.

Thursday, my husband and his cousins took us all out to historic mount dora. There are a lot of shops, paved areas for walking, and a lot of time to sit and enjoy each other's company. His cousins took us out for lunch. I attempted to pay with the cash we had in our budget and I was told to keep the money. I ended up having a chicken salad on wheat bread and it was pretty good. My kids had hot dogs. My husband had some potato salad and a grilled cheese with tomato sandwich. Overall it was a pleasant day and we ended up enjoying everyone's company.

Thursday night was a bit difficult. I ended up watching a movie with my husband in our room and I didn't get to bed until almost 1 AM which is very late for me. I am usually in bed before 8:30 which really hasn't happened since I got to our new home in Florida two weeks ago.

Friday morning, I got up and was ready to take my daughter to her job interview. She wanted to wait until 11:30 to leave and I tried to explain to her that we may get lost, traffic, etc etc, but in her world these things are not an issue. Go Figure.

The realtor called me on Friday morning to tell me that I had to finish paying the water/sewer and electric bill on our house before closing on August 21st. She said that it should have already should have bene paid. Well I tried to explain that I used all my savings to move and had not recieved my PTO yet from work. Needless to say, I was able to get the two bills paid. I have 68 dollars in my checking account left and have to pay my mother in law back for the electric bill expense. I called the realtor and gave her the confirmation numbers and sent an online statement to her email address also.

The title company and the realtor called me again before we left the house to take my daughter to her interview. They stated that I had to sign one last document before closing on Monday, August 21st. I explained to them that I was not in Virginia anymore and that the document would have to be signed digitally or electronically. Apparently that is a problem because both of these ladies stated that I would have to come to Virginia to sign the paperwork. I explained to them that I did not have the money to come to Virginia and that this would have to be worked out because I am not in a better financial spot than I was prior to finishing up paying the sewer/water/electric bill on the house. They gave me a difficult time about not being able to fly to Virginia. I told them that this was their concern because I had been in contact with them since June (while I was still living in Virginia) and told them repeatedly that I was leaving to go to Florida to be with my family on August 5th (after my last day of work). My realtor knew this and I called her twice the last week I was in Virginia to make sure that she was aware that I would be leaving the state since she told me that if there was anything left to sign it could be done electronically.

I was not in the best mood since I spent the night before watching a movie with my husband on Netflix (he pays for that), didn't sleep well, spent all day Thursday walking around a historic village, had gotten up early to get my kid to her interview, and had the previous phone call about the utilities.

I told the realtor and the title company that this was their concern and that they would have to figure out how to get the document to me since apparently it would not be emailed or faxed. I spoke to them at 11 olcock and they did not get back to me until Friday afternoon at 4:45 when they told me that they were going to send a currier to my home that was a notary to assist with signing of the document. FINE.

My daughter had a job interview in Orlando yesterday at Universal studios. This is a 51 minute drive with numerous tolls one way. We left the house at 1130 yesterday and her interview was at 12:45. We did not leave Universal Studios until 5 pm and did not get home last night until after 6 oclock due to the traffic.

She earned herself a seasonal part time job from now until the first week of November. Universal is hosting a Halloween Adventure House or something like that. Even though there is a commute and tolls involved I was proud of her for presenting herself and standing out from the hundreds of job hunters at the job fair.

Friday night my husband and my middle DD baked the pork spare ribs and heated up some frozen veggies. They also had made a cake for dessert (boxed mix with frosting). I ate dinner, cleaned up part of the house, and ended up having a disagreement with my husband about our house, the closing date, and why I didn't finish paying the utility and focused on the rent for September instead. I explained to him that I was afraid closing would have been pushed back and I wanted to make sure that the rent for September was paid in full to prevent any issues. Needless to say, he said that I was very anxious and should have known that closing would go as scheduled.

I ended up going to my room, taking a shower, and watching another movie before I fell asleep.
Yesterday was a very long day.

Saturday!! Finally a day that I could stay home. I ended up taking the meat off the whole bird I cooked earlier this week and made chicken salad with it using half an older onion, three stalks of celery, spices, mayo, and a small amount of mustard. I had two chicken breast in the fridge thawed. I put them in a baking pan with the rest of the onion, two cloves of garlic, and the last bit of spaghetti sauce in the jar I found in the fridge. I baked this for a little over an hour in a covered casserole dish and shredded the chicken when it was finished. I will add some more sauce and top it with some cheese in a little bit. I am going to boil some pasta and make a small salad to go with it for dinner.
The bones form the whole bird, the veggie scraps, and everything else was put into the crock pot and simmered all day. In about another hour I will take it all out and strain it. I will have a nice bowl of chicken stock for the freezer.

I stayed home all day. I pulled bedsheets off everyone's beds and put them in the wash. They will be dried eventually and put back on beds. I turned the air from 78 degrees to 77 because it is so humid in the house. I asked my husband to find a dehumidifier that we may need to purchase.

I am meeting with a realtor on Wednesday to see what kind of information I can get about buying our "retirement forever home". This will be the home that we will grow old in and will maintain us in our senior years. I am not buying a home on Wednesday but just getting some much needed beginning information.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Air conditioning

The house we are renting is 1800 sq feet with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, dining room, kitchen, living room, and utility room. It is an open floor plan. It also has a garage. The garage is kept closed and locked. It is very warm in there and does not have air conditioning. We keep the door locked in the utility room to prevent air conditioning from going through to the garage. The stove is electric and we use the dish washer once a day.

We have kept the air at 78 degrees. We have five ceiling fans running to help circulate air movement.

Our first electric bill came and it is 188 dollars. We moved from a town house of 1333 sq feet, three bedrooms, two baths, no garage, and open floor plan for the living room, dining room, and kitchen.

This bill does not include the dryer that the property manager bought and had installed on Sunday.

Our town house had electric costs of about 150 a month because my husband would keep the air conditioning at about 70 to 75 and we used to use the dryer frequently.

The lease states that clothes lines are not allowed. I used to have a drying rack but it did not come with the move because of the shape that it is was in. It was breaking and falling apart.

Does anyone have experience with a home that is 1800 square feet and know if this is an accurate electric bill for a family of five? Our water is heated by electricity. My son takes a shower every night. I take a shower or bath every OTHER night, my oldest daughter takes a shower every morning, and my middle daughter takes a shower every OTHER night. My husband will take a shower every day or every other day depending on how he feels when he wakes up.

I am considering turning the air conditioning up to 79 degrees and continue to use ceiling fans. I am looking for input from folks to see if this is a reasonable bill or not. We lived in our town house for 15 years in Virginia and are used to the utility payments. This is our first electric bill for the rental home.

Wednesday happenings

Well, I heard back from our realtor and she stated that our old house is still scheduled for closing on August 21st. This is a very hard time and is stressful because I didn't really understand everything that went into selling a house and moving across country from Virginia to Florida. I haven't heard back from my new job yet to see if I can start early. I am assuming that it is not going to happen since I have contacted them twice last week. I am scheduled for a employee health physical on August 24th and start hospital orientation September 18th.

We received a refund check from our old cable company in the amount of 148 dollars. I asked my husband to put it in his account and I would be able to transfer 100 of the money to my account to put towards September's rent. I have paid 875 so far towards September's rent and will get my last two day pay check tomorrow by direct deposit into my account. That money will go straight towards September's rent and hopefully will have closing next week to help offset the budget.

I still have some Virginia bills to finish paying. I have all ready budgeted and paid for the first month's round of utility bills since my family has been here since July 12th and moved in on the 15th of July.

The dishwasher has been started. The counters wiped off. I found a "running toilet" in my kids bathroom and have emailed the property management company and send in a maintenance request to get this fixed. The last thing I want is a high water bill for something that is easily fixed. I looked in the tank I am not sure if it is the gasket or seal that is making the water run. It is stated in my lease that they respond to maintenance and tenant requests pretty quickly.

The kids are own their own for breakfast. Lunch is going to be sandwiches (lunch meat with cheese/PBJ/ or hotdogs).

Dinner tonight is french toast using bread ends, milk, and the last few eggs we have in the fridge. We are also going to have pork sausage patties. (I may attempt to make sausage gravy if I am able to. I have never made it before, but it would help keep the pantry filled).

Other than that we are staying home today. I would like to finish the cup of decaf tea I made. My son called me a "big fat meanie" because I reminded him that he needs to put his shorts (his only beloved pair) in the laundry to be washed tonight.  If my only concern was being a "big fat meanie" because I wanted to wash my autistic son's (he's 19) clothes I would be OK!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tuesday dinner

We bought a whole chicken from Publix for a total of 6 dollars. I am going to have to look at the price per pound when I open it. I am going to put this in the crock pot with carrots, celery, and some spices. I don't want to put potato in it since we have eaten so many potatoes this weekend.

I am going to offer a small salad to go with dinner tonight. We have some green leaf lettuce, tomato, and cucumber that I bought on Sunday that we can use. The dressing is either generic buttermilk ranch or generic thousand island for those who would want some.

Monday & Tuesday happenings

I was determined not to go anywhere yesterday. I eventually did go to the park with my husband and my one daughter. My other daughter and son did not want to go so they stayed home. Our property manager delivered the dryer on Sunday and we did use it for three loads of laundry yesterday. I didn't do much yesterday as I wanted to get some rest.

I folded two loads of laundry from the other day (my husband had taken it to the laundry mat before the dryer arrived) and folded the three from yesterday.

Breakfast yesterday: cereal (cheerios and milk)
Lunch yesterday: Left overs (choices of grilled chicken, pork with mushroom sauce, salad, potato salad, corn casserole, and/or baked potatoes)
Dinner yesterday: Left overs continued as lunch offerings.

As you know food is expensive and we are not thrilled to throw food away. This is what we have left from our weekend meals:

three baked potatoes
some mushroom sauce
two grilled chicken tenderloin
a small amount of pork

We will finish this off today for lunches.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Happenings

The property manager of the rental house had a new electric dryer delivered for us. It came this morning from Lowe's. It did not have the clamps and we bought them ourselves. The cost was 1.98 for a pack of two. My husband was able to get them on the dryer connector to the ventilation hose.

Well, managing two household budgets is difficult. I had about 580 dollars in my checking until Thursday when I get my last two day pay from my old job. I am still waiting on my PTO to be paid out. I emailed the realtor to make sure we are still scheduled for closing on August 21st. She stated that it was still scheduled and planned for that day. I paid the old water bill from Virginia (we still have a balance and this will be paid off when we get the house closed), I paid the new water bill from Florida, and I paid the new electric bill from Florida. I paid an old doctor bill from Virginia.

My husband's cousins are coming over for dinner and bringing their two adult boys. They told me that they are bringing grilled chicken tenders, baked potatoes, and corn casserole. I told then that I will have buttered green beans (frozen), potato salad that I made today, and vanilla cupcakes for those who want some kind of dessert. I will also make a plain simple salad (green leaf lettuce, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and celery.
I stopped at the grocery store Publix. I still have to find out what stores are in the area. I have been here a week yesterday and my husband stated that there is a Winn Dixie in town, an Aldi in another town about 15 minutes away, a dollar store (I love dollar stores), plus I believe that there is a Save a Lot.

Here's what I bought this morning:
Gallon of generic milk 3.79
2 liter soda 0.99 (BOGO)
lb carrots 0.99
one whole chicken publix generic brand 6.00 a bird
cupcake holders 0.99
one cucumber 0.75
turkey breast/ham slices lunch meat 5.99
two packages of ground beef 4.95, 4.95 (each pound was 3.99 YIKES!!!!!)
one bag of frozen califlower/brocolli mix 1.95
one frozen soup mix (frozen veggies )1.95
3 lb hot dogs 4.39 (YIKES!)
2 liter soda (BOGO)
fresh tomatoes 1.29 lb bought almost two pounds worth 2.30
generic fabric softner sheets 1.59 (we will use each one twice)
Cheerios (BOGO) 3.83
Cheerios (BOGO)
Green leaf lettuce (1.69)
10 lg leg quarters 7.90
two gallons of spring water .86  .86
2 liter soda (BOGO)   0.99
two liter soda (BOBO)
5 chocolate bars

We spent a total of 69.15 with taxes included. We have spices, many baking items, fresh potatoes, three packages of frozen veggies, three small packages of chicken breast, numerous loaves of bread, half a box of generic rice krispies, some box mixes of rice, granola bars, four eggs, condiments, two boxes of pasta, and three jars of spaghetti sauce. My husband bought this prior to my arrival and I have been using what he has in the cabinets and adding to it to make meals. I am hoping that we can get through the next two or three weeks with what we have. I would like to get our finances in order and finish paying off Virginia household budget stuff, while beginning the budget for our new home in Florida. I paid a portion of our rent at the beginning of the month for September. My pay this week will go straight to the September rent.

Some times I wonder if we made the right decision to move but we are here now and that is where we are going to stay. Things will improve when the house closes and I can get the bills paid off. I requested to start early at my job on Thursday and hoping to hear back from HR this week. That would make life much easier instead of waiting until September 18th.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Dinner tonight

Well, it's official. I have been in Florida a week now and my family has been in Florida a month. I have to say that it is very difficult to be apart from each other. I had to stay behind to finish school and put in my clinical hours for the last course I was taking. I also had to finish the last three weeks at my old job. I ended up staying at my friend's house for three weeks while my family was in Florida since our house was on the market and it sold in 48 hours.

Dinner tonight will be easy. I already have the crock pot on and put in the only package of pork chops I found in the freezer. There's 6 in the package which will be just the right amount for the five of us and leaves one left over for who ever wants it. I sliced up one whole onion, put the pork in the crock pot with some garlic powder, and one can of mushroom soup that I added some water to.

This is going to cook all day. I have some unopened long grain rice that we can put in the steamer later and will simmer some green beans from the freezer. We still have some mixed fruit left that needs to be finished today.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Today's frugal activities

Breakfast: scrambled eggs (we each had two)

Dinner: one thin sliced chicken breast marinated and breaded (dollar store bread crumbs), left over steamed broccoli from the other night, a "flavored chicken" rice kit, fresh fruit from the fridge that needs to go, and left over carrot cake (a very small portion) for those who want it.

I cut the grass in the front and back yard, and sides of the house. It was a big job and took about 45 minutes. The house was vacuumed. Cat box cleaned, four loads of laundry washed, and recycling sorted. I broke down some of the boxes that we unpacked and they are stacked in the garage for next Thursday (which is our recycling day). The kitchen floor was mopped. All I have left to do is vacuum the dining room after dinner. The kids loaded and unloaded the dishwasher this morning.

The property manager is going to have a dryer delivered over the weekend. I have four loads of laundry drying over chairs and I may have my husband go to the laundry mat to use two of their dryers. Our old drying rack was broken so we didn't take it for the move to Florida. I was looking over our lease this morning and clothes lines are not permitted in the backyard. I wish they were.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Simple things

OK, so my family has been here (husband and kids since July 12th) and I have been here since Saturday, August 5th.

We had the following meals this week so far:
Sunday Lunch: Tacos with trimmings (cheese, tomato, salsa)
Sunday Dinner: Oven baked chicken wings, mashed potatoes, fruit bowl, and birthday cake.
Monday Lunch: Hot dogs, fruit bowl
Monday Dinner: More oven baked chicken wings, left over taco stuff, left over mashed potatoes
Tuesday Breakfast: Generic Rice Krispies with fat free milk
Tuesday Dinner: Broccoli, thin sliced potatoes, and two chicken breast sliced thin, marinated and breaded.
Wednesday Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, canned hash
Wednesday Dinner: Lunch meat sandwiches, fruit
Thursday Breakfast: Generic Rice Krispies, fat free milk
Thursday Lunch: Grilled cheese and the last two sliced tomato sandwiches (no tomato for the kids)
Thursday Dinner: We went out for Chick Fil A since we were going to walk around the park.

We have been to the park several times to walk around. It is a very nice place to enjoy outside. We have been riding around the area looking at options for housing in the community (we will buy I believe once the old house closes).

I emailed my new employer to see if I could move up my start date from September 18th. I am waiting to hear back from them to see if this is possible.

We do not have a clothes dryer. The property company is supposed to have one delivered on Sunday. I emailed the company today for the second time to see when it would be delivered. In the meantime, we are washing clothes in cold water and hanging clothes over the dining room chairs until they are dry.

Trash pick up is twice a week (Monday and Thursday mornings). We have always taken our household trash to the community landfill when we were living in Virginia. Town trash pick up is new for us and I can not say enough about it. We also have recycling pick up on Monday mornings. They weigh your recycling and you earn points to use on city goods when you accumulate enough. I would like to see free admission to events in the area as a perk. I understand that recycling is mandated, and not opposed to it. We recycled in Virginia and did all of the hauling ourselves. I am really liking the recycling and trash pick up. We put two huge cardboard boxes out with all the boxes we used for unpacking inside and those were picked up also.

The house is 1800 square feet, one level, 4 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, and has a two car garage. My husband has his car in the garage. I am nervous about putting mine in the garage because I may have trouble backing it out. I am not the most skilled driver.

We have central air. The blinds are closed in the house from about 10 am until about 6 pm. WE also have five ceiling fans that we use to help circulate air. The central air is on 78. The house is all electric too.

It's been a long time.

Well, it's been a long time. I finally finished the MSN degree this week. All of my kids are graduated high school and we have moved from Virginia to Florida. We are waiting for August 21 to arrive because we sold our house in Virginia!! August 21st is the closing date. I have a new job waiting at the hospital in this area and I am patiently for the board of nursing to accept my background screening and fingerprinting that I completed.

My last day at my old job was August 5th. I am going to receive all of my vacation time back (about 270 hours) at my base rate of pay (32.78) minus taxes, retirement, and health insurance. I have another two day pay coming next week to be direct deposited.

The fees with moving were astronomical. We paid a moving company, paid for new paint and carpeting in our old house, paid the rent and security deposit for the new rental home, background checks (for five), pet deposit, and a four night stay in a hotel while we were getting the painting and carpet down in the old house.

There's been so much money from my savings account that we used to finance the move. We did not put anything on a credit card (I don't have any, but my husband has one).

Once the house closes we will be considering whether to buy again or to continue renting long term. We are waiting for the first round of bills to come for the new house (utilities). We have to change the two vehicle registrations, we got updated insurance information from our old company, they are just going to transfer it to Florida, and we have to finish paying a few bills from Virginia.

The goal is to close on the old house, put some money back in savings (we have none at the moment due to the move), establish residency, and get our finances in order. I have health insurance until the end of August. I will get employer sponsored health insurance 60 days after my start date of September 18th, 2017. We have all of our prescriptions filled, been to the dentist, got all of our needed appointments done before leaving Virginia.