Saturday, December 30, 2017

Kitchen picture

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Here's a picture of our beautiful kitchen. I wasn't able to fit the refrigerator and dishwasher in the picture.

Blinds and new bed

I went to Lowe's last night with my husband to get some information regarding measurements of windows. The Lowe's folks were very helpful and set this up for us. They are going to send out someone to measure all the windows for 35 dollars total. The measurements will be sent to Lowe's and once they receive the measurements we are going to be able to call them to set up a time to order blinds. My mother in law ordered blinds through J C Penny and we had to return them as they were too big for the windows. JC Penny put the return costs back on my mother in law's credit card. JC Penny is funny. They wanted to give us a gift certificate to ensure that we spent money in their store and we stood our ground and asked that the cash be returned to the credit card twice.

I went to Big Lots last night in search of thermal curtains for each of the kids rooms. I found three pairs of the same color and curtain rods to go with them. The curtains were 24 dollars a pair and I paid for these in cash with some of the money I had left over from the paycheck.

We also bought a new bed last night. My husband and I have been talking about a new bed for months now and now that we are finally in our forever retirement home it was more than time. I took the money out of my savings to purchase the bed (which included the mattress, box spring, frame, head board, and foot board) and the total cost was about 1,000 dollars including delivery fees.

We still need curtains for the living room, dining room, the glass sliding door, and our room. The curtains will have to wait until maybe the end of January until we see how the cash flow is going to work out.

I had a gift card for Lowe's and a 10 percent off coupon. The gift card was for 22 dollars. I bought two large buckets of HE laundry soap and dryer sheets. The cost was 17 dollars. This price combined with the 35 dollar fee for the measurements of the windows was not very high. The 10 percent coupon was used and the gift card was used. I ended up paying 34 dollars total.

Using our pantry

I was looking through the pantry, fridge, and freezer this morning and we are starting to have several holes since we have been eating more from the pantry and doing less grocery shopping. I had to take my middle DD to work this morning at Dollar General. I ended up buying a gallon of milk while I was there since we needed it and paid cash.

3.75 a gallon.

So, since we have several holes in the pantry and the recycling was picked up yesterday by the city, our recycling was very full and almost overflowing. I found a recipe online for a crock pot scalloped potato recipe. We have a lot of ham left over from our Thanksgiving meal and was in the freezer. I used some of the odd pieces and cut them up to use with the scalloped potatoes. I am saving the nicer slices for sandwiches and such.

We only had 8 potatoes and I used all of them. The recipe is below. We will more than likely have some green beans as our veggies this evening. I can easily warm the frozen ones up in the microwave to keep costs down.

January Goals

Since moving into our new home and experiencing the move twice in a year has been a bit overwhelming. The first move was from Virginia to Florida and that including selling our house and renting while our forever home was being built. The second move was from the rental to the forever home. Moving is very expensive regardless of distance.

Some of the January goals I have include the following:

~transfer retirement from old employer to new employer plan

~maintain 75 dollars every two weeks as a direct deposit from my pay into the savings

~cancel CVS prescription coverage for my husband once all his meds are processed through the 90  day mail order

~order new blinds for 8 windows and one large sliding door

~buy curtains for my bedroom

~buy curtains for the living room window and two windows in the dining room

~maintain the current standard of living and keep any cash flow that is left over from each pay period to put an additional deposit into the savings.

~continue using our pantry as wisely as possible as funds are tight and remain so until we are financially settled into our new home.

~Bed delivery

~measuring windows for blinds installation

Friday, December 29, 2017

Dinner tonight

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I am learning how to add pictures to my blog. I made a from scratch pizza for the troops for dinner tonight. I have a great recipe from all for an amazing garlic Parmesan crust that can be made in the bread machine.

I had half a bag of mozzarella in the fridge that needed to be used. I opened a small can of no salt tomato sauce and added some garlic, onion, and Italian seasoning to it. I took out a storage bag of ham that was in the freezer from our Thanksgiving dinner. I cut up a small portion of the ham into tiny pieces and added it to the pizza. I added fresh garlic to the pizza.

It turned out amazing and we cut thin slices for the five of us and we were able to have two slices each. The kids ended up having some canned soup with their pizza. It helps to keep the budget intact not ordering out and cost effective.

403B and Savings

I was able to contact the new retirement plan as I had a question regarding an account number. I have been trying to transfer my old 403B into my new retirement plan but did not have an account number. I was told that it was the social security was the account number. I will print out the paperwork at work tomorrow night and get it sent to my old 403 B plan in order to get the funds transferred over to the new plan.

I have adjusted my direct deposit at work. I requested that 75 dollars every two weeks are placed in my savings account. This was the first week that it went through and I am hoping not to feel it in the budget. I want to continue to have funds placed in the account to keep the balance at an amount that would be appropriate for an emergency.

We received our full security deposit back from the rental house. 1500 dollars went right into the savings. my savings account has 9700 in it right now and I am very proud to have the amount in there for emergencies. The account is in my name only since my husband has a spending issue.

The money in the savings is considered "our money" however he does not have access to it.

75 dollars every two weeks will equal 1950 in a year for the savings. I have 65 T in my retirement from my old 403B which I was contributing 10 percent. I am currently contributing 4 percent to my new plan with an employer contribution of 4 percent.

Every little bit that can be put towards retirement and savings is a blessing.

Keeping an eye on the budget

Keeping en eye on the budget means that I have to be very careful with the income, bills, and costs that can disrupt the budget.

I have received four notices in the mail regarding the new homeowner insurance coverage for our new house. This was paid for the year when I closed on December 8th. I called the company three times and stated that the cost for the first year was paid in full at the time of closing and I had the paperwork from closing in front of me that showed exactly how the closing costs were distributed to the various folks.

After I received the fourth notice I called the company again for the fourth time and requested a receipt from them to be emailed to me stating that they did indeed receive and credit the payment to my account. This has finally been sent to me along with a letter stating that they did receive the payment and that this has been cleared up on their end.

If I didn't question the bill and the costs I would of paid 350 dollars to the insurance company. We are currently looking into changing homeowner insurance back to State Farm who we had while owning in Virginia. We have an appointment with them on January 9th.

Our mental health doc sent everyone's prescriptions to the 90 day mail order. I was hesitant to do this with my husband since he also has medicare and presciption coverage through CVS. I was paying 20 dollars a month for each of his prescriptions through CVS. My mail order came through and was delivered today for my husband's lithium prescription. He got a 90 day supply (450 tablets) for 10 dollars. I couldn't believe it. I am going to cancel his prescription coverage through CVS. His prescription coverage through CVS cost 34 dollars a month not including the 20 dollar co pay for each medication. He takes five maintenance meds for his schizophrenia.  I am waiting to see how much the rest of his medications are going to cost through the mail order.

I am not sure how much money this will save us. I am hoping to have an amount after I get his prescriptions delivered and look over the receipts.

Yesterday we received the final cable bill from our rental. We had cable and internet through Comcast. We disconnected the cable on December 8th when we closed for the rental. I got a bill in the mail for mid December to mid January for the rental. I had my husband call the cable company last night because the bill was for 160 dollars. We transferred our contract to the new house and only opted to get the internet since we do not watch much television. The internet bill is about 50 dollars a month. Comcast told my husband last night that the person who placed the order in the computer at Comcast did not place the order correctly and added us as a new customer instead of transferring the contract to our new house. I was going to be charged 200 dollars for breaking the contract in addition to a years worth of cable bills.

The comcast folks were very helpful last night on the phone. The order was adjusted and edited stating that we transferred the contract and service to our new home. The bill for 160 dollars and the 200 hundred dollar fee has been waived and I am no longer responsible for the bill. I paid the last bill for the internet and cable at the rental a few weeks ago. Our new bill for internet only is going to be about 54 dollars a month.

I am very thankful that I am questioning unusual bills that we have received in the past few weeks.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Nothing going to waste.

I put our turkey in the oven yesterday morning at nine after I made our stuffing (I didn't put any in the turkey but usually I do) and went for a walk around the development. It was very pleasant to get outside and enjoy some alone time.

We had our Christmas lunch/dinner at 2 pm and enjoyed turkey, gravy (all though very thin), mashed potatoes, corn (I forgot the green veggies), some carrots I cooked with the turkey, and our sausage/apple/sage stuffing. There were five of us to feed and I thought the turkey was 21 pounds. My mistake since it was only 11 pounds.

Yesterday afternoon when our Christmas Day lunch/dinner was over my husband and I went for a walk around the new development. All the house are being built or recently finished being built. A portion of the homes are occupied and some (not ours) have lights and decorations in the yard for Christmas. We were walking our dog and enjoying the cool weather. When we were finished with our walk I was able to get all the skin, bones, and frame into the crock pot to make turkey broth. I didn't add any spices to this because I had spiced the turkey prior to baking.

Later yesterday evening my husband made a few turkey sandwiches, my oldest had some turkey and mashed potatoes, and my middle daughter had some stuffing and gravy for dinner. My son opted for a peanut butter sandwich and half a banana. I didn't eat because I wasn't hungry after our late lunch. I made a cup of decaf tea to enjoy with them while they ate.

My husband and I went for another walk at the local park. The Tavares park was light up for Christmas and it is really strange to see palm trees with Christmas lights. There was some music playing from one of the local restaurants that were open at the park (it's a bar and grill type place and they always have the best music). We walked together along the lake, the bridge, the park, and met some folks with their furry companions. I was dressed in my long pants and a t shirt with a sweater that zipped up. My husband was in his shorts, a tee shirt, and flip flops. He mentioned after about 30 minutes that he forgot how chilly the park and lake are once the sun goes down in the "winter months". We left after his statement because he is worried about getting a cold or a virus from the cooler weather. I was pretty comfortable in my pants and zippered sweater with my hat.

I ended up going to bed before 9 pm. The turkey bones, skin, and frame were still in the crock pot. When I got up this morning I checked the crock pot and we had beautiful turkey stock. I strained everything and put the turkey stock in two 45 ounce butter containers. The two containers are about 2/3 full and cooling in the fridge. They eventually will be going into the freezer for soup. This is the best resource when funds are tight and very cost effective when getting the most out of a bird such as the turkey. We do this with all the chicken bones and skin also. We haven't baked any chicken in a while though.

We still have a lot of Christmas dinner left. We will have turkey sandwiches today. If the potatoes and corn do not get eaten today they will make their way into a Shepard's pie this week. I am pretty sure the stuffing and gravy will be gone first since everyone really enjoyed that.

I have to take my middle daughter to work soon. I am sitting here typing, drinking a cup of decaf tea and enjoying a banana. She made herself two scrambled eggs for breakfast.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Using what we have

I baked the chicken wings that my cousin brought over yesterday for our Christmas Eve celebration at their house. They bought the wings from Publix (expensive store) and I cut them into separate sections (wings and drumsticks). There was the tiny piece at each end and I saved these to make chicken stock.

We are not wasting or throwing out any food. Food is expensive and we are doing our best to use our resources wisely. I took the tiny pieces that were left and put them in a sauce pan. I added some spices and a bit of water. I let this simmer for about two hours in low. We ended up with a cup of beautiful chicken stock which I put into our apple/sausage stuffing this morning.

I had some turkey stock in the fridge that needed to go. I added some of this in the stuffing to keep it moist while baking in the oven. The turkey stock was in the freezer from our Thanksgiving and we are trying to use this up.

The turkey is in the oven. The stuffing is made. We are going to have some mashed potatoes, gravy (I am going to attempt from scratch gravy), I put some carrots in the turkey bag, and we will have some broccoli with our dinner.

We had our doc appointments this week and our copay was 40 dollars per person. I paid 120 dollars and we were able to get prescriptions sent to our mail order pharmacy for our maintenance medications. They should be coming in a week or so and we have to have the money aside for this expense.

Our mortgage payment is due February first. I have the money in my checking account and am waiting for the first statement to arrive. I would like to stay a month ahead on the mortgage or pay every two weeks in order to cut down on the interest.

We do not have the heat on. The weather is about 60 degrees outside and I ended up opening a few windows as it was about 76 degrees in the house. We are not running the air conditioning since we are working to keep the electric bill within a reasonable amount.

I was looking over the HOA regulations that were given to me when I closed on our home. I asked my husband how he would feel about a clothes line. The regulations state that a clothes line is not an option unless you have a 6 foot fenced (either pvc or wooden fence) yard and the clothes line could not be seen. I can not justify going into additional debt to put up a fence for a clothes line. We will have to get some drying racks to put on our covered porch.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Blessings

I was reading online yesterday about a family in this area that was having hard times. The post stated that they were having financial problems before Hurricaine Irma (in September) and this continued for the next few months. They stated that the daughter was recently found to be pregnant and the only income was from the elderly grandmother (which I guess would be either social security or some kind of pension). They stated that they were not able to have Christmas dinner due to limited resources.

Well, I talked to my husband yesterday and we decided to give this family a Christmas blessing. I packed up a few bags of groceries from the kitchen. I gave them a dozen eggs, one whole chicken, a large pork roast, a loaf of bread, a unopened jar of peanut butter, several cans of tuna fish, several cans of various soups (chicken noodle and tomato), some boxed crackers, one pound bag of rice, one large onion, three bags of frozen vegetables, and several large potatoes (maybe three pounds I guess). We asked them for an address and rode about 30 minutes to their house and dropped off the groceries.

I didn't ask them any questions about their situation because honestly it is not any of my business. I felt that we are blessed to be in our home, after deciding to move and sell our house, starting a new job, and having an intact savings account. I felt that it would be nice to help another family who is struggling to have several meals for the next week or two. If they can stretch the whole chicken and the pork roast for several meals they may have enough to get by and ease some hardship for a week or maybe two.

My husband didn't say much about what I was giving them. He did ask me why I wanted to do it. I told him that we are blessed to be in a good area and have a better life than years ago. I told him that Christmas was about helping others in their time of need. He drove with me and my son helped me unload the groceries and deliver them. It was a great adventure yesterday afternoon.

I took the delivered groceries out of our kitchen pantry and didn't think twice about donating them to the family in need.

Christmas plans

We are supposed to go to our cousin's house for Christmas Eve and apparently for Christmas Day. I miss understood and thought we are only going to go for Christmas Eve. Well, when my husband's cousin contacted me yesterday she mentioned that she was going to cook a full Christmas dinner. I reminder her that it was supposed to be Christmas Eve for appetizers and exchanging secret Santa stockings. I was wrong. It is for both days.

I talked to my husband about the mistake. I asked him if he would be upset if we choose to stay home on Christmas. He agreed that we could stay home since I was off work and my daughters were off work. I mentioned this to our cousin and she was a bit taken back but stated that her husband would be thrilled to watch football and yell at the telelvision all afternoon. I invited them over for Christmas dinner. I honestly did not want to go both eve and day to spend hours over there.

Christmas Eve appetizers: The cousins dropped off a package of chicken wings and asked me to cook them. I offered to help prepare some snacks and they accepted my offer. They even bought the chicken wings (I didn't ask them too). They are going to make several dips, have veggies, fruit, and fudge. I am going to cook the wings, bring chips, a few bottles of soda, and make some lemon bars from a mix I have in the pantry. There are going to be nine of us total.

Christmas Day: I have a turkey thawed in the fridge for Christmas dinner. It is about 20 pounds. We will have turkey coming out of our ears by the time we are done with it. I am going to bake it in the oven. We will have sausage, sage, apple stuffing (I make my own with bread cubes, chicken stock, onion, celery, some spices, garlic, Italian sausage and two chopped up apples). We are also going to have some mashed potatoes, green beans, and maybe some broccoli. We do not have any dessert unless our secret santa stockings have chocolate in them.

After our turkey dinner, the turkey will be sliced and cut for future dinners. We will have enough turkey for sandwiches (my husband loves left over turkey sandwiches), future meals, and we will put the frame and bones in the crock pot for soup stock.


We found a Christmas tree at Big lots on clearance and this came with two sets of lights. I added another package of lights and we put the thing together. We have our Christmas ornaments that the kids made many years ago and put those on the tree. The Christmas tree is about 4 feet high and sits in the dining room window.

Our house is beginning to look like a house now and not a storage company. We have many of our boxes unpacked. The kids are responsible for unpacking their own rooms. My son is finished with his room and he did not have the amount of boxes that my girls so. Holy crap. The girls need a set of book shelves for their rooms. My husband needs one or two book shelves also.

The rest of the house is unpacked. We love the new appliances, the house, the garage, and just everything that has come with this move. We are blessed that we have a home, running hot water, and are able to support ourselves even in the harder times. I have a job that was waiting almost 60 days for me to arrive and begin. I graduated with my MSN in August which was why I arrived 60 days later to begin my job from the date of my interview.

Our Christmas is very small this year. Our kids have a few gifts under the tree. I bought each kid two gift cards in addition to the few presents. My husband is an avid comic book reader and I was able to get his books from the store that he enjoys along with a gift card.

My husband gave me a gift early. I am very cold natured (even living in Florida) and the hospital I work in is always feeling like the frozen abyss. We are required to wear navy blue scrubs and not allowed to vary from that color. My husband bought me a zip up sweater in navy blue and gave it to me last week. I am cherishing it because I can be warm at my job while working night shift. I was so happy to receive the sweater. He was smiling when I tried it on and wore it to work.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Finally moved in!

We are finally moved into our retirement home! We are in the middle of unpacking and have limited furniture so we still have boxes in most of the rooms. The living room is finished and most of the kitchen is done unpacking.

We are finished with the rental home and are expecting a full security deposit to be mailed to us per the property manager text message last night. I am blessed to be able to get this money back and put it into the savings account. We have spent a lot of the savings at closing and then the penalty fee for breaking the lease. We had 31 thousand in the savings and closing was almost 21 thousand. It left us with 11 thousand and now eight and a half due to the penalty fee taken out as a bank check yesterday. I will be happy to have the additional 1,500 to put back into the account.

We are using this money as an emergency fund. It is in my name only as my husband as a spending issue (we have separate accounts and have for years). This will prevent any issues with spending as I don't take money to careless spend on impulse buys.

I went online at work and requested that 75.00 dollars of my pay each pay period go into the savings. I get paid every other week and this will help build up the savings in addition to promote an increase, even if it is a slow increase, in the balance every month.

I have been contributing to the retirement plan at work now. It is a 403 B and I put in 4 percent with a matching 4 percent from my employer. I still have my retirement funds at my old employer which I have to get put into my new retirement plan.

So far, we are doing well and hope to have a new budget in place for January once the finances settle from the closing. Our first mortgage payment is not due until February and I will be staying one month ahead at all times. I would like to break the payment into every two weeks instead of monthly depending on how the budget works out.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Our retirement home~

We have finally closed on our retirement home (I call it this because we are in our mid 40's and this is actually the home we will continue the rest of our lives in) on December 8th. I gave the title company almost 21,000 dollars at closing. We have been packing, moving, unpacking, and cleaning the rental. We have been living in our new home for almost a week now. It is a blessing to have a new build with out any major issues that need to be addressed on a regular basis.

We cleaned the rental. We have the carpets being professionally cleaned tomorrow. We have four cats and a small dog, so this is a requirement as part of our lease. This will cost 0.25 cents a square foot.

We broke the lease. There is a penalty fee of 3,000 dollars. I will have this to give to the property manager on Wednesday morning during the final walk through of the rental house.

I will turn the water and electric off after the walk through with the property manager on Wednesday since it states in my lease that this will be done after the walk through.

We have the water and electric on at our new house. We have groceries. We started with a pest control service since this is Florida and we do not have a hard freeze or a traditional winter. They came this morning and treated the kitchen, both bathrooms, the in the wall tubing system, and the outside. They will come every 90 days to perform this service. I paid 112 dollars for today as an initial treatment. The quarterly cost will be 94 dollars and my own peace of mind is worth every penny.

We had the internet installed finally this morning. We are an internet family and were starting to go through withdrawal. The monthly cost for internet service is 54 dollars a month. We opted not to get cable since we are not really television watchers.

We have a new security system. In the area we moved to (on the other side of town) has a lot of construction workers, people walking around in the evenings, numerous realtors, folks that are window shopping for homes, and we felt that having a new security system would help us feel more comfortable until the homes in this area are bought and there is less people traffic. There has been an issue in the city with break ins and this way we will have peace of mind. The cost for the ADT system is about 90 dollars a month. I paid for the installation and January's payment yesterday.

I have been working a lot. I did some overtime last week and it showed in my paycheck. I have not touched my savings other than the closing money. We had blinds delivered through my mother in law from J C Penny. They are too big and we have to return them. J C Penny stated that since the measurements were incorrect that they would send someone out to remeasure them and get some new ones installed. We will be returning the blinds on Wednesday.

We have a new washer and dryer. The washer is a top loader and requires HE detergent. We had to buy some and this was a challenge as the grocery store only had Tide or Gain in HE. We bought a package of Tide HE pods and there was 32 pods in the package for almost ten dollars. So far, since we wash clothes in the cold cycle the pods really haven't given us any trouble. I would really like to find a cheaper price for HE detergent. We are so used to using dollar tree liquid detergent as we have never had a HE washer before.

Dinners this past week have been an adventure. We had burgers and fries one night. Another night we had pasta, italian sausage with peppers and onions, with some spaghetti sauce. One night we had a pot roast in the crock pot with veggies and gravy. There were a couple of nights with left overs. One night we ordered pizza since we were exhausted from moving.

I am working tonight. I had to take my middle DD to the urologist this morning. She has another kidney stone and we have to get another CT scan on Thursday when she is off work. The cost for this office visit was 25 dollars and we were given samples of rapaflow to use instead of flomax. IT is a seven day course of meds.

I went to the doctor today as a follow up from the swallow study I had last week. He has decided to send me to the GI specialist and get evaluated for esophageal spasms. He has also continued the nexium which I feel has not make any difference since he thinks I have reflux disease.

Tonight's dinner is hot dogs and baked beans. I have to work soon and needed an easy dinner to feed everyone. It prevents me from having to get take out (which I really can't afford) and continues to use what we have in the pantry, fridge, and freezer.

Monday, December 11, 2017

House closed on Friday

Our new home closed on Friday. I worked a lot of overtime last week. We have been moving since Friday evening. Most of the furniture that would fit into my husband's truck is at the new house. The kids bedrooms are at the new house. Most of the dining room is at the new house. We still have about 1/4 of the house to get packed up and moved.

There are boxes everywhere at the new house. I have been packing up the old rental and moving stuff in my car while my husband and the adult kids have been packing and moving stuff in his truck.

It has been very busy. We would like to be fully moved in (not unpacked) by Wednesday evening. I would like to get the carpets professionally cleaned at the rental and spot clean the areas that are in need. I would like to be done with the rental and have the walk through with the property manager on Sunday.

We have to get the utilities in our name at the new house by Wednesday. I will plan on doing this hopefully today or tomorrow. I can't turn off the utilities at the rental until after the walk through is complete per my lease requirements.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Medical Coverage and Overtime

I was receiving texts all weekend about being short staffed and very busy at work. I had been spending time with my family so I did not accept the offer for the overtime. I did receive a text message about the short staffing on Monday and offered to accept the overtime shift. I worked Monday night and will make straight time for 4 hours of the shift and will get 8 hours of overtime for the rest of the shift. My manager also put in for a one time 100 dollar shift bonus for coming in.

My manager was very thankful that I accepted the offer to work Monday. She even offered to split the shift with me as the primary bedside nurse in CVICU and I was so surprised. She said that if I didn't want the full shift she would cover the rest. I worked the full shift since we need the additional income to help with moving expenses and the rental fee that we will pay once we break this lease.

We had a lot of health related issues these past few weeks. My daughter was in the ER for those kidney stones. I wrote a post about that. I did not see a bill come in the mail for the balance due since we just got our health insurance coverage and have not meet the deductible. We did have a co payment for the ER which does not get included into the deductible. I found out after looking at the online EOB paperwork that the visits were covered 100 percent after I paid the co payment.

Our doctor visits are apparently the same. I pay 40 dollars a doc visit and my insurance covers the rest of the costs. I had to see an ENT this Monday for persistent issues with coughing since May and I found that the procedure that they performed will be covered 100 percent after the 40 dollar co payment. I am being sent to the speech pathologist next Monday for a video guided swallow study. There is no cost to me according to the diagnostic center because of my insurance coverage.

I am trying to understand this new insurance. At my former position if you did not meet the deductible when you went to any health provider you were responsible for the total costs until you meet the dollar limit.

My new insurance has a individual deductible and a family deductible. I know that co payments and medication costs are not included in the deductible. My insurance demands that we use a mail order service for all medications for chronic conditions. My husband gets his medications filled at CVS due to his prescription coverage through Silver Script in addition to my coverage for him. He is the exception to this, but I am trying to work with my prescription plan to see which would provide the best financial option for us.

We have been to a new mental health doc to obtain our maintenance meds for various chronic conditions. I am so thankful to be able to afford this service as many are not able to and as a result end up dealing with some major concerns with not having their medications. We are blessed in that respect to be able to have access to health care.

Sunday, December 3, 2017


We are going to our cousin's home this afternoon for dinner. She sent me a text message yesterday after noon asking if it was ok to have a lasagna for dinner. I told her that it would be great and there are quite a few frozen ones that I saw at the store a couple of weeks ago. She said that she doesn't eat the frozen lasagna and that she would be making it at home.

So, I asked her what we could bring over for dinner. She said "we don't have any soda and I know that your family likes it to drink so they could bring that". I am OK with this because I don't expect their family to supply specific drinks for my family. We have different generic kinds that my husband bought yesterday and everyone can pick and choose which ones to bring with us. The cousin's kids drink soda so this will be a welcome thing I hope (unless their kids do not drink generic soda).

I wanted to make some Bisquick rolls to bring with us to dinner tonight. We have a box of Bisquick and I also have a small amount of fresh garlic and real Parmesan cheese from Aldi in the fridge. There are very well liked at my house and I hope some fresh garlic Parmesan rolls would go well with the lasagna. Yes, there will be a lot of carbs with the rolls and lasagna, but I know for a fact that the cousin's kids are carb lovers. If there are any rolls left over I can always bring them home for lunches this week.

We have green beans and brussel sprouts in the freezer. I will not be bringing those with us for dinner as they will only be eaten by the five of us. I don't want to waste veggies on folks that will not eat them.

My oldest daughter is going to work soon. I offered to make her some breakfast and she opted for scrambled eggs. I made three scrambled eggs and split them between the two of us. She has a glass of milk with hers and I have a cup of decaf tea with mine.


Yesterday my husband went to get some Christmas stocking stuffers for the kids and their cousins. There are a total of five "adult children" and four "adults" for a total of nine people for the secret Santa stockings we are participating in with our cousins. He went to the Dollar Tree and found some very nice selections and also put in gift cards to the local movies for our kids stockings that they will be given on Christmas Eve.

My husband also did some grocery shopping and brought the groceries home. The kids absolutely love when he goes shopping because my husband is a snack shopper. He spent his money (we have separate checking accounts and savings) that was left after he paid his bills (he gives me 300 a month towards the household budget). My oldest daughter put her 10 percent of rent money that she pays into the gas tank. My middle daughter bought a large bag of cat food and some cat litter with her 10 percent. I don't care whether they give me their rent money or if they choose to spend it on household needs as long as they are able to contribute. It gives them a sense of ownership, accountability, and responsibility.

My husband bought a gallon of milk, some soda (just to be clear, he went from drinking Coke Cola for years to generic soda which is a bit cheaper, and he does drink water, but he is not going to stop drinking soda so he buys it himself and I don't have to), he bought two bags of potato chips, a package of cookies, two large boxes of cereal, and a couple frozen pizzas. Like I said he is a huge snack shopper and he spends his own money and I don't have to take it from the house budget. He did put gas into one of the vehicles too (which I really appreciate since gas prices are a bit higher in Florida verses Virginia).

I put a eye of round beef roast in the crock pot yesterday. It is a small roast. I put in three large carrots, half a thin sliced onion, a few cut up potatoes, two cloves of garlic, and the last packet of "brown gravy mix" I had. I added a small amount of water. I let this cook all day and we ate a late dinner at 8 pm since my husband and I were out last night in Orlando walking in Disney Springs (which is free and doesn't charge for parking).

I am not fond of eye of round beef cuts of meat. We really enjoy the chuck roast cuts. The eye of round was tough and I felt it was a bit dry. My mother in law bought it when she was here to visit a few weeks ago and she enjoys this cut of meat. I didn't think to call her and ask about cooking times since I have never really had a meal that I didn't like from the crock pot. I am pretty sure if I have this type of cut again to serve the family (I won't buy it as a usual grocery purchase, but I do occasionally buy chuck roast if the price is within my budget) I will have to give her a call. My husband really enjoyed dinner. My kids ate a small portion of the beef and had a bunch of the veggies.

I was thinking that it would be nice to have a beef veggie soup again for lunch this week. There is a small portion of last night's left and I might just give it to my husband for his late breakfast early lunch and get it finished.

Friday, December 1, 2017


When we decided to move from Virginia to Florida it was a huge decision for the five of us. I was working a full time job (as an intensive care nurse), a part time job (adjunct nursing faculty at a private university), and a prn position ( as needed nursing supervisor). I was able to afford a bit more than we ever had and was "always working". We were able to move to a rental home in this area in July (my husband and kids) and I arrived in August.

I had a full time position waiting for me in the new city. I secured employment in June of this year but had ti stay behind to finish my master's degree in nursing first. My new employer was aware of that and she agreed to wait for my arrival. I was truly blessed in this because I was offered relocation bonus and a sign on bonus for two years.

My mother in law helped us with the moving truck and I used my relocation bonus to pay her back in full when she was visiting us a few weeks ago. I handed her 3,000 dollars cash and let me say that it felt very good to be able to give her the money back. I was very proud to be able to do that for her.

I took a four dollar pay cut to accept this job, but the shift differentials work out to be the same as my past full time job that I left. I worked all the time and am trying to get used to having only one job and right now there is no overtime available.

We sold our house in Virginia and it had a contract within two days of putting it on the market. It finally closed in August and we have that money in the savings since we close on our new house December 8th.

The new home is our family Christmas gift to each other. We have worked hard to get to Florida and I told my kids that their gift (my girls have always shared a room) was that they will have their own bedrooms. My son is thrilled to be in Florida because "Mom I can wear my shorts and flip flops in the winter and it is not cold". I love how simple things please my "adult children".

My work is going to have a christmas exchange. I was very hesistent to participate, but was asked to put my name in the drawing for secret santa. I put my name in and was able to select nurse to be a secret santa for. She likes the color green, dark chocolate, coffee, books, and Chipolte. She wrote on the slip that she does not like bath and body works. I am thinking that I can work with what she likes to have a small but nice gift for her.

My kids are getting stockings and we do this every year. They are getting one or two gifts each from myself. They understand that I am not working more than one job and that money is always a bit tight each pay period. They are very understandable and I am so proud of them. They do not need anything really and if they do my girls can get it with their own income from their part time jobs. My son doesn't need anything either and we are in the process of working with social security for him.

I wanted to get my husband a small gift. He is very easy to shop for and will tell me exactly what he would like. He understands that funds are limited and would be pleased with just about anything.

My cousins: We choose names for secret stockings. There is supposed to be an ugly sock party. The secret stockings are not be over ten dollars. This I can work with. The ugly sock party I can participate in as there are really fun socks at Dollar General where my girls work. The part that I am having problems with is a gift for the secret stocking that has to be a 50 dollar limit. There is also a family gift.

I love my husband's family and enjoy the times we are together. They are very different from us. There house is full of beautiful stuff. There is a lot of beautiful things there. We got rid of 90 percent of our "Stuff" when moving.

My kids have a dresser, a bed, and a desk in their rooms. They have all of their clothes. I didn't know how much clothing until we started packing. Jeesh!

My husband and I are sleeping on high quality air mattresses. We have to eventually get a new bed. We each have a dresser and there's one desk in our room. 

Our living room has a entertainment center. We have the sofa and one side table.

Our dining room has a beautiful ottoman and a straight back chair that was given to us by our cousins. We have our old fashioned dining room table that has been in my husband's family for a long time. We were given this about 20 years ago and love it. It has two leaflets in the table and we can sit up to six people. We have a hutch, a book shelf, and another old dry sink.

Our kitchen in the rental came with a stove, fridge, and microwave. The dishwasher, clothes washer, and dryer came with the rental. The rest of the kitchen stuff is ours.

Like I said we don't have much in the way of stuff. I guess Christmas is not going to be a "stuff Christmas" for my family. We are going to be in our new house. We are going to be unpacking. We are going to be able to live in a wonderful place with a brand new home. It will be finished building next week. The house will come with brand new appliances in the kitchen.

My mother in law ordered us a washer and dryer with the 3,000 dollars I gave her in cash a few weeks ago. The washer and dryer will be delivered on December 11th at our new home.

Christmas is going to be wonderful for my family this year.

Been working!

I worked Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night. I do have 12 hour shifts with less than a ten minute ride home.

Monday's dinner was the last of the freezer turkey from Thanksgiving with my mother in law. I took the turkey and put it in a casserole dish covered with some gravy and green beans. It was just "ok" and we did finish the last of the bird. I took the rest of this to work Monday night.

Tuesday dinner: I woke up Tuesday afternoon and found that there was no plan for dinner. I asked my husband what he was going to make and he said that he didn't know. Well, I usually get up about 2:30 since I don't sleep well during the day time. We had a "loud discussion" about dinner not being planned. I put some ground beef patties in the oven and served cheese burgers and fried potatoes for dinner before I went to work. I took half a cheese burger to work and a small portion of the left over potatoes with me.

Wednesday dinner: I slept until 4:30 in the afternoon! I was so tired and my husband actually woke me up and told me that dinner was ready. My daughters bought KFC and took it home for the five of us. They had a coupon for a 12 dollar meal bucket. It served all five of us with a couple small things left over. The chicken was a welcome distraction from my own cooking and honestly it was pretty good. I took what was left to work for my lunch.

Thursday dinner: When I got home from work yesterday morning, I put a very small beef roast (It was 1 and a half pounds) in the crock pot. I put in the last can of cream of mushroom soup and an onion soup packet. The onion soup packet was the last one too. I added three cut up carrots, five small potatoes, half an onion, and two cloves of garlic. I added some basil and black pepper. I let this cook all day and we served dinner at 4 since my daughters had to be at work for 5 pm. There was nothing left of this meal. Everyone raved about how nice the roast was and the gravy it made.

It's Friday and I am off work until next Thursday which is really nice. We are scheduled to close on our new house December 8th and we have some packing to get done over the next few days.

Friday dinner: Honestly, I am leaning towards pancakes and scrambled eggs. We have a box of Bisquick and a bit of milk that needs to be used up. We all like breakfast for dinner and would probably enjoy the easy meal with little clean up.

Monday, November 27, 2017

What's been cooking?

We had our usual Sunday dinner with my husband's cousins. I ended up making angel hair pasta with homemade meatballs and a meat sauce for those who do not eat meatballs. I have really known a family with kids who are so very picky since my kids are pretty much easy going about what they are eating.

Sunday breakfast: My kids had cereal and milk. We still have honey nut Cheerios left (Publix, my MIL bought). My husband had some toast with peanut butter. My husband's friend was given a ham and cheese breakfast sandwich that I made and heated up for him. He did ask for a second one and I was thrilled as we have a lot of ham still.

Sunday dinner: I made angel hair pasta with two jars of spaghetti sauce. I made 16 small meatballs with a pound of 85 percent lean ground beef and used some left over homemade bread that I had in the freezer as breadcrumbs. I added three cloves of garlic to the ground beef, some spices, and two eggs. The meat sauce was strictly another pound of 85 percent lean ground beef and the second jar of spaghetti sauce. We have quite a bit of spaghetti with meatballs and meat sauce left over for lunches today. My husband's cousins brought bagged salad over and two loaves of Chigaco Italian Bread which is great and makes wonderful toast. We had three kinds of salad dressing in the fridge to offer with the salad. We did not have any dessert with our family dinner.

The cousins are very picky and sometimes Sunday dinner is quite frustrating. Their kids are very hard to prepare meals for as they only eat certain things and at times we don't have the foods that they like. The kids usually will come over with something all ready made from the grocery store which is fine I guess. My kids eat what ever is served to them most of the time or they can fix something themselves.

Monday breakfast: I toasted some of the Chicago Italian Bread for breakfast. It makes amazing toast and it is thin sliced. I did put real butter on my toast with two cups of decaf tea. I have been reusing my decaf tea bags for the second cup of tea without any problems.

Monday lunch: We are pushing ham sandwiches today. What ever sliced ham is left over this afternoon will be put into the freezer for another meal. We served a ham dinner for our second thanksgiving meal this past week with our husband's friend that visited for the week. We got him to Orlando International Airport yesterday and he left for Virginia. He was back in Winchester and at home by 6 pm.

Tonight's dinner: I had some left over turkey in the freezer from our Thanksgiving with my husband's mother. I thawed it last night and put it in a casserole dish with the last of the jarred gravy we had. I added some frozen green beans to it and put it in the fridge. I will heat this up in the oven and steam some rice to serve with it for dinner tonight. We still have left over salad from yesterday that will be served with our dinner tonight.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Lunch today

I was able to put the left over corn and peas from our Thanksgiving into the oven to warm up. We had burgers last night that my daughter bought from the store and french fries. We had some fries left and one burger. These got reheated in the oven. We also have a lot of sliced ham which I offered as sandwiches today. We reheated the baked beans from our Thanksgiving as part of our lunch. There was some left over pasta salad also that we were able to finish. I opened the only package of cheddar sausages we had and put them into the oven. We fed six people since my husband has a friend staying with us until tomorrow.

The corn, peas, fries, the one burger, and pasta salad are finally gone. We have some baked beans left, but these were reheated twice as of today. We still have a lot of sliced ham left over and this will be for sandwich meat this week.

Our ham bone is in the freezer for a soup once we have dry beans or peas or both.

Friday, November 24, 2017

What's been happening?

My husband's mother came last week to spend a few days with us. She flew and arrived on Tuesday evening and left us on Saturday morning arriving back in Providence in the early afternoon. We had a lot of fun with her and we were able to spend a couple meals with her while she was in town.

We went out to eat several times with her and had a blast. One lunch we were out and were able to sit outside by the lake to enjoy each other's company. The weather was wonderful and she commented that she didn't see us often when we were living in Virginia, but now that we are living in Florida she stated that she would come more often to enjoy the weather. My husband was so happy to have his mother with him for a few days. My mother in law enjoyed the rental house and she thought it was beautiful. We were able to show her the unfinished new house that will be completed in December. We talked to the building office and requested the key to the house so that she could see the lay out of the rooms. We actually had dry wall put up! It is exciting! We took her to one of the finished homes on the same street that was the exact model of ours. She loved the finished home and was so excited. She feels that we made an appropriate decision in deciding to buy a newly constructed house.

She took us to Publix last week and asked me to get some groceries. We were in Orlando at that time and she would not take no for an answer. She stated to me that she knows how it is to live on a limited budget with five people and did not want to add to stress. I asked her to go to Aldi but there was not an Aldi in Orlando that I knew of. She filled the freezer, the fridge, pantry, and even bought some dog food for our beloved beagle Jackson.

Meals: We went out most of the time and she refused to let me pay for meals. I did however, get to pay for the Thanksgiving meal we had since I bought everything before she got here. We celebrated last Thursday and had our cousins over at the same time. We fed eleven people with a turkey meal and had a lot left over. We made turkey soup also and I have turkey stock in the freezer now.

We had a second Thanksgiving yesterday with the family and a friend of my husband's. I cooked an 8 pound ham and we have a lot of left over ham for sandwiches which is really nice. We served a potato salad, pasta salad, corn, peas, baked beans, and of course, the ham. It was a very non traditional meal for Thanksgiving, but we did not want another turkey, and mother in law did pay for the ham when we went shopping.

Other than being at home, going to work, and taking care of the family, I have not been doing much. I am hoping to work some more on my blog this weekend. I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the time with their families.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

What's been cooking?

Sunday I boiled eight eggs for the kids to snack on. Even when the kids were little they enjoyed hard boiled eggs as a snack or served for lunch as egg salad. They will eat egg salad on bread, in a bowl, or with a few crackers. They like them plain also and prefer them with no salt or pepper added. My son is not really an egg salad kind of kid, but he will eat a small portion of hard boiled egg if it is cut on a plate for him.

Sunday dinner was at our house. Our cousins did not come on Sunday because they enjoy football in the afternoons and dinner disrupts it. LOL. We are not a foot ball family, so we are OK with that and we are able to plan family dinners together on different days, but I work and my girls are working part time, so it is hit or miss on who will be around during the week or the weekend evenings.

My husband's cousins and their kids are not employed. He is retired from an air traffic control position and she stays home.

Sunday dinner for the five of us included some marked down chicken tenderloin that I found at Winn Dixie this past week. The package was very small and had seven strips in it. I marinaded the chicken in Aldi garlic and herb mixture and let it sit in the fridge for about 6 hours. I added some breadcrumbs to the chicken and put it in the oven. We had some buttered green beans, brussel sprouts, and steamed rice with the chicken. There was not enough chicken for the five of us. I have each of the kids two chicken strips and the last one went to my husband. I had some rice and a lot of veggies. There were no left overs for this meal to have on Monday.

My girls ordered some Chinese food last Friday while I was at work. I found the left over chicken and veggies in the fridge. They were in some brown sauce. Monday lunch consisted of some more steamed rice and I mixed in the chicken, veggies, and the brown sauce. It made lunches for my husband and myself. My oldest and middle daughter requested egg salad. My son made a few peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on whole wheat bread.

Our cousins called yesterday and wanted to know if we would come over last night for dinner. They had chicken breast in the crock pot, with mashed potatoes, some rice, and steamed brocolli. My oldest was with us and she had two servings, my middle DD was at work, so she was given a plate to go to have when she got home. My son decided not to cooperate with what was served, so his cousin (they are the same age) decided to heat up some hot dogs for himself and Kevin.

My husband and I had a dinner plate. I had ice water to drink and my kids along with my husband had soda that his family provided. Overall, it was a fun evening.

My mother in law and a friend of hers is coming to visit from Rhode Island today and staying until Saturday in Orlando. They want to come visit us (we are about 70 minutes from Orlando) and mentioned that they wanted to go out for dinner tonight. I can tell you that funds are tight here because I am trying to keep everything in the bank until after the house closes on December 8th. I talked to my husband about this and he stated that his mother wanted to treat the five of us. I am going to look over the budget in a little bit. We are not expecting her until after 4 pm. We are having thanksgiving with her on Thursday. I have a 14 pound turkey thawed in the fridge. I am also working Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday night. She's a registered nurse too and is still working at 75 years old part time. She says she likes to travel and enjoy life so she continues to work.

I had some frozen left over roast with gravy in the freezer. It is a very small portion. I decided to make a small vegetable beef soup for lunch for the five of us. The roast was cut into very small pieces and put into the crock pot. My husband bought some frozen "Vegetable soup mix" prior to when I arrived at the rental in August and I found it in the freezer. I assumed he bought it as I don't remember buying it. It has green beans, celery, onion, potato, tomato, lima beans, and okra in it. I took all the okra out of the package and added everything else to the crock pot. I had a package of onion soup mix from Aldi that I added to the crock pot with some water. This will be lunch for today and I will take it to work with me this week.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Life happens...

I made pork ribs for dinner the other night. I found them on clearance and marked down at Winn Dixie. We don't usually have pork ribs and this was a surprise for us. I put the package in the crock pot with sliced onion and BBQ sauce. We had that for dinner and it was pretty good.

Last night I had a migraine and we had leftover chicken, baked beans, and mac and cheese for dinner. I made a from scratch gravy to put over the chicken. We finished up all the left overs in the fridge and there was little complaining.

A couple of things:

My middle DD went to the urologist. She needs a second ultrasound in a week and a half and then a follow up with the urologist. She continues to feel fine and does not have any pain or discomfort since Tuesday morning. We are thinking that she may have passed the stone, but the ER did not give her a strainer, and the urologist did on Thursday.

My girls bought pet supplies yesterday. They chipped in and bought cat food and two containers of cat litter. I was proud of them since I was working night shift the past three nights and did not make it to the store.

My health insurance has decided to send pre authorization for the anti depressant I take called Viibryd. They wanted me to try two SSRIs and needed documentation. I contacted my old doctor in Virginia and they sent my records to the new MD. The new MD was able to navigate through the insurance company and prescription company to get my medication approved for one year. I was paying 251 dollars a month through Good Rx at CVS and the 90 day cost is 126 dollars.

My oldest has her medications through the 90 day service for 10 dollars each. She received three medications and we can not beat the price on them.

My husband needs a new antipsychotic medication. His previous one is no longer working for him and he is symptomatic. The new MD put him on Latuda daily. This medication costs 570 dollars with my insurance coverage AND medicare. We were able to contact the MD and he was willing to give out enough samples until his next appointment. We are going to discuss if it is possible to change the med to something else or get a drug scholarship.

I have been having issues with chronic pain. I usually just take two Tylenol tablets, but my arthritis appears to be getting worse, and I am only 45 years old. The ibuprofen and/or Aleve really makes me feel sick to my stomach and I choose not to take those.

I heard back from the disability office regarding my special ed kid. He does not qualify for social security because he has never worked (well yeah, he has never worked, he just graduated in May and we are having a difficult time trying to find him a part time job). The office told me that he would qualify for "disabled adult child benefits". We have a phone interview on Monday at 1:30 in the afternoon. I am hoping for the best.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

What's been cooking?

Sunday: I worked Sunday and my husband made chili in the crock pot. He used some stuff we had in the pantry and ground turkey from the freezer. We have a small amount of chili left in the fridge for another person to have a bowl. There's just enough chili for one person.

Monday: We spent the day in the ER with my daughter. We got take out since it was after 8 pm when we finally got home.

Tuesday: I would have to look back in my blog and see if I posted what we have. I wrote on Facebook to my mother that my oldest daughter made sloppy joes.

Wednesday: I made sticky chicken for dinner. I bought chicken legs at Aldi a month or two ago for 69 cents a pound. There were a total of eight legs in the package. I went to all recipes and found a sticky chicken recipe. I opened a can of baked beans. I made a small pan of mac and cheese using the last of the rigatoni in the pantry, two handfuls of shredded cheese, a bit of butter and some milk. There's a bit of this meal left over in the fridge.

Thursday: I am working tonight and tomorrow. I had a package of pork ribs that I thawed in the fridge yesterday. I did cut them this morning and put them in the crock pot. I added a bunch of thin sliced onion and a small amount of BBQ sauce. I will warm up some green beans and I had a box of "white shells and cheddar" in the pantry.

All the left overs will be put out for tomorrow's dinner. I take leftovers to work and will probably take the last of the chili with me tonight. I cut most of the chicken off the bones when I serve it because I want to make a small crock pot of stock with the seasoned bones and drippings.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

My middle daughter

I worked Sunday night and my daughter sent me a text message telling me that she was not feeling good. I asked her what was bothering her and she told me that she had a very bad stomach ache.

Well, I took her to Urgent care yesterday morning when I got home for unrelenting abdominal pain. Urgent care ran some tests and immediately sent us to the emergency room for further evaluation. My daughter is a trooper and I was a hot mess. My nurse brain left me and I became the worried mother at the bedside of a sick adult kid.

She was given some IV fluids, pain meds, nausea meds, and they did some blood work. They did a lot of blood work actually. They did an ultrasound of her liver, gall bladder, pancreas, spleen, both kidneys, aorta, superior and inferior vena-cava, and then did a CT scan for further evaluation.

Urgent care stated that my daughter had gall stones. Finally after 8 hours in the emergency room we found out that she has several kidney stones, bilateral lung atelactasis, a lesion on her pelvis, and a raging urine infection, and hydronephrosis related to the kidney stones.

They gave her several scripts for pain medicine, nausea medicine, and flomax to dilate her renal system in hopes that she can pass the stones. The stones are 0.6 mm by 0.5 mm in the right kidney. We were also given a referral to see a urologist that accepts our new insurance plan. I will make sure that she gets her prescriptions filled and the call is made for the urologist consult when I get home from a work meeting 8 until noon.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The budget

I got paid on Friday and made half a rent payment for December. I was able to put some money towards my student loan (I have made two payments this within the past four weeks) and this is in a grace period until February since I graduated in August with my MSN. I did put 200 dollars into the savings and went to the grocery store. I found four packages of marked down meat at Winn Dixie and was able to buy those for the freezer. I bought our Thanksgiving turkey at 0.79 cents a pound and it is 14 pounds. We love turkey and will really enjoy this as it will make several meals.

I am waiting for the utility bills to come in so that they can be paid. I did get the water bill and this has remained the same since we arrived in Florida and living in the rental. The amount doesn't vary much but it is within a dollar each month give or take. This month the water bill was 146 dollars.

Last month's electric bill was outrageous. I almost cried when I opened it. The total cost for 31 days was 338 dollars. We found out that the central air conditioning was set at 72 as "scheduled" and I am not sure, but I think I was the one that changed the temp as a mistake. My husband was able to look at the thermostat and was able to turn off the air conditioning and turn it back on. He was able to set the air conditioning at 78 and put it on a "hold" status so the setting would not fluctuate. The electric bill was paid in full last month and did put a bit of a strain on the budget. We did have the air conditioning off for a few days last week since the temperature was in the mid to upper 70's.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

It's November

I am finally off orientation at my new job and working 12 hour night shift in the CVICU unit. I was able to locate new psych docs for the family and we found that the 90 day prescription service that is required for employees and their families to use is a god send.

Good RX  prescription discount program was a blessing also, but I found the 90 day mail order fabulous with two exceptions. The 90 day service does not cover my antidepressant, Viibryd, and I am paying cash at CVS to the tune of 251 dollars a month through Good RX. The insurance company has requested documentation from the doc about failed SSRI's in the past. I have failed Zoloft, Lexapro, and tried trintellix (which I liked but one of the side effects was severe itching). My other meds are covered for 90 days and have ten dollar co-payments.

My daughter's Abilify was 69 dollars through Good Rx for a month. My prescription coverage through work charges a 10 dollar copay for 90 days for the generic drug. This is a blessing since it is a huge savings.

My husband is beginning Latuda. Latuda is a newer drug that is very expensive. The psych doc is going to give them samples since the cost for my husband with medicare prescription coverage and my insurance coverage still charges us 570 dollars to get this filled. The doc stated that he would help us with a prescription scholarship for this drug.

My middle daughter takes Latuda and she has enough in her current prescription that we filled a month ago with what she brought with her in the move from Virginia to Florida. We will have to make sure that she gets a drug scholarship form filled out for this so that she can continue to take this as she has been on it for years. My old insurance had no issues with filling this prescription.

I did apply for disability benefits for my autistic son. We have an appointment at the local office on Monday November 13th. The "case manager" stated that he would qualify for "disabled adult child benefits" and that they need more information.

My girls have been working at Dollar General. They are the two only part time employees with the managers. This store has a high turn around rate and my girls tell me that there's drama. I explained to them that there is no perfect job and that when we go to work, we are there to do our jobs, and do them to the best of our ability. They are working 15 to maybe 20 hours a week. My girls are required to take part of their check to pay "rent" and we use it for gas money for the two vehicles.

My husband has given me 300 dollars of his disability check to help cover the monthly bills. If my son does get the OK to obtain benefits, I spoke to him about paying "rent" and he said "It is an adult thing" and "I can do that". He told me that he wants a checking account and a savings "like you Mom". Since we have moved here he has put in numerous applications for part time jobs, had one interview, and no success with obtaining a job.

I am working my three shifts a week and would like to not pick up any overtime. The savings is intact. The builder contacted us a week ago and told us that the house was going to close in late December because they were behind schedule. We got told yesterday that the house would close on or near December 8th. The first date of closing we were told was November 30th.

I have not given notice at our rental yet. I will give notice when we close on the house.

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.