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Meal plan and cleaning day and much rambling

January 24th, 2015 at 09:03 pm

I haven't done this in a while even though we've been really good about sticking to our weekly meal plan; the only eating-out days have been planned well in advance.

We finish our menu and grocery list by Friday night at the latest, and do our shopping Saturday morning, so that's where the new meal plan begins.

Saturday lunch
grilled cheese sandwiches & soup

Saturday dinner
TVP & black bean chili

Sunday lunch
salad with tofu, spinach, pepitos, corn, avocado, chili-lime dressing

Sunday dinner
spaghetti & veggie meatballs

Monday
our friends cook for us

Tuesday
refried black bean burritos with rice & tamales

Wednesday
seitan stroganoff over pasta

Thursday
veggie burgers, fries & raw vegetables

Friday
mash, chikn tenders, peas & corn

Lots of "fake meat" meals this week, but all different sorts. TVP is dehydrated soy protein, seitan is a meaty substance made with vital wheat gluten. We make the meatballs with a ground-beef substitute we get at the store. The veggie burgers and chikn tenders are just premade stuff we purchase too.

Dietbet is in full swing and I'm feeling pretty good about the eating side; I need to get the exercise going too. My shoulder muscles are still hurting from the sledding collision, so I haven't been in the mood to work out. But today I at least did a lot of taxing stuff.

First I went to the grocery store, about a 10 minute walk each way, and then I vacuumed the upstairs as well as the stairs themselves. I cleaned one of the bathrooms, scrubbing the shower walls thoroughly which I don't think any of us had really done. They still need work but at least they're a lot cleaner! I went up and down the stairs a lot because I had to keep looking for various cleaning supplies. Next time I'll know better what I need for the job. I've never been in charge of cleaning the bathrooms but I took it on in an attempt to be more of a help around the house.

Our realtor called yesterday; she's in contact with the interested parties but they haven't made an offer. So either they're dragging their feet or it was a false alarm. We have another showing tomorrow. NT went to the condo and did a light cleaning today to make sure it looks its best.

I got a super deal via the Minneapolis garage sales page: a glider and ottoman in great shape for $40. The guy even delivered! It's perfect for my book and TV nook, which is looking better and better. I finally organized the kids books and AS put out some little framed illustrations on the tops of the short shelves.

I splurged on the kids for Valentine's Day; nearly $40 for two stuffed animals, cards and candy, and treats for their daycare pals. I discovered later that I'd gotten one of the cards I'd meant to put back, and that one I did mean to get was no longer working (was supposed to light up and make sounds). So I have to go back tomorrow to return the unwanted card and hopefully exchange the broken one. At least I got about $5 in ExtraBucks!

AS has raked in some more big freelance projects. At this point it's looking like she won't get breaks even if she doesn't actively seek work, so I've told her she should give herself a week's vacation around her birthday (early March) and let all her clients know well in advance so they won't be expecting her to take or do work during that time. She worked part of Xmas break and was sick the rest of the time, so it wasn't a real break for her. The last semi-break she had was in late August/early September when family and friends visited, and even then she was finishing up a few freelance jobs.

Since she's so new to this, I don't think she feels like she can turn down work, so it needed to be said that she had to give herself some planned time off. We don't need much from her for April and March's budgets, and if NT's raise comes through, we won't need anything from her.

She told me tonight she wants to buy her mom a sewing machine. Her mom is an amazing clothes-maker and all her machines are broken right now. I said I think that's fair, since we spent budget money to entertain NT's family, and I'm probably gonna want to use some to attend my family's reunion this summer.

I rushed through NT's UK tax return and we sent it off Friday. We really hope there isn't a penalty, but it looks like they charge one even if you don't owe anything. I wrote an explanation about not receiving the usual packet in the mail. Fingers crossed we don't have to pay!

Now I need to get our tax packets done for our new preparer and meet with him. Still waiting on some 1099s from AS's clients but there's no excuse to not get started on it, except that I just don't feel like it. All the mortgage interest and rental income and dependent info is so confusing. Oh, and AS never was able to enroll in Obamacare last year (she's still working on it thus far unsuccessfully), so I'm hoping there isn't a penalty for that.

Tomorrow is my first Ordinary Savers meeting in a long time. If they all come, there will be four new attendees! That'll be nice to get some fresh perspectives and new stories. I don't have a specific theme; thought I'd just ask the newbies why they came and let the topics come out of that.

I bought about $25 worth of treats for the meeting; that was my other big splurge this weekend. I assume there will be leftovers from that. Other than paying off my web hosting charge and maybe dinner out for Valentine's Day, I don't have any purchases planned for the foreseeable future, so I figured why not splurge on nice treats for my meetup and cute Valentine gifts for my daughters?

With the budget probably loosening up in the next few months, we've started thinking about budget-friendly trips. We miss traveling, even if it's just out of town for a day or two. We thought we might rent a car and drive to Omaha, about 6 hours away, to check out the restaurant of our favorite cookbook author. Maybe we'll make a weekend of it! Of course we can't book anything until our budget situation improves, but it's nice to think about even as a tentative future plan.

8 Responses to “Meal plan and cleaning day and much rambling”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    My mom loves that restaurant there in O. I haven't been but would love to try it!

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    If you're still in the area when we make it out there, would love to arrange an SA meetup! Frugaltexan too.

  3. snafu Says:

    I love making a big fuss of Valentine's Day for both children and adults. Hope you are able to replace broken card, it sounds so special. Why not a trip to your fav, cookbook author's restaurant since it's Saturday? It's time for a splurge for sure.

    Wow, what a lot you accomplish in a day-off. I find the cleaning more effort than grocery store so I tend to clean 1st and wander through the grocery later in the day since using the free app keeps me focussed. I hope it's ok to mention that if you have tiled, shower walls, it really helps to use the type of polish used on cars to keep the tiles free of soap scum or hard water marks. It's an added task merely twice or three times a year that eliminates serious scrubbing all the other weeks. Not safe on tub, too slippery, too dangerous, needs caution.

    Would you consider making your cleaning products using the simple recipes on You Tube, cheap and effective in repurposed spray bottles or those super sturdy ones sold for gardening supplies? If every bathrm has it's own supplies for tile, tubs/sink/commode, vanity/mirror and floor corralled in a cardboard six pack container out of reach of DDs [perhaps hall cupboard] it saves steps and effort for the constant, repetitive task no matter who does the chore. DDs can help by decorating the free holder. As pre-schoolers our DSs loved to wash floors with half a sponge and a margarine tub of water to 'help.'

    Look forward to next Ordinary Saver's newsletter

  4. Dido Says:

    FYI, there is a penalty for failure to have health insurance starting in 2014. It is called the "shared responsibility payment," and it is paid via line 61 on the 1040. This year, for an single person, the penalty is the greater of a. $95, or b. 1% of income over the filing threshold, which is $10,150 for a single under age 65. So if mAGI was $25,000, the penalty would be $25,000 - $10,150 = $14,850 x 1% = $148.50. The penalty increases markedly in the next two years. 2014 minimum penalty is $95 or 1%, 2015 Is $325 or 2%, and 2016 and on is $695 or 2.5% (indexed for inflation annually from 2017 on. This assumes A is filing as a single and not as a dependent.

  5. ceejay74 Says:

    Thanks guys. Great idea, snafu, I def. need to get organized for the next time.

    Dido, is the penalty per month? She was insured thru August of last year, and we hope she'll get the mixups straightened up in the next month or two, which will mean she's been uninsured 4 months in 2014 and mauybe 2 or 3 in 2015.

  6. frugaltexan75 Says:

    Ceejay - I still haven't gotten out to that restaurant! I would love to get together with you and CCF there - a meetup and a treat. Big Grin

    I'm probably going to have to pay a partial penalty - I was without insurance from July to October. If it was just 3 months I wouldn't have to pay anything, but from what I've read, I'll have to pay 1/3 of the penalty.

    NE had the same issue with signing up last year for Obamacare - he tried and tried but could never get through. This year the only way he made it was by calling the help line.

  7. rob62521 Says:

    A very diverse meal plan, and lucky you to have friends who are cooking for you! You had quite a busy time and looks like you accomplished quite a bit.

  8. scottish girl Says:

    I really want spaghetti and meatballs now. I'm sure you had them recently and that got me in the mood for them too.

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