Sunday, June 6, 2010

Budget Month - Day 7

Apparently I know myself pretty well. I have this penchant for buying things at the local organic health food shop. I'm even a card-carrying member. I was not aware of this until I went yesterday, but it seems when I got my last $5 off voucher for being a member, I wrapped it around my card so when the woman at the counter asked me, "Do you have a Healthy Life card?" I saw I had $5 off! Considering my purchase was $15, this pre-thinking saved me 1/3rd of my grocery bill!

I got spelt flour, steel cut oats and some barley flakes and had a magazine included with my purchase. Normally I dispise health foods magazines. They feel like advertising done with fear and I really don't like that - especially since they claim these magic pills fix everything. And it's simply not true - and a health food shop should know that. Basically, I feel a lot of health magazines spread lies to sell their health-product that's actually no good and because people read it in a health magazine, they don't think to check. But I digress.

I found coupons for bottles of glucosamine, fish oil tablets and zinc - all things we normally have regularly anyway (which is really how you should coupon cut). I can get all three bottles for somewhere around the realm of $5. Nice. So I clipped those and wrapped them around my card as well. Since it's a shop I tend to go into not for specific items but just to find ideas and healthy things I wish to cook with (I almost never enter the supplement area without knowing what I want though). This should save me heaps of money.

Steel cut oats are a brilliant idea for a purchase, by the way. Usually in the morning I am made of this word called 'blargh'. It only turned into chipper when I've had my coffee. Which can take awhile as I can never seem to find the coffee maker (or my brain) first thing in the morning. I love breakfast. I feel it's the most important meal of the day. As a nutrition student, I've seen studies on just how beneficial breakfast is to dieting - and I still can't manage it.

That's where cheap-as-chips steel-cut oats come in. One cup oats, four cups water, set on low in the slow cooker and by morning BAM delicious slow cooked hot breakfast when you wake up. Oh heaven! If only my crockpot can fry eggs and turkey bacon, I'd never need a man. Because we all know I keep men around to fry eggs. That makes sense. Also, my sexism is a lie. Just like the cake. (Bu-cake-ke!)

So it's been a week and my budget is showing me as spending $20 more per day than I've allowed. Here's the thing - I don't owe anyone a dollar at this moment. I don't owe anyone anything for, hm, 3 days. And then, I owe about $500. And then... another week of not owing anything. Which means - holy shit I'm doing this. By the end of tonight the $20 per day over will be eliminated. By tomorrow I'll be ahead. By wednesday, I'll be leaps and bounds ahead. That cookbook IS IN SIGHT, baby.

Speaking of books, my fiance and I have this bizarre habit of reading to each other every night before bed. I read things like Nanny McPhee and The Magic Puddin' to him and he reads Little Miss and Mr. Men to me. Because we're six. Admit it, you think it's cute. Pervert.

Anyway, I discovered that Glynn was out of books to read me. They cost anywhere from $3-5 each, depending where you buy them. Glynn said to me, "Get the packs they have now, those are only $30." But my budget for books was $20!! Except... it wasn't. It was $30. And... here's where I stuffed up in my favour - I have books in my budget twice. Apparently I really love books.

My budget program, for some reason, has books listed under 'Departmental'. I guess at some point I felt this was entirely illogical and put it under 'Entertainment'. But departmental still has a $40 book budget, whereas entertainment has a $30 budget. I guess that means I buy $30 worth of entertaining books and $40 worth of useful books? Ha. So, I gave myself a $70 book budget. I love me.

I finished my Dresden File book I was reading and am disappointed because I recall saying I wouldn't buy one all month and I'd depend on free books. That's not difficult, but damn, the book left off on a point where the next book will obviously take off from - and it made me almost go out and buy the next one on my Kindle right then and there. But I didn't.

Tonight when Glynn gets home we're going to cut these giant oil barrels in half he brought home from work. We're scrubbing out the inside, putting rubber sealing on the edges ($3 a metre) and spraypainting the cans ($15 a can) candy apple red and then stenciling ($15 stencil) the names of the contents along the side in black paint (gift from friend) to make customized pots for the apple and orange trees we have.

Normally those trees would take about $60-200 pots each, depending on your taste. This is costing us about, oh, $45 for 4. Plus, the stencils are reusable. Plus, I can plant things like thyme, rosemary, sage and coriander at the base of the trees to grow as ground covering beneath it. So I'm going to write on shiny red paint in deep matte black "gala apple ° coriander ° thyme" along the outside of the pot. I think it will look quite nice when it's done.

Later this week I'm entertaining a lovely woman by teaching her to make soap. This is extremely beneficial to me - I get to spend time with people I want to spend time with, I get to make soap, I get to use things I already have and I get to spend a few hours doing something for pretty much no money at all, except materials I already have. Plus, I might get to impress her with my soap-making abilities (I am such a loser when it comes to pretty girls). Or I might do that fumble where I made soap on a stick.

Either way - I'm ahead, I've got plans, things are going well - and, oh, get this - I enjoy work again! I think the budget has made me love work because I don't need the money to cover bills I forgot to pay anymore. Now it's purely saving money and that's what I'm doing with it. So when my boss offers me a job, I am quick to take it and do it. Then I shove 10% into my savings and the rest into my account, so that at the end of the month I can pay off my credit card. Woohoo.

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