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wants vs needs

July 27th, 2018 at 08:47 am

We made a list a couple of weeks ago of all wants vs needs. I must say I am proud that our Wants list is short, and items are not high-value (most expensive item is about $200)... sadly, our Needs list is kind of long, and items, while not luxury ones, are not cheap, either.

Needs (in order of our priority)
1. new glasses for me --I just realized mine are over 4 years old. The anti-glare coating is gone, and they are a bit scratched. I cannot reuse the frames, which are already very worn, too, because they are permanent use (I can´t walk around without glasses, the world looks fuzzy!).. unfortunately, given my sight problems, even if I go to out local non-profit foundation to get them, they´d be at around $200 --I do not qualify for aid, just the lower-than-market prices.

2. clothes washer: $350-$500, if new. Ours died about 9 months ago. We are washing by hand, which is not so bad for shirts and regular pants, but, is a pain (quite literally!) for jeans, towels and bed linens! My supervisor is about to move from a temporary house to an apartment, and, will not take her washer with her (not enough space for washer and dryer at the new place, she needs one of those two-in-one towers) and said she would sell it to me for cheap, we haven´t discussed prices.

3. New beds - $400 to $1,000 ($200-$500 each). ours are 19 years old and 10 years old, respectively (they usually go on sale in October and February, so we went to see prices yesterday, just to be aware of how much is needed. We might be able to negotiate a better price if buying 2, and paying cash.

4. New living room furniture. $300 -$500 When my sister left the house, she took the living room furniture. This is not urgent, but, would be nice to be able to have company over more often!(as is, we entertain in the dining room only, or at our bedrooms -- Ale´s closest friends, for example) With living room furniture we could have her church group over, for example.

2 purple dresses!

July 16th, 2018 at 08:51 pm

My sister is getting married next month. The wedding party is supposed to be dressed in shades of purple (it used to be lilac, but, some of her friends convinced her, since we weren't wearing matching dresses, she might as well be more flexible with the colors to allow for shades of purple from lilac to grape)... SO... we went "hunting" for purple dresses, one for my myself and one for Ale... the first store we went to (which we thought was not as expensive as it turned out to be) had 2 beautiful dresses... and they offered me a discount if I took both... $225 for both... Er.. thanks... We then went to the 2nd-hand stores... at the first we found a beautiful dress in grape purple for Ale for $5. At the second one, we found one in wisteria purple for myself for $20, BUT, they had 50% off all clothes, so it ended up costing $10! We do want to get a rhinestone applique for Ale's, and, mine needs to be cut (at 1.49m - 4 feet 11 inches approx, I'm used to having ALL my clothes altered!), and, of course, they need to go to the dry cleaners (they do look wrinkled!) but, still, after all that, they will still be a lot less expensive than the $225! After the wedding, which is at the end of August, it will be time to start looking for dresses for Ale´s graduation (end of November)... guess where I´m going to look first!!
These are the dresses, although, they look black and gray in the pic... cheap phone, what can I say?

Counting meals

June 21st, 2018 at 07:42 am

We have gotten into the habit of making menus and "counting meals". We need 45 meals to last a pay period. Most mornings we have cereal with milk, and vary only the lunches and dinners. We were lazy last week and didn´t make our menu. As a consequence, I didn´t purchase enough food for the whole 2 weeks....But, I always have some staples on hand that may be used. One of our favorite meals now is "false chicken" crepes... (I use texturized soy meal for the filling!) We both love them, and they are cheap to make... just some flour, milk and oil + 1 egg for the crepes (and I have learned to make them without the egg, even, if necessary), the soy + chicken base + onion + green peppers + tomatoes + garlic (and, sometimes, bbq sauce for a change in flavor), and, for a gourmet touch, some white sauce (should be butter, but we use margarine + onion + flour + ground nutmet + white pepper). Oh, and today we are having "meatless" lentils... I forgot to buy sausages! Oh, well...

Seems my life just got more expensive!

May 2nd, 2010 at 10:29 pm

I used to buy Ale new clothes every six months, in June and December of each year, but, she already outgrew all her clothes. So, if she continues to grow at this pace, I will have to do it every 4 months! OUCH!

Double-Ouch...we now have to go to the Juniors section!!!....

I took her to a place that was supposed to be an outlet, but, t-shirts were $19!!!... I then took her to another place where we bought 3 shirts and pajamas for $21! the only bad thing was we couldnt find any bottoms there...we went to at least 3 other places, but, I think shes all set now!

Going into frugal mode come 2009!

December 23rd, 2008 at 09:15 am

Well, we went off frugal mode in November- with the Xmas bonus at the office...
while a lot of the $$$ has been going to things that were needed/not urgent (like painting the outside of the house and the living room) some has also gone to mindless spending (not bringing food for lunch... useless trinkets for Ale, etc)... I wouldn't say it's BAD, but it certainly could have been better used (yes, you do need to have some fun once in a while)... anyway.. I've already warned Ale that, come January, we will NOT be going to the malls anymore, unless it's for school-related items (like shoes...she desperately NEEDS new school shoes, hers look like she took them out of a dumpster already! I noticed it early December, but decided that, since her last day of school was the 17th, they'd HAVE to last until then!...and, I will wait until the last possible moment to buy, given the way she's growing!)...
I also told her we will not be eating out as much or entertaining as much, unless we find free/almost free fun!
Wish me luck!

Ha! I knew it HAD to be there!

September 8th, 2008 at 02:26 pm

The Dress...the typical volcanea dress I bought for Ale last year was "lost"...I arrived early enough to still catch Nanny at home (sis hadn't arrived home yet), and I had her look in all the weird places in which she generally stores things that are not in use...sure enough, there was the dress, which was bought just a bit larger than needed to be last year, so that it could still be used THIS year! HA! ...now, I do need new shoes to go with it! (last year's fit just barely, and hurt Ale when she walks...and, this year, they're DANCING!)...so, off to the handicrafts market I go (next weekend)
I'll take pictures of her in it and post them!

Almost ready for school again!

July 25th, 2008 at 09:12 am

Remember I was buying notebooks and school supplies waaaay in advance? ...I'm now almost finished with all the purchases (need 6 pencils and 1 English-English Dictionary....Ale's "got lost from her back pack"...)...I also finished labeling most of her stuff (need to label 24 pencils- yuech!) and I bound all her notebooks in plastic cover last night (now I "only" need to bind the books, which we have not received yet...Oh, and she needs a couple new containers for her lunch box...

so, my shopping list is>

6 pencils
1 English/ English dictionary
2 small food containers

YAY!...I still haven't added the last things I bought, so I still don't know how much I really spent...

Oooops, forgot the uniforms!...some pieces are in bad shape, and others have been outgrown...but, I'll get these during the first week of school!

Ale melts my heart...

July 23rd, 2008 at 09:34 am

really,that kid does.

Yesterday, we were lying in bed (it was cold, we were watching TV) and she said: You know what would be REALLY nice?...if we could get BIG a house, so all 5 of us could live together (she means the 2 of us + sis, niece and nephew)...I said: such a big house would be expensive..we'd have to save a lot to be able to do that...and she replied: could I help with the money I'm making from the business, even if it's just $1? It would help, wouldn't it?

Way to go, Ale!

July 19th, 2008 at 08:25 pm

As of yesterday night, she had $9.20 cash, 6 frozen bananas and 4 popsicles...she had already re-invested $1 to buy 20 bananas....

Today, I took her to buy the doll stroller she wanted...first they showed her one for $3.50 (as opposed to the $6 she had budgeted)...then the saleslady told her: "We have one with the Disney Princesses on it..."...they showed her that one, and it was smaller than the original one...I asked how much it cost, and the lady said $8...Ale's eyes went big and she shook her head "no"...she told the lady: No, I want the other one...then the lady set another "trap", she asked Ale if she wanted to pay right away or wait until she had finished looking around...(hey, I was just the chauffer today!)...Ale said she wanted to look around first....so, we went through the store and at one point we were standing in the aisle where they have the cookware, and Ale said: Mom, look, popsicle molds!...she chose a set that is the exact same size as the one we had...except this one holds 8 popsicles instead of 6...so now she has 2 molds!...one for chocolate and one for strawberry milk popsicles!!...It cost her $1.75...she paid for it all herself!...I then took her to the supermarket (1 block away) and she bought the strawberry flavor (Nesquick), 1 bag of powdered milk, 1 bag of chocolate coverage...that came out to $3.24....so, now we are back home, and we already have the strawberry milk popsicles in the freezer...so, now she has $0.71 left on hand, plus 6 frozen bananas ($3), 4 chocolate milk popsicles ($1.20) and 8 strawberry popsicles ($2.40)...

While at the store, she also eyed some other stuff she liked...I just told her: You could make enogh to buy that, too, if you really want it!

Ale is up to $6.20!!!

July 18th, 2008 at 09:42 am

$7.20, actually, as she used $1 to buy a new batch of bananas...

She needs to buy more chocolate, too, and wants to buy flavoring to make strawberry milk popsicles...(in case her friends get tired of chocolate!)

...so, yesterday she was confronted with a tough decision: the doll stroller she wants (what started this whole thing) costs about $6....but, if she buys it NOW, that will be the end of the business, as she wont have enough $$ to restock supplies....I reminded her she still has to pay me back the $5 I loaned her...but told her she can pay in installemnts (even if she quits once she's in school and doesn't finish paying me back, I want her to KNOW that this is DEBT and all debt should be repaid!!!)....

Ill let you know what she decides!

In the meantime, she has 12 chocobananos and 6 new popsicles in the freezer!...and asked me if she could take some of our Nesquick to make strawberry milk popsicles...

Ale sold $4.40!!

July 16th, 2008 at 12:14 pm

now I have to make sure she understands she didn't MAKE $4.40...that she has to deduct her costs from that (we calculated them together) and that she can't just SPEND the $4.40 or the business is over!- wish me luck!

Ale goes into business

July 10th, 2008 at 02:33 pm

...or, she will, once we work the numbers...

I made her some iced popsicles yesterday...it seems Nanny had attempted this some times before, without success...

The popsicles came out perfect this time!
Ale wants to sell them to the neighborhood children for $1/each (I told her she really can't do that, since the store in our neighborhood has cheaper ones, but promise her we'll work on pricing and then she can start...I also told her she can make "chocobananos" - frozen chocolate-covered bananas)...This conversation took place at lunchtime...

At 3pm, she calls me to work, and wants to know who gets the money...meaning who gets to keep the profits....
she also wants to know where the "original" money will come from ...meaning the money to buy the supplies for the first batch....

I told her I'll loan her the seed money, and she gets to keep the profits, but she can't spend it, because she has to re-invest it...she got a little confused with the concept of profit, so I promised I'll explain to her when I get home...

Even if she doesn't make much, it'll be a good experience!