These guys greeted me outside my part-time job Monday Morning. Let me predict the future. In a month or two there will be many bunnies running around! Vancouver Island has a lot of two things. Deer and bunnies, both due to a lack of natural predators. These bunnies who were once domestic are now wild. I have seen the black bunny many times and he lives in the briarpatch across the road in a vacant lot that has been taken over by black berry bushes. This is the first siting of his little girlfriend who was too shy for a closeup. Da Wabbit says "get that camera outa my face!"
Sunday, March 2, 2014
February's grocery budget was $450 plus $1.97 from January underage for a total $451.97. Actual Spent was $447.92. Success! $1.50 coupons used. This category includes all over the counter medications, personal grooming items, soaps, cleaners and household items for two adults who eat at home 99% of the time. $4.05 left over will be added to the March budget.
I bought another huge boneless ham and cut it up in smaller packages which will be good for casseroles, breakfast ham and toppings for pizza. It should last two months. There is still a large salmon and some tilapia left - but I am so tired of fish, officially - I don't like fish but buy and eat it because it is good for us. I am not buying any this month at all. Hubby likes fish way more than I do and the only way I really like it is on the BBQ but that has been more difficult than usual because of our recent crappy weather. Anyone have any fish ideas? Maybe encrusting it? I really don't want to deep fry it as that takes away all the benefits. Recipes would be appreciated. There are still some packages of Costco porkchops (best ever) which are individually wrapped plus boneless chicken thighs and some chicken legs. I am totally out of skinless boneless chicken breast which is a staple for us - great for soups. Fortunately I see a sale on Tuesday at our local Safeway. I will miss Safeway as there is recent news that our store is shutting in three months and a whole bunch of people will be laid off. They always had the highest prices here, and finally competition has driven them out. I only shopped there when they have the very best prices plus they offer Airmile deals which is one of the ways I get so many free air tickets. They have great loss leaders every week which I cherry picked and it is sad to see our economy can no longer support this store.
Hair Budget $250 per year
Zero spent in January, $18.23 spent in February on a cut. I plan on timing my next haircut the first week of April right before our holiday. Left in the budget for the year = $231.77. My flat iron croaked yesterday after four years so I forked out $40 for a new one but as this is an actual appliance it does not go in the hair budget, only cuts, colors and styles. I used to own a $150 salon flat iron but after dropping it on the floor and the ceramic breaking, I vowed never to pay such a ridiculous amount for them again. The cheap ones work just as good as the expensive ones FYI.
Clothing Budget $200 per year
Spent this month? Zero. $190.39 left to go in the clothing budget for the year. I have been looking but not found anything to spend my hard earned pennies on. I need to buy some good shoes before our trip as we expect to be walking a ton on our holiday, up and down the hills of Lisbon and wandering around the canals of Amsterdam.
As we will be gone half of April the April food budget will be reduced by half and the $225 will go into the travel fund for meals. Most of our breakfasts will be included with the hotels and I have been researching inexpensive places to eat dinner. You would think renting an apartment with a kitchen would be cheaper but no as I have been able to get extremely good deals on all of our accommodation and kitchens would have cost several hundred Euro more. We will have minifridges for most of the trip so will try and take advantage of that for drinks and snacks. So goodbye February, hello March. Everyone is ready for you to bring on Spring!
Thursday, February 27, 2014
It feels like Spring today as the snow from our storm last weekend has begun to melt. Fortunately, our ground is not frozen so the water is being absorbed as it melts rather than flooding. Nature is at its finest this week with lots of robins suddenly making an appearance in search of the worms under the snow. I spotted a fawn this morning on the way to work that seemed completely at ease wandering across the road. There are tons of deer here in Comox so they are not really afraid of humans. Fortunately, they seem to be a bit wiser than most deer about vehicles and rarely get hit here, or perhaps humans just expect deer on the road and are more careful. A large flock of swans few over my car in the parking lot at work and made several rather large deposits - hubby had to go wash the car when I got home. They almost got one of my co-workers who had to run to the door of the office to avoid being bombed.
So never fear, for those of you with tons of snow and cold temperatures, Spring is really right around the corner. Two sleeps until March!
Monday, February 24, 2014
Alex M suggested we use a leaf blower on the snow - it just wouldn't work on Coastal snow as it is like cement - too much water content. We also sold the leaf blower when we left Alberta. This kind of snow you either shovel out or stay home and don't leave the house. For those neighbors who chose not to shovel on Saturday or Sunday, well, - they are going nowhere fast.
I fully expect to lose power again today, and feel very grateful that the temperature does not get much below zero and that we have a natural gas fireplace for warmth and natural gas BBQ for meals if necessary. Now that Mom lives just down the road she can come to our house in case of a long outage,without even moving her car.
We have tons of old growth extremely tall trees on Vancouver Island that are currently hanging over many power lines - ready to snap. Fortunately, we have no large trees hanging over the house so I am not worried about damage to our property, just some inconvenience.
Hubby had a flight booked out this afternoon to Alberta for our business but due to the storm the incoming plane could not land so his flight was cancelled at the last minute and he will now try again on Thursday.
So, after somehow believing we were going to get off fairly easy this winter after seeing what the rest of North America has suffered, we are now seeing our stretch of winter. They are calling for plus 8 degrees Celcius sunny weather tomorrow - I will believe it when I see it!
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Is there anything cuter in the world than bird tracks in the sand? These cute little duck footprints were spotted yesterday at the beach. Our walk didn't last very long there as tears kept running down my face from the cold wind blowing. It was sunny and beautiful though. Today we woke up to - you guessed it - snow again! I should have known - and no, I haven't bought a second shovel yet. At least today I don't have to leave the house so we can wait until midday to go share the shovel.
|Goose Spit Park, Comox - click picture for larger size|
So a couple of weeks ago I won $100 at work and was trying to decide how to spend it - that post asking What Would You Do With $100 was the most commented - ever! The money has now been spent as follows:
1. New Suitcase - hubby has suitcases specifically designed for packing suits. Those are expensive and would not work for our two week trip to Europe so we needed an inexpensive option. We found one on sale at 60% off - cost $45. One less thing to buy before our trip in April.
2. February 15th Pub lunch out $47 - worth every penny for a nice afternoon lunch date with hubby
3. $8 worth of new songs for my iphone - those Europe flights are long and I want to listen to some good music.
Based on the snow it looks like I will be staying home today - the roads are crappy here when it snows as the snow is so wet and slippery and everyone forgets how to drive as it happens so rarely here.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
|Campbell River Waterfront|
Even with rainy windy weather I still find the views breathtaking, and every day am happy and grateful that we get to live here on Vancouver Island. Cheers!
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
The good news? After a day of rain and warm temperatures yesterday there is only a little bit here and there. Now the dilemma, do we go buy a 2nd shovel to have on hand now or wait until next fall?
Sunday, February 9, 2014
My last post on what to do with $100 had the most comments ever - 24 so far! The answers are quite interesting, and I recommend you have a look at all the comments if you get a chance. A quick welcome to new readers as well as I saw a few comments from those who haven't commented before. Have a great weekend everyone!
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
|yes, this is really what our Canadian money looks like, hologram and all|
My dilemma, I actually have difficulty spending money on non-essentials. Food and bills are a requirement, but travel is just about my only vice. I have been packing around $100 cash gift from my Mother-in-law since Christmas and now this has been added to it. In all likelihood I will just convert them to EURO to buy something cool on our trip to Portugal and Holland in April but was wondering if anyone else has this issue.
I am one of those very fortunate people who is perfectly content with little and we currently have "enough". My biggest splurge ever was buying a DSLR camera two years ago which has already had thousands of photos taken on it. I have an iphone but only because hubby insisted I have one for the Company we run, and the Company purchased it (that and my old dumb phone was so old it took 1/2 an hour to text someone). Those items plus the Company laptop are my favorite things.
So, if $100 dropped into your lap today, what would you spend it on?
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Actual Spent was $448.03. Success! Zero coupons used. That isn't surprising as I purchased a lot of large bulk items this month that don't allow for coupons. This category includes all over the counter medications, personal grooming items, soaps, cleaners and household items for two adults who eat at home 99% of the time. $1.97 will be added to the February budget.
We did end up getting a Costco membership again. There are certain things there that we saved money right off the bat like hubby's allergy medication. We cannot purchase it over the counter in the USA and the cheapest I can buy it here on sale is .50 per tablet. Costco has a house brand of the same medication that we bought for .25 cent a tablet (Aerius for any of those who are wondering as nothing else seems to work for him). I also bought five liters of dish soap for $7.69 which is cheaper than buying individual bottles with coupons. With all this stocking up our freezer and fridge are still very full at the end of January. All that is left on the current shopping list is milk, eggs, and flour which I ran out of half way through making a pizza the other night - bad planning! So we had our pizza with half corn flour that was in the cupboard and it turned out fine. After being away from Costco for a year I noticed some things. For some reason Canadian Costco's don't seem to stock basics like regular flour. They carry lots of specialty items but if you wan't regular flour you are out of luck. They do have a great meat department and I managed to buy a large amount of pork chops that are better quality than what I normally buy for about the same price. My Mom found cat litter and bird seed(for her feeder) much cheaper than she can normally buy them. They also had great prices on spices but I managed to only buy what I was currently out of which were some peppercorns.
Hair Budget $250 per year
Zero spent in January - but I really need a trim and haven't got one as have been too busy working. I will be going to get a haircut on Monday. I don't like waking up in the morning and looking at Sasquatch in the the mirror.
Clothing Budget $200 per year
Spent this month? $9.61. I bought five new pair of socks for $3 plus tax at Wally World. Hey big spender! I also purchased two shirts at the thrift store, one for $2.50 and one for $3. They are non-wrinkle material and fold up really small, great for travelling to Portugal and Holland in April. $190.39 left to go in the clothing budget for the year.
And that was the month that was January, my least favorite month of the year. February is a short month, the month where we tidy up all the paperwork and file taxes both for our business and home. We also are updating our wills this month. All that yucky adult stuff - and maybe a little bit of fun!