Casa Adalia

February, 2016Archive for

No, these weren’t mystery shops dining out these were lucky coupon finds

Saturday, February 20th, 2016

The first was on Tuesday. I’ve often wrote about being on mailing lists for fast food joints and restaurants to get discounts. Well this meal was a great example of why. I received an email that contained a one day only coupon for a regular Arby’s roast beef sandwich for $.63, limit one per visit. I printed it twice and had dh print it twice at work. He and ds had drove in separately that day due to appointments. Ds went in late, due to his appointment. So he took the two coupons I had printed with him.
There are 2 Arby’s directly on their route home from work. They went less than a block out of their way total to do this. Each went through the drive-thru at each location and got 1 regular roast beef sandwich for a total of 4 sandwiches. Technically the 2 restaurants, although only 2 miles apart, are in different towns and so the total with tax at one was $.69 and $.70 at the other. For a total f $2.78 for four Arby’s regular sized roast beef sandwiches.
Meanwhile at home I turned two potatoes into potato chips and brewed ice tea. The grand total to feed three healthy adult appetites was far less than I could cook a from scratch meal for.
On Thursday I received from a freebies list I am on a $5 off coupon off of a purchase of $5 or more from Smashburger—one of our favorite places to eat. Limit 1 per person. While we could have done the homemade chips and tea again the guys could have only got 2 burgers because of the coupon limitation. So we opted for me to meet them there. Technically we could have eaten for nearly free again if we’d decided on no sides and drank water. But we all decided to get 3 different sides, one each, and share them and a beverage. So that meal did cost us around $5 total, because we had coupons for two of the sides as well. Still cheaper than I could have made the meal at home.
A coupon and a meal deal at Subway fed dh and I lunch on Friday for under $5.
All three of these meals had surveys on their receipts. These surveys will be completed and we will get additional coupons for free items as well.
We had two opportunities to eat free meals for 2 from mystery shopping over the weekend, but those would have required us to pay up front and be re-imbursed later, plus considerable fuel to go to the restaurant. So we stayed home and did major chores instead. Fewer calories consumed that way too.
The point of this post is to show that you can eat out, occasionally for free or near free if you just watch for coupons and specials, then take the time, usually less than 5 minutes to do the surveys. When we cash in te coupons we always try to make it where we are not going out of the way to do so, because fuel cost needs to be factored into the cost.
The rest of the meals for the week were all out of our food storage (week #5). Other than doing home repairs and clean-up with what we had on hand that is pretty much our budget news for the week.
Oh I did my first true snowball payment on BB, so that made me smile big time. We now have officially paid, so far this billing cycle, the equivalent of 4 months minimum payments on BB and we still have a couple of days to go on it so I may be able to do a little more.

First of all, our first “budget meeting under new rules of management” went really well

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

Surprisingly well. We have a tentative budget for August, with both of us agreed to the various amounts and limits. We’re putting a moratorium on all extra projects and purchases until we BOTH feel like we’ve got our collective spending under control.

Second, DH is just about done prepping not only his July spending info for sharing, but also May/June. Interesting little evolution with that situation. Keep in mind that one of the reasons we’re still in therapy is that he has a lot of difficulty with expressing his opinions, concerns, idea, etc. (Whatever my limitations in life, that’s obviously not one of them). So this whole time that we’ve been living beyond our means post-DR, he thought he was doing a good job communicating his concerns and frustrations. Um, honey, you actually have to say this stuff OUT LOUD before anyone else knows about it; walking around scowling doesn’t convey much detail! But his reluctance to share account info was based on his conviction that I had totally blown off DR and just wanted to spend all his money anyway. Wow, um, no, that’s not the motivation, and I was pained to hear that was ever a suspicion. Suffice to say we both learned a few new things. And now we both feel like we’re on the same page again, in terms of financial priorities and spending limits. That by itself feels great.

But the biggest news is that I’ve had a major change of heart concerning my own earnings potential. As I mentioned last week, DH and I were already in agreement that farm income HAD to improve. And as I reviewed this-or-that option, I kept running into the same problem. We’ve got the production end of things down pat. We can produce garden goodies. We can produce piglets and chickens and rabbits and eggs and hay and a whole host of other products. The crunch comes, though, in the sales and marketing. There is no single product we’ve created yet so far that we’ve consistently sold out. We’ve come close on some items, but we’re not at that “demand is greater than supply” stage yet. Furthermore, our cost of production is still high enough that whatever we do sell, we only make about 5% profit on it. And we don’t have the scale yet to make that 5% add up to enough for me to live on. Long story short, I could produce my little heart out over the next few weeks and months, and maybe sell all of it, maybe sell some, maybe sell nothing. And still not quite earn enough to meet our financial goals. A lot of that is because we’re still building out our capacity. But bottom line, I can’t meet our income goals for the year, with just the farm. So, over the weekend, I made the hard decision to button some things up here and start looking for non-farm part-time work again. It’s the only way I can guarantee that I’ll actually be paid for effort made, and get paid enough to make a difference. I came to that decision kicking and screaming, but the numbers just wouldn’t allow for any wishful thinking in that regard.

So the job search has already begun, and I’m already putting together application materials for two different listings I’ve found so far. Yikes, back in the job market after 3 years of self-employment. Not for the faint of heart. But that’s my homework report. I might not get an A for achievement yet, but I sure as heck hope I got a gold star for effort.