Wednesday, March 6, 2013
A Spendy Start to March
Not wanting to stop and eat lunch at the rest stops on the Thruway, I packed two chicken Caesar salads and two bottles of water for our trip. The only food at the rest stops is fast food from McDonald's or Roy Rogers, etc. It seems the worst food is on that corridor. So DH and I planned on stopping in the parking lot of the rest stop and eating our lunch. As it turned out, we were so anxious to see our family and our granddaughter that we drove straight through. We hadn't seen them since Thanksgiving. So we decided to eat our lunch when we got there. So the only expense we had driving out was to fill up the car with gasoline for a total of $ 44.60 plus the tolls of $ 11.35.
After playing with our granddaughter and chatting with our son and DIL for the afternoon, we took all of us out to dinner at The Fountain. We let our granddaughter pick where she wanted to go by giving her two choices. DH and I were thrilled that she picked The Fountain. We hadn't been there in 19 years. When our sons were in private junior and high school, we ate there many, many times a year. They have the best pizza. It didn't disappoint. The 4 of us had pizza with leftovers and my granddaughter had yummy chicken strips and fries which had to have been good since she gobbled them right down. With drinks and tip, our bill came to $ 70.
On Sunday, we had a leisurely day just enjoying each other. I did make a trip to Price Chopper with my son to pick up cold cuts, prepared macaroni salad, rolls, mayonaise, beer, soda, yogurt and some treats for my granddaughter for a whopping total of $ 96.48. My DIL put a pork loin to make pulled pork in the crockpot before she went back to bed. My son had been up fighting a huge house fire most of the AM hours and we were all tired. He from fighting the fire and my DIL from going to the firehouse to fix some food for when the firemen came back. Me, because my DIL woke me up at 1:15am to let me know she was leaving the house to go there and could I take care of Alexa who was sleeping. It seemed unusual that my DIL would go there and since I was not quite awake when she left, I started to worry that something had happened to my son. So I sat up waiting for them to come back until 4:30am. It's the mother in me. When everyone came home safe and sound, I went back to bed until 10:30am. I don't know who got up with my granddaughter at 7am but everyone was tired. So we went to the market and then played wih Alexa until dinnertime. Then just spent a leisurely evening. It's so much fun just to be with all of them.
On Monday, my granddaughter had to go to the dentist to get two pinpoint fillings in her baby molars. She was so scared. She asked Grandpa and I to go to the dentist with her along with her Mommy. We said of course we would. Her Daddy had the day off but had to bring his car into the dealership for some warranty work. My heart sunk when they took her back to do it. But DH and I did our best to distract my DIL who was a wreck while my grandaughter was in there.The dentist would not allow my DIL back there with her. That I did not like. After the work was done, they took my DIL back to her and it took her a while to calm my granddaughter down; she was pretty upset. She was still a little weepy when we got in the car but we had promised her that we would take her to Toys R Us to pick out a toy afterward. On the ride to the toy store, our granddaughter who had been pretty quiet, says to me, "Grandma, we have to pick up a toy for Cousin West too for you to take to him in Buffalo." She is such a caring little girl. I told her of course we would and she could help pick it out. So we picked up some toys and some other miscellaneous things that I needed for Easter. The bill came to $ 124.61. The more we distracted her, the better she seemed to feel.
When we got home, we all helped her put her lego set together. After a few hours of playing and then having a light dinner, it was time to go to our son's ceremony. He had already left to go to the Firehouse to ride over on the trucks with the other firefighters. We left for the American Legion after he left. We still had to keep the secret. The minute he came in and saw us he surmised the secret everyone had been keeping.
We were all so proud when the Chief spoke about him and called him up to receive the " Firefighter of the Year" award. His wife and daughter were beaming and they were each presented with a bouquet of flowers. I was so proud of my son but I have been proud of him for volunteering for over 21 years. He was a volunteer firefighter and EMT from the time he was 18 years old while he lived in NY. When he moved to AZ, he was a volunteer on the Sheriff's Posse and did many a mountain rescue and also got certified for EMT in that state. When he came back to NY in 2009, he joined their local fire dept. as a volunteer and has quickly moved up through the ranks to Captain and he is a Commissioner on the board. He also revamped the software system for the fire dept. Besides going to 116 fire calls in 2012, he has spent countless hours acting as the project manager overseeing the building of their new firehouse. Being an EMT, he has also done many ambulance calls. All of this while being a great husband and father. Congratulations Son! We are very proud of you! The picture is of him, after he received his award, being congratulated by the Mayor.
I almost forgot to tell you that we witnessed a first while we were there. My granddaughter's first baby tooth came out. It had been loose and on Monday afternoon it wiggled right out into Mommy's hand. She was so excited about the Tooth Fairy coming that night. She wanted to know all about her. She wanted to know if she would see her and it she was big or small. She had Mommy write a note to the tooth fairy telling her not to take the tooth because she wanted to keep it. Yesterday morning, she was so excited showing us that the tooth fairy left her a note and two dollars to spend. She read us the note and showed us her money. It was just so magical being there for that. She looks so cute with that missing bottom tooth and couldn't wait to get back to kindergarten yesterday to show everyone.
I also gave my DIL,$ 20. to take my granddaughter to the used book store to pick out some books. She is a voracious reader and loves going to the bookstore. That $ 20. came out of my gift budget.
We made some sandwiches and left yesterday for the long trip back. I will miss them until we see them again. We had a great time with our family and I want to thank them for everything.
On Monday, we also filled up the car with gasoline which cost $ 35.10 and then we had to stop again on the thruway on the ride home. That cost $ 35.50. Gas is hovering at $ 4.00 a gallon. And of course we again had tolls of $ 11.35 to get home. We do have EZ Pass which saves us $ .60 each way over paying cash.
So the first week of March was spendy but worth every penny. However I told you I would let you know every penny we spent this month and I will. So from March 1 through March 5, we spent:
* Tolls: $ 22.70
* Dinner Out: $ 70.00
* Gasoline: $ 115.20
* Toys, Used Books, Chocolate Bunny and Fillable Easter Eggs: $ 144.61
* Groceries: $ 96.48. This will come out of my March grocery budget. My budget on March 1 was $200. plus $ 79.07 leftover from February minus the $ 96.48 equals $ 182.59 left for the rest of the month.
So the total we have spent so far for the month of March is $ 448.99. I promise to be better during the rest of my NO SPEND month. I see my family on the other side of the state only about 4 -5 times a year so this spending is not something I would cut back on.
So how are the rest of you doing with your No Spend Month? Please feel free to leave a comment and tell us how you are saving.