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20 Chore Tuesday- Money Makes The World Go Around

I can’t believe it’s Tuesday again. It seems like it sneaks up on me really quickly every week. My goals for the day mostly involve money and research, since Hubby’s separation date is looming ever closer. I fully intend to pour myself a cup of coffee, put on some Brandi Carlile on Pandora (thank you, Mom, for introducing me to Ms. Carlile. Her voice makes chores more bearable.) and conquer some monetary housekeeping chores!

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  1. Mop the linoleum floors downstairs
  2. Vacuum the living room
  3. Put together our budgets for May, June, and July. I’m attempting to write out each month’s budget until November so I know about how much we’ll be able to save.
  4. Clean off the kitchen table. I’ve actually been really good about keeping this clear, since we’ve been playing Skip Bo every night, but there’s still some stuff accumulated.

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  1. I called our internet provider and asked for a lower rate. Our internet bill has been creeping higher and higher, and was sitting around $62 a month. I asked for an introductory rate, and got it lowered to $41 a month for six months. That’s $20 extra in our pocket each month! This will expire in September, at which point I’ll call again and ask for a similar lower rate for the remaining month we’ll be here.
  2. Listed 5 items on Bookoo. Everything I listed was clothing that I was holding on to in the hopes of fitting into it again someday, but I’ve realized that that’s pointless. My body is never going to be the same shape again, and the clothes are just taking up space and mocking me. Why shouldn’t they pay off some debt instead?
  3. I called our insurance company and verified that there wasn’t a problem with our payment, it just didn’t come out of our account yet because the payment date was on a weekend. I get worried when payments don’t post when they’re supposed to, so this is a load off my mind.
  4. Dinner is cooking on the stove. We’re having Dirt Cheap Soup, which essentially consists of putting any leftover vegetables or fresh veggies that are starting to go past their prime in a pot, simmering it for hours, and adding a shredded chicken breast and package of frozen egg noodles with about an hour left to go. It’s cheap, it’s filling, and it uses up vegetables that wouldn’t get used otherwise. Serve it with some homemade french bread, and you have yourself one frugal meal.
  5. I e-mailed PayPal about changing my name. I currently have my account set up with my nickname, and I need it changed to my legal name so that I can retrieve the money in my account. Hopefully this will be cleared up quickly, I have quite a chunk in there!
  6. I unclogged the sink. I don’t know what happened, but both halves were belching out nasty brown water. Instead of calling housing, which would have been a plumber if we weren’t in base housing, I took our kitchen plunger and some Drain-O and took care of it myself. Theoretically, I could have saved myself about $200!
  7. Little Man and I emptied the dishwasher. I’ll reload it later today, once we’ve accumulated enough dishes for a load.
  8. Fixed our Mint.com budget for March. I could not for the life of me figure out what went wrong this month, because my budget kept telling me we were going over, but my bank account said otherwise. I ended up figuring out it was the “Goals” feature that was the problem- I just deleted our goals, and put those accounts as budgets.
  9. I cleaned out the refrigerator and got rid of all the yucky old stuff. There wasn’t that much this week, partially thanks to tonight’s dinner of Dirt Cheap Soup.
  10. I finished one of my library books. I’ll return it tomorrow, and lessen the chances of running up late fees. I have to go to the post office to ship something I sold tomorrow, so it’s not like I’m making a special trip.
  11. I made a loaf of homemade bread to go with our Dirt Cheap Soup. Homemade bread makes everything seem a lot fancier.
  12. I cleaned the kitchen counters
  13. I cleaned up the stuff on the floor in the dining room
  14. I vacuumed the dining room (Little Man followed up with his singing vacuum)
  15. I did a load of dishes.
  16. I logged on to my college’s bookstore and found out what books I need for next semester. I had a minor heart attack when I saw how much money I was going to have to put into books this semester, and immediately started considering what I could sell to fund the small fortune’s worth of books I need.
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20 Chore Tuesday- Daylight Savings Blues

Is it Tuesday again? Blegh… I feel like it should be Friday already. Unfortunately, 20 Chore Friday doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Just a quick note to anyone who does 20 Chore Tuesday with me- your list doesn’t have to be the same at the end of the day as it is at the beginning. I adapt my list to reflect what I can accomplish that day, based mostly on LM’s schedule. For example, I did a few extra loads of dishes and laundry today, and didn’t get around to making muffins. It’s okay to change your list, as long as you get 20 things done before you go to bed!

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  1. Little Man helped me unload the dishwasher, and I reloaded it.
  2. Folded a laundry basket full of clothes and set it on the steps to be taken upstairs later.
  3. Little Man and I unloaded the freshly washed load of dishes, and put the few things that were still in the sink in there. I’ll run that load right before bed, and unload it tomorrow.
  4. I scoured both Bookoo and the local Facebook resale page for maternity jeans. I didn’t find any dark wash boot cut jeans that are long enough to fit me, so I’ll be making a trip to the thrift shops on Friday to see if I can find any there. I refuse to pay full price! Viva la frugal revolution! Of course, the most frugal option is to not buy any at all, but yesterday one of my three pairs of maternity jeans split down the middle of the butt, in the middle of the MCX, while I was wearing bright yellow panties, so I do think it’s time to add ONE more pair to my wardrobe.
  5. Gave the dog a bath. She ate the poo out of a diaper yesterday while I was attempting to wrangle LM into his pants, so she got the full shampoo/condition/tooth brush routine. My husband will clip her nails when he gets home. She now looks and smells 6,452% better, and about 10% more depressed. I guess baths make her sad.
  6. Photographed and posted 5 items on Bookoo. It’s really looking like we’ll be moving in November, so I’m starting on the decluttering now. I’m hoping to bring in some nice moolah from the crap in our garage.
  7. Dusted the top of the T.V. It was really gross up there, and you can see it every time you go upstairs. I feel better now that it’s clean!
  8. I put away one laundry basket full of clothes. They’ve been folded for quite a while, I just keep ignoring them. But no longer!
  9. Took the dog on a nice, long walk. It’s been really hot, and we’ve just been making quick trips to the mailbox at the end of our street and back. Today we walked a few blocks, which was good for all of us, since our normal family exercise of kayaking has been out of the question because of dangerous rip tides and waves.
  10. Made some dinner. Frozen homemade perogies and festival corn, yummy and frugal!
  11. LM’s high chair is clean and spahkling, dahling. The cover is in the washer and will be dry by tomorrow morning!
  12. Washed a load of diapers. I have to do this at the end of the day every other day or every third day. Pretty soon this will be a once or twice a day chore again!
  13. I have a second load of dishes in the dishwasher right now. I even discovered that half of my sink was clogged, and deployed the Drain-o to blast the clog.
  14. I was going to pack a piccolo I sold on eBay, but I haven’t received payment for it yet. I instead opened a non-paying bidder case, and hopefully it’ll all be resolved in a few days.
  15. I packed a diaper I sold on Cloth Diaper Traders. I have to wait for the e-check to clear before I mail it, but I’ve dealt with this buyer before and haven’t had issues, so I feel confident in packing the diaper now.
  16. Put away the clothes I folded. It’s nice to not have a million stacks of clean laundry lying around.
  17. Emptied the recycling bin and the kitchen garbage into the big trash cans outside.
  18. Cleaned off the kitchen table. Not going to lie, the only reason I was motivated to do this was that Hubby was willing to play a game of Skip Bo with me after LM went to sleep.
  19. Ran one final load of laundry after the diapers were all done. Now that I’m down to to lonely pairs of maternity pants, doing laundry as often as possible is a big priority.
  20. E-mailed my academic advisor about switching majors. As we look around at what jobs are available, it’s becoming more and more obvious to me that a degree in Biology, while being fun and something I love, isn’t really a workable option for me in the areas where Hubby can get a job. I haven’t done any coursework yet for my bachelor’s degree, so now is the best time for me to switch to a business degree. It’s a lot more portable, and still interesting.
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20 Chore Tuesday- Write A Letter to your Congressman

If you’ve been following the news, you might know that the government is considering cutting certain military benefits. Since we rely heavily on said benefits to keep our budget in check, I’m going to be writing a letter to my congressman. Since I’m a resident of Wyoming, chances are actually pretty high my Congresspeople will read my letters. After all, even if literally every resident wrote to them in one month, they would only get half a million letters, out of which they might read 100. Those are pretty good odds.

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  1. Write a letter to Senator Enzi
  2. Do our budget for March
  3. Clean the stove
  4. Clean off the kitchen table. Again.
  5. Fold the load of laundry that’s in the dryer.
  6. Put away said folded laundry.
  7. Clear off the stair landing. Stuff accumulates here and it really bothers me.
  8. Empty the diswasher after a load is run.
  9. Do another load of dishes
  10. Empty the dishwasher again
  11. Clear out the hallway to the laundry room.
  12. Clean Little Man’s high chair

Completed. Gold stars all around!

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  1. I mailed my old student flute, which I recently sold on eBay. I loved it, but since I have a beautiful open hole flute, this one was just sitting gathering dust. I’m very happy to have less stuff and more money!
  2. I stuffed the cloth diapers I washed last night. Washing diapers at night is cheaper than washing them during the day, because electric is cheaper at night. I usually put in a load right before I take Little Man up for a bath, then hang them up right before Hubby and I go up to bed. Doing things that way means A) I don’t have dirty diapers sitting overnight, B) I always have dry diapers in the morning, and C) The diapers don’t sit overnight and get smelly.
  3. I wrote a letter to Senator Barrasso explaining why the commissary benefit is worth preserving.
  4. I visited Victoria’s Secret and bought two pairs of panties. I used two coupons I got in the mail the other day; one was for a free pair of panties, and the other was for $10 off a purchase (with no minimum purchase price!). I spent 54 cents on $22.40 worth of panties!
  5. I cleaned my kitchen counters. They were covered in crumbs and something sticky, and now they’re spah-kling, dah-ling.
  6. I did a load of dishes. I’ll end up doing a second one later tonight.
  7. I vacuumed the laundry room, including the dryer hose that goes outside. I’m not sure how much lint I sucked up, but there were some very satisfying noises coming from my vacuum, so I’m guessing a lot!
  8. I made dinner. We were supposed to have chili, but I didn’t get around to starting it on time, so we ended up eating Italian style pasta (pasta with butter, zucchini, tomatoes, chickpeas, and celery). It was delicious, and my husband even stopped complaining about the lack of meat after he tasted it!
  9. Rounded up all the stray dishes in the house and put them in the sink, with the intention of running them through the dishwasher.
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20 Chore Tuesday- Where the h%*$ are my keys?

Today is Tuesday, which means it’s time for 20 Chore Tuesday! I’m feeling very productive today, and kind of like I’m nesting. Eeeexcellent…

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Also, I lost my car keys at some point this weekend. My brother in law borrowed my car to go pick up the title for his car, and I haven’t seen my keys since. I tore things apart looking for them yesterday, but we have so. much. clutter. right now. We also need to locate the title to the boat we’re trying to sell, as I recently realized it’s missing too. I am a woman on a mission. The keys and title will be found. The extra crap lurking in my drawers will be disposed of. And you will be assimilated. Resistance is futile. We are the Borg- Anyways, here we go. Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s get ready to accompliiiiiiiiiissssshhhhhh…

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Find my goddamn keys and title edition

  1. Clean off the Chinese buffet and the areas on either side of it. This is where I think my keys are. And seriously, how much stuff can pile up here in such a short space of time? The answer is too much. Just too much.
  2. Haul the bundles of antique rugs my mom left in the hallway upstairs. I’m sick of tripping over them, and frankly, they’re an eyesore. This one might have to wait until Hubby gets home, since those bundles get HEAVY and I don’t think my uterus muscles are up for the task.
  3. Water the plants in the garden, and the fabulous Staghorn Ferns we have dangling off of the pantry door. They’re great!
  4. Organize the kitchen drawers. This may sound daunting, but we really only have eight drawers in our kitchen, most of which are almost empty because LM can reach inside.
  5. Address a care package to my BFF that came back to me. She had knee surgery, and I’m really mad that the box didn’t get to her sooner. I can’t mail the package until I find my GODDAMN KEYS, but it’ll at least have an address.
  6. Pack a care package for our two deployed friends. We haven’t sent one in a while because money has been tight.
  7. Clean off the divider between our dining room and kitchen. It’s a weird little half wall that accumulates stuff like a magnet.

Finished

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  1. Did a load of laundry. There was a load in the washer and a load in the dryer from last night, so I folded and dried them. They are now put away, and I am one happy clam because of that.
  2. Scrubbed my stove. It looks much, much better clean. I run the burners through the dishwasher every time I have room, so they stay fairly clean.
  3. Cleared off my kitchen counters. Love me some empty counters!
  4. Wiped down said clear kitchen counters.
  5. Cleared off the shelf above the counter. It looks SO much better clean and empty.
  6. Updated our shopping list. We needed milk, celery, yogurt, and bread.
  7. Stuffed some diapers, lest LM go bare bottomed. We’re working on potty training because he’s interested in the potty, but we are so not ready to go diaperless yet. Yesterday LM was sitting on the potty and started peeing. He STOOD UP while in mid-stream to see what was going on down there. Cute, but my bathroom still smells like bleach. Maybe we’ll have Hubby teach him about peeing standing up soon.
  8. Did a load of dishes. LM is old enough now that he helps me unload the dishwasher, by bringing me one dish at a time, and proudly proclaiming, “This! This!” every time he hands it to me. Super cute! I do remove all the knives and sharp things before I let him help with this task.
  9. Cleaned off the kitchen table. Hubby and his brother were working on their RC cars on it the other day, and there was dirt, grass, RC car parts, tools, dishes, and all sorts of grodies all over the place. It’s lovely and clean now!
  10. Picked up everything on the floor in the kitchen and dining room. This was mostly toys and dog bones. This is turning into an ongoing project as the day progresses
  11. Vacuumed and mopped the kitchen and dining room floors. They look a gazillion times better! Seriously, it’s crazy how much of a difference a vacuum and mop make.
  12. Made dinner. We had lasagna rolls and ravioli with leftover spaghetti sauce, asparagus, and a salad.
  13. Washed LM’s car seat. It’s in the house because we took Hubby’s new truck to the Super Bowl party, so now is a perfect time since we can’t go anywhere because I can’t find my GODDAMN KEYS. Just a reminder- NEVER wash car seat straps. It removes the coating and can compromise their safety. Just wipe them down with a wet rag, and call it good. Also a reminder- read your manual to make sure you put everything together properly. It’s your child’s life, don’t guess. BONUS- I washed his high chair cover with the car seat cover, and I feel much better about both now!
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20 Chore Tuesday- Decluttering Day

Today is Tuesday, which means it’s once again time to attempt to squash 20 chores into my day. Boy howdy, does my house need it- between my brother-in-law just getting back from deployment, my 17 month old son believing all his toys need to be on the floor all the time, and a nasty little headcold, I haven’t done any cleaning in three days. It’s fairly terrifying. I’m pretty sure a dust bunny just growled at me.

However, since I still have the aforementioned headcold and I can’t really take any medicine for it, my chores will be mostly easy, quick tasks designed to take a few minutes, not a few hours.

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  1. Write a note to my in-laws. They live in the middle of Wyoming and can’t get luxury chocolates or flavored coffees for any price lower than the blood of a Mayan virgin, so we send them care packages fairly often. One full of clearance goodies from Christmas is full, it just needs a note and a drawing from Little Man.
  2. Pack my BFF’s care package. She’s getting emergency surgery, so I went to Barnes and Noble and bought all the history-related books I could get my paws on for her while she’s recuperating. I’m also including some tea, since tea heals your soul.
  3. Do a load of laundry. It’s piled up to embarrassing levels.
  4. Clean out Little Man’s toys. I don’t know how, but this kiddo accumulates toys at an alarming rate. I don’t even buy them for him, they just kind of show up.
  5. Post 10 items on Craigslist. I have a ton of stuff that needs to go, I’ve just been slacking a little on getting them photographed and posted.
  6. Convince Hubby that the Christmas tree needs to go, then get rid of it. This was the very first year we had a real tree, and it acted a little like a puppy- it hid in the corner and pooped all over the carpet. I’m ready for it to leave.
  7. Get some outside playtime. Like I said, not feeling well. Sitting outside for a few hours is taxing enough.
  8. Fold the mountain of clothes that’s accumulated on the rocking chair.
  9. Change the sheets on all four beds.
  10. Wash the couch covers. They’re starting to look a bit grungy again.
  11. Clean off and organize my desk.
  12. Finish up our January budget. Our goal is to pay off one debt (our highest interest one first) by December 2014.
  13. Read a chapter of a book. I want to make more time to read next year, so I’m starting today. Clearly, this will be a naptime activity!
  14. Wash hubby’s cammies. Somehow, I always forget to wash these over weekends and holidays, leading to me staying up waaaayyy too late the night before he has to go back waiting to put them in the dryer.
  15. Get some snuggle time in. Little Man is super snuggly today, and that doesn’t happen very often, so I intend to take advantage of that!
  16. Clean off the little part of the counter, by the sink. Somehow, everything ends up here. Everything.
  17. Make dinner.
  18. Write two condolance cards to my friends. Their mother died today, and telling them I’m sorry for their loss over Facebook just feels… I don’t have a word for this emotion. Cheap? Like a shot to then balls? I don’t know.
  19. Write in my journal. I want to be better about this, too.
  20. Clean off the kitchen table. Again, I have no idea how so much stuff winds up here each day, but it’s insanity.
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20 Chore Tuesday- My Kitchen is in My Living Room

Today on 20 Chore Tuesday, I’ll be moving my entire kitchen out of my living room. We had the pest guys come yesterday to spray for ants (again), and unfortunately we had to take everything out of the cabinets and drawers, clear off the counters, and leave the house for 4 hours with the baby, dog, cat, and tarantula. Man, was it a pain.

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Here we go:

Finished!:

  1. Wrote this blog post.
  2. Sold a coffee table I rescued from the curb! Free $10!
  3. Loaded digital coupons onto my Commissary savings card in preparation for my next shopping trip!
  4. Wiped off the kitchen counters
  5. Cleared off the upper part of the kitchen counter and filed all the papers in our In box.
  6. Sold a Power Wheel car I rescued from the curb! Free $20!
  7. Made a pot of slow cooker beans. Unfortunately, I started them late and they didn’t cook, so they’ll be for tomorrow’s dinner.
  8. Made a quick dinner of spaghetti.
  9. Organized part of our garage for our upcoming garage sale! Most of the items in the sale were rescued from the curb, which means (say it with me) FREE MONEY!
  10. Did last Tuesday’s homework. It’s not due until Sunday, so I’m not behind yet!
  11. Stuffed some diapers so our baby doesn’t go nekked.
  12. Decided we’ll switch to Virgin Mobile in December. It’s cheaper for us to pay the early termination fee, buy two new phones, and pay for the new plan than it would be for us to stay with our current plan. Plus, with the new plan, we’ll have double the talking minutes and unlimited data.
  13. Did a load of dishes.

Unfinished:

  1. Clear off the kitchen table (Seriously, how does so much stuff accumulate here in one week??)
  2. Unpack the box of stuff from the pantry
  3. Unpack the box of dishes
  4. Try to fix our budget after some surprise expenses left us drained.
  5. List some of the bigger stuff on Craigslist in the hopes it’ll free some space in our garage. Otherwise, I may have to bribe Hubby to take the boat out on our yard sale day, and ask Grandma to come over.
  6. Do a load of laundry, lest the family go nekked.
  7. Pick up in the dining room.
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20 Chore Tuesday- Ants in my Pants

It’s time for 20 Chore Tuesday again. Today’s list is a little crazier than last weeks, mostly because A) my mother, who normally lives with us, isn’t here, so I have Little Man permanently adhered to my heels and B) we had a major ant problem last week, we think because of the heat.

So here we go.

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Finished:

  1. Wipe down two kitchen cabinets (we had to pull everything out of them to deal with ants, so everything from them is sitting on the couch right now. It’s a good chance to clean them!)
  2. Do a load of dishes
  3. Clean off the back porch, since the exterminator is coming today to spray for ants outside.
  4. Clean dead ants out of the pantry.
  5. Put everything back into the pantry.
  6. Tidy up the kitchen counters
  7. Wipe down kitchen counters

Unfinished:

  1. Do last Thursday’s History of Sexuality homework (I’m a little behind, yes. However, it’s not due until this Sunday, so I’m not panicking!)
  2. Do last Friday’s Plant Ecology homework (same deal as above- it’s not due until this Sunday!)
  3. Tidy up the kitchen table, buffet, and sidebar (these surfaces tend to accumulate stuff very quickly in our house)
  4. Do a load of laundry.
  5. Fold said laundry.
  6. Put away said laundry.
  7. Put away everything from the two cabinets I cleaned (like I said, it’s currently on the couch).
  8. Clean out the kitchen drawers
  9. Clean Little Man’s high chair (cover, chair, and the chair it sits on)
  10. Clean the stove
  11. Kitty box duty!
  12. Clean our new (curb find!) dresser
  13. Find some way to get the million pound dresser upstairs. Maybe I can bribe one of the neighbors?
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20 Chore Tuesday

One of the blogs I follow, Joyful Abode, posts a chore list every Tuesday and aims to knock 20 things off by the end of the day. I have to say I really like this idea- get a lot done and be held accountable by the wonderful world of the internet!

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So here’s my 20 Chore Tuesday list:

Finished:

  1. Run keys to Hubby (Little Man decided that the perfect place for Daddy’s work keys was inside his shoe, in the refrigerator of the play kitchen. CLEARLY, this is the only place for keys.)
  2. Call Pinnacle Aviation and figure out what’s up with my stage check. The computer messed up and deleted my schedule, then put someone else in my slot. Anyways, it’s fixed now (yay!)
  3. Finish a large cup of coffee (this may not seem critical, but considering Little Man woke up at 5 am this morning, the rest of this list depends on it.)
  4. Cash two checks

Unfinished:

  1. Pay our car insurance bill
  2. Run to the Commissary for rice vinegar, dishwasher soap, noodles, and some other things.
  3. Do two practice tests for my Instrument Written Exam.
  4. Fold and put away the clean clothes in our bedroom
  5. Clean the kitty box
  6. Vacuum the laundry room
  7. Mop the laundry room
  8. Spray the anthill outside our front door (again) with citronella
  9. Do a load of laundry
  10. Pay my tuition for September term. All but $350 was covered by federal financial aid!
  11. Wrap and mail a book I sold on Half.com, as well as a batch of expired coupons for my cousin stationed in Italy
  12. Make dinner
  13. Bake bread using this recipe from The Frugal Girl. It’s super easy and makes delicious bread! I always double the recipe, and it never lasts long.
  14. Pick up in the living room
  15. Clean off the dining room table
  16. Empty the trash cans upstairs and down.