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Archive for April, 2012

Hoping to buy my son a really nice toy.

April 26th, 2012 at 10:05 pm

When my baby was in a toy store he loved a railroad with complex network of wooden rails, structures, trains, all secured on a special table. He kept returning and playing with it. A mom that was there said that her son has one and it is one of the toys he plays with a lot. (they were there buying another train).

I inquired about the cost and was told that the table alone is $400. Ouch! I would not be buying that (together with the tracks, structures and trains it would run up to a stratospheric price).

But I looked on craigslist and found one seller with a large set of all of that stuff. The seller about 40 minutes and $30 in tolls and gas away from the city, but my husband goes that way anyway for work, it would only be a short detour. So I made an offer to the seller (20% less than his asking price, which I think is reasonable). I am hoping that no one offers more and that I will get it. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Forget Amazon and Costco, Bloomingdales rules! I finally bought Kitchenaid mixer

April 15th, 2012 at 04:55 am

I finally got what I had my eye on for a while. Why did I decide to take the plunge? I finally saw it at the price I liked and I did not have to pay any more for a nice color. This is the one I got:



Bloomingdales had it on sale for $269, -$45 gift card I had, -10% off coupon, I got it for $219 before tax.

Plus, I bought it through Discover shopping, so I will get 5% cash back, bringing the total to $209.

Plus, DH says there is a rebate for a FREE grinder attachment with mixer purchase or a glass bowl (I'll get the grinder, to make sure I have fresh ground meat without any additives).

The tax was $21.57 -- Amazon charges tax in NY too, and it is $350 on their website.

I think it was a good deal for this mixer, in this color, and with a grinder attachment too!

I'll start making stuff like fresh baguettes, scones, butter and buttermilk, baked products. I'm also considering an ice cream or a pasta attachments.

What is your favorite recipe for KitchenAid mixer?

DH and I had a full night out :)))))))))

April 8th, 2012 at 03:03 am

My mom came over to stay overnight with the baby and DH and I went out and stayed at the hotel.

We had nice "us" time and baby and my mom had a great time too.

Friday
$21.63 tip and tax for dinner - $82 dinner was from $39 groupon I bought few months ago. It was nice.
$21.50 movie tickets to Hunger Games
$25.78 Drinks and wings snack at Buffalo wild wings
$0 Marriott (free night certificate)
$14 Hotel parking

Today
$4 hotel tip
$29 Breakfast (2 paninis and large latte) and a loaf from Panera bread.
$2.50 street parking
$53 -- 3 toys for baby, snack, bottled water
$64 Swiffer wets, box of clorax wipes and $51 for $60 worth of itunes cards (we did not need one right now, but it was 20% off and I know we will use them.
$14 two drinks
$20.62 baby wipes
$37.39 diapers
$24.58 - charger for DHs work laptop. His old one broke and he is about to go on a business trip. Why wouldn't his work replace it, you might ask? They would. But to drive to work costs $35 in just gas and tolls, so replacing it ourselves is cheaper.

Manhattan grocery shopping tricks - expences with photos

April 5th, 2012 at 08:36 pm

Today again I had to shop for groceries in Manhattan during lunch. While there is a huge selection of imported less perishable goods -- from Italian prosciutto, to cheeses from every corner of the world, basic things like fresh meat and fish are a challenge to buy. Why? They are not very fresh. These are very perishable items that simply don't have good turn over. One would assume this is due to high prices, but I think in reality it is due to lack of freshness. The store will resist discarding it to the last. And consumers won't buy it in the future because in their mind the store has proved itself not trustworthy when it comes to these items. So the turnover is even less, and meat is even less fresh. It is a vicious cycle.

So where do you go looking for something better? Try a truly Japanese grocery. They do appreciate freshness in food, and surprisingly, are often cheaper than Korean Groceries.

My grocery shopping for today:

$3.88 Yaki soba (fresh noodle with yaki sause) -- you prepare it in a flying pan with a bit of water.
$0.99 Tofu
$5.88 some thinly sliced pork (it looked better than any other store in the area).
$2.38 (impulse purchase) Tiny 150gram jar of Kimchi from Korea (I've decided to give it a try because I love good kimchi but yet to find one in store). So thinking that maybe this expensive one will be good.
I'll toss the noodles with the sause, some vegetable, some tofu, and a little meat. There are at least 2 family meals and some leftovers in this.
$1.58 Green tea, unsweetened. It was an impulse purchase, and afternoon treat.

So in total $14.71 for groceries

And my lunch at a nearby Japanese noodle shop:

Spicy pork broth noodles: $8.66 (7.95 + tax)


Other expenses:
$2.82 Almond croissant in the morning
$20 KVS availability tool -- we are trying to find a low milage award to Asia this summer.
$10 Living Social deal -- Time Out New York for Kids 2 year subscription
$2 doorman tip

I'll try to buy some fruit or berries (if anything looks good) for the baby on my way home and than update the post.

Expenses, today just food

April 5th, 2012 at 03:33 am

$4.74 breakfast - small almond croissant and coffee

$17.60 lunch:
$8 for a sandwich (juicy porkbelly on crusty fresh bread with cilantro, pickled pear, pickled carrots and spicy sauce.
$3.50 -- big splurge for fresh watermelon juice. I was tired of water and green unsweetened tea, and this seemed to be the healthiest sweet drink option. and
$5 for a large spicy lentil soup with a trace of pickled vegetables.

The soup I got was for supper. We had no chance to get groceries since we came back from Florida. To go shopping in our area is at least 20 min driving each way, and I did not want to expose baby to that on the days he already rides 2 hrs to and from daycare.

$2.5 baguette
$3.78 1 orange and one mango (not even organic)

It was a right decision to buy soup, since it turns out we couldn't have gone anywhere - to eat out or to shop for groceries - as soon as we drove up to the house the baby threw up in the car. A LOT. It took a while to wash him up, calm him down, hold him until he felt better, than wash the car seat cover, the car seat and belt itself, his clothing. Cooked some "safe" neutral food -- buckwheat kasha on milk for the little one... But I'm glad he felt better and ate it -- I was worried because it is not usual for him to throw up. Especially that much!

one more expense after I made the post - $5 for a $10 starbucks card from Google offers. (I think it is like Groupon). It was a very clever tactic. If they had just offered me $5 to sign up I probably would have passed, but there was something about a $10 starbucks card that was emotionally more appealing.

The daily expenses challenge for April! Who is in?

April 4th, 2012 at 03:06 am

This time I won't give up after the first 4 days.

I will post it here, so that I am accountable for continuing to do it the whole month. If I stop, you guys can call me on it. If you guys want to join me in this challenge, I'll do the same for you.

To catch up, here are the first few days:

Apr-01
baggage handlers tips $15


Apr-02
breakfast $4.74
metronorth one ride card $7.50
lunch $17.00 (that was in connection with Groupon and also provided dinner for next day)
pasteis de Nata $9.00
rail pass $178.00
Korean bbq $56
Milk and spinach $12.00
new headphones (2 pairs) $56.00
water filters $27.21


Apr-03
almond croissant $2.82
lunch $10.80
3 scalops for baby $7.5
DH lunch $6.5