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Archive for April, 2014

Made a grocery list.

April 24th, 2014 at 02:29 pm

To save time/plan meals. Not sure if it will really save any money. Don't quite see how.

FRUIT
papaya
Cantalope or honeydew
pineapple
berries (whatever is good)
mangoes
lemon
fresh coconut
pears
whatever else is good/ripe

VEGGIES and Herbs
cilantro
Mint
baby bok choy
fennel
serranos
onions
baby potatoes (firm)
brussel sprouts
organic sweet peppers
Persian or European cucumbers
Tomatos
Avocados
Garlic
Mushrooms
baby spinach

NON-PERISHABLE
Mayo
Hazelnuts or almonds
granola bars
paprika
lychee canned
condenced milk
coconut milk
Chips for guacamole
Almond milk

Colder section
cream cheese
Smoked salmon
Herring
Feta
Olives
Pickled mushrooms

FREEZER SECTION
chicken
Lamb
butter
eggs
tortillas
Milk
Buttermilk

OTHER
potted strawberry bush if they have
method handsoap
swiffer wet

FISH - from fish specialty store later.

What do you think it should cost?

I feel like a vacation master!

April 8th, 2014 at 08:51 am

Booked another ticket for our July Asia trip.

Chengdu - Singapore. They were about $400-$500 for a direct flight... But I scoured hubs, airlines, and ideas and I found... *drum roll* $230 ticket via Hong Kong! On Cathay. I booked the longest connection possible 23hr 55 min. So we arrive at 4 pm and leave at 4 pm next day.

So we get to visit HK again, and for free, it actually reduces our airfare, not adds to it.
We will have the whole evening to go out, than have leisurely awesome DIM SUM IN HK the next morning!

Plus, I'm using a Hyatt certificate to book a hotel room. The annual fee for the card is $75, the hotel costs $300 for the night, so again, I'm getting a great value out of my reward cc yearly certificate.

Pay less - get more, and without sacrificing luxury. That is my kind of value!

So my trip is coming together, flight after flight, hotel room after hotel room. We are cash flowing these things as we are booking them, so most of them will already be paid for before we leave.

Total spending for March

April 4th, 2014 at 08:09 am


Groceries and eating out seem lowest ever - but that's because DH was gone on travel for half the month and his food was covered, and our son was with grandma for those days.

Also, most of our eating out went under "vacation" (one of the previous posts).

But all and all, it was again a high-spending month. Luckily, with massive amount of snowflakes (previous post) we were able to spend a little less than we brought home.

March snowflakes

April 2nd, 2014 at 09:59 pm

Overtime $583
DH travel income $200
FSA reimbursement $1,526
DH teaching $781
My AAPL options speculation $575 ($886 before taxes, assuming 35% tax rate)
cash gift $100
REI member dividend rebate check (only for spending in REI, like a gift card) $108.44

These are all after tax numbers, with taxes either withheld already or set aside

$3,873

Good snowflake month. We worked a lot to make this happen. It was very intentional, this money did not just fall from the sky.
We had a lot of extra expenses too. I'll post March numbers on Friday.

DC mini-vacation with pictures and totals

April 2nd, 2014 at 07:46 am

So I did join my DH in DC for 4.5 days. He was working, I was wandering the city and shopping, like a lady of leisure.











It was nice to have time to myself, just to wander with no purpose, clear my head, stop by cafes for a good number of lattes.


(ah, the latte factor)

I even splurged on some nice "by myself" unhurried lunches during daytime, like a wife of a businessman, lol.





I don't do this often, but on this trip I went all out for that kind of experience.

We also had a chance to have breakfasts together:



(the food in this hotel breakfast was not so good, but ambiance was romantic).


Five evenings together, eating out, having drinks:





and listening to jazz over cocktails



So overall:
milage 308 Amount paid for miles
gas -101.4 spent on gas
per diem 532.5 Per diem amount
parking 0 Parking is all reimbursed
tolls -34.5 Tolls not reimbursed
FOOD and drink -734.66
hotel tips -38
other -39.86
So the total out of pocket for the 5 days (sans shopping) 107.92

I think it is not bad for that kind of trip!

Clothing: $358.84 (plus $100 spend from a gift card that I did not count)
That will go under clothing line, not vacation line.
While it may seem high, it is far lower that what I used to spend on trips like that, and there are a ton of things I was tempted to buy but did not.
(It did not help that 2 of the nights we were staying at the hotel attached to Tyson's Corner Galleria upscale mall, and the other 2 nights near Georgetown.)