Goals in 2019 – Week 4 of 52

At the beginning of previous week I jot my intended goals in a notebook. Then 7 days later I share how things turned out. Some of my 2019 goals are repetitive, like don’t use the credit card and to pack a lunch everyday. Other goals are going with the wave of my life and change weekly. Each and every week, I am holding myself accountable to live a more intentional life.

1. Don’t use the CC or take out a loan.

I did… but only for travel. This is actually planned because they were supposed to charge it at the time of reservation, but didn’t. It’s only a month later they decided charged it. My room reserved confirmed and this bill will be paid off in a couple of weeks.

2. Check on status of pending application.

Still pending review… least I still have lots of time before my trip. But even if it doesn’t happen, travel will still be okay.

3. New – Walk 3 times this week (-1).

My health is something I really need to take more seriously. Seems about 60…65 years of age that my family members star to decline in health. Yikes. That might be a bit over a decade for me to reach, but really is not that far!

My goal was to just start walking with no distant necessary to achieve. Whether that meant outside or on the workstation treadmill, didn’t matter. Well, I only walked 2 times this week. I was really going to try and put in a quick last minute walk, but it did not happen.

I am keeping score and will try to clear that (-1) this coming week requiring me to walk 4 times this week.

4. New – File taxes.

Well I was not expecting to file so quickly, but when notice came from Intuit that my documents were imported and ready I filed. Last year was simple in terms of taxes and I had all the documents I needed. I will be getting back a decent return. Which will catch up on my payments to be ahead of schedule and allow me to put another $1k in my emergency fund. This makes me happy.

5. Every day for the next 5 days, pack a lunch.

Accomplished! I am finding it harder to keep up if I don’t prep enough – like this past week (and I still need to prep for this coming week). But I still followed through bringing something. One day it was 2 frozen mini pizzas for lunch and a PB&J (from the freezer) for breakfast. Another day it was the frozen chickpea curry from the back of the freezer. It was spicy good but took a good time defrost and heat up in the microwave.

Last week my main fruit were grapes as they were on sale.

6. New – 4 weeks $400 food & household budget

Did you see my Instagram post?! $436 was my total with $23 of that an emotional spend. I make this a win! The beginning of the year food budget was a little easier to obtain as there were holiday leftovers and gift cards to cover a small expenses (like a coffee trip).

Funny thing, I ended the 4th week with $1 left in my wallet available for the food & household budget.

Two things I have observed from this lowered budget, 1) simple carbs like pasta are on the increase and 2) not eating as much fruit. I miss my fruit. So on this week’s shopping trip I increased the fruit with apples, nectarines, and oranges – all on sale. I need my fruit! And I am going to monitor and decrease my simple carbs replacing it with more veggies and beans.

Meals at home

garlic sea salt mahi mahi
Garlic-sea salt mahi mahi, roasted sweet potato slices, black beans, coconut-lime rice and broccoli
A giant triple berry cinnamon pancake later topped with super crunchy peanut butter
Sad potato tacos (end of the 4th week). The spiced potatoes were awesome but I was out of avocado, roasted corn and cabbage.

I anticipate the next 4 weeks to be a little more challenging because I might crack and go out to eat. Which is fine, but eating out really is the culprit to high food expenses if I do not spend right. In addition, I need somethings for the house like razors, cat stuff and trash bags. But I am cheering myself on and am ready to give this a try.

7. Don’t use the debit card for the vending machine.

Passed y’all. It was spare change to the rescue. I really don’t need to be eating that chocolate or junk food anyway!

8. Continue reading a book.

The Plum Tree by Ellen Marie Wiseman is so emotional. My heart is <grip>. I can’t imagine the time during the Holocaust. Even though this particular book is fictional, the author does an persuasive job of recreating an ultimately sad and unfathomable time in history.

As for The Complete Tightwad Gazette. – I didn’t even get a chance to read it. Just as I received it, I became engaged with this other book. So I went to renew the Tightwad Gazette so I could read later and they didn’t give me any renewals! It took me so long to receive my hold from the library. Totally unfair! Oh well, I can’t complain as it was free and I can put it on hold again.

9. New – Meditate 3 times a week

That didn’t happen. But I did get to play in nature this past weekend to catch up with a friend. The time was well spent and to me, nature is meditative. So I count that as a (-2). Not sure I will catch up on meditation. All I know, is that I need to start practicing it again or to start hiking again. One or the other as there has been such a benefit in my life when I do practice it.

Goals for week 5 of 52

1. Don’t use the CC or take out a loan.
2. Check on status of pending application.
3. Every day for the next 5 days, pack a lunch.
4. Stay in $200 food & household budget for the next 2 weeks.
7. Don’t use the debit card for the vending machine.
8. Finish the current book.
9. Walk 3 times this week and meditate 2.


Well that is it for this week. How did your goals do last week? 

Goals in 2019 – Week 3 of 52

1. Don’t use the CC or take out a loan.

I didn’t do either!  In fact, I am trying to figure out where to store the CCs for out of sight, out of mind. It doesn’t seem a safety deposit box is an option because my bank doesn’t carry them.

2. Check on status of pending application.

I checked. No movement on this one. It is still pending review.

3. Confirm CC refund.

With my new-to-me used car, I bought new wheels for them. Then I returned them because they are not a necessity right now. Took me 20 minutes of hold time on the customer service line, but I confirmed $700 was refunded.

4. Start printing and gather tax paperwork in a folder.

Student loan paperwork came in and I printed those. Just waiting on bank and employer paperwork so I can file. Looks like I may be getting back a couple grand on my tax return. My job has been a little iffy right now, so it’s likely I will put most of it into the emergency fund.

5. Every day for the next 5 days, pack a lunch.

Every day of the week I accomplished bringing my lunch to work. From leftover chicken tortilla soup, to PB & Js and fruit, to leftover fish/rice/spinach. You know everyone loved me at work when I was heating up that last dish!

6. Don’t spend more than the $6 this week. That is the amount I have left from my $400/month reduced food budget.

I had to pull out the emergency $20 when I ran out of coffee. I also gathered more breakfast goods (even though we have pancakes and oatmeal to last us for days). I am looking forward to seeing the total food budget spent at my month’s end (after I tally up the vending machine spending). But still think I stayed very close to my $400 mark. From the previous $650/m – this includes household – that’s some major savings there!

7. Don’t use the debit card for the vending machine.

I know I failed on this one. But then I switched to finding spare change in my desk. Sometimes it’s chips to pair with my PB & Js because we don’t keep chips in the house. To buying the 3pm craving for chocolate. Next week, I will be adding walking to my list of goals!

8. Start reading a book.

I did do this! I received a batch of books from my friend and starting reading The Plum Tree by Ellen Marie Wiseman. It’s a fictional tale written in the setting of Germany during WWII. Not my usual reading material, but it really has been a good read (sad, too). I’m also glad to take up reading fiction. It’s hard to pull me away from self-help books.

The Plum Tree by Ellen Marie Wiseman

My library hold finally came in – The Complete Tightwad Gazette. So I stopped by there and picked up additional books. I need to make sure I fit this book in my reading schedule too. Can’t pass up the opportunity to learn some new frugal tips.

9. Make new money envelopes.


Yay for having goals as it kept me on track. I scooted to my craft (dining) table and whipped this set of cash envelopes up. I love, love how they turned out! They are all shiny and a tad bit shorter than the normal ones. And now they fit my wallet perfectly. I am looking forward to payday so I can them.

How was your week with goals or embracing your strong word? 

What I Ate This Week

The budget was tight for this week. Things got creative in the kitchen. Fortunately I like to experiment in the kitchen and fix bowl type meals that consist a little bit of this and a little bit of that.   Each day this past week – I showcase my favorite meal.


Dinner was solo tonight. I had some green salsa from last week’s taco night that needed to be used up.

So I fixed up a vegan Buddha bowl consisting of:

  • Morningstar veggie crumbles
  • Roasted corn
  • Black beans
  • Serrano chilis and cilantro
  • Avocado

Side of strawberries and corn tortillas. Delicious! I also had a few slices of the yellow watermelon for dessert. So juicy!

Tube: Shutter Island (great movie)


Leftover Breakfast of Champions.

I had some kale-sweet potato-mushroom-tomato hash leftover. Used that up with the addition of an egg over easy, Morningstar veggie patty, strawberries and toasted cracked wheat sourdough. Nom Nom.


We did spaghetti and Italian sausage. For me, I sauté some kale and tomato in the cast iron pan. Throw everything on a plate. Fix it up with olive oil, lemon, capers (YUM!), lots of pepper and sometimes a little tomato sauce. I made garlic toast, too.


There is major spinach in there! But it shrinks so much.

I had ground pork in the freezer and veggies that needed to be used up. I referred to this easy ground pork stir fry recipe using spinach, using both dark and light soy sauce and adding oyster sauce (for a balance of sweetness with salty). It’s essentially the same ingredients I use in mapo tofu, but without the bean sauce. Oh ya, I added tofu, too.

Now making pumpkin pancakes to freeze for the week (if they last that long).


Ever have those days where you’re missing one ingredient to each meal you want to whip up? That happened here, because it’s end of the pay cycle and I’m waiting for the next day to go grocery shopping in budget. Lentil curry… no veggies to feast on the side. Breakfast… no potatoes to make the meal hearty. Burrito… no refried beans that I was craving.

So the evening was about what was available and how could I get creative.

Finally honed in on making a breakfast sandwich with tomatoes, Morningstar veggie patty, egg and cheese on cracked wheat sourdough. It was actually delicious! I was ready to make another, but I am out of veggie patties and just about out of cheese.


$1 Tacos (and it’s payday)! One really cannot pass up such a deal. Especially when they are delicious! I’m glad to have gotten there early because the line does tend to go out the door. It was also a celebratory night for a friend reaching an education milestone. Win-win for less than $20.


I have reached my creative eating limits and will be spending the evening grocery shopping because I clearly know how to have fun. It’s likely we will end up with a frozen CPK pizza and myself a glass of wine. Dessert: popcorn with a movie.

I am always looking for new meal ideas. What was on your menu this past week?