Extrapolate This - Weekly Roundup - 417 to 423

What a crazy week it’s been in entertainment news, right? Among other deaths this week there was Doris Roberts, Chyna and Prince.

I’ve always felt I grew up in a stellar time for music, the 80’s. I was in my teens for the majority of the decade. And oh, what a decade it was for music. Stadium rock bands like Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, and Queen. Big hair bands like Poison, Whitesnake, and Warrant. The great alternative bands like Depeche Mode, The Cure, New Order and the early days of Smashing Pumpkins. And then there were the one-hit (or two-hit) wonders that were so prevalent during the decade: Come On Eileen (Dexys Midnight Runners), 867-5309 (Tommy Tutone), and Relax (Frankie Goes To Hollywood). I could go on and on with bands and songs, I can remember them like they just hit the radio. SO many great bands and songs. Prince And The Revolution was definitely part of those memories for me. You have to appreciate the contribution Prince made to music.

Joe-


March Dining Out Expenses

Housecleaning @ ET!

Healthcare.Gov – My Review

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After separating from a company it used to be the only option for continuing healthcare was joining COBRA or looking for private coverage. Nowadays with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) there are more affordable options. That’s a good thing since you’re required to have coverage or pay a penalty.

In order to determine what options are available to you, I recommend starting at your state dedicated site or even the Healthcare Marketplace where eventually you’ll be directed to Healthcare.Gov to began the application process. I found the interface was set up so that even someone with limited computer experience could navigate the site pretty easily since it’s designed to walk the applicant through the process step-by-step.

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A Day In The Life

Ah, Tuesday.

Tuesday is actually more like the first day of my week. I say that because Nicole works three days a week – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I save all the cleaning aside from the daily dishes and things like that for Tuesday. I’ve reiterated before, whomever is home more should be doing more around the house. It’s not fair for Nicole to have to work and clean the house if I’m not working. That just doesn’t make any sense to me.

Our townhouse is about 1600 square feet. Not huge, but not small either. Fortunately, with just two of us and my son here only a few days a month, the house never really becomes what I would call dirty. It becomes cluttered at times, but that’s about it. Nonetheless, I do a pretty thorough cleaning on Tuesdays. I look at it as exercise as well; burning a few extra calories doesn’t hurt. I like starting early too. By the time Nicole leaves for work – around 6:45am – I’m already starting on the kitchen.

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My morning today is dedicated to cleaning. It only takes about 3-4 hours to clean all of the “usual” things in the house including laundry. And each week I end up taking on something that is a little more time consuming, but it’s more of a once-in-a-while kind of item to clean. Today it’s the patio door vertical blinds. Our patio door has three sections to it, so there’s about a 10′ section of blinds I’ll take down and wash. Fun stuff.

As for dinner, slow cooker cashew chicken is on the menu tonight. I’ll post a review and my pics later this week. Yes, I found it on Pinterest, as always.

Joe-

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Well, March gave us a full month of Unemployed Joe. We pulled the reins back pretty hard on most expenses, especially dining out. We’re still working on rolling up our March expenses so we can compare to February to see the impact we were able to make with expenses, but we do have a peek at our dining out expenses.

February dining out expenses – $161.10
March dining out expenses – $82.47

Wow! What a difference. And the expenses we did have eating out were reduced further as we only went to places where we were able to get a discount – BOGO or coupon. Not too shabby. And the majority of the expense is because I’m a divorced dad and see my son a few times a month for dinner and of course we tend to dine out opposed to bringing food from home. Realistically, we would have our dining out expenses less than $20.

Nicole also has tracked our grocery spending. Perhaps we were a bit naive thinking we didn’t really spend that much. But considering March came in at about $325, I think that’s pretty good for two people. Our February grocery expense was closer to $285. We expected to see an increase in grocery shopping with eating out so much less in March. Something worth considering, however – we purchased quite a bit of food in bulk for use down the road – chicken, beef, sausage, etc. We would be able to cut back on grocery shopping even more, but it’s kind of fun and we only buy things we are going to use and are a good deal at the time. I know, that’s step one of a shopaholic. I mentioned to Nicole we should stop buying groceries for a month to see how much we can get through in the pantry and freezer. Not sure we could make it a month, but we may try a week or two.

Joe-

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Our weekend kind of started – well beginning Friday – started off pretty busy. We went to the Cubs game via some free tickets Nicole scored from work, along with a parking pass. We’re South Side fans in actuality – White Sox fans for those of you not familiar with Chicago – but it’s hard to pass up free tickets to any sporting event. We ended up only spending $12 grabbing lunch to bring into the park with us. Pretty nice outing for the price. Of course, that doesn’t include the hour drive to and the two hour drive home from the park. Thank you, Chicago traffic.

Enjoy your weekend!

Ikea Visit

Monday Dinner Recipe

How We Have Fun On A Budget

Joe-

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I came across this recipe while surfing Pinterest and it looked great. If you’ve ever had Panera’s Broccoli Cheese Soup you know this recipe has delicious potential written all over it. I made it for dinner last night and mmm-mmm, did it turn out good! And yes, the pictures were taken by me. The one thing that threw me was there is no way this recipe serves 6 with only 16 ounces of fluid – 2 cups broth & 2 cups half & half.


Here’s what I would amend about the recipe after our in-home taste testing.

  • Use low or no sodium chicken broth
  • Omit the nutmeg (We didn’t care for it)

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One other note – don’t add up the calories because they will make you cry.

Here’s a link to the Pin on our Pinterest board.

And here’s a link to our New Pinterest page where you can follow us. We’ll post blog links, recipes, and all sorts of fun stuff.

Extrapolate This!

Bon Appétit!
Joe-

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ikea

Do you have an IKEA by you? If you do, I’m willing to bet you’ve been there if only to check it out and see what it’s all about. We have two within striking distance of us. We typically stick to one in the south Chicago burbs as it’s not quite as busy. The one in the north burbs is huge and in a major shopping area so it’s like Christmas there every weekend with traffic and crowds.

We were all set to head to IKEA Saturday morning when we realized, why are we going on a weekend when there’s going to be much fewer people there on a Monday? Nicole doesn’t work Mondays so we have the freedom to do things like errands then when it’s less crowded. So in a little while, we’re off to IKEA.

I enjoy walking around the store. They have small “rooms” set up so you can come up with ideas that fit your home readily. And their prices are good. We’ve purchased several items over the years from them including kitchen utensils, lamps, candles, and of course furniture. I’ve never felt like we’ve been ripped off or anything is overpriced. That’s kind of a requirement when you’re going to spend your hard earned money in an establishment.

Also, did you know that IKEA has a restaurant in their stores? Every time we go, the restaurant is the first stop, especially when it comes to breakfast. You can get their basic breakfast – eggs, bacon/sausage and potatoes – for $1! You can’t beat that. But IKEA does! If you’re there for breakfast, coffee is free. Can you tell I’m looking forward to breakfast this morning?

Have a great start to your week today!

Joe-

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weekend
We had a productive week here on ET! I was pretty happy we switched our wireless service to Ting. We’re only a week in, but so far so good! Being the big movie buff I am, I highlighted 10 movies which showed me a little something about business. And we’re considering switching home security to more of a DIY option we’ll monitor ourselves via the Almond 3 router. I’m really looking forward to the home security change. Not only will this save us $40/month, but we’ll still get the peace of mind to go with having a home security system.

Sunday Randomness

10 Movies That Taught Me A Little Something About Business

Ting Wireless Review

Home Security Alternative

How do your trips to Costco go?

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!
Joe-

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