Challenge A: Week 2. Getting car running (not used in 4 years) or get a bike


Ok, on the car issue?  Well, the insurance has picked up the fender-bender car so that’s gone.  I’m still looking for my rachet wrench box.  Also because I don’t want to work on my steep driveway, I’ve talked to Carol and she said I can work on her driveway which is flat.  Just have to tow the car over there.  Once there, my first tasks will be to pump up the tires and drain the fuel to put in new fuel.  If the tires are cracked, it’ll be more visible once they are pumped up again.  They are not too low, just a bit.

Meantime, I need to get around so I bought a bike for $75 from Lisa, Carol’s neighbor.  It’s a mountain bike that she never used but bought brand new and has a french pump.

When I lived in Japan teaching English in Koriyama eons ago, I got around by bicycle.  I even cycled out to the countryside.  I didn’t lose any weight or anything but I was pretty fit.  This area of Tucson is flat for the two miles to the grocery store and back.  So I think a bike would be a good thing.  Only problem is I have to be concerned about security because bikes get stolen a lot around here.

I also lived with just a bike or walking half the time I lived in California.  It’s a different mindset but I am having a problem getting that same mindset here in Arizona because I dislike the bus system.  The city is very spread out and so are the bus routes.  So to get to Walmart, it’s either 2 bus changes or walk one mile to take a bus that goes straight up the street to it. By car, it takes about 8 minutes.

There is one bus stop half a mile from my house and that route goes to downtown as well as all the way over to the main community college which is a good thing.  I am thinking I need to take some car mechanic (automotive) classes if I want to work on that other car.  Also I need to get a bus pass.

One thing I learned while riding buses in Oakland, you learn the shops on the route so you can hope on and off the bus on the same route to pick up different items.

Carol lives at the bottom of the hill so when I got the bike, I cycled for about 3 blocks and then walked it up the hill.  Cycled for another two blocks and walked it the rest of the way home.  I walked it home partly because it was getting pretty dark and mostly because I am way more out of shape than I thought, lol.  Things I noticed that I need to take care of — needs more air.  Looks fine when I am not on it but once I sit on it the tires flatten down.

Also there is a weird shoecap? on the pedals which I dislike intensely so those need to come off.  The problem with them is A) they don’t feel safe and B) I can’t get both on my feet when I’m riding.  I can get one on when I mount the bike but they tend to flip to the bottom of the pedal so I can’t get the other one on once I am mounted.  Since it flips under the pedal, it scraps against the sidewalk while I ride.  It’s a pain.  Whoever invented these shoe caps is a knucklehead.

Other than that, it’s a great bike.

So I am thinking to have a bicycle life although honestly I’ve seriously started looking for a cheap car because not having a car is already beginning to bug me.  The good thing is that without it, I save money because if I get that impulse to go grab fastfood or something, I can’t go.



Budget: Friday 11/3 National Sandwich Day!


Friday is national sandwich day.  So here are the deals I could find.  Best I could find was buy one, get one free.

Buy one get one free (or free with purchase)

Get 1 free sub of equal or lesser sub when you buy a sub with a 30oz drink.  Also Subway will donate 1 meal for every sub and 30z drink purchasedto Feed America

Buy a soft drink, get a free roast beef sandwich if you sign up for Arby’s email alerts to get coupons

buy one, get one free offer on QuickChek 6-inch subs when you download the coupon from the QuickChek mobile app.

Potbelly Sandwich Shop
Don’t see this on their site but seen it mentioned on a couple other places so check first. (I didn’t want to sign up for Perks because it wants my phone# and I have limited text msgs) Get a pastrami sandwich, and get one free if you sign up for or are a member of the restaurant’s rewards program, Potbelly Perks.

Press’d Sandwich (Canada)
Buy any sandwich and drink and get 2nd sandwich free.

Smiling Moose Rocky Mountain Deli
Buy one sandwich, get another free of equal or lesser value with Bogo Mo coupon. The chain has locations in Colorado, Texas, Wisconsin and a handful of other states.

Sandwich Lottery

The Press Shop (NYC)
The NYC sandwich spot is donating 100% of proceeds for the day to Edible Schoolyard NYC, and will give away free sandwiches for a year to one randomly chosen lunch guest (11 a.m. through 3 p.m.).

free on next visit

Firehouse Subs
This one is a race.  If you are one of the first 50 orders for any size Hook & Ladder sub on 11/3 you will also get the a free chips & medium drink with a medium or large sub purchase on your next visit



Budget: Eating-in day 1 restart : ochazuke (green tea rice soup) for breakfast


Ok, so today (Saturday) I restart my 7-day eat-at-home challenge. Morning plans are visit Carol at the hospital, go to the library and noon is for this insomniac’s nap. I look around for something quick but filling to tide me over until evening. Continue reading Budget: Eating-in day 1 restart : ochazuke (green tea rice soup) for breakfast


Budget: Eating in day 1: My favorite cold ramen


Ok, yesterday, I admit I failed starting my 7-day challenge.  The casino emailed me a one-day only 8/30/17 food voucher for $20 so I had to!  It was free food.  So off Carol and I went.  I made the mistake of ordering a prickly pear margarita $10 which came with a free mesquite pork taco and was informed the voucher does not cover alcohol at checkout.  Sooo darn!

Looks like my $5 a day for food was blown.  So I put in $6 on a slot machine and got back $86.  Ok, this I can work with, lol.  I gave Carol a little for gas.  So I made a profit on the food.  Carol and I ran out (well, hobbled as she needs a cane but you get the idea) before I put the money back in. I think I will put $50 towards repainting the kitchen since I’ll be spending some time there anyways.

So back to my 7-day challenge of eating in.  Starting over today. Geez, this reminds me of a diet. Being good, looking to see what I have.  I found my favorite cold ramen in the pantry.  Oh good, I can boil water, lol. I love semi-instant food.

In Japan, I got introduced to a favorite summer food: cold ramen. Of course, the restaurant makes it much prettier than Continue reading Budget: Eating in day 1: My favorite cold ramen


Budget: Ibotta and rebates


If you join Ibotta, they send you a cash rebate if you buy certain items and complete tasks.  When you register, if you put in my referral code “smtiuhc“,   you will get $10 and I’ll get $5 as long as you turn in one rebate within 7 days of signup. Any store and any brand rebates don’t count.

Download free app to smartphone. Next you have to download the app onto your Android or Apple ios.

On my phone, I clicked googleplay, did a search for Ibotta and hit install.  It was pretty easy.

Registration.  when you first open the app, a registration screen will show. It’s pretty simple, just fill out the fields.
Continue reading Budget: Ibotta and rebates


Budget: Even Goodwill has an Outlet store and Half-off Sales


Usually one Saturday a month, all the Goodwills have a half-off sale on everything except pink tag (new) items. Well, except for the Goodwill outlet store but they’re so cheap anyways. This month, the sale happened on July 15th. Most times they won’t tell you in advance but if you drive by on a Friday, you can usually see if the following Saturday is a sale day.  They will post a sign. Of course they always have half off one color all week but the sale day it’s all the colors.  If you can’t make it on a sale day, Tuesdays and Wednesdays is 20% off for seniors age 55+. So one of the few senior discounts I actually qualify for.
Continue reading Budget: Even Goodwill has an Outlet store and Half-off Sales