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Bill Reductions & Vacation Plans

February 3rd, 2011 at 08:23 pm

For February Lunch Challenge:

Lunch In: 2
Lunch Out: 1

Breakfast - granola bar, peanut M&Ms (@ home)
Lunch - Leftover chicken enchilada casserole

For dinner, it was leftovers. I decided to have a salami sandwich and some wheat thins. On a hamburger bun, since we were out of bread! (Since I have been eating leftovers for lunch every day).

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Bill reductions:

**Gas bill (balanced billing) went down from $26/month to $21/month.

This is where you become jealous I live in California, and then I point out that I know plenty of people with three-figure gas bills ($100-$500/month in winter months). The weather helps, but energy efficiency matters MUCH more!

Anyway, our gas usage was actually up for January (no surprise since I was home 2 weeks - I use far more heat than the rest of the household). But gas prices were low compared to last year.

Anyway, they adjust it every 6 months or so, and I figured $20/month was more along the lines of our gas usage. The lowest it has been is $14/month (which was too low for all year!)

**Auto insurance - dh's auto insurance renewed January and it was exactly the same as last year.

I just got my bill and so was surprised it went down about $40 per year.

I presumed at first that it was the collision portion that went down. Since the van has collision insurance and the other car doesn't. BUT, I decided to pull out the bill to be sure.

Surprise, surprise - we both paid the same for liability last year, but this year that is the part of my bill that went down. I presume that they will adjust dh's bill, accordingly. I will keep an eye on that and call them later if we don't get a refund or if it doesn't show up on the July bill.

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VACATION

We are gathering up loose ideas for vacation plans this year.

For one, I am pleased because no one is dictating our vacation this year. (That has its pluses and minuses. But since that is the norm, I am kind of sick of it). Of course, I won't speak TOO soon because it is only January.

On top of that, I actually have vacation time. Maybe simply because no one has planned a 2-week trip yet to eat up all my vacation time.

The topic of vacation did come up because we are planning our annual family camp vacation. Just 2-3 nights a couple of hours away, but is always a blast.

We've already discussed a LegoLand, Magic Mountain, Planetarium/Observatory trip. The cost would be virtually nothing. (WE decided to skip Disney since the kids have already been a 4 or 5 times between Florida and LA).

In addition, we have been talking about some road trips for a while. I have never been to the Grand Canyon or Bryce Canyon, so that tops my list.

Dh and I talked a little about doing one big vacation, but have decided that we should just do two trips. So Cal Trip and Southwest road trip.

I am kind of overwhelmed thinking of all the logistics on the Southwest road trip. A lot to plan and figure out. I think the hardest part will be keeping the trip short and sweet while feeling we have enough time to see and enjoy everything.

Our families have been so *vacation crazy* lately. MIL has some pretty pie in the sky and grand vacation plans for the upcoming years. I wouldn't even know where to begin. MExico, China, exotic places of the kids' choosing. I personally feel a little nostalgic to those *dirt broke* road trips we always did when I was a kid and in college, etc. A road trip sounds very enticing to me!

My blog theme lately has been how the point of being frugal is to have the good things in life at a lower cost. My personal vacation philosophy would probably be a perfect example. It doesn't have to be grand and expensive to be fun and meaningful!

3 Responses to “Bill Reductions & Vacation Plans”

  1. boomeyers Says:

    Our "budget billing" for gas is $100. ugh! We are hoping to vacation in your neck of the woods in August!
    Road trips sure have their pluses and minus'!

  2. boomeyers Says:

    PS (Peanut m&ms are the breakfast of champions!)

  3. HouseHopeful Says:

    My budget billing for electric & gas together is $111. Ugh

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