Monday, March 27, 2017

This Week on the Dining Table

The "Feeling Rich" Edition--

This is one of the rings I inherited from my mother.  She had a thing for bling, didn't she?
What do you think?.....Should I wear this out to Rite-Aid and Weis(PMITA)Markets the next time I am running errands?
What about my tiara?  Or would both be too much? ;-)

Moving On....

Onward to the meal planning!

Here's what was planned last week--

1. Sunday--Leftovers/Fend for Yourself
2. Monday--Breakfast for Dinner
3. Tuesday--Leftovers
4. Wednesday--Spaghetti and Meatballs, Salad
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--Chicken and Mushrooms in Wine, Asparagus, Rice*
7. Saturday--Leftovers

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Leftovers/Fend for Yourself
2. Monday--Breakfast for Dinner
3. Tuesday--Coq au Vin(sort of), Asparagus, Leftover Taters*
4. Wednesday--Leftovers
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--Pizza
7. Saturday--Leftovers

6 meals cooked at home, 4 of them a night of leftovers or Fend For Yourself, and 1 night of eating-out/take-out.
The spaghetti and meatballs didn't happen as we had so much in leftovers.

As for the grocery spending.....1 small trip to Weis, a trip to the Bread Outlet and a stop for just milk brought the food spending last week to $12.70. I used $22 in gift cards so it would have been $34.70 without the gift cards. This brought my March food spending total to $245.84.(Food spending would be $370.84 for the month so far, w/out that gift card).  There are 4 days left in the month.

My savings percentages last week was 84.83%. (Would have been 59.75% without using free gift cards.)

Leftovers going into this week.......1 slice Meatloaf, Corned Beef, Cabbage and Carrots, Irish Stew, 1 helping of Cole Slaw, Brussels Sprouts, Shrimp and Chili.
And a serving bowl of Broccoli Cheddar Soup.
We don't seem to have made much of a dent in the leftovers last week though I swear we ate leftovers! lolz

Here is this week's "food plan"....
* Denotes "complicated" meals

1. Sunday--Spaghetti and Meatballs, Salad *
2. Monday--Reuben Sandwiches(should finish up the corned beef)
3. Tuesday--Haddock, Cole Slaw, Asparagus
4. Wednesday--Leftovers
5. Thursday--Chicken Parm, leftover cooked Carrots and Cabbage
6. Friday--Leftovers or Pizza in Freezer
7. Saturday--Leftovers

This week will see 3 new meals cooked(4 if you count the sandwiches using leftover corned beef), 0 nights of Take-Out/Eating-Out and 3 nights of Leftovers.

What I need to buy for this menu?  More Rye bread unless I can talk the family into having their Reubens on pumpernickel which I bought last week.  I got chicken cutlets last week, meatballs are in the freezer, I have spaghetti and sauce ingredients here already, as well as salad fixings, asparagus, haddock(also bought last week)and part of a head of cabbage and a raw carrot to make cole slaw.
After this week's menu we should be out of fresh produce and will restock on April's dime.

What is getting fixed and served at your house this week?

Was last week's plan successful, did you go off plan or did you not even plan what was going to be eaten last week?

Any great deals on food at your stores this week?


Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Weekend...Good, Bad & Ugly

I went out on Thursday looking for those Wendy's gift cards other Dollar Generals in my area.  Found them at one, took a handful up to the register and the cashier couldn't get them to activate. ???
I hit the Bread Outlet while I was out and then grabbed a burger at BK on a gift card and headed home.

On Saturday it was a cold but sunny day so Hubs and I decided to head South of here to use a gift card I won at the Church auction last Fall for a local diner.
Diners in PA are most usually owned/run by Greek descent folks.  The menus are vast, the prices are good and the food in plentiful.
This is one we like Walnut Bottom Diner in Carlisle PA and this one, The American Star Diner in North Wales PA.  Both Greek American run.
Diners offer great deals and food except if you go to a diner it seems in the town we refer here to "Little Havana".  This isn't a negative reference,  It's just that after 9/11 Hispanic NYC dwellers moved here in record numbers to this little PA town.  It's now populated 50% at least by those folks.  You are more likely to see store signs in Spanish than English there or bilingual signage.

Anyway, this diner, both clientele and staff are Hispanic from what I could tell.  The menu was vast, the food plentiful but the prices were a bit higher(probably because being NYC refugees they are use to paying/charging higher prices anyway).
But the food.....sigh.....the food was not what we were expecting.  Not as good and some menu Greek staples which we tried were NOT authentically Greek.  Instead of real Greek olives on Hubs Greek Salad they were canned black olives, like you'd get on a pizza.

So at least we didn't pay full price for the meal as the gift card cost me at the auction less than face value and we paid an additional $9 and change for the check.
Oh live and learn and remember not to go back there again.

On the way down to this diner we stopped at a Dollar General along the way to check for Wendy's gift cards and they had them.
Another attempt to purchase a stack and this cashier also could not get them to validate. ???  This store I had also tried to buy different discounted gift cards at back last Fall before Christmas and at that time the cashier also couldn't get those gift cards to scan.

So we stopped at another Dollar General right near our diner destination and I tired again to purchase the Wendy's gift cards.

Why on earth do they scan correctly at one Dollar General out of the three I tired to buy these gift cards at?
I think it has something to do with the cashiers not knowing how to ring them up or not.
I now know where to avoid getting gift cards from.
This would have been so much easier if my town's DG carried the Wendy's one.

We've gotten a couple of warm days this past week.  Yesterday it hit the mid 60'sF here.
Here is what is left of our snow pack........

 Mostly the backyard is clear but the deck is still covered.

The front yard gets full sun most of the day so we just have some mid-sized piles left.

I cleared my bookshelf area, filed papers away, reorganized my gift card box and list yesterday.
Hubs finished and filed the taxes electronically yesterday.
We had to do FOUR tax filings for 2016....Federal, PA state, LA state and the local PA taxes.

We got a moderate refund on the Federal(which was our money we were FORCED to loan to the government for 12 months interest free!), we owed $2 on the local PA taxes and then we got pounded in the ass on the PA and the LA state taxes!!

Since the house we own and rented out is in Louisiana we have to declare this income in LA.
We also had to declare this income on our PA taxes for some reason with the caveat that we would get a "credit" to offset the LA income on our PA form.

Well that "credit" only amounted to half of what we paid to LA so basically we got DOUBLE TAXED on half the LA income in PA too!
Taxation is theft and doubly so if you pay it twice!!!

It's no wonder people LIE all the time about their income to the government and I don't blame them.
I am so tired of being made to pay for shit I shouldn't have to and supporting irresponsible people's financial irresponsibility.  And then you get made to feel guilty if you don't want to let the government pick your pocket constantly.

*Putting Libertarian Soapbox away now*

So I am off to make "Sunday gravy" and cook meatballs for Hubs' dinner and mellow myself out.

What are you up to today?

"Taxation is theft"

Saturday, March 25, 2017

New Giveaway Winner

After waiting an inordinately long time for the Giveaway winner to contact me(after posting the info on the blog and TWO emails directly to her supplied email addy) I am selecting a new winner for the February Giveaway.

And the winner is........

Amber Ravis!

77 in Kentucky today..

Please email me privately Amber with your full name and mailing address so I can finally get this box of goodies out to someone. lolz


Friday, March 24, 2017

Frugal Friday

Here are things I did this week that were frugal.  By spending more intentionally we can choose were to spend our money and where to save it.

* Purchased food gift cards at 15% off.

* Didn't buy many groceries this week and everything I bought was on sale and some I even had a coupon to use.  I also used a discounted gift card for that grocery store to pay for the shop.

* I had $30 in Kohl's Cash saved up from buying Hubs and College Boy some clothing(also got large pillar candles for $5.99 to put away for next Xmas in these shops too)so instead of using it on splurging out on Fiesta Ware dish sets(a great deal at $32.01 for two 4 piece place settings!)I bought my daughter a pair of sneakers.

I don't "need" new dishes and even though these would be rather inexpensive for that brand they would still have cost a LOT of money for dishes.  The sneakers on the other hand will be a need eventually when her current shoes wear out and after the Kohl's Cash only cost me $15 OOP and if she doesn't "need" them until late this year I can put these away until her birthday or Christmas so killing two birds with one stone so to speak.
I had the shoes shipped to the store for pick-up so I saved on the shipping as well.
And I shopped online through a cash back site and got an extra .42¢ in that account.  Hey, it may not be much but it adds up over the course of a year. 8-)

* I paid our sewage bill this week.  If you pay it annually instead of quarterly you save money.  It may be only $30 a year in savings but why not if we have the money, right?   Small savings measures add up over the years.

* Actually, this one was last week--I bought dish soap at the Dollar Tree for $1 a bottle.  I am very low on my dish soap stockpile so I have been looking for a "deal" on this item but have found none lately.  I figure a huge bottle of $1 dish soap is better than purchasing a much smaller name brand dish soap at 2 to 3 times that price.

* When I sent College Boy back to school I sent along a bag of goodies for him to open at Easter(since he won't be coming home next month).  That saved me the postage if I had to mail him a box of goodies.

* Not frugal but a result from a previous frugal action.....I received two cash rebates in the mail this week.

$9.62 total back which I will put aside with my saved coins for the year and my assorted online cash back rebate site monies and then dump it all into the food budget for 2017.

* I didn't do much cooking this week as we had tons of Leftovers to use up. This saved me time and money.

* Went on Youtube to watch a couple of cable shows I like that were posted there as well as two movies.  We got rid of cable 3 or 4 years ago.

So what did you do this week to keep money in your pocket or add to your savings?