Saturday, April 21, 2018

I Don't Fit In with my Non-Frugal Family....Eating Out Edition

The fact that I am much more frugal than my Hubs and kids is always brought home to me when we go out to eat.

I remember when we first moved to this area in 2000.  It was a game changer for us....we finally lived near civilization(stores, doctors, etc.)and had many choices for eating out(old house there was a pizza joint and a Chinese take-out) and that was also about the time Hubs got a big promotion and raise at his work so we had more discretionary income at this point AND more ways to spend it.

One of those ways was to eat out.
One of our favorite places to go for something other than fast food type stuff was Lone Star Steakhouse.  We like a good they had a kids' menu so we didn't have to spend a lot on them when they were younger(and wanted chicken strips anyway over steak).

As soon as the waitress/waiter came to the table the four of them would each order a soda or iced tea.
That's when I'd give each of them the "mom look" look=that look that says "Oh no you didn't!" without opening my mouth.
Hubs would give me a look right back that said "let them order a drink and lay off"!
BTW, I always ordered water(sometimes with a lemon wedge)for my drink.

Then I'd start a discussion at the table about the value of money and the cost of things.  Kids being kids have no clue what things cost unless you talk to them about it.  And even then, they really don't care or have any concept about "money" unless you make it real for them.

Back then a soda ordered at this restaurant was $1.69.
4 x that amount was $6.78 and if I had also ordered a drink other than water that's $8.45 before we even got any food!  The cost of a soda or iced tea at most places here is now $2.69 so over $13 for a family of 5 to order a drink each!!!

That's a whole honking lot of $ for a drink without alcohol and to me, just not frugal, even with free refills because really, who needs to drink 4 or 5 glasses of soda at a time.

You're there to eat a good meal not fill up on sugar water I'd say and then go on to give them the facts about the costs of this meal.
And how this spending would keep us from paying for other birthday money, toys at Christmas(nobody believed in the Santa myth at this point), or their beloved Summer camp weeks.
Yeah I was a real killjoy......lolz

They eventually got the idea that they didn't NEED a soda at every meal out.

But really, when we went out for College Boy's Birthday meal you'd have thought I never tried drilling frugality into them for all those years!
That or they just don't care since we were footing the bill.  ;-)

All 3 of them ordered alcohol!
This is something I NEVER do(unless someone else is paying for it or that's the main point of the night out-drinking)....order alcoholic drinks out.  Alcohol out is just the opposite of frugal!!
And Daughter....not only did she order a drink, she freaking ordered a PUNCH BOWL of alcohol!


And then, after the drinks came, each of them ordered a big ass appetizer....a special roll costing between $8.95 and $11.95 each.
We were up to $50 of spending on just drinks and appetizers and we hadn't even ordered our entreƩ yet!!!

By the time you had consumed all this alcoholic drinks and appetizers who is really still hungry!?!?

Now Hubs after 40 years of being together knows this sort of thing irks me to no end and when we are out alone I can "control" him somewhat.
But he just hid in the crowd that day and let his spending fly!

With tip the birthday meal was $107.60.

So I told them all, "this is why I  don't want to go out to dinner/lunch with any of you if I/Hubs are footing the bill!".
It's like they can't control themselves, any of them.

Here's an adventure we had the end of March.....
I got Hubs a 50% voucher for a new brewery in a tiny town South of us.
The deal was I paid $10 for a voucher worth $20 spending at this brewery.
It's really a tasting room since there is no food available.

We offered to take the two kids too and Daughter went.

We were there for about 1.5 hours.
I had 3 drinks-a reg. sized drink and then 2 tasting size(5 oz.)drinks.  I did drink a bit more than I usually would in this situation but it was by no means excessive.
The cost for my drinks?  $12.50

The cost of Hubs and daughter's bill?  $49.00
And then there was a nice tip to add to our total.

See what I mean?
My family has no self-control. 8-)


Friday, April 20, 2018

Frugal Friday....April 20th Edition

Let's see what frugal wins we had this past week.........

* I did a $40 shop at Weis this week.  Here are the best deals I got.........

 VO5 products were .77¢.  I used 2 x .50¢/2 Qs that doubled to $1 and bought 4 bottles.  OOP cost was .22¢ per bottle.  I don't use this brand on my hair(I get moreexpensive shampoos for free at Rite-Aid)so I'll use these watered down to refill hand soap container.  I should be able to get 2 refills from each bottle so 8 refills total.  8 bottles of hand soap even at the Dollar Tree cost $8.  I'll take $1.76 spent OOP over $8 any day.

 These ready-to-use pasta bags were on sale $1.50 each. I used 2 x $1/1 Qs plus a digital e-coupon came off my loyalty card so I paid $0.00 for both.

4 x Hormel quick wraps have been a monthly deal at Weis when you buy 4 they are $1.25 each so $5 for 4.
I used 4 x .50¢/1 IPQs that doubled to $1 each so $5-$4Qs=$1.00 for all 4 packages so .25¢ each.
College Boy has been eating these as they are a quick to grab meal when he is rushing off to the music studio.

* Last Week's Freebie at Weis(PMITA)Markets.....

A box of popcorn.  Again, Customer Service had no CLUE this was Friday Freebie freebie.  Good thing I sent Hubs because he's got a knack of getting them to give him the freebie without a hassle(maybe because he's a man?lol).
This will get used and saved me from spending money on it so it's a win!

*  I tried a new side dish last week-Zucchini with Anchovies and Capers.  Recipe HERE.
I don't usually keep anchovies in our pantry so had to buy them to make this dish.  Luckily the anchovies were on sale at least.  ;-)

Afterwards I was left with 1/2 a tin of salty fish to use up.
So I decided to put homemade pizza on the menu this past week to use them up.

I got out about 6 bags of partially used shredded cheese(why don't these people here use up a bag before opening a new bag?!?), 2 cans of pizza sauce I picked up at the grocery outlet last Summer, a small bag of pepperoni from the freezer, a can of olives and an onion in the pantry and that half tin of anchovies.  I made enough dough for 3 pies(one XL)--a pepperoni and onion, an anchovy and olive and onion, and a pepperoni and olive pie.  I forgot to take a photo of the anchovy pizza and this is all that is left after the meal(and College Boy hitting the leftovers for two late night meals. 8-)

*  I found a penny in the Weis parking lot.

Hey!  It's a small win but picking  random change that gets abandoned in a parking lot adds up.
I also found someone's key in a different parking lot with nobody around to ask if they lost it, and turned it in to the store.

*  I sold this on eBay last Friday..........

"Would you believe?" It's a complete dvd set of the 1960's series Get Smart(see what I did there?lol).
Hubs dearly loved this tv show as a kid so when they came out with this boxed set of the series I got it for him for Xmas about 10 years ago.  I think he watched 3 episodes and put it away. He said the show didn't "age" well and wasn't so fun to watch now.  I bit my tongue about saying how some PEOPLE don't age well either. hehehe

I took a lower offer on it just to get it out of the house and I am trying not to think about the sunk costs and instead about how this dvd set will make someone else happy.  Considering what I paid for it I lost money here but it's gone and I've got $44.30 after fees back in my pocket.

* And there was a small trip to Rite-Aid this week......

I should have been able to use $2 in BC or PPs on this(as my total should have been $2 after Qs)but 2 of the toothpastes were less than $3.50 with the 20% Wellness discount($3.43)so my total was at $1.86 instead of $2(A rookie mistake but even I am not at the top of my game some days.)
So I put the $1.86 on my R-A gift card.

*  Cheap Mouse for the Win!
My computer mouse went KAPUT! about 10 days ago so I went and got a new wireless mouse.....

It was a choice between this or a purple one with geometric shapes on it.  This one was a bit less expensive of the two on Amazon(an unpopular design they were clearancing out?).  It was free shipping with Prime, cost me $11.61 w/tax which was less than any brick and mortar wanted to just a plain boring black or blue name brand wireless mouse.

*  The federal tax refund hit our bank account.  After $381.03 in fees(for tax software and monies we had to pay the states of PA and LA and mailing costs for 1 state return we banked $5362.97.  Likely the fed. refund was so high due to Hubs working 50% of the year and having such high withholding in his checks so that when we dropped down to the retirement income level we had a large credit of withholding.  That doesn't sound quite right but I can't figure out how to say it right now. lolz
Anyway, we didn't go blow that check on a down payment on a car(people do that with tax refunds, use it to get a car but it only covers a down payment and then they are saddled with a new recurring car paymentbill), or spend it on something else that was a want.  If we had debt we'd have thrown it onto that bill but we don't thankfully at this point in our lives.
So we will transfer it to our online account(which will earn a tad more than at a brick and mortar bank)and just let it sit for now until we make a plan for that money.

*  While Hubs was out running an errand I had him hit the Bread Outlet since he was going right by there.........

I gave him a list with options.  He picked up 3 3/$3 items and 3 3/$4 items. (A package hamburger rolls is missing because we used them that evening before I thought to take a photo.)  He spent $7 on bread products that would cost $24.14 at the grocery store(not on sale, but even on sale it would have been at least $12+).
That blue labeled bread is Organic and goes for $5.99 a loaf!!
With that 5 lb. log of Cooper Cheese I bought College Boy is eating a LOT more grilled cheese sandwiches(he will eat 3-4 at a sitting!)so the bread was very low so I am glad we got restocked.

So tell us what Frugal wins you had this past week?


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Time for an April Giveaway!!!

April means it's time for the fourth Sluggy's Boring Blog Box Giveaway for 2018.
Though we had some warm weather this past weekend, we have been getting snowed on all week here off and on.  It snowed all day on Monday and it's snowing hard this morning.  ugh.

A nice giveaway will get us all in better spirits, right?
I've got child themed health goodies as well as chocolate this month. 8-)
Come on and enter.
Somebody has to win and it might just be YOU!

Here is what you can win if your entry is picked.

1 x Centrum vitamins
1 x Robitussin sugar-free cough medicine
1 x Nivea renewal body wash
1 x Herbal Essences shampoo
1 x Lil' Critters gummy vitamins
1 x Cetaphil baby wash and shampoo
1 x Advil children's tablets
1 x Sally Hansen lavender nail color
1 x Colgate optic white toothpaste
1 x Oral-B toothbrush
1 x Revlon tweezers
2 x Cover Girl eye shadows(teal and mink)
11 x Lindt truffles(assorted flavors)
8 x Cadbury dark chocolate w/mint filling candies
(The Cadbury is in a separate photo because when I repacked the box after the photo shot I noticed I did a better job and had space left, so I added the Cadbury chocolates in too.)

Over $70 in regular retail of goodies.
Closeup shots of the goodies up for grabs......

I'll leave this giveaway open until Saturday, April 28th at 11:59pm Eastern Time, so that gives everyone 9 days to enter this one.  On April 29th  I'll mark all the valid entries and use Random dotorg to pick a number and that corresponding person's entry wins.

*Please note the rules*
I'll post the name/Id of the winner on this blog and that person has 48 hours from then to contact me privately via email(my email addy is listed on my "About Me" page).
If I am not contacted via email I'll attempt to contact the winner via the email they supply with their entry and if that email is not responded to within another 48 hours I'll pick another winner.

There are three ways to enter--1 Daily and 2 One-Time Only........
1. Leave a comment every day.
2. Be a follower of this Blog(Hit the "Follow" button on the right hand side bar.) Let me know if your comment for this entry the name you follow under to verify.  You can do this entry once.
3. Post on your own blog(or on your Facebook page)about the Giveaway and leave a link in your comment/entry to where I can find it.  You can do this entry once.
In your Daily Entry tell me in your comment......something like what here is the thing you most want to win, do you have kids in your life to give the child items too, is anything blooming outside where you live(pollen doesn't count lol), do have plan on planting anything this season, etc.....stuff like that.

Disclaimer--This giveaway is open to those with mailing addresses within the US only.
As the cost of postage to foreign countries has gotten to high I am sorry to say I can no longer afford to mail boxes outside the US.  These giveaways are not sponsored by any companies, I pay for it all(cost of items given away and the postage to mail it all)out of my own pocket.

Please make sure there is a way for me to contact you in your comment.

If you're not a registered Blogger User with your contact information on your User page, please put your email addy in your comment or email me your email addy privately when you leave a comment so I can get a hold of you. If your Blogger associated user profile is a GOOGLE one with those Google Circles nonsense I CAN NOT CONTACT YOU as Google Circles doesn't show your contact info.

If I can't contact you then you can't win.  I am still having to disqualify entries due to this issue and I sure don't like doing that.  Thanks!

So let's get this started!


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Another Presidential Cousin But Not the One I Was Looking For!

* I want to mention here the passing of First Lady Barbara Bush first off and send my condolences to her family and close friends(of which she had many of each).  I always thought she was a breath of fresh air in the rarefied atmosphere of American politics and political families.  A classy and strong woman, devoted to her family above all else.  A good example in the world.....and that all was years before I had any inkling I was related to her in any way. ;-)
R.I.P. Barbra Pierce Bush (8 Jun 1925-17 Apr 2018).

So I have this hobby obsession called genealogy.  I didn't start on this journey until about 10 years ago after my kids were mostly grown.  Before then I didn't have the time needed to devote to hunting up ancestors.

One of my fun missions within my genealogy meanderings is to see if I can hook my family tree macrame up to every US President......from George Washington to Donald Trump so far.

Some of these men have been easy to connect to since my mother's family lines go back to some of the earliest European settlers in America, the Jamestown Colony of Virginia.
Most mom's people never left Virginia once they got over here on the ships that brought them and her roots are deeply embedded in Virginian soil and Virginia official(as well as unofficial)records are accessible on line and there are so many family genealogy books written on many of these lines I have so it's been relatively easy to connect up with some Presidents.  It helps that 7 of our US presidents were also born in Virginia(Ohio comes second with claiming 6 US Presidents as native sons).

After about 5 years I found that I am cousins with Laura Lane Welch, known to the world as Laura Bush.......

Laura Lane Welch Bush is my 7th cousin 1 x removed.
Without going through the whole line lets just note the pertinent parts.....
Her 6x GGandfather was William Allen and her 5 x GGrandfather was Valentine Allen.  Valentine's sister was Susanna Allen, who is my 6x GGrandmother.  This makes us 7th cousins and Laura is one generation ahead of me so 1 x removed from me.

While doing the research involved to hook up all the Presidents to me it seemed that I am more directly related to many of our First Ladies and related by marriage to our Presidents.

So since I've already got First Lady Laura Bush in my fold I noted that I am related to George Walker Bush(George Bush 43)by marriage(husband of my 7th cousin) and to George Herbert Walker Bush(George Bush 41)also by marriage(father in-law of my 7th cousin).

Since it is well known that GHW Bush's wife, Barbara Pierce Bush is a descendant/cousin of President Franklin Pierce(#14)-they are 4th cousins 4 x removed and share a common ancestors in Thomas Pierce and his wife Elizabeth Cole.

So I began tracking down my Franklin Pierce connections last weekend......

Nothing seems to be panning out as I tracked back, expanding his tree and tracing back from his ancestors into New England until I got back to the European side of things.
Nothing.  No straightforward connection.  I bookmarked Franklin Pierce and decided to trace up GHW Bus and GWBush's line to see if we share ancestry that's closer than marriage to 7th cousins Laura Welch Bush.

And ding ding ding.....I found one!

George Herbert Walker Bush(41) turns out is my 10th cousin.

His GGrandmother was Harriet Eleanor FAY from Savannah Georgia.
Harriet's Grandmother was Clarissa Mundford.
Clarissa's Grandmother was Elizabeth Bolling.
Elizabeth's Grandmother was Ann Meriwether Stith.
Ann's Grandfather was Major John Drury Stith who arrived in America in 1656 making John Drury Stith GWH Bush's 9th Great Grandfather.

John Drury Stith is my 9th Great Grandfather as well.

John Stith's line to me.........

Maj. John Drury STITH I(1631-1694)
9th great-grandfather
Drury STITH(1670-1740)
son of Maj. John Drury STITH I
Anne STITH(1700-)
daughter of Duruy STITH
Ephraim Stith PARHAM(1723-1793)
son of Anne STITH
Jane PARHAM(1738-1804)
daughter of Ephraim Stith PARHAM
Joseph Hunter MASON(1776-1854)
son of Jane PARHAM
Sarah "Sallie" MASON(1805-1854
daughter of Joseph Hunter MASON
Mary Agnes DRISKILL(1837-1894)
daughter of Sarah "Sallie" MASON
Robert William HARPER(1881-1961)
son of Mary Agnes DRISKILL
Wirt Ross HARPER(1909-1968)
son of Robert William HARPER
Carole Frances HARPER(1934-2000)
daughter of Wirt Ross Harper

So just add another generation onto GHW Bush's line and George Walker Bush is my 10th cousin.

And Barbara Pierce becomes the wife of my 9th cousin GHWBush and the mother of my 10th cousin GWBush.

At this point the closest I can get to being related to Franklin Pierce is the wife of my 9th cousin(mother of my 10th cousin)who is 4th cousin 4 x removed of Franklin Pierce.

I'm working on a connection to Franklin Pierce now through George Washington's lines though so might find something cousin-like there other than by marriage. Did you know that if you "hook-up" to Washington's ancestry you are related in some degree to practically all the US Presidents?  George's lines won't get you related to Martin Van Buren or Donald Trump and maybe a couple others but it's amazing how all these men share ancestry!

Score card of Presidents/First Ladies related to me so far......

* George Washington 11th cousin 8 x removed
* Thomas Jefferson 5th cousin 9 x removed
* Zachary Taylor  7th cousin 5 x removed
* Edith White Bolling Wilson(Woodrow Wilson's second wife)9th Cousin 5 x removed
* George H W Bush 9th cousin
* George W Bush  10th cousin
* Laura Lane Welch Bush  7th cousin 1 x removed

Sluggy, ancestor hunter