Monday, February 28, 2011

Pillsbury Giveaway Time!.....Win Some Neat Stuff

 Unless you've been living under a rock for the last 45 years, you should know that the PILLSBURY BAKE-OFF Competition rolls around about this time each year.  And it is now in full swing for 2011!
Yes, can you believe that this Contest has been revving up the cooking mojo of home cooks for 45 years!?!
And if you love to create new recipes or dishes your family loves, why not go and enter your creation in this year's competition!

Pillsbury is looking for original recipes that taste and look delicious, are easy to prepare and that families across America will love to eat. Consumers can submit recipes in one of four recipe categories:

* The Breakfast & Brunches category includes casual brunch or weekend family breakfast ideas. For example, sweet rolls, pull-aparts, pastries, breakfast breads, egg dishes or breakfast sandwiches.

* In the Entertaining Appetizers category, entrants can submit appetizers and snacks to serve at casual gatherings with family and friends or for holiday entertaining. For example, bite size appetizers, tartlets, pinwheels, puffs, bruschetta or focaccia.

* The Dinner Made Easy™ category encourages home cooks to create easy-to-prepare main dishes that will delight your family. For example, pizzas, calzones, sandwiches, foldovers, casseroles, chilis, soups or savory pies.

* Quick and easy treats for anytime celebrations can be entered into the Sweet Treats category. For example, cookies, pies, tarts, brownies or bars.

Entries are being accepted online between now and April 18, 2011, at One hundred lucky finalists will compete for a chance at the grand prize during the contest finals, which take place March 25-27, 2012 at the Peabody Orlando Hotel in Florida. You’ll also find contest details, including eligible products, prizes and the official rules, on the web site.

The recipes will be judged for 1) taste, 2) appearance, 3) creativity and 4) consumer appeal. All entries must meet the requirements of the recipe category and appropriately use two of the eligible products in at least the quantity specified.

Sue Compton of Delanco, N.J. was named the grand prize winner of the 44th Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest in 2010 for her original Mini Ice Cream Cookie Cups recipe. At the 43rd Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest in 2008, Carolyn Gurtz walked away with the million-dollar grand prize for her Double-Delight Peanut Butter Cookies. At the 2006 competition, the 42nd Contest, Anna Ginsberg, a stay-at-home mom who you might know from her blog, Cookie Madness, earned the $1 million prize for her Baked Chicken and Spinach Stuffing.

Who knows?  Maybe this year your recipe will take home the big prize?

The fine folks at MyBlogSpark and Pillsbury sent me a cute apron, pen with the Pillsbury Dough Boy on it and a Book of 100 Winning Recipes from the 44th Bake-Off Contest.   Each recipe is on a 5"x4" card(2 per page)that can be removed and filed in your own recipe card box or book.  Each card has a full color photograph of the recipe as well.

Here are a few recipes from the booklet that caught my eye...
*Maple-Bacon Breakfast Rolls
*Orange-Kissed Breakfast Bread Pudding
*Pesto-Quinoa-Spinach Quiche
*Sesame-Chicken Pot Stickers
*Bourbon-Street Muffuletta Braid

Are you ready to get cooking yet?  I know I am!

MyBlogSpark and Pillsbury have provided me with a duplicate Book/Apron/Pen Gift Set to offer to my readers.
If you would like to be entered into the drawing for this prize simply leave  a comment on this blog post about what you feel makes a Prize Winning Recipe.  Is it the ease of preparation?  A small number of ingredients?  Using Bacon?....ok, that would be my idea of a winning  Or something else?

Just tell us what you think in a comment.  Be sure you leave your email address unless your email is linked to your Blogger account and I can access it through your Blogger Profile page.

You can earn extra entries(after your mandatory entry)by tweeting about this giveaway.  Please include the hashtag #myblogspark in your tweet as well as a link to this post directly in your tweet.  Leave a comment with a link to your tweet on this blog post for your extra entry.
This tweet entry can be performed once per day until the close of the Giveaway period.

This Giveaway will close at 11:59pm EST on Monday, March 7th, 2011.

Good Luck and Happy Cooking!

Legal Mumbo-Jumbo
**This is where I tell you that Pillsbury supplied me with the information, free products and giveaway prize through MyBlogSpark.**


Friday, February 25, 2011

Hammer Time!

Thanks to all my bloggy friends who were worried about me yesterday.
The wind has blown away the dark clouds and I am feeling a bit better today.

Here's some fun for a Friday.
Go watch the video below and try to pick me out.
Sort of a Where's Waldo in gold lame pants.....

I so want to be part of a flashmob, don't you?

Have a good weekend and find something to smile about! ;-)


Thursday, February 24, 2011

How To Diffuse a Ticking Time Bomb......Not Quite

I don't care who sees this.
I went and bought the largest damned Shamrock Shake they make, thinking a big old dose of unhealthy nastiness would make me feel better.

The gal at the window hands me the shake.....not in the waxed paper cup I'm use to getting something like this in.
No, she hands me this PLASTIC CUP!
And not only is it nasty's nowhere NEAR the size a Large Shake should be/used to be!
The censor in my brain that keeps me for saying what I am thinking malfunctioned and I actually glared at her and said....
"THIS is a LARGE Milkshake?  You have GOT to be kidding me!?!?"

***Open Letter to McDonalds***

Dear Swollen Corporate BigWigs,

This may come as a shock to you but not everyone in America is in love with fancy pants drinks.
Yes, more than a fair share of this nation worships at the altar of the Starbucks.
And seeing all that potential for making even more profits, you have offered similar fancy pants coffee and other similar drinks in your establishments in order to garner some of those Starbucks destined dollars for your own bad selves.

Be it known that those of us who aren't lured by the Pied Piper's song of fancy pants, overly decorated and enhanced drinks aren't impressed.
We aren't impressed by Starbucks and we certainly aren't impressed by your mediocre imitation.

And we don't want to pay the extra money you insist on charging for all these liquid machinations.
If we want coffee, we want coffee.
Not flavorings.
Not whipped "topping".
Not cherries.
And we want to pay a fair price for the coffee.
Not an inflated price for the 'extras' whether we want them or not.

And when we want, oh, say.....a Milkshake.
A milkshake which is not a fancy pants drink mind you!
We don't want it covered in whipped "topping".
Or topped with a cherry.
A Cherry for gosh sakes!
How are we suppose to suck that 1" in diameter cherry through a straw that is 1/3" in diameter?
Forget World Peace, go spend some of your obscene profits on answering that scientific improbability!

And if we are paying for a LARGE milkshake, we expect it to be......LARGE!
I know, I know.....this is a brazen concept, so try to stay with me here.

Not Medium.
Not Small. in a Large Milkshake cup.
Not in a much smaller than large, will never decompose in a landfill, fancy pants iced coffee drink cup....or fancy pants smoothie cup, etc.

You have toyed with the wrong menopausal already pissed off and wound too-tight woman today McDonald's.

Internet Hellion

I'm a Little Teapot

Have you ever had one of those days.....

One of those days where everything you read or everything someone said to you just made you angry?

One of those days where everything you had to do or wanted to do or tried to do just pissed you off?

One of those days where you just kept dwelling on a thought or two and the more you picked it apart, the more negative you felt, and slighted and hurt?

One of those days where you were just danged tired of being taken for granted(or 'granite' as my kids use to say)and having people feel they owed you nothing....not the consideration of a reply, or the acknowledgment that you were going out of your way for them and arranging your schedule around THEM and their needs?

Well if you haven't, consider yourself lucky.

I am bubbling over with resentment in regards to some stuff that's come to a head around here.
I don't like myself particularly that I am reacting like this but gosh darned it!...I have a right to feel this way nonetheless!!

And it's family stuff so that's all I am liberty to say at this time though I want to scream at the top of my lungs at the moment....

You know what happened to the Little Teapot don't you?
"When I get all steamed up, I just shout..."

I just had to put it out there and get a piece of it off my chest or drown in it.

And now back to your regularly scheduled happy programming.....HA!

Sign me Seething Sluggy

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wednesday Stuff

Well I finally got around to paying the February bills. Let's just say for now that my Feb. totals are NOT going to be pretty. ;-)
Last week put me off my game a bit so I am behind doing lots of paperwork.  At least with so few trips to the grocery store, I have less paperwork to get to, right?
You would think.....
All that free time this month was taken up with the TONS of extra paperwork thanks to Uncle Sam x 9 filings, plus FAFSA......and then plus PHEAA(for PA state grants)for Daughter.

For her to attend her 1st choice school she is going to be around $12 thousand.....yes I just said 12 THOUSAND!!! dollars short for the academic year AFTER we pay what we have allocated for her.  We are crossing our fingers for lots of scholarship money from the University to take up a heap of the shortfall.  I doubt it will be enough to cover it all so we are applying for whatever aid we can find.  The PA state grants are limited to around $4500 a year so that won't be enough even if she gets a full grant from them.  I see many Many private loan dollars in her future.....  It will be her choice and her burden to bear moving forward but I still worry because that's what us Moms do. ;-)

My youngest turned 15 years old yesterday too.  He's firmly entrenched in full blown Teenager-itis now!
When did my always happy little man who loved to cuddle, suck his thumb and carry his blankie everywhere and would watch Blue's Clues and play with his Power Rangers grow into the surly lifeform who feels that grunting is a sufficient form of communication?!
And who gave him permission to transform into this, because I certainly did not!

I am having a hard time concentrating and getting things done this week.  I just want to crawl back into bed and hide from the world.
I guess I am just dog tired....or is that tired of the dogs?
I'm dwelling in a full-on state of Ennui....


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

No Spend February.....Not Going as Planned

Well I was doing fairly well on trying to only spend HALF of my usual $250 Food/Toiletries Budget in February.

The 1st week of Feb. I did great until I took the BIL to the grocery store and went  I only spent about $83 that week total.
The 2nd week of Feb. I did GREAT!  I didn't spend a penny of the budgeted $!!
The 3rd week the funeral happened so I broke down and bought some hot foods and baked goods at the grocery store to serve while Hub's family was here.  I consider this week unusual circumstances but I still spent about $60 on food.
For the 4th week I am trying to stay out of the grocery store again to salvage my $125 goal.  At the moment I am at $115.27 spent on food in February.  So I have just over $9 left in the budget.
Saturday we are eating out for #2 son's Birthday so I only have 6 days to meal plan.

MEAL PLAN  Feb. 20th-Feb. 26th

Sunday--BAKED ZITI & SALAD  *This used up stockpiled cheese, pasta, sauce and sour cream I had gotten on dairy dept. clearance a few weeks ago.  I also added some ground beef(stockpiled in the freezer)to the sauce. I make a double batch so we'll be eating this another meal too.
Monday--LEFTOVERS  *We finished up some Chili, some had more of last night's meal, and some leftover Chinese take-out from the weekend
Tuesday--CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS   *I'll be using up the leftover Baked Chicken Hubs bought at WeisMarkets that we served on Wednesday to the relatives before the funeral.  I'll add some more stockpiled chicken to make this dish and make the Dumplings from scratch.  We'll have enough for another meal or for leftovers.
Wednesday--BOSTON BAKED BEANS AND CORNBREAD  *One of my crockpot meals that makes more than 1 meal's worth.
Friday--FISH, FRIED ZUCCHINI, FRENCH FRIES  *Using up some potatoes, stockpiled frozen fish and digging into a large bag of breaded zuke rounds.
Saturday--Birthday meal out for #2 son

Lots of filling, hearty comfort foods due to the weather here and the apres funeral comforting needs of my family. ;-)
The only item that I need to buy for these meals is some carrots for the Chicken and Dumplings.  I'll probably buy some salad greens as I like to have them on hand and some lunch meat for sandwiches.
That will take care of my $9 that is left.

As for not spending on non-food items, all the toiletries have been free from Rite-Aid, as I've been using my +Up Rewards and free gift cards there.
I am not one to shop for non food/toiletries much so I don't have a problem staying out of those kinds of stores.  Except, with the funeral we had to buy #1 son some dress slacks and #2 son some slacks and a dress shirt, since they didn't have anything appropriate to wear to the service.  We did do some shoe borrowing so nothing was spent on footwear, but we did spend $60 on the clothes.  If I had had more time to find the stuff, I would have hit the thrift store and saved money of these things.  Oh well.....sometimes you have to spend in an emergency.

So are you doing a No Spend or Low Spend February?
How is it working out for you?
Has it been easy or difficult to stay the course?
Leave a comment and let us know!


About Last Week.....

First off I'd like to thank everyone who sent condolences for my Mother-in-Law's passing.
This past week was difficult.  Between all the in-laws descending on us for the funeral, Hubs having to drive across the state to fetch #1 son so he could be with the family here during this period of mourning and Hubs having to handle the bulk of the business stuff that needed doing because face it, half of his family is totally worthless when it comes to stepping up to the plate, it has been mighty stressful for us personally.

While my Hubs adored his mother, I had a contentious relationship with her at best.  At first I think she felt that being involved with me, kept her 'baby' from achieving more in life.  Eventually she got use to the idea that I wasn't going away and we settled into a relationship that worked for us, mostly because she kept her distance and was very hands off. 

I think in a way we were very much alike in so many areas and that is why we butted heads. 
I appreciate her for raising her kids to be decent human beings.  She was the original Frugalista too, living through the Depression as one of a large family.  She was very smart and graduated with honors from high school.  She could have gone to college if they had had the money for it.  Instead she fell in love, went to secretary school and worked until WWII was over and then married her soldier and raised a family.  She passed on that thirst for knowledge to her kids.  Her and my FIL were very poor starting out and suffered many injustices at the hands of my FIL's bigoted Italian-American family.  They survived and flourished in spite of it.
She was always reading(and I'm not talking romance novels)and questioning authority and societal norms. She was not afraid to stand up to anyone, no matter their position in life. Quiet yet outspoken.
When her oldest son asked an African American woman to be his wife, she was the first person to welcome her with open arms into the family. 

MIL has really been 'gone' for about 6 years due to advanced Alzheimer's. With the quality of her intellect, I was very sad to see that happen.   I am sure that if she had been aware of what was actually happening to her, she would have been devastated.
My mother on the other hand went quickly from physical ailments.  Having gone through both of their final years, I sure hope my body gives out before my mind does. 8-(

The actual service was brief but then there was the 2 hour drive, EACH WAY, to the cemetery in NJ and back here.  And when going to or leaving metro NY area of NJ, you always have to consider rush hour traffic issues.  Luckily, things timed out rather well so we weren't on the road during either rush hour periods.
And I was able to provide some comic relief to all who gathered at the cemetery.  Last Thursday was exceptionally warm in our area, about 58 degrees in Jersey.  The cemetery was still blanketed in a foot or so of snow.  We had to walk about 500 yds. in about 6 inches of a melting, slushy, muddy mess of a half-assed shoveled pathway to get to the gravesite.  I hadn't even considered this possibility when picking out my footwear!
So I was in a pair of purple low cut low heeled flats, tromping through the snow/slush/mud.
My feet were soaked to the bone by the time I took my 4th step.....
So I sucked it up and just soldiered on.  On the way back to the road, I misstepped into a mud hole and turned my ankle.  I pitched forward and went down headfirst into a foot of snow/slush, using my right hand/arm to catch myself from splaying out face down in the snow.  Of course, everyone was already way ahead of me, including my Hubs, so when I yelled for him to help me, nobody came, let alone heard me.  Oldest BIL's wife was still graveside snapping photos on her cellphone and she eventually saw me in my graceful position and came over.  By then I had taken matters into my own hands and crawled a couple of feet to the left, like a half-human/half-crab and used a headstone to steady myself and get upright.  I will always be grateful to Archie and Lucille for being there for me.   Sorry but I didn't catch the last name or the dates. ;-)
Leave it to me to make a Grand Exit.......

Now that things have settled back into their usual chaotic routine, I hope to get back to blogging and visiting around the blogosphere to catch up with my bloggy friends in the coming days.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Rite-Aid....End of last Week and Sunday's Trip

I was able to hop over to Rite-Aid a few times during this past week while the out of town relatives where here. I needed to get some fresh air anyway, so why not bring home free stuff, right?lol

Since these deals are past here are the highlights....
2 boxes of cereal *after Qs, sales and +Up Rewards generated, they were .72¢ a box.
2 candy bars *after Qs, wellness discount, they were .35¢ each.
2 candy bars *after Qs and sale, they were .25¢ each.
2 Fritos corn chips *after sale and +Ups generated, they were $1.89 each.
1 Brach's Valentines candy *after clearance sale, they were .79¢.
2 Stax chips *after wellness discount and +Ups generated they were .43¢ each.
2 Dixie plates *after raincheck and Qs, they were .49¢ each.
1 Ben-Gay massage tube *after sale and Qs, it was .79¢
2 Ziploc bags *after sale, Q and +Ups generated, they were $1 a box.
2 Almay eye shadow *after clearance sale and $2 SCR, they were .24¢ each.
6 sticks of Degree Deodorant *after sale, Qs and +Ups generated, they were free.
1 bottle of Excedrin pain reliever *after free item Q, it was free.
6 bags of Chex Mix *after Qs, sales, +Ups generated, they were free.
2 boxes of facial tissue *after raincheck, they were free.
1 Gain dish soap *after sale and Q, it was -.13¢
4 Hormel chili *after sale, Qs and +Ups generated, they were -.375¢ each.
8 boxes of Motrin PM and 2 boxes of Precise Cream pain reliever *after rainchecks, sales, Qs, +Ups generated, they were -$1.39 each.
2 tubes of Colgate toothpaste *after sale, Qs and +Ups generated, they were -$1.00 each.

I spent $36 in +Up Rewards on all this and received back $40 in +Up Rewards & $4 in SCRs.
$1.41 OOP was put on my Rite-Aid gift card.
The value of this haul was $172.88.

Here is what I brought home on Sunday, the start of the new sales week.....

1 x Gallon Milk=$3.31
2 x Jif PButter raincheck price $1.99=$3.98
2 x Hormel Compleat on sale $1.99=$3.98
1 x Sucrets on sale=$2.99
4 x Desitin on sale $2.99=$11.96
2 x Oreo Cookies on sale $3.00=$6.00
5 x Reach Toothbrushes on sale $3.43(wellness disc. lower than sale price)=$17.15
1 x Reach Toothbrush on sale $3.83(wellness disc. lower than sale price)=$3.83

Coupons Used

1 x $1/2 Jif PButter AdPerks/VVQ=$1.00
1 x $1/2 Hormel Compleat Blinkie Q(pinched from Weis)=$1.00
1 x $1.5/1 Sucrets ManuQ=$1.50
1 x $1/1 Desitin IPQ=$1.00
1 x $3/3 Desitin/JJ 'Poo/Head to Toe Wash IPQ=$3.00
1 x $1/2 Oreo Cookies IPQ=$1.00
1 x $1/2 Oreo Cookies AdPerks/VVQ=$1.00
1 x $1/1 Oreo wyb Gal. Milk IPQ(facebook)=$1.00
3 x BOGO Reach Toothbrushes ManuQ=$10.29
1 x $2/2 Reach Toothbrushes IPQ=$2.00
1 x $1/1 Reach Toothbrush Tearpad(from Dentist office)=$1.00
1 x $1/1 Reach/Listerine item AdPerks/VVQ=$1.00
Coupon Total....$24.79

I used $28 +Up Rewards and put the .41¢ on my gift card.
I received $23 in +Up Rewards....4 x $2 Desitin, 6 x $1 Reach, $2 Sucrets, $1 Oreos and $1 Month long food +Up for each Hormel, Oreos and Jif(6 in total).
So in the end, this trip cost me .41¢ on my gift card and $5 in +Ups.  Considering the milk alone was $3.31, this wasn't too bad a

**Two bags of Oreos are giving 3 $1 Ups....1 per bag for a monthlong deal and this week's $1 wyb 2 bags +Up.
I had wanted to pick up some J&J No More Tears shampoo but my store was clean out.  Someone also came in between Sat. afternoon and when I got there Sunday and pinched all the $1 peelie Qs off of the Right Guard Body Wash so instead of free after that peelie Q and $3 +Ups they would cost $.99 per bottle.  I wanted them free after Qs/+Ups to roll my +Ups that expire this week.  So I'll poke around for some more peelies elsewhere or just burn some +Ups this week on stuff like tp or trash bags since there is nothing else I really need/want at Rite-Aid right now.

Anybody get to Rite-Aid this week yet?
How did your shopping go?

Number of Transactions.....3
Total Spent....$1.82(put on free Rite-Aid gift card)
Value of Items....$251.61 SCR qualified for...$4.00
Other Rebates earned...$0.00
Gift Cards earned....$00.00
Resolution Reward....$00.00
+Up Rewards earned...$63.00
+Up Rewards spent...$64.00
+Up Rewards left to spend....$161.99 

GRAND TOTALS--February Rebate Period so far

Number of Transactions......23
Total Spent....$10.31 put on free Gift Cards/Certificates so ZERO OOP
Value of Items purchased....$1,483.48
SCR qualified for....$69.97
Other Cash....$0.00

Additional Rebates....$0.00
Additional Non-Cash Rewards....$0.00

+UPS Totals for Feb. SCR period
+Up Rewards carryover from 2/8.....$162.99
+Up Rewards spent....$421.94
+Up Rewards earned....$427.93
+Up Rewards left....$161.99 includes ALL +Ups not just ones from this SCR period


Friday, February 18, 2011

Sluggy's Birthday Boring Blog Giveaway Winner!

Like all good things, my Birthday too, must come to an end.
Yes, it does seem like we've been celebrating this occasion for oh....6 months or so.
But I know y'all are anxious to get it over with and see who won the Box of Personalized Awesomeness!

There were 146 valid giveaway entries over the course of 9 blog posts.
I assigned a number to each valid entry and then used Random.Org to assist me in finding the worthy winner.
And to show you that persistence pays off, the Winner was someone who saw it through to the bitter end and entered on every blog post.  Either they are persistent or they have alot of free time on their

Without further ado, the winning entry was this one.....

Lulu T. said...  
 #1! I would love to tame my frizziness! :D
 January 28, 2011 4:17 PM
Congratulations to Lulu T!!!
Lulu T. you have 48 hours from the time stamp on this post to contact me with your mailing address.

My contact email is on my Blogger profile page.  Please use that email to contact me and don't put your info. in the comments section for the whole world to see....unless you would like all the spam attention that might garner you.  Hey, that might appeal to some people, I'm just sayin..... ;-)

Again, I want to thank everyone of you wonderful people for playing along with my crazy giveaway ideas.
I had fun....until I had to write all these entries down and number


Thursday, February 17, 2011

$25 Shop-Rite Gift Card Giveaway Winner......

The winner of the $25 Shop-Rite gift card is.....
coocoo's mom

"coocoo's mom said...

mmmmmmmmm Golden Grahams I could go for some indoor s'mores roght now."

The winner didn't leave their email addy in the comment and I don't see it listed in their blogger profile, so they need to contact me with their mailing address and telephone number with area code so I can pass that info. along to MyBlogSpark.
You have 48 hours from the time stamp on this post to do so coocoo's mom or I'll have to pull another winner.

Thanks to everyone who entered and be sure and go enter my Boring Blog Birthday Giveaway which ends tonight!!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Musical Wednesday......Sweeney Todd is My Food Waste Role Model

Once you get past the darkness of the subject matter, Sweeney Todd is a great show and some of Stephen Sondheim's best writing!
I've seen clips of the recent film adaptation but I much prefer the stage version.
Nobody plays the part of Mrs. Lovett better than Angela Lansbury did.
Both George O'Hearn and Len Cariou were great Sweeney's on the stage.

Over here at Don't Read This; It's Boring! we are all about frugality.
I am offering up this musical clip today since it gets to the heart of 2 subjects near and dear to my heart.....frugality and food waste. ;-)

The amount of perfectly good food thrown out in this country is staggering!  While you can't readily change the health laws that govern why businesses are often forced to discard palatable food or the businesses that would rather throw out food than give it away to those in need at the end of the day all in the name of profits, you can keep an eye on YOUR own Personal Food Waste!

Don't buy what you won't/can't eat before it spoils.
When you have leftovers, be sure you find something to do with them besides pitch them into the garbage can.
Reheat and eat......remake them into new dishes......give them away to someone who will eat them......feed your pets......and compost the compost-able materials(not meat or diary).

Here at Chez Sluggy, we use up our Leftovers.  It is very rare for us to have Food Waste like we did 2 years ago when I started my blog.  I am very proud of that fact!

In honor of the concept of Zero Food Waste in this country, I present today's Musical Selection......


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sluggy's Birthday Boring Blog Giveaway Post #9....Last Chance to Enter!

Time for Post 9 for the Birthday Boring Blog Giveaway!
If this is your first time here, get up to speed on how this Giveaway works by looking HERE.

Check out the rules.....
The Rules
1. You must be a "Follower" of my blog to enter and still be a Follower if/when you win.  Lookie on the right sidebar and press the big ol' FOLLOW button if you are not already a follower.
2.  Sorry but this Giveaway is open ONLY to those with a mailing address within the USA.  Hate to have to do that but the postal rates outside the country are KILLER.
3. 1 vote/entry per post with 1 exemption.  You can leave more than 1 comment per post but only your 1st vote/comment will count.

The 1 Exemption....You can earn EXTRA ENTRIES this way....
*If you get someone to become a Follower and enter this giveaway you can earn an Extra Entry for each person you bring on board.  You can blog about the giveaway or email people or post about it on a message board or call your neighbor on the phone....whatever way you want to recruit them, I don't care.  Just make sure that they mention in their vote/comment/entry that You(your name here)told them about the blog/giveaway and you get an extra entry that post.

As always, this is not a company sponsored or company supplied Giveaway.  Any costs associated with this Giveaway are coming out of my pocket because I'm just that kinda gal.  Please patronize our blog ads....I'm just sayin'.... ;-)

Now down to the business at hand.

This is the last Entry Post for this Giveaway.  Last chance to enter!
Here are your 3 items to choose from today.  These items are for the fashionista in your life....

1.  Revlon Color Stay Eye Shadow
2. Rimmel Black Mascara
3. N.Y.C. Lip Gloss-chocolate or fudge or something like that

Just leave a comment on this post within the next 3 days with your choice of #1, 2 or 3.
Additional praise for me on the anniversary of my birth is welcomed but won't earn you any Brownie points for the Giveaway. ;-)
This Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on Thursday, February 17th.  I'll put all the valid entries into a hat and have one of my kids draw a winner and I'll announce the winner sometime Friday.  The winning person will get all the things they voted on put into a Priority Mail box and shipped to them.
Good luck to everyone!!


Monday, February 14, 2011

I May Not Be Around Much This Week...

I just wanted to mention that I might not be posting much and such this week.
My Mother-In-Law passed away on Saturday evening and we have all the family coming in here this week for the service and all.
So I may be otherwise occupied this week.
I have a few things scheduled to post on the blog tomorrow and later in the week so you shouldn't see a big disruption in stuff to read.

Just a reminder....If you have access to a Shop-Rite and want a $25 Gift Card please see the link on the right sidebar(at the top of the sidebar)about entering to win that.  There are very few entries and I am drawing a winner in 2 DAYS so get your entry in asap!

And the Boring Blog Birthday Giveaway last chance to enter Post is due up Tuesday so look for that too!


2 Transactions for Last Week & 1 for This Week at Rite-Aid

I did 2 transacations on Friday.  Didn't need to roll any +Ups but I wanted to get a few things anyway.
Imagine that! at Rite-Aid even when I don't have to roll
I did have $20 Resolution Reward to use so I rolled it into cash via some SCRs...

No detailed info since these deals are past.
I got....
4 Cheez-Its
2 Welch's Grape Juice
2 Stouffer's Pizza
3 BC Cake Mix
1 BC Frosting
10 R-A Toilet Tissue
4 R-A Facial Tissue
2 Motrin PM
2 Precise Pain Cream
2 Excedrin PM
1 Fritos
2 Halls Cough Drops
1 Reach Dental Floss
2 Extra Gum
4 Asstd. Chestal/Oscillococcinum Meds

Total after Qs and sale....$33.46
Total after +Up Rewards used...$.46 which was put on my Rite-Aid gift card.
+Ups Spent...$33
+Ups Received...$16
SCRs qualified for...$24.99
Value of Items bought...$158.88

And here is my trip for the new sales week I took on Sunday.  I had another $20 Resolution Reward to use up....

1 gallon Milk $3.31
2 Stax chips on sale=$3.00 w/wellness disc.=$2.86
2 Hormel Chili on sale=$3.00
I Hungry Jack Syrup on sale=$2.22
1 Oreo Cookies on sale=$2.79
4 Dove Deodorant on sale $2=$8.00
1 Ben-gay Massage w/wellness disc.=$6.79
1 Almay Eye Shadow 40% off=$4.67
2 Colgate Toothpaste on sale $3.50=$7.00
Coupons Used
2 x .50/1 Hormel Chili AdPerks/VV Q=$1.00
1 x $1 WYB 1 Nabisco Cookie & 1 Gal. Milk IPQ=$1.00
4 x $2/1 Dove Deodorant ManQ=$8.00
1 x $3/1 Ben-gay Massage IPQ=$3.00
1 x $3/1 Ben-gay In-Ad Q=$3.00
1 x $2/1 Almay Cosmetic item ManuQ=$2.00
Coupon Total....$18.00

I used $22 in +Ups and put the .64¢ on my Rite-Aid gift card.
I received $17 in +Ups back(2 x $2 Dove, 2 x $1 Hormel, $1 Oreos, $1 Syrup, 2 x $1 Stax, 2 x $3.50 Colgate).
I also qualified for the $2 Almay SCR #42.
Value of Items bought...$60.47

*The Colgate gives full sales price back in +Ups this week(LIMIT 2!)and if you have a ManuQ this is a moneymaker item.
*Some stores have select Almay products on clearance so if you can find those and you have an Almay Q you can get a sweet moneymaker deal after SCR!
*The Chex Mix on sale this week gives a $1 monthlong +Up, so find a $1/2 or .50¢/1 Q and it's free after +Ups.
*The Dove Deodorant is also free after +Ups if you have the P&G insert $2/1 Dove Q.  There is also a Degree Q in that insert so if you get the Degree Deo, after +Ups it will be only $1 per stick.
*There is a .50¢/1 AdPerks Q good on the Hormel Chili among other things.  The Hormel Chili is $1.50 this week and give a $1 monthlong +Up so use the AdPerks Q and get it free after +Ups.

Number of Transactions.....3
Total Spent....$1.10 (put on free Rite-Aid gift card)
Value of Items....$219.35
SCR qualified for...$26.99
Other Rebates earned...$0.00
Gift Cards earned....$00.00
Resolution Reward....$00.00
+Up Rewards earned...$33.00
+Up Rewards spent...$55.00
+Up Rewards left to spend....$162.99 

GRAND TOTALS--February Rebate Period so far

Number of Transactions......20
Total Spent....$8.49 put on free Gift Cards/Certificates so ZERO OOP
Value of Items purchased....$1,231.87
SCR qualified for....$65.97
Other Cash....$0.00

Additional Rebates....$0.00
Additional Non-Cash Rewards....$0.00

+UPS Totals for Feb. SCR period
+Up Rewards carryover from 2/8.....$184.99
+Up Rewards spent....$357.94
+Up Rewards earned....$364.93
+Up Rewards left....$162.99 includes ALL +Ups not just ones from this SCR period

Are you planning on hitting up Rite-Aid this week?
If you have the 1st Resolution $20 +Up Reward remember that it expires on Feb. 21st(next Monday)so if you haven't used it yet, it's time to make plans to get to Rite-Aid to spend it. ;-)


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sluggy's Birthday Boring Blog Giveaway Post #8....Time to Enter Again!

We are nearing the end now people.  Don't forget to leave your entries!

Time for Post 8 for the Birthday Boring Blog Giveaway!
If this is your first time here, get up to speed on how this Giveaway works by looking HERE.

Check out the rules.....
The Rules
1. You must be a "Follower" of my blog to enter and still be a Follower if/when you win.  Lookie on the right sidebar and press the big ol' FOLLOW button if you are not already a follower.
2.  Sorry but this Giveaway is open ONLY to those with a mailing address within the USA.  Hate to have to do that but the postal rates outside the country are KILLER.
3. 1 vote/entry per post with 1 exemption.  You can leave more than 1 comment per post but only your 1st vote/comment will count.

The 1 Exemption....You can earn EXTRA ENTRIES this way....
*If you get someone to become a Follower and enter this giveaway you can earn an Extra Entry for each person you bring on board.  You can blog about the giveaway or email people or post about it on a message board or call your neighbor on the phone....whatever way you want to recruit them, I don't care.  Just make sure that they mention in their vote/comment/entry that You(your name here)told them about the blog/giveaway and you get an extra entry that post.

As always, this is not a company sponsored or company supplied Giveaway.  Any costs associated with this Giveaway are coming out of my pocket because I'm just that kinda gal.  Please patronize our blog ads....I'm just sayin'.... ;-)

Now down to the business at hand.

Here are your 3 items to choose from today....

1. 2 Disney Store TINY KINGDOM Figures--Eeyore and Pooh
2. a pack of Dental Floss
3. a 2 Sheet Pack of Winnie the Pooh Gift Wrap

Just leave a comment on this post within the next 3 days with your choice of #1, 2 or 3.
Additional praise for me on the anniversary of my birth is welcomed but won't earn you any Brownie points for the Giveaway. ;-)


Friday, February 11, 2011

So Glad It's Over.....But Still Lots to Do!

Forgive me if I haven't been around to read your blogs/leave comments or respond to comments you may have left on my blog.
It's all I could do this week to just keep cranking out some new blog posts.

Nope, this has NOT been one of my favorite weeks!
Nothing bad going on here but just a really long "Things To Do" list for me....and it's not over with yet.

I was chosen to take part in a focus group back in January.  I've done one other one before this.  That one was an online chat format thing and it lasted for 2-3 hours.  Then I was done and they sent me a little check.
Well this one is a tad more involved.  It is a 5 week commitment with a 1 week break in the midst of it, so I am in this thing for 6 weeks total!  I have tasks to complete each week but I never know when a task will be thrown my way and even better, I have a limited amount of time to complete these tasks.  And they aren't easy peasy, just fill in this questionnaire type tasks either.  I am having to actually use my brain and do some w-o-r-k....ACK!!lol

We are at the end of our 3rd week and we've already lost 1 member.  If you drop out and don't finish this thing you get ZERO $.  At this point death alone will keep me from completing this assignment!

Along with the group taking up my time, I'm under the gun to get the taxes finished so I can file the FAFSAs.  I was hung up until earlier this week with all that paperwork, but #1 son's college finally sent out his 1098 form(showing what we paid them for tuition).  Now I have all the supporting documentation...rah!
At this point in time, I have the federal done tentatively, the state, the local as well as the 2 teens state returns.  Hubs needs to do their local returns Saturday, I need to do their federal returns(those will take a nanosecond)and then we both need to sit down and go over all the returns to check for errors.
After those are finalized, we can fill out the FAFSAs on Sunday.  Yes, that is our wild and crazy partying weekend plan.....filling out FAFSAs.
After it's done we may hit the bottle of Southern Comfort, if I don't open it sooner. ;-)

Add in a 2 hour session being drilled at the Dentist on Wednesday, followed by a 3 hour session working on taxes and it's no wonder I am just not feeling peppy this week.

Top the week off with a sick teen, chopping an iceberg the size that took down the Titanic(this one is in front of the door to my storage unit)so I could get the spare bags of dog food for our mutts, and then chauffeuring around the BIL most of today so he could run his errands.
I did finally get all that food to the food bank...that was the bright spot in my day.

A nice big haul, thanks in large part to the fine folks at Rite-Aid! 8-))

Well it's almost 5pm and I've got to throw something together for dinner.    Daughter's boyfriend was over on Monday evening so I cooked a large platter of pork chops with a plum glaze, stroganoff noodles and yellow beans and red bell pepper sauted in olive oil.  The only people who actually ate the meal were Hubs and I.  I could have killed daughter, BF and #2 son!!  So I have pulled my best Joan Crawford this week to show them it's not nice to fool with mother......I've offered up that leftover pork chop meal every night or some variation of the pork chops in new dishes(pork fried rice with stir-fry veggies, pork alfredo with peas, etc.)  Neither of the teens have taken me up on my dinner ideas and they have just fended for themselves from what's in the pantry or freezer.....grumbling and protesting all the while mind you.  This is great!  I don't have to cook(since I haven't felt like it this week that's a good thing!)and I don't feel guilty for not cooking for them because they are saying don't cook!lol

Another good thing is I have NOT gone to the grocery store this week(except for that stuff I bought on the gift card at Shop-Rite, so I haven't spend any cash).  Hopefully I can hold out until Sunday and stay out of the grocery store and accomplish my No Spending on Groceries Week for February.
Heck, maybe we can go TWO WEEKS without grocery shopping!  That would be awesome.

So I've got my weekend all planned out and if things go well, I'll have all the paperwork done until May when we'll have more school stuff to do....but nothing as bad as FAFSAs and all that mess.
My time will be freed up a bit and I can go back to my first love....Rite-Aid! ;-)

So what is everyone else doing this weekend?  I haven't even begun to think about Valentine's Day either.  We generally don't "do" valentine's day here.  We don't go out or anything since the restaurants are a ZOO then!
Do y'all have any special plans for the 14th?


Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Rite-Aiding....But Were Afraid to Ask

 So you want to be a Rite-Aid Diva but you aren't sure about how to go about it.
I'm here to tell you that you CAN learn the Rite-Aid version of the DrugStore Game!
Now I know lots of you already know all this.  This post is for anyone who wanders over here who is just getting into couponing at the Drug Stores.

2010 was a great year to shop at Rite-Aid!
Because besides having a rebate program in place, they rolled out another chainwide program call Wellness Plus.
Between these 2 programs, it was kind of like Walgreen's back when they had Mail-in Rebates(MIRs) AND Register Rewards(RRs).

Plus 2010 was the year Rite-Aid released all kinds of $X off a $XXX purchase coupons.

And they started the AdPerks/Video Values Program which gave you either $X off $XX purchase coupons or coupons for specific items that you could stack with your Manufacturer's Coupons(ManuQ).

First let's cover some some Common Couponing Abbreviations.

Coupon Lingo
IPQ=internet printed coupon 
ManQ or ManuQ or MQ=manufacturer's coupon 
CRT=Cash Register Tape=your store receipt
RA or R-A=Rite-Aid
MIR=Mail-In Rebate
SCR=Single Check Rebate
Wellness=Wellness Plus(or Wellness+) Program
+Ups=+Up Rewards
AdPerks/VV or AdPerks or VV or ValVid=AdPerks/Value Videos Program
AdPerkQ or VVQ=a coupon earned from the AdPerks/VV Program
WellnessQ=a coupon that either prints on your cash register tape(CRT) when you use your Wellness + Card OR a coupon Rite-Aid emails you if have joined Wellness + and link your Wellness + Card to an account on the Rite-Aid website.

Rite-Aid currently has available these Programs.....

*Single Check Rebate Program.
   Each month Rite-Aid has available a rebate catalog(both a paper on you can pick up in the store and one online at their website HERE).  Their are Rebates you can earn on certain products you purchase that month.  The items with rebates will be marked both on the shelves at the store and in the weekly sales flyer.  You purchase a rebate item and you have 2 options to apply for your rebate.....
1. You can mail your receipts in to Rite-Aid when the month is over.
2. You can submit your purchase information online at the Rite-Aid website.

Personally, I prefer the online submission for 3 reasons.
1. It is faster and easier than waiting to mail in a submission.
2. It is cheaper since you don't have to buy envelopes or stamps.
3. If you purchase 2 or more items on the same receipt that qualify for a NON-Rite Aid MIR as well as a RA rebate you can submit for the RA rebate online and use your CRT for the other Non-Rite Aid MIR submission.

It's called a Single Check Rebate because you get one check back no matter how many rebates you apply for.  1 check instead of a stack of checks, one for each qualifying item.

SCR items can be either a cash refund, a gift card or a special promotional item.   It's not unusual for me to get a SCR check, a gift card and a promo item in the same month.  It all depends on what I decide to buy.

You can cash your SCR check at Rite-Aid or use it like cash to pay for purchases.
I take mine to the bank.

* Wellness +Up Rewards
   To get the rewards, you need to sign up for this Wellness Program.  It's free.  You give them your contact information and they give you your very own Wellness Card.  You have the cashier scan it every time you buy something at R-A.  It automatically gives you the discount prices on sale items in the store.  If you don't use your card, you won't get the sale prices.  Every week there are certain items in the sales flyer that generate +Up Rewards.  +Ups are coupons that are worth $ at R-A that are printed at the bottom of your receipt.  You cut them off your CRT and use them like cash to pay for more items you purchase.  Each +Up has an expiration however.  The weekly sale items +Ups are generally good for 2 weeks.  Items that are month long +Up deals generate +Ups that are good for 2 weeks beyond the expiration of the month long deal. (IE-Pilot Pens are a month long deal until Jan. 22nd.  They generate an +Up that is good until Feb. 2nd, which is 2 weeks after the monthly deal expires, no matter when during the month you buy the pens.)

*AdPerks/Video Values
   This is a program where you watch short videos online to earn coupons.  They can call them videos but what they really are are commercials.  You can access this site through the Rite-Aid website or directly HERE.  You will need to sign up for this in order to use it.

The coupons you earn watching these videos are Rite-Aid Qs and can be stacked with a ManuQ to lower the price on an item even more.  You sign up for an AdPerks/VV account on the R-A website.  Besides Qs for specific items, there are also Qs available for $X off your total purchase at R-A if you watch those particular commercials/videos.  Most(if not all at this point)of the AdPerk/VV Qs are serialized.  This means they have a barcode and a unique to that Q serial number on it.  Don't bother printing multiple of these Qs out as you will only be allowed to use it once.  On occasion an AdPerk/VV Q will NOT be serialized.  You can tell because the last numbers under the barcode will be the end date for that SCR period when the Q is earned. (IE-if the AdPerk/VV Q is available to watch for the Jan. SCR period and is NOT serialized the last numbers on it will be 1222011....Jan 22, 2011.)

AdPerk/VV Qs are generally valid for 2 months or 2 SCR periods. (IE-Qs earned/watched from Dec.26/2010 until Jan.22/2011 will have an expiration date of Feb.26/2011.  They can be used during the Jan. SCR period and the Feb. SCR period.)
But you must watch the Video during the month it's made available.  The videos disappear on the last day of the SCR period when they were released.  You don't need to print the Q until you need it....the Q will sit in your account until you need to print it.  But be sure and watch the video before it's taken down.

You can save additional money by utilizing any or all 3 of these Rite-Aid Programs.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Thursday Chuckle

It's no news to y'all that I grew up in the south.
But I've lived above the Mason-Dixon Line for 26+ years now so I have had my fair share of dealing with northern winters.

This clip is in tribute to my bloggy friends FRANCES and LISAPIE.

Enjoy and remember to Wrap Your Pipes!....


2010 Donations....And Looking Ahead to 2011

Last year, thanks partly to coupon usage, rebating and stockpiling items when at rock bottom prices, I was able to feed my family of 4-5 on a total of  $2,291.67 for a retail value of $18,932.69 worth of groceries/toiletries. my 'actual' costs are really higher than $2,291.67 when you add in the gas for the car to go buy the food, the cost of Sunday newspapers or eBay purchases to get coupons, the cost of printer ink and paper to make my own internet coupons, etc.  But let's use that number for arguments sake. ;-)

And not only did we feed our family on this amount, we donated over $700 worth of food to our local food bank.  That's 366 items over the course of a year.  It worked out to just about 1 item per day for a whole year.
I kept track of it all on the blog.

Here are the photos--

April's haul....

May's lot...

July's contribution....

 December's donation....

December's load was mostly toiletries but I had some other food that I didn't get a picture of....I was sort of rushed to get it all up to the food bank before the month ended, so no pictures of nice neatly laid out stuff this trip. 8-)

Add in the cash donation we made as part of participating in the June Food Stamp Challenge over at the Non-Consumer Advocate Blog as well as the food I gave to family members which we estimated to be in the $500 regular retail ballpark and we were able to make our $2,291.67 out of pocket expenditure stretch quite far!

I'll be taking up another load of food and toiletries on Friday to our local food bank.  I'm hoping that this will be just the first of many trips my strategic way of shopping will allow me to share with my local community in 2011.

So what is the point of this post?
It's not to show-off what we did last year to give back....though y'all know I am not above showing-off sometimes. ;-)
It's to show that everyone is capable of finding ways to help in their own community.  And that ALL donations are appreciated....from the largest to the smallest.
And to bring awareness that many Food Banks struggle with lack of donations, especially in-between the Holidays.  People get all compassionate and giving around the Holidays but the donations tend to dry up at other times of the year.

I often get items for free at Rite-Aid.  Ok, so I don't necessarily NEED that item for my family.
But I get it anyway because I know there is someone in my community who doesn't know to or care about taking the time to get it for free even though they really could use it.
So I get it and donate it at the food bank.
Someone who needs it and can't afford to pay for it gets the item and I get Karma points, Brownie points, Credit with the Man Upstairs, a good feeling in the pitt of my stomach, et cetera knowing I did something to help someone else.

If your soul is feeling out of whack, try a little giving and see how much better you feel!
It's better than Crack!!....or so I've heard.....

I'd like to Challenge all of you dear readers to make 2011  the Year you GIVE!

*If the Boy Scouts or some other Service Organization comes around door-to-door asking for food, open your pantry & give if you have something to spare. 
*If the local drug store chain has some freebie available, go get it and start a donation pile for your local homeless group, domestic abuse shelter, church food pantry.
*If you have a few extra coupons, clip them and pair with some sales at your grocery store to get a few extra items of food for a neighbor who is struggling to feed their family due to an unexpected job loss.
*If you don't have a pet but get great pet food coupons in your paper, pair those with a sale/deal at your local store to get items to donate to your local animal shelter....or pass along those coupons to the shelter if they can use them.

So let's hear some ways you plan to give back to your community in 2011.


Who Wants a $25 Shop-Rite Gift Card?

Doing your part to help local participating schools through Box Tops for Education and donating to ShopRite’s Partners in Caring, a community-based, hunger fighting initiative that works to provide $2 million annually to charities that aid those in need, can be as simple as your everyday food shopping.

Now through September 30, 2011 visit to register your ShopRite Price Plus Card. Check back each month for participating products and great savings. When you purchase any 5 participating products on or before the end of the month using your ShopRite Price Plus Card, let the giving begin. 

With a qualifying purchase of 5 participating products you earn 5 Bonus Box Tops to be electronically added to your school, and $0.55 will be donated to the ShopRite Partners in Caring Fund. 

A few of the great items for February include some of your favorite products like, Cheerios, Wheaties, Nature’s Valley Granola Bars, Fiber One Bars, and Fruit by the Foot. 
You can find the whole list of participating products on the Shop-Rite website HERE.

My BlogSpark and Shop-Rite sent me a $25 Gift Card so I could go show you how easy it is to participate in this worthy cause and get some great food deals for your family.
They also enclosed a sheet of coupons for a variety of General Mills family of products.  I took some of my own coupons too and here are the 5 participating products I bought.....

I know it's shocking but we were almost out of cold cereals here!
The horrors.....
So I bought some favorites of my family.
The Kix and Cocoa Puffs are on sale this week at Shop-rite too for $2.49 a box!
And even if they aren't on sale we have to have our Cheerios.  I had coupons and the gift card to cover the cost of all so I am not very broken up about paying regular price on the
The coupons & sale prices on some brought my costs down to $2.48 a box, before applying the gift card...and I had half the gift card left to get other items on my list.

Free cereal for my family and 5 bonus BoxTops for Education for my selected school and $.55 donated to the Shop-Rite Partners in Caring Program.
A big Win/Win/Win all around!
*The Partners in Caring Program does have some restrictions and limitations.  Visit to obtain all of the details about the program.*

And if that’s not enough, be sure to enter the ShopRite “Shop Once. Give Twice.” Sweepstakes* by filling out the form on for your chance to win one of 10 Grand Prizes of 5,000 Bonus Box Tops for the school of your choice! 

*No purchase is necessary to enter the sweepstakes.  Go to for all the details about the sweepstakes, prizes, and instructions on how to enter.*

My General Mills, Shop-Rite & MyBlogSpark have agreed to furnish a second $25 Shop-Rite Gift Card for one of my readers!
So if you would like to win this prize, here is how to enter......

**Go to to see the list of particpating food products.  
Then leave a comment on this post about which product you are most excited to see as a participating item in this program.**  Be sure to leave your email address in the comment especially if you don't have a google account or are posting your comment Anonymously.

This Giveaway will be open until next Wednesday, February 16th at 11:59pm ET.  I'll draw a name randomly and post the winner the following day, on Thursday.

So go enter the Giveaway and register your Shop-Rite Price Plus Card and get ready to shop!

**This is where I disclose that the gift card, information and additional gift card to give away were all given to me from General Mills and ShopRite through MyBlogSpark.**


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Music is Ageless and Timeless......Let our Kids Know That!

Sluggy loves all kinds of music.
I grew up listening to everything I could get my hands on.
Music was my escape from a less than nuturing, crummy childhood.

I find it sad that many people in our culture are so locked into only appreciating one type of music or another. They hear a song is labeled as rap, or country western, or techno, or classical, etc. and they just tune it out automatically.

I see music as being flows from one genre into another. Each takes something from the other style and is richer for it.

I see kids these days who get no exposure to classical music. Well, actually they ARE exposed to it indirectly.

Those background themes and tunes they hear in commercials, or in some of the popular songs they think their current favorite bands 'invented' sometimes are really just recycled themes and movements from music that was written a generation or two ago or even centuries ago.
But not being taught anything about the 'classics' or where these tunes came from and they are losing out culturally.

That's why it's so important to see that music programs in your kid's schools are NOT disbanded! Stand up for musical education in the schools. But don't leave it the education system in this country to expose your kids to music...start young with your kids and take them to concerts, choral shows, etc.
Play them cds and talk to them from an early age about music.

Ok, off of my soap box now.....

I really enjoy finding when someone takes some piece of music and adapts or changes it so it speaks to their generation.

Take this classical piece of music by 19th century Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg. If you have seen American tv ads, listened to popular music, watched cartoons, movie trailers or played video games, you KNOW this tune.
Watch "In the Hall of the Mountain King" played as it was written for an orchestra....

Now here is a Techno version of the musical themes and how a group of kids has interpreted it in a homemade You Tube dance video....

I just love this but I wonder how many of these kids know from where their cool song originated?

If they had had musical education in school they would know....


Sluggy's Birthday Boring Blog Giveaway Post #7....Time to Enter Again!

I'm a day late with this Giveaway Post....oh well.
It's been just one thing after another around here this week!

Time for Post 7 for the Birthday Boring Blog Giveaway!
If this is your first time here, get up to speed on how this Giveaway works by looking HERE.

Check out the rules.....
The Rules
1. You must be a "Follower" of my blog to enter and still be a Follower if/when you win.  Lookie on the right sidebar and press the big ol' FOLLOW button if you are not already a follower.
2.  Sorry but this Giveaway is open ONLY to those with a mailing address within the USA.  Hate to have to do that but the postal rates outside the country are KILLER.
3. 1 vote/entry per post with 1 exemption.  You can leave more than 1 comment per post but only your 1st vote/comment will count.

The 1 Exemption....You can earn EXTRA ENTRIES this way....
*If you get someone to become a Follower and enter this giveaway you can earn an Extra Entry for each person you bring on board.  You can blog about the giveaway or email people or post about it on a message board or call your neighbor on the phone....whatever way you want to recruit them, I don't care.  Just make sure that they mention in their vote/comment/entry that You(your name here)told them about the blog/giveaway and you get an extra entry that post.

As always, this is not a company sponsored or company supplied Giveaway.  Any costs associated with this Giveaway are coming out of my pocket because I'm just that kinda gal.  Please patronize our blog ads....I'm just sayin'.... ;-)

Now down to the business at hand.

Here are your 3 items to choose from today....

1. 2 pack of Pilot EasyTouch Pens-blue ink
2. a pack of 65 Envelopes  *great for sending in those rebate forms*
3. an enameled collectible Betty Boop Pen

Just leave a comment on this post within the next 3 days with your choice of #1, 2 or 3.
Additional praise for me on the anniversary of my birth is welcomed but won't earn you any Brownie points for the Giveaway. ;-)


Done for the Week Rite-Aid, Where Else?lol

I hit up most of the Rite-Aids within a 15 mile radius here within the last 2 days....not all but most.
This is in addition to the trips on Sunday to my usual store.

Here's the loot.....

16 Welch's grape juice
8 Bounty basic paper towels
3 BC cake mix
3 BC cookie mix
2 BC frosting
2 Rite-Aid coffee
2 Rite-Aid soup
1 Dark Snickers candy bar
4 Gillette Body Wash
2 Dixie paper plates
13 Biotrue contact lens solution
7 Excedrin PM
1 LipSmackers lip gloss

Freebies after +Up Rewards....
All the Betty Crocker items
Biotrue  w/20% wellness disc.

Better than free after +Up Rewards....
Coffee(ringing up $1.99 instead of 2/$5)
Excedrin PM
Gillette Body Wash(after using BOGO Q found in Gillette Clinical Deo I bought a few weeks ago, paired with $2/1 Gillette BWash Q from P&G insert)

After sale and Q the paper towels were .29¢ per 2 rolls.
After sale and Q the soup was .19¢ a can.
After raincheck sale and Q the paper plates were .99¢ for 2 packages.
After sale and Q the juices were $1.50 each.  Yes, I actually spent down my +Ups to get juice. I "heart" grape juice. ;-)
The candy bar and lip gloss in separate transactions were 'filler' of sorts.  If my change is over .50¢ after using +Ups, I will add something to bring my change to under .50¢ to preserve my gift, my total was $18.69 so I added a candy bar for .50¢ to bring my total up to $19.19, using $19 in +Ups and putting .19¢ on the gift card, instead of using $18 in +Ups and putting .69¢ on my gift card.

I've got everything rolled to this point but I might get a few more SCR items to convert some of these +Ups back into cash monies. ;-)
I've got a $20 from the first Resolution Reward +Up Rewards to roll by the 21st so I might use that to buy some SCR items this week.

Number of Transactions.....5
Total Spent....$1.84 (put on free Rite-Aid gift card)
Value of Items....$230.60
SCR qualified for...$0.00
Other Rebates earned...$0.00
Gift Cards earned....$00.00
Resolution Reward....$00.00
+Up Rewards earned...$83.00
+Up Rewards spent...$96.00
+Up Rewards left to spend....$184.99 

GRAND TOTALS--February Rebate Period so far

Number of Transactions......20
Total Spent....$7.39 put on free Gift Cards/Certificates so ZERO OOP
Value of Items purchased....$1,012.52
SCR qualified for....$38.98
Other Cash....$0.00

Additional Rebates....$0.00
Additional Non-Cash Rewards....$0.00

+UPS Totals for Feb. SCR period
+Up Rewards carryover from 2/6.....$197.99
+Up Rewards spent....$302.94
+Up Rewards earned....$331.93
+Up Rewards left....$184.99 includes ALL +Ups not just ones from this SCR period


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

M&M Frugality.....Baking Out of the Box, er....the Bag

Every since I was a kid, back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, chocolate chip cookies have been the undisputed King of the Sweets Snacking Universe.  What could be better than a warm baked goodie with melted gooey chocolate chunks in it?
And one version of a chocolate chip cookie that has been popular for a long while is to substitute the plain chocolate morsels with M&M candies.
Not only do the cookies taste like heaven but they are a feast for the eyes with those pops of candy coating colors in them.

But using M&Ms in your chocolate chip cookies can get costly if you are buying bags of the candies for full retail price.  Around here a bag of M&Ms goes for $3.99 or more.

All you frugalistas know you can usually snag bags of Holiday colored M&Ms on clearance after a Holiday for half off or more.
But putting them away until the following year's Holiday to make cookies with can lead to less than fabulous cookies.

Here is how I get my M&Ms for cheap AND still get to use them for Holidays.....

1.  Wait until the After Holiday Clearance Sales.  Buy your Holiday M&Ms for cheap.
In this case I got 2 bags of Christmas colored M&Ms.  These were $1 a bag at 75% off at CVS.

2.  Grab 2 Ziploc or similar plastic or brown paper bags and a large bowl.

3.  Open your bags of M&Ms and dump them into the bowl.

4.  Now sort your red Ms into one bag and the green Ms into the other bag.

5.  After all the Ms are sorted, close up your bags and if they aren't see-thru plastic, label the bag as to the contents within.
**If you have small kids who could use some practice with their numbers, make a game out of sorting those M&Ms.  Be sure to allow for some "disappearing" candies

Now you have a bag of red Ms and a bag of green Ms.
When Feb. 14th rolls around next week, take the bag of red Ms and make Holiday appropriate red M&M cookies.

Then in March, around the 17th, take the other bag of green Ms and make Holiday appropriate green M&M cookies.

You've gotten your candies for cheap, used them up in a short span before the candies got old, and you had special Holiday festive cookies!

Remember to grab those clearanced M&Ms after Easter for some fun frugal baking in the summer time.
You can use those pastel candies in cookies for the summer months.  For an added frugal touch, you can bake in your own personal mobile solar oven like I did HERE.
Just be sure to denature the eggs in the recipe first so you don't poison anyone if your solar oven doesn't get above 180 degrees...


Monday, February 7, 2011

Meal Plan Monday, Weird Weather & What I'm Working on This Week

I am trying not to grocery shop this week unless it's something I really need.  I was good with staying out of the grocery stores last week, until I hit Friday.  Had to take BIL to the store so I was forced, forced I tell ya!, to go into the store so I bought a few things.  I picked up some Kielbasa for $2.50 lb. after holding out for months to find my rock bottom price of $2 lb.....sigh.....salad greens for $1.99 a bag x 2, a carton of OJ for $1.99, some bananas, and a Quaker Deal--buy 5 items, get $3 instantly off your order.  I got 3 boxes of the new Quaker cereal for $2.50 ea. and 2 bottles of pancake syrup since I had none left in the stockpile, so $12.50 for all 5, $3 off and $3 more off because I had $1/1 Qs for the cereal.  The 5 Quaker items ended up costing me $6.50 which is very good for around here.

Then Saturday I went back to that same store...ugh....did another of the Quaker deal(cost me $6 OOP for 5 items this time), more Kielbasa(I have come to gripes with the fact that my new rock bottom price for this is $2.50lb.), got a 2lb. tub of Ricotta for $3.24 w/Q and sale price, and a 1lb. bag of mozzarella cheese for $3.50 since Hubs said I was out of that in the freezer.  Hubs picked up coffee filters since he was out and I bought the kids a container of Nestle Quik since they have been whining for it(and it was on sale, but I think they figured that out themselves lol).

Between these 2 trips and the one to pick up milk last week, I went for spending $0 at the grocery store to $44.96 spent by Saturday.

That is why I am trying to stay out this week and eat from the freezer/stockpile.

I'm having trouble this week coming up with a Meal Plan/Menu.
Just mental menu fatigue I guess.....

Here's what I've got so far--
Monday-Pork Chops, Rice, Veggie
Tuesday-Eat last birthday gift card
Wednesday-Fish, Crabcakes, Veggie, Coleslaw(leftover)
Thursday-Ravioli, Salad
Friday-Tacos, Corn, Chili(leftover)
Saturday-?? Maybe a big pot of Boston Baked Beans and cornbread

I've got to dig around in the fridge and if I find any other leftovers I'll work them into one of my meals.
I've got some potatoes I need to use although I don't feel like having spuds.  I'm sure if I fry them up the kids will suck them down, right?lol

In other news....
The Snowpocalypse never materialized here.  We got about 6 inches of snow, then 2 inches of sleet and ice the following day, which encapsulated all the snow.
The ice was so thick over the snow that #2 Son was out in the yard snowboarding in Chuck Taylors.  He could 'skate' around on the ice and don't break through to the snow layer....

 The sloped part of the yard here was akin to a luge track.  He has pretty good balance to stay on his feet all the way down to the bottom....

Between the snow and ice and the squirrels raiding the suet feeder at the end of the deck, the Beagle was having a great week outside.....

We finally got the last piece of the tax info we needed to do all the tax forms today.

Guess what is on my agenda for the rest of the week now? ;-)

First I have to do our State taxes, so I can get that info I need to do the Schedule A for the Federal taxes.
Then I get to calculate all the charitable donation amounts(Sallie's, Food Bank, Car Donation).
Then I get to see if we can file the Schedule A or just take the Standard Deduction.
After the taxes are finished, I get to start on the FAFSA x 2.
And on and on and on......
Are we having fun yet???!!! 8-)

I didn't get to the Food Bank to drop off the donation on Friday as I had wanted to because I had to take BIL out to do errands.  There is a very small window of time on Fridays where I can drop it off so this week, unless the weather intervenes, I'll make a point of getting there.

I'm updating my "To-Do" List on the blog this week as well.  I won't be putting more books on my list since I have tons of taxes paperwork to do this month.  Besides the paperwork, I'll be trying to finish the items carried over from January's list.

Dentist appointments are also on the schedule for this week.
Oh....and runs to Rite-Aid of course!lol

What is everyone else up to this week?