Friday, July 29, 2011

Rite-Aid JULY Single Check Rebate Period GRAND TOTALS

I did a small transaction on Tuesday before the July SCR Period ended....
2 x Reach Toothbrushes on sale $2.99=$5.98
1 x Sampler Russell Stover chocies w/20% Wellness discount=$1.27

Coupons Used
1 x $2/2 Reach Toothbrushes IPQ=$2.00
2 x $1/1 Reach Toothbrush AdPerks/VV Q=$2.00
Coupon Total....$4.00

I used $3 in +Up Rewards and put the .25¢ on my Rite-Aid gift card.

I received $3 in +Up Rewards back($1 Russell Stover, 2 x $1 Reach).

Number of Transactions.....1
Total Spent....$.25 put on free gift card
Value of Items....$11.57
SCR qualified for...$0.00
Other Rebates earned...$0.00
Gift Cards earned....$0.00
+Up Rewards earned...$3.00
+Up Rewards spent.....$3.00
+Up Rewards left to spend.....$22.50
And I have $38.24 left on my gift card.

And here's the wrap up for this SCR Period....

Rite-Aid GRAND TOTALS--JULY Rebate Period

Number of Transactions......13
Total Spent....$3.50 put on free Gift Cards/Certificates so ZERO OOP

Number of Items purchased.....80
Value of Items purchased....$376.15
SCR qualified for....$22.38
Other Cash....$0.00
Additional Rebates....$0.00
Additional Non-Cash Rewards....$0.00

+UPS Totals for July SCR period
+Up Rewards carryover from 7/23.....$22.50

+Up Rewards spent....$101.69
+Up Rewards earned....$66.88

+Up Rewards left....$22.50  includes ALL +Ups not just ones from this SCR period

Analysis**  I brought 80 items home with a retail value of $376.15, used $3.50 off of my free gift card.  I will additionally receive $22.38 in cash rebates. 

In exchange for $3.50 on my gift card, Rite-Aid paid me $22.38 to bring home $376.15 worth of products.
How can you NOT love Rite-Aid! 8-))


$25 Gift Card Giveaway Results....

And the Winner of the $25 Walmart Gift Card is............

McVal said...
Woohoo baby!!! Sign me up! With the wedding getting moved up and up, I need SOMETHING to buy the kids their school supplies with!
July 27, 2011 11:52 AM

Congratulations McVal!

Please email me directly(go to my "See Complete Profile" page to find it)with your Name, Mailing Address and Phone Number(yeah, it's MyBlogSparkso they want that too. lol)and I'll get the info. to the Powers That Be so they can mail you out your winnings.

A big thank you for everyone who entered.  Hopefully I'll see y'all commenting again and reading my humble little blog. 8-)


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Company, Meals, Shopping, Gardening & Other Foolishness This Week

My week hasn't gone as I had planned.
First off, the Nephew has been staying with us since Tuesday.
He's not a big imposition but I've had to be more structured with him here.
I just chased him off the tv for the 2nd time this week.  He has a penchant for those MTV and VH1 shows I can't know, the Jersey Shore, Mob Wives, Celebrity Rehab, Sweet 16, Cribs, etc.  All those unreality shows where he can sit and be a voyeur into other people's lives...other people who aren't living "real lives", and dream that he'll be just like them when he grows up.

He's 17 and still doesn't have a learner's permit and blames it on other people in his life.
So the first day I drove him to the DMV to get a permit book so he can study and go take his permit test.
He put the book down about an hour after he got it and hasn't studied it since.
Somehow I think those 'other people' in his life aren't the ones keeping him from getting his license.....

I hit the Bread Outlet....9 packages of bread and rolls and 2 boxes of chocolate doughnuts and $10.67 poorer later we stopped for gas at Sheetz before heading home.  I tried to use my .70¢ a gallon points discount from Weis Markets but it didn't take.  The gas station cashier said I had to take my receipt up to Weis and get my refund there.
Bleh.  Another thing that doesn't work right.  Doesn't life just seem to be filled with stuff/procedures/routines that just don't work right?

Having the Nephew here necessitated me hitting Weis Markets again this week for some provisions so we combined the gas points refund trip with our shopping excursion to the grocery store.
The gas points malfunction seems to be a known issue and they have a 4 page instruction sheet at the CS desk to get you a cash refund without alot of fuss and muss.  I had my $10.83 cash refund in my hot little hand in no time flat.

As for the groceries....I had planned to get a Watermelon(on sale for $3.99), 2 blocks of Cabot Cheese($1.50 after Qs),2 packages of cream cheese($1.25 on sale) and a bag of onions for $2 this week.  They had nice red peppers for $1 each so I picked up 2(since I had to rethink my tentative meal plan this week with an additional mouth to feed) and I got a quart of whole milk for the quiche I was planning on making and added in a couple of bags of salad(BOGO sale) so I could offer some salads for lunches this week.  I needed something to make a quick late lunch that day, so I found some discounted fresh ground beef for just under $2 lb. to make some burgers on the grill for the 3 of us at home for lunch.

Here are a couple of deals I found as well.....

Turkey Kielbasa for $1 a package(near sell by date).  I bought 3 to put into the freezer.

I also had 2 $2/1 Hatfield IPQs to use by 7/30.  Last Saturday they had Hatfield bacon marked down to $2.99 and Ham Steaks for $2.50 but I didn't have those Qs with me, rats!
The marked down bacon packs were long gone, so I got 1 package of Scrapple for $2.99 so $.99 after Q.
Then I got this....

Over by the Ham Steaks they still had the 2 for $5 sign up, though it expired on Saturday.
So I threw a ham steak in my cart.
I went through the check-out and paid my $33.41 total, including the ham steak which rang up full price at $3.99.
I then headed to the CS desk since my ham steak didn't ring up the sale price hanging off the shelf tag.
Weis has a policy that if your item rings up incorrectly(not the sale price)you get your money back and get to keep the item for free.  They also give you back your money if an old sale hangtag is still on the shelf....I thought they just gave you the difference back between the current regular price and the old sale price sign but getting it for free is better, right?lol
So basically they gave me the ham steak for free AND they gave me an additional $2 off the rest of my order, for the Q I used on it's purchase.  Somehow that seems so wrong but they didn't deduct the Q since they will get that $2 back from the manufacturer when they turn it in.

So I spent $29.41 at Weis which turned out to be a 54% savings rate off of regular retail. 8-)

We started out the Meal Plan for the week....
SUNDAY--Ravioli, Garden Salad
MONDAY--leftover Pork Loin slices, Fried Yellow Squash, Mashed Potatoes
*Then things got rejiggered with the additional of the Nephew at meals.*
TUESAY--Rueben Sandwiches
WEDNESDAY--Chicken Fajitas
THURSDAY--Chicken Cheese Broccoli Rice Casserole
FRIDAY--Boston Baked Beans, Cornbread, Pickles

So my quiche didn't happen this week.
Late Monday night, I cooked 2 small corned beef briskets in the crockpot and put in the fridge to cool Tuesday morning.  Then before dinner I took them out and sliced/shaved them on my mandolin slicer into deli slices for the sandwiches.  I also had the swiss cheese already and the 1000 island dressing.  I bought a loaf of rye bread for .89¢ at the Breat Outlet.
Wednesday I thawed 2 chicken breasts, used some old red bell pepper strips from the freezer, threw in 2 small leftover yellow squash I hadn't used on Monday, along with some of the onions and 1 of the red peppers I just bought Tuesday.  I also added 2 banana peppers from the garden to the mixture.  I used an opened bag of shredded cheddar and opened a package of multgrain organic tortillas I bought for .49¢ at the beginning of the month at Price Chopper.

I'll put some yellow eye beans on to soak in a bit for Friday's dinner.  That night's dinner is totally from the stockpile/pantry.

I did some more picking from the garden the last few days....

The 1st photo was from Sat. and the 2nd photo was from Wednesday.
Hubs picked 2 more cukes Wednesday evening.  Because of this mountain of cukes, I have a gallon jar filled with this.....

Bread and Butter Pickles anyone? lol

Due to the 2 weeks of early humid and hot weather here, I also have this....
The First Turning Tomato of the Season!!
BLTs and 'Mater Sammiches are in my near future......

And I found the garden planting diagram last weekend shoved in behind my recipe sheets on the bookshelf.  Indeed yes, Hubs planted melons...I am guessing that means WATERmelons in the bed on the side of the house.  I have found cucumbers places that are NOT indicated on the planting diagram, so I am taking said diagram's voracity with a grain of the proverbial salt.
Wouldn't you? ;-)

Yesterday after I got out of the pool and did a bit of weeding on the back garden bed I saw this....

And then this, tucked waaaaaaaaaaay back by the deck railing....
2 more the back garden bed.....where there is NO indication of said melons being planted back in that bed.

I think Hubs is trying to gaslight me......
Well maybe not, at least until the kids are grown and outta the

Ok, I am off to debone some chicken, throw some rice into the crockpot and maybe take a quick nap.
I have already washed dishes, gone to Rite-Aid and used up my expiring +Ups, picked up #2 son's friend so they could hang out here for the day, run the Nephew off of MTV/VH1/LALA land, gotten Chinese food for everyone for lunch(and not a thank you from any of them...grrrr)and posted this.  I'm beat!

What frugal stuff is happening(or Not!)in your world lately?


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Exchanging Blog Links

I did a little blog housekeeping earlier this week on the Blog Roll. 
I like to go through it a couple times a year and delete blogs that have been abandoned or haven't had any new material posted on them in 6 months.  I also try to post new blogs I've discovered and think my readers might also like to check out.

If you have a blog and I don't have you on my Blog Roll, please leave a comment here or send me an email(my email is listed under my blogger profile info)with your blog URL and I'll go check you out.
Perhaps, if you are willing we could exchange blog links and I could be on your Blog Roll as well.

Also, if you have any suggestions for Other Blogs, that aren't your own, for inclusion on my Blog Rolls, shoot me a comment or an email and I'll check them out too.



Giveaway Ends Tomorrow Night 7/28.....Enter it Now!

I hope everyone is having a great day.  I am super busy today and All of this week actually, so I'm just putting up a reminder to ENTER MY GIVEAWAY for a $25 WALMART GIFT CARD!!!

It ends tomorrow night, so be sure and click on the link to the right under "CURRENT GIVEAWAY POSTS" and go enter on that post.

Who can't use $25, seriously!?!?
If you don't believe in buying "stuff", they have food.
If you like buying crap-plastic or not-, they have TONS of that.
They are everywhere so no worries about finding one near you.
So what are you waiting for?


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Comedy of Errors Stockpile Sale.....The Results

Well, Hubs put out the signs(one at the main road and one at the end of our street)and I opened the garage door, just a tad before 8 am.

And there were 4 people waiting outside in their cars.  Local dealers is my guess since they walked up the driveway and scanned my 'spread' and walked back to their cars.

I guess they had no clue what a "Stockpile Sale" was(that's what my signs said)and it certainly wasn't old used stuff they could buy for a quarter and sell for much much more to someone else in their store or at the flea market or

We did a slow steady business until about 11 am, so 3 solid hours of buyers.  I made a point of asking how they found us since I had put 2 online ads up as well as the big signs on the road.  It seems most found us from the signs as a lot of the garage salers around here just drive around on Saturday morning looking for signs.  Luckily we are fairly close to the middle of town and on a main road.  If we were located farther out of town, the signs would have been less help getting us customers.
I am sure the horrible high temps also cut down on the garage sale shoppers last weekend.  Nicer weather would have helped the bottom line a bit more.

Only 1 of the folks I asked also checked the newspaper classifieds for sales so I am glad I didn't spent the $25 per day, per ad, they charge here for garage sale advertising.

I had a couple of stragglers between 11 and 11:55 when I closed the door for the day.   That seems to be the pattern around here, be it yard saling or flea marketing.....come early and finish early and get on about your other business for the rest of the day.

So with all the angst I had over this endeavor and the stops and starts, we came out with a $347 profit for the day.  Not great but worth sitting in my garage for a few hours.
I like this plan--sit in the garage and have people come give me money!  Nice work if you can get

The flea market is much more profitable as there are more potential buyers but it's also getting up before dawn(a BIG drawback for me!lol), lugging tables/shelves/products and waiting in line for hours just to get in.  I'm good with opening the garage door and closing it when done and being finished and home already. 8-)

Here are the After Photos....

Still looks like a TON of stuff, doesn't it?lol
Well it is!  But we did make a perceivable dent in the volume.  Maybe 2 whole Rubbermaid tubs worth of stuff.

I sold most of the few food items I had(those were some of the first things to sell!)from .50¢ to $2.  Also big sellers were toothbrushes($1), cosmetics($1 to $4), Olay items($8 for eye rollers, $3 for body wash), shaving cream($1) and batteries(came out to .25¢ per battery-assorted sized packages)
Good sellers were toothpaste($1Colgate to $2 Pronamel), dental floss($1), higher end shampoos(Nexxus $4, Tresemme $3, etc.), soap($1.50-$3), dishwashing soap(.75¢ to $1), feminine pads($1) and Viactiv calcium chews($2).

Less good sellers were deodorant($1 to $1.50), body wash($1 to $3) and lotions($1 to $3)
What I couldn't give away......mid priced shampoos(Garnier and Herbal Essences($1.50), even Pantene($2), which usually sells out!), Gillette Razors($3), Airwick Spray kits($2 small/$4 large), Hair coloring($2) and Listerine mouthwash($2), Contact Solution($1) and Diapers($4).
$11 Gilette Razors for $3, Hair Color for $2.....C'mon!lolol

The funniest thing were the Duracell batteries.  Long dated packs of 4 AA batteries for $1 and 20 AA packs for $5.  Both deals come out to .25¢ per battery.   People would buy 5 packs of the 4 batteries instead of 1 pack of the 20 batteries.  Why buy 5 packs of one rather than 1 pack of the other if it's the same price in the end?lol

All-in-all it was worth doing. But I still have a LOT of stuff left!  Daughter said she'd help me do another garage sale when she gets home from her camp job.  I am thinking instead that I'll pack it all up into the Rubbermaid tubs by price and let her and her boyfriend do the flea market next month for me.
I'll make a deal with her that I'll use the profit from what they sell to put toward buying her some clothes and supplies for college.  A couple of hours selling toiletries with her BF in exchange for some paid for shopping will get her interest. ;-)

Next stop is to let BIL go shopping in the garage today, then pulling out a load to take to the Food Bank on Friday.  After that, everything gets packed up for the Flea Market and stacked in the corner so I can use the garage for a staging area to go through my storage unit boxes and begin the Great Decluttering of '11 again!
Yes, more Decluttering P*rn to follow sometime next week....WooHooo! 8-)

And I also need to get the glassware and furniture items up on Craigslist to sell. 

We also need to sell the dog run/kennel out back since our beagle girl doesn't like being out there anymore.  I think it's a combination of our boy beagle being gone now who always kept her company in there and her just aging and not liking being out in the heat as much.  Use to, she would spent the whole day out in the run, sitting on the doghouse like Snoopy from the comic strips(yes, beagles actually do doghouse sit!)


A Rite-Aid Quickie......Last Saturday!

Hubs drove me up to Rite-Aid after we shut down the Stockpile Sale at noon on Saturday.
Here's what I spent my expiring $4 in +Up Rewards on....

No nit-icky breakdown 'cuz the sale week is over.
I had an old raincheck for the plates($1.97)so with the $2 in Qs, each package was .97¢.  The juice was $2 after the $1 wellness AdPerks/VV Q.
My total with cherry filler at .26¢(see it on the top of the juice bottle?lol) came to $4.20.  I used the $4 in +Ups and put the .20¢ on my Rite-Aid gift card.
Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezey!

Tuesday is the last day for the July Single Check Rebate Period and I 'might' get to Rite-Aid then so I won't close out the totals for July yet.

Number of Transactions.....1
Total Spent....$.20 put on free gift card
Value of Items....$13.60
SCR qualified for...$0.00
Other Rebates earned...$0.00
Gift Cards earned....$0.00
+Up Rewards earned...$0.00
+Up Rewards spent.....$4.00
+Up Rewards left to spend.....$22.50
And I have $38.49 left on my gift card.

Rite-Aid GRAND TOTALS--JULY Rebate Period so far

Number of Transactions......12
Total Spent....$3.25 put on free Gift Cards/Certificates so ZERO OOP

Number of Items purchased.....77
Value of Items purchased....$364.58
SCR qualified for....$22.38
Other Cash....$0.00
Additional Rebates....$0.00
Additional Non-Cash Rewards....$0.00

+UPS Totals for July SCR period
+Up Rewards carryover from 7/18.....$26.50

+Up Rewards spent....$98.69
+Up Rewards earned....$63.88

+Up Rewards left....$22.50  includes ALL +Ups not just ones from this SCR period


Monday, July 25, 2011

FINALLY!!! Thanks for the Fun Filled Day of Aggravation Amazon & Blogger!

You both totally suck.....


Testing, Testing.....

Just ignore me cuz I am about to go MAD!


They Took the Amazon Associate Thingy off Now, Here's Hoping I Can Post Content Along WITH a Title!

Nope, I Still Can't Post any Content....I Give Up! I'll Try Again Tomorrow...UGH!!!

Trying One More Time Since the Amazon Links ARE Showing Up Now

If You Are Reading This, Try To Leave a Comment, Ok? 8-)

I Tried to Add an Amazon Link to Dante's Inferno and It Will Only Let Me Link "Help"...That's Certainly Appropriate Too, Is it Not!LOL

The Help

Which Circle of Hell Am I On Now?!?!

HELP! I'm Trapped in Blog Title Hell.....Where is Dudley DoRight When I Need Him?

The HelpThe Help

I Added Amazon Assoc. and Now I Can Only Post Titles & No Content....WTF?!?!

Anybody Know How to Ditch Amazon Associates?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

July Food Spending Week 3.....3 Shopping Trips but Frugal

I am going to update each week in July on my food spending. After the last 2 months of going over, maybe this will help me stay on track more if all of y'all are watching me.....watching me in a good way, not the bad, creepy way. ;-)

Between July 15th and 23rd I made 3 trips to the grocery store!  I know it's a bit more than a week but I need to include an extra couple of days in the last 2 weeks of July as the month has 31 total, not 28. ;-)

I spent a total of $61.76.  The 1st trip was that small OOP one to Price Chopper(northeast)where I used my Catalina Q.  The 2nd trip was to the local independent grocer where I spent $10.50 on a watermelon, 2 cukes, a cantaloupe and 3lb.s of yellow squash.
Then yesterday I spent $47.62 on 2 large London Broils(BOGO deal!), a gallon of milk, 3 blocks of cheese, 18 eggs, a package of clearance steak(which came out to $2lb.), 2 lbs. of tilapia, a head of lettuce, a lb. of broccoli and 1.5 lbs. more of yellow squash. Almost 33% savings rate on that last trip but still pretty good considering all the meat I got.

I've eyeballed the sales this week and mostly it's the dreaded "house brands on sale" week so not many items you can stack sales and coupons upon to get some inexpensive food.
I'll post my Meal Plan tomorrow, but for today I'll let y'all know I have a trip to the bakery/bread outlet(we are out of bread)and 1 trip to Weis Markets on my agenda for the last week of July's spending.  I've got $1/1 Cabot Cheese IPQs to combine with a sale on Cabot Cheese at Weis($2.50)so there is $1.50 a package cheese in my future, as well as 1 $1.25 package house brand cream cheese.  I may head to the farm this week for some veggies and fruit but I don't foresee much OOP in the food spending category in Week 4.  I predict $20-$30.

With the $61.76 spent last week, I have a grand total spent in July so far of $136.49 for food.

How about you?  Are you eating from your pantry/stockpile this week?


Friday, July 22, 2011

My Comedy of Errors Stockpile Sale

So if you remember correctly, I talked awhile back about cleaning the garage and such HERE.
Well that was May something-or-other.

I did get the living room cleaned before the relatives arrived for the Graduation festivities.
And I got all the stockpile extras into the garage, as well as cleaned out all the 'extra stuff' from the garage.

And I had #1 son put all that 'extra stuff' into my more than half empty storage unit before he left in June for his summer job on Lake Erie.
And here is what my storage unit looks like at the is NOT pretty.....

Yes, you can't even step into it right now.
I would be embarrassed by this mess, except that I know that #1 son, not giving a shit about where he placed things, just started piling the boxes up any which way, all 'willy-nilly like' as soon as you step into the unit.  There is a practically empty large area behind this wall of boxes. 

Here are the boxes of stuff to sell in the garage and my beginning of organizing/shelving items in June.....

I didn't get things together to hold the sale before all the kids left home for camp/jobs.  I spent the last week #2 son was at camp setting up more shelving and stocking them.

Finally, last week, I had most everything organized and ready.  Yes, it took me an additional 2 weeks after #2 son got home.
I started pricing/marking stuff and started setting up advertising last week.  Here is what it currently looks like....

I was going to place an ad on a local YahooGroups Sale site and then put a Craigslist ad up.

For some reason(I am hoping it wasn't deliberate on the part of the list owner), my YahooGroups ad never got posted.  For 3 days I saw her post many many other for sale ads up.
I sent it in on Thusday morning, surely that would be enough time for her to get it posted!?
When the ad didn't post I waivered on putting the Craigslist ad up, waiting for the Yahoo ad to go through, until it was too late and I had to call off my plans for last Saturday.

And of course the weather was PERFECT last weekend for a Sale.

So I set my mind on this Saturday.  And I set about looking for some more things to throw into the sale.
And on this Wednesday, my ad for the Yahoo group list posted for LAST SAUTRUDAY'S SALE!lolol
Yes, it took her 6 days to post the ad I had sent her the preceding Thursday. 

I don't want to say anything about her at this point since I am still waiting for her to answer my email about this whole situation, which she also has not answered.  I think she sabotaged me on purpose, since she also owns another Yahoo group and she's been asking everyone to send her coupons so she can extreme coupon and, as she says, buy things to give away to needy people on this other list.
She has also posted a big lot of those items she couponed for on the Yahoo list to sell them. just appears to me like I threatened her little kingdom and 'losing' my ad is intentional.

At any rate, I am moving past all this drama and I posted my Craigslist ad and I'll have Hubs put some signs up bright and early tomorrow morning and forge ahead with my sale.

All I have to do is open the garage door and sit on my ass for 4 hours and collect money if anyone shows up.  If they don't, I'll sit on my ass for 4 hours and stay as cool as I can and then figure out what to do next.  I am done worrying about how this will go! ;-)

Hubs says I should give it all to the food bank.
I think a lot of it might end up there eventually but they don't have the storage space for me to haul it all over there in one fell swoop.

So wish me luck and I'll report in when it's all over.


Dante's Inferno

I don't know about you but the weather lately here has been something from the Third Circle of Hell!

Another 95 degree day in the armpit of Pennsylvania is predicted.

Didn't I move away from the South to get away from these temperatures?lol

For anyone also suffering from the Heat Dome Effect, here is a photo of what the weather will be here in 3 months from now.....

Feel better now?
I know I do....


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Who Wants to Win a Gift Card?.....Take a Look!

Even though we are in the Dog Days of Summer now, the stores are gearing up for "Back-To-School Season".

Crazy early, right?  But you know it's coming every year so get ready!

Everywhere I look when I go shopping it's aisle upon aisle of school supplies....from backpacks to those little erasers that fit on the end of your pencil.  And there are also the food related Back-To-School items like snack or sandwich sized plastic bags, single serve fruit cups and juice boxes.

And Back-To-School Time also means what?

Box Tops for Education Time of course!
It's time to think about supporting your local schools by buying those General Mills products and cutting the Box Tops off  to earn cash for your kid's school.

And where is someplace you can satisfy your Back-To-School shopping needs and find products with those Box Tops for Education?

Why WALMART of course!
Starting in mid July, head over to your local Walmart to find up to 70 participating products that each have 4 Box Tops!

For a limited time, you get more Box Top Bang for your buck on General Mills products at Walmart.

HERE is a list I found of participating products that sport the Box Tops on their packaging.

Walmart supplied me with a $25 Gift Card to do some Back-To-School shopping.  I'll be picking up some General Mills products there as well, that have those Box Tops for Education on the packaging.
Myself, I love the fresh product products and the GM Flour.  #2 son is all about the Pizza Rolls however. ;-)

MyBlogSpark and Walmart have also supplied an additional $25 Walmart Gift Card for me to giveaway to one of my readers.

If you would like to be in the drawing for this gift card, please leave a comment on this post about which Back-To-School item(s) you will be buying your child(ren) this year.  If you don't have any children, then tell us about which is your favorite product to buy that sports Box Tops for Education.
Be sure you leave your email addresses in your comment if it is NOT accessible through your Blogger/Google profile information.

You can earn 2 additional entries by blogging about this Giveaway or posting it on a Message Board if you don't have a blog.  Leave 2 more separate comments if you blog/post my giveaway and a link to that post.

I'll leave this Giveaway open until 11:59pm on July 28th.  At which time, the comments will be closed and I'll randomly draw an entry to win the $25 gift card.

So don't just sit there, enter my Giveaway!


*"Disclosure: The information and $25 gift card to Walmart has been provided by Walmart and General Mills through MyBlogSpark."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

July Food Spending Week 2......Low Spend Finally!

I am going to update each week in July on my food spending. After the last 2 months of going over, maybe this will help me stay on track more if all of y'all are watching me.....watching me in a good way, not the bad, creepy way. ;-)

In the 2nd 7 days of July I made NO trips to the grocery store!
No trips to the store between July 3rd and 14th and we've been eating from the stockpile so our spending for July remains at $66.72.

Last week I cooked Ribs, a Pork Roast Dinner and something else I can't recall now.....gee I sure miss my brain some days.
Hubs was out of town for 2 days so I got #2 son Taco Bell and other crap and I had whatever I could scrounge here.  The other nights were Leftovers meals.

Here is what we are having this week....

SUNDAY--Sloppy Joes, Squash Casserole
TUESDAY--Tacos, Watermelon
WEDNESDAY--Ham Steak, Potato Salad, Cantaloupe
THURSDAY--Chicken Casserole
SATURDAY--Salmon, Potato Salad, Braised Green Beans

Though I hadn't shopped for food from July 8-14, I did go out on the 15th and I do need a few things for this week's Thur-Sat. meals so I'll have shopping to report in on after the 21st.  I need to buy Broccoli, Cucumbers, a head of Lettuce and Salmon today or tomorrow.  We haven't had salmon in a long time here because of the price.  It's on special this week so I'll buy some extra to throw into the freezer.  Not a lot extra since a "special" on salmon is still not  I'll also pick up Eggs this week for the quiche I plan on making next week, since eggs are on sale this week.
I figure I'll spend $20 on these things, maybe less is I can get to the farm and they have the produce I need.

How about you?  Are you eating from your pantry/stockpile this week?


Rite-Aid This Week.....So Far

Rite-Aid on Monday.....

2 x Oreos on sale $3=$6.00
1 x Samy Foam hair color on sale but 20% wellness discount is lower=$8.23
1 x Lipton ice tea single w/20% wellness discount=$1.27*
2 x U liners on sale $1=$2.00
2 x Oral-B crossaction Toothbrush on sale $2.99=$5.98
2 x Renpure Shampoo(Rain Check makes it free)=$0.00**

Coupons Used
1 x $1 any purchase AdPerk/VV IPQ=$1.00
1 x $1/2 Oreos AdPerk/VV IPQ=$1.00
1 x $3/1 Samy Foam hair color IPQ=$3.00
1 x Free Item Q Lipton 20 oz. bottle single=$1.59
1 x $1/1 any U Kotex item IPQ=$2.00
1 x BOGO Oral-B toothbrush ManuQ=$2.99 ***
Coupon Total....$11.58

$23.48-$11.58=$11.90 + .20¢tax=$12.10
I used $12 in +Up Rewards and put the .10¢ on my Rite-Aid gift card so I had no OOP.
I received $10.50 back in +Up Rewards($5 Samy, 2 x $2 Renpure, $1.50 Oral-B toothbrush).

I still have $4 in +Ups to use this week.

*Though the bottle of iced tea was $1.27 after discount, the coupon rang up $1.59.  This sort of makes up for being overcharge a couple of weeks ago for the Amp drinks. ;-)
**This is the week to use your Renpure Rainchecks....remember the ones you got a few weeks ago that made them free since you couldn't get the +Up Rewards that week?  Use them this week and not only is the shampoo free but you get $2 in +Ups back as well!
*** I've seen some deal blogs tell you to use the $2/1 Oral-B toothbrush Q.  Somehow I don't think that is the right Q to use here?  There is a BOGO Oral-B Q also, which is the one I used(even though I only got the +Ups for 1 of the toothbrushes since it's a Limit of 1).  The BOGO Q specifically says it's for a "manual" toothbrush, while the $2/1 does not, though both Qs say good on a "crossaction" type toothbrush.  If you've had success using the $2/1 Q I'd like to know please.  Success as in, "the Q scanned into the register with no beeps and didn't have to be manually entered". lol

Number of Transactions.....1
Total Spent....$.10 put on free gift card
Value of Items....$50.40
SCR qualified for...$0.00
Other Rebates earned...$0.00
Gift Cards earned....$0.00
+Up Rewards earned...$10.50
+Up Rewards spent.....$12.00
+Up Rewards left to spend.....$26.50
And I have $38.69 left on my gift card.

Rite-Aid GRAND TOTALS--JULY Rebate Period so far

Number of Transactions......11
Total Spent....$3.05 put on free Gift Cards/Certificates so ZERO OOP

Number of Items purchased.....73
Value of Items purchased....$350.98
SCR qualified for....$22.38
Other Cash....$0.00
Additional Rebates....$0.00
Additional Non-Cash Rewards....$0.00

+UPS Totals for July SCR period
+Up Rewards carryover from 7/16.....$28.00

+Up Rewards spent....$94.69
+Up Rewards earned....$63.88

+Up Rewards left....$26.50  includes ALL +Ups not just ones from this SCR period


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Hard Hard Road of The Artistic Student

*The post where I ramble on ad nauseum about education, debt and the arts.*

#2 son finished up with school for the term last month.
His grades for the year?
Maybe I shouldn't go

It was a mixed bag of A's through C+'s.
Besides French which he loves and puts a consistent effort toward and gets A's, every other academic subject ran the gamut from high to low marks.  It's not like he has certain subjects he struggles with, since he managed an A at some point in the year in every course.  He just can't sustain interest enough for an entire year to give a crap to do well.

His older brother had certain subjects he had to work harder at throughout school.  He always had to work much harder at math and foreign language, but subjects like history and literature came much easier for him.

His sister sailed through with A's on everything, until this last year in which Physics kicked her in the ass.  She says the teacher was inadequate to the challenge of teaching this subject and from what others have said and her classmates have said, I tend to believe that some of that C+ she earned in Physics was NOT all her fault.

Anyway, if you have more than 1 child, you know that they each learn differently and perform well or not so well in a school setting.
#2 son has had a totally different learning/schooling trajectory than either of his siblings.
I am taking pause on how to approach/encourage/guide/threaten him to maintain a high level of effort in his academic subjects.

As we send off his brainiac sister to college, I am coming to the realization that #2 son may not be cut out to be college material.
Well, let me rephrase that......he may not be cut out for the life of an intellectual academic.

Hubs is/was an intellectual.  He went on a large merit scholarship to Johns Hopkins University.  He got his MA from the University of Virginia and was going on to get his PhD there as well.  His plan was to become a tenured professor of Medieval Literature at some high falootin' prestigious University.
As Southern comedienne Jeanne Robertson says, he is a "left brain" man and he was on the way to over degree-ing himself.

On the flip side of his greatness, Hubs can barely dress himself and he'd starve if I wasn't here to feed him.  He was writing checks for cups of coffee when I met him in college but couldn't balance a checkbook.

I was not a stellar student in high school.  I did well in the sciences & history, got through the math but I excelled at all the art, music, drama, dance and literature.   I went to a small expensive Women's college nearby Hub's Johns Hopkins U.  I was not an academe but I did well in my studies and had a blast doing many of the arts for 4 years.  I learned a lot but nothing there prepared me to get a job in my field that would pay enough to support me.  Making the connections in the field of my choosing during the summer and after college was the more valuable thing I achieved.  Luckily, my 4 years of college didn't leave me with loans I would be ill prepared to pay back.

#2 son is an 'arts' kind of guy.   And for me, unless you are one of the rare artistic type people who has the talent to make it 'big', college may not be the best choice for you if you don't have cash ready to pay for school or at least the bulk of the costs of it.

Yes, colleges have tons of programs for the arts.  And some of them are highly regarded. 
But unless you are attending one of the prestigious schools with an equally prestigious arts program
you might want to rethink attending with the help of large student loans.

Don't get me one's schooling is EVER a waste of time!  And you will benefit from college in many ways and you may actually refine your artistic skills and be able to land a job that supports you.

But with the kind of income the arts person will see over their lifetime, the arts person who isn't at the 'top' of the talent/skills for the profession, they will have a hard time paying back all those loans on top of supporting themselves on their income level unless they hit it lucky.  There use to always be the fallback profession of teaching the arts for the artistically inclined graduate if other jobs didn't pan out.  But nowadays with the cut backs in education, the arts are the first types of programs to get the ax. 
I'm just saying that if you need to go into massive debt to attend school in an arts field, you really need to think hard about being able to earn a living in that field that will let you also pay back all that debt.

Most arts students would be better off, instead of going to that expensive college with an arts program they can't afford w/out large loans, to live at home and taking classes at a community college along with finding work or internships in their career field to do simultaneously.  You don't necessarily need a school setting once you have mastered some basics to learn your craft in the arts.  It's more about practicing, honing your skills and forging the connections that will get you work.  My best advice is to find a mentor in your field and etch everything they say into your brain!  Hounding and picking the brain of someone you respect in your artistic field and getting some unpaid on-the-job experience might be the most useful and cheapest education you will find.

The arts community is rather small no matter which artistic discipline you go into.  In this line of work, it really is about who you know and making a name for yourself among your fellow artisans.  Artists tend to recommend people they know and have worked with in the past...unless they let their egos get in the way, but that's a whole other topic for another day! ;-)

So Hubs, #2 son and I will be talking and pondering in the coming year, what makes the most sense for #2 son in terms of advanced schooling.
Should he go to a 2 year community college and then intern/apprentice in his field?
Should he go to a 4 year liberal arts school?
Should he go to a conservatory or art school?
Should he take classes independently and work?

And the questions #2 son needs to start addressing....
Will he be able to sustain his livelihood in an artistic field?
Will he learn a 'back-up' profession so he has something to fall back on if the arts gig doesn't work out?
Or will be have to get a 'real job' and practice his art on the side either paid or unpaid?

Life can be so complicated for the artistic soul!

So tell me about you or your kid(s).....
Did/do you earn a living in an arts field?
Did you go to college and major in an artistic discipline but don't earn a living in that field?
Where you talented in the arts but didn't follow your heart?
And do you regret that you didn't pursue your passion?


PS-All opinions here are my own and you are more than welcomed to disagree with me. 8-)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Wise Words for a Monday

In these days of Graduations and Graduation Speeches here are a couple of videos with awesome advise to impart.

First, the original video of THE SUNSCREEN SONG.  The lyrics are based on a column written by Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune in 1997.  The real title of the work is "Advise, like Youth, Probably Just Wasted on the Young".  In the introduction Ms. Schmich noted that were she called upon to give a commencement speech, this would be it.  Baz Luhrmann set her words to music in 1998.

And here is the Commencement Speech delivered by Conan O'Brien to the Class of 2011 at Dartmouth this past May.
It's long but it's worth watching the whole thing.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Goals for 2011.....Halfway Point Check-Up

 Every January on my blog, I post a list of Hopes or Goals for my year.  HERE's the post from earlier this year where I talked about what I hoped to accomplish in 2011.

Since we are halfway through the year......let me say that again.....halfway through the year!......I thought it would be a predictable time to check-in and see how I'm doing or how I'm NOT doing at this point in 2011.

1. Put more Money Into Savings.

PASS-We are slightly ahead of our Savings Goal at the halfway point from 2010.  I only upped my Savings Goal 2 thousand dollars in 2011 since food costs have been rising this year and with another teen starting college in August, we have more expenses to cover.  We are on track as of now to meet our savings goal. 8-)

2. File all the Paperwork that needs filing  and completing it on time.

PASS-We got all the college and income tax paperwork completed with time to spare earlier this year.  I also tackled a huge pile of papers that needed filing in May(was it?)  Going forward I am going to try to file every 2 months so the pile doesn't get too unruly.

3. Declutter my entire house and garage, and storage unit(and then stop renting the storage unit).

PASS(so far)-This goal is ongoing throughout 2011.  I had the storage unit down to half-empty.  Then I had to temporarily put a large load of boxes from the garage into the unit so I could stage for a garage sale this month.  Besides just the moving of crap around in this way, I have decluttered at least 6 loads(off hand I think it's 6, I might be wrong) so far from the house and unit.  After the garage sale is over, more loads will begin leaving again for Sallie's.
This Goal is my largest, ongoing, physically challenging one for 2011.  It may just kill me by December. ;-)

4. Read 30 books this year, with 75% of them being non-fiction.

FAIL-I am STILL on Book #6(this one is a 'difficult' read) plus I pitched Book #5 before finishing it because it was just horrible!  So technically I am on Book #5 with 25 more to go. 
I am just not feeling much like reading yet.  Maybe next month when the weather turns beastly hot I'll want to do nothing but sit still and read in the a/c.

5. Finish ALL in progress sewing projects and alter ALL clothing that needs it or give it away.

FAIL-I hemmed some pants and worked on some PJ pants for my Daughter but haven't finished them.  Hubs bought 4 pairs of pants for me to hem so the pile has gone UP not DOWN. 
bleh. bleh. bleh. 
I just can't seem to get into a sewing zone.  This is worrying me.  People are going to start thinking I really can't

6. Cook more foods from scratch and phase unhealthy options out of my stockpile.

PASS-I was doing very well on this earlier this year.  I was cooking much more from scratch and we were down to a small number of cans of soda(of which I was only drinking 1 can per week if that)and I only had 2 tv dinners in the frozen pizzas, no 'snack' foods like Pop-Tarts or Toaster Pocket thingies, Froot snacks, only a few Helper type mixes.  Ok, I still had a ton of cake mixes and breaded chicken  Then school ended and I caved and bought some pizza rolls, pizzas, chicken strips, ice cream and more soda for #2 son.  The kid has to eat lunch, right?lol  And unless I want to spend ALL DAY cooking this summer, I'm giving him easy things to make for lunch(rather than spend a fortune buying Taco Bell and Baconators at Wendy's)and I'll give him healthy foods for dinner.  It's the compromise I'll make to get through until school starts again.

And I promise I shall NEVER buy Pop-Tarts again....Nasty!

7. Grow more of the food we eat or source our food from non-grocery chain stores.

 FAIL(so far)-With the wacky weather and being super busy in May/June with the impending Graduation and all that entailed I was sooo not 'into' my garden this year.  We did get it planted but not everything I wanted.  I don't feel we will have as much to eat from our garden this year as we did last year.  As for sourcing from non-grocery chain stores, we are just getting into the season where we can buy from the local farms.  I am determined to get to the farm stands this summer and put up produce for 2012.  I am still looking for a local source for meats.  The closest is over an hour's ride away so not very economical.

8. Use my skills to step up what I do for Others.

 NEUTRAL-Ok, I can't say Pass or Fail on this one.  OTOH, I have done on par with last year in terms of family and food bank donations so far this year.  As soon as the garage sale is done I have another donation to take to the food bank.  But since I have not been 'extreme couponing' this year(due to the lack of deals locally, not traveling where the deals are because of the price of gas and wear and tear on the minivan AND the lack of good value coupons this year, due to the tightening up on coupons by manufacturer's in part because of "That Couponing Show Which Shall Not Be Named")I haven't had as much to donate as in past years.  It will take me MORE money in 2011 to donate the same amount of food as I did in 2010.  I just don't know if I can come up with enough money this year to put toward this goal to "step up" what I give. 
I may have to look at other ways besides monetary/food donations to do for others.

9. Be more "in the Moment" for my Family.

PASS-I feel that, so far in 2011, I have been more 'there' for the family.  I have tried to limit my time on the internet by blogging less(ok, not MUCH less!lol), and spending less time deal hunting.
See?....crappy coupons and local deals give me more time to be with family, so there is one good thing about the dirth of deals!lol  With less of a stockpile I spend less time organizing it.
Of course, the teens don't actually want to spend time with me when they are home, unless I have cooking them food or handing over cash....oh, the blessings of having sullen, eye-rolling teens! ;-)
Now that #2 son is home from camp, I'll be offering to drive him places and do some things for him so he can hang out with people that aren't his family. 

10. Organize the running of my Home.  

How to score this one?.....
I guess I'm on my way to a PASS with this one.  With 2 less kids home things are running fairly smoothly.  With less clutter in the way, it's easier to keep what is here organized and clean.  But with so many projects pending or in progress(garage sale, cleaning out the storage unit, sewing, home repairs/remodeling)it seems like everything is at 6's and 7's and just a moment away from flying off the tracks.  Since the older 2 kids don't have a car while working across the state this summer(due to the car wreck in May), I'm having to deal with business stuff for them like driver's license renewals, dr. appointments, prescription refills, college papers/forms, scholarship forms/requirement, ordering books and tuition bills.  This is stuff they should/would be taking care of but since they don't have transportation or bank/credit card access it's all falling on me.  I haven't screwed anything up yet, knock on

So how about you?
How are your goals for 2011 panning out?
Are you on track to accomplish what you want to this year?
Have your goals changed significantly since the beginning of 2011?


Using Up the +Ups on Saturday

Here's how I used my $10 in +Up Rewards....

2 bags of Doritos
2 teeny tiny boxes of Whitman's Sampler chocies
1 teeny tiny box of suger-free Whitman's Sampler chocies
1 pack of sheet protectors
1 Cella cherry

I used a $1 Wellness AdPerk/VV IPQ and those $10 in +Up Rewards and put the .18¢ on my Rite-Aid gift card.
I received $4 in +Ups(3 x $1 for the chocies, 1 x $1 for the Doritos).

*Doritos=teen boy snacks + it gave a $1 +Up so I rolled something
*teeny tiny choccies=stocking stuffers + it gave a $1 +Up each
*sheet protectors=son needed for marching band camp + it was a good price for this item
*cherry=filler so I could use my last +Up Reward-the sugar free box of chocies was .08¢ less than the regular so my total was less than I had calculated.

I have $16 in +Ups to use this week.  I don't see many item to roll them with that I can use so it might be another week of burning them.  At this rate I will be out of +Up Rewards in a couple of weeks.
It might be a good thing to be out and take some weeks off from my Rite-Aid adventures. 8-)

Number of Transactions.....1
Total Spent....$.18 put on free gift card
Value of Items....$15.07
SCR qualified for...$0.00
Other Rebates earned...$0.00
Gift Cards earned....$0.00
+Up Rewards earned...$4.00
+Up Rewards spent.....$10.00
+Up Rewards left to spend.....$28.00
And I have $38.89 left on my gift card.

Rite-Aid GRAND TOTALS--JULY Rebate Period so far

Number of Transactions......10
Total Spent....$2.95 put on free Gift Cards/Certificates so ZERO OOP

Number of Items purchased.....63
Value of Items purchased....$300.58
SCR qualified for....$22.38
Other Cash....$0.00
Additional Rebates....$0.00
Additional Non-Cash Rewards....$0.00

+UPS Totals for July SCR period
+Up Rewards carryover from 7/13.....$34.00

+Up Rewards spent....$82.69
+Up Rewards earned....$53.38

+Up Rewards left....$28.00  includes ALL +Ups not just ones from this SCR period


Friday, July 15, 2011

Quick Trip to Price Chopper for Coupon Doublers and Edy's Catalina Deal

After getting a gold star this morning at the dentist.....8-))....I made a dash down to Price Chopper to roll my $5 Catalina Q from 2 weeks ago for buying all that Dove Men's Soap.
PC had 3 Coupon Doubler Qs in the ad here on Sunday and there is an Edy's Ice Cream Catalina Deal(Spend $12/Get $4 Cat Q)so I pulled a few Qs and went deal hunting.

4 x Texas Toast Croutons BOGO sale($2.29)=$4.58
2 x Edy's Fruit Bars on sale $3=$6.00
2 x Edy's Ice Cream on sale $3=$6.00
2 x Heluva Good Cheese on sale $2=$4.00
2 x Bic Comfort 3 Razors on sale $2.99=$5.98

Coupons Used
2 x $1/2 Texas Toast Croutons ManuQ(used 2 Doubler Qs)=$4.00
2 x $1/1 Edy's Fruit Bars IPQ=$2.00
1 x $1/2 Heluva Good items ManuQ(used 1 Doubler Q)=$2.00
2 x $3/1 Bic Comfort 3 Razor ManuQ(price modified down to $2.99 each)=$5.98
1 x $5 OYNO Cat Q=$5.00
Coupon Total.....$18.98

$26.56-$18.98=$7.58+.06¢tax=$7.64 OOP
And my Edy's Catalina didn't print!
Went to the counter and seems nobody's Cat for this is printing at this store, so the CSM gave me $4 cash instead.
Deduct that $4 and my OOP today was $3.64.
$37.68 worth of items gives me a savings rate of 90.34%.


* The cheese was $1 a block after Qs.
* The croutons were 14&1/5 cents a bag after Qs.
* The razors were free.
* What's left OOP is $1.00(plus 6 cents for tax)for 4 containers of ice cream/popsicles which breaks down to 25 cents for each container.
 * In a way I'm glad I got cash today instead of a Catalina Q to roll.  I don't go to PC much in the summer so now I don't have a Cat that has to be used in 2 weeks hanging over my head.

This brings my food spending for July up to $78.37.  Half the month is over and we have $171.63 left in the budget.

How is your food spending, or NOT spending going so far in July?
Any great deals you had to have so far this month?
Or are you trying to eat down your pantry?


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Say Hello to My Little Friend!

Let me introduce my new, close, personal friend........

He may be very one dimensional but we enjoy each other's
The downside is that Uncle Sam will want a cut of my new buddy here, come next April. 8-(

I brought Mr. Franklin home on Monday night.  He was my "thank you" for participating in a Focus Group/Mock Jury session held at a local hotel.  We also got some "parting gifts" as Monty Hall use to say but this was the incentive to get me to leave my house, drive 5 miles down the mountain and give my opinion on a case. 

The company I am registered with is turning out to be a good gig for me.  It took a year or so to get things rolling but this is the 3rd group event I've been selected for(2 have been online/1 in-person)since last Fall.  They also send emailed surveys but I seem to get dumped out of them before I get to the end so I only have $2 or so in my account for those so far.  It will be sometime before I can request a $20 check on
If you'd like to sign up with Focus Forward, I'd appreciate if you'd use my link HERE.
They are a nationwide LCC corporation.  Signing up is free and you will never be asked to pay for anything in order to participate in a group.  I highly recommend them.

Another company Hubs is involved with is Pinecone Research.  They send out online survey invites on average of 2-3 a month.  Each completed survey is worth $3 and you can have a paper check sent or request payment through a Paypal account.  Last year Hubs did 20 surveys so made $60.  Of course, Uncle Same also got a cut of that since it IS income.  You won't get rich participating but $60 is a utility bill or a week's worth of groceries, right?

Pinecone doesn't recruit or do referrals.  You have to wait until they have openings and go sign up.  They will advertise openings on various website via banners but there are no set sites or times so it's a matter of keeping your eyes open online and if you hear from some's blog or website that Pinecone Research is taking applications, you need to jump on it.
Hubs didn't get invited right away when he applied.  He had to wait until his demographic fit the profile they were recruiting from so if you don't get in right away, keep trying.

And there is good news on the TOLUNA front as well.  TOLUNA is an online survey company I signed up at the behest of my bloggy buddy SonyaAnn.  If these 2 survey's incentive points every come through from 2 Pending studies I did, I may just actually have enough points to request a $20 check...woohooo!


Rite-Aid Shopping......Convert the +Ups

Well I was able to roll a bit and convert even more +Up Rewards to cash via the Single Check Rebates.
First on BIL's card....

2 x SoftSoap Body Wash on sale=$5.98
1 x Balsamic Vinegar on sale=$1.00
1 x Luster Toothpaste w/20% Wellness discount=$5.99
1 x Crest Toothpaste on sale=$2.69
2 x Sample size boxes of chocolates w/20% Wellness discount=$2.54
1 x Sheet Protectors w/Wellness discount=$1.19 *Not Pictured*

Coupons Used
1 x $1 off any purchase AdPerk/VV Q=$1.00
1 x $1.50/1 Luster Toothpaste IPQ(there is also a ManuQ from the inserts out there)=$1.50
Coupon Total....$2.50

$19.39-$2.50=$16.89 +$.04 tax=$16.93

I used $16.76 in +Ups to pay and put the remaining .17¢ on my Rite-Aid gift card.
I received $6 in +Ups back(2 x $1 chocolate, 2 x $2 SoftSoap).
I also qualified for SCR #6($2.69 Crest) and #84($4 Luster) so I'll receive $6.69 in cash rebates next month.

*Sheila over at Super Savvy Saver reminded me about the teeny tiny Russell Stover and Whitman's Sampler boxes are giving $1 +Up Rewards this month.  With 20% Wellness discount they only 'cost' you .27¢ and you can roll $1 per box in +Ups.  I was able to find a couple.  While 4 pieces of chocie are NOT a great deal for this price, I am putting my boxes into the Xmas stash for stocking stuffers.

*On Wednesday, when I got to the store, the SoftSoap shelves were bare.  However, there is a Men's variety of this product now and my store had it shelved separately from all the other varieties of SoftSoap Body Wash so there were still 2 bottles left for me to buy....yippee!
I would seriously advise you to GET A RAINCHECK for this item if your store is out.  $.99 for a bottle which will be your raincheck price is a great deal AND you have the possibility of Dial releasing a SoftSoap ManuQ in the future, which pared with this raincheck could make for some very frugal or even free body wash! ;-)   A Raincheck for the CREST toothpaste is also a given, since your raincheck will make it free.

Then I bought on my card.....
2 x Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal on sale=$5.00
1 x Luster Toothpaste w/20% Wellness discount=$5.99
1 x Crest Toothpaste on sale=$2.69
2 x Sample size boxes of chocolates w/20% Wellness discount=$2.54

Coupons Used
1 x $3/$15 Store survey Q=$3.00
1 x BOGO Mini-Wheats Homemailer Q(Vocalpoint)=$2.50
1 x $1/1 Mini-Wheats Homemailer Q(Vocalpoint)=$1.00
1 x $1/2 assorted cereals including Mini-Wheats AdPerks/VV Q=$1.00
1 x $1.50/1 Luster Toothpaste IPQ(there is also a ManuQ from the inserts out there)=$1.50
Coupon Total....$9.00


I used $7 in +Up Rewards and put the .22¢ on my gift card.
I received $2 in +Ups back for the 2 Russell Stover sample boxes.
I also qualified for SCR #6($2.69 Crest) and #84($4 Luster) so I'll receive $6.69 in cash rebates next month in my account.

 * If your store has the Fruit in the Middle variety of Mini-Wheats and you got the Vocalpoint mailer Qs, this is a great way to use them if you still haven't yet.  2 boxes of cereal are $5.  Use the BOGO Q and one of the $1/1 Qs PLUS the $1/2 Rite-Aid AdPerk/VV Q(these can be stacked with manuQs for additional savings)and now your cereal cost you .25¢ a box!

* I also lost $2 in +Ups from my stash.  They expired on Tuesday.  I forgot they were expiring then and not on Saturday....ugh.

I still have $10 in +Ups to use up by Saturday so I foresee another trip to Rite-Aid in my not too distant

Number of Transactions.....2
Total Spent....$.39
Value of Items....$53.26
SCR qualified for...$13.38
Other Rebates earned...$0.00
Gift Cards earned....$0.00
+Up Rewards earned...$8.00
+Up Rewards spent.....$23.76
+Up Rewards I let expire...$2.00 bleh
+Up Rewards left to spend.....$34.00
And I have $38.97 left on my gift card.

Rite-Aid GRAND TOTALS--JULY Rebate Period so far

Number of Transactions......9
Total Spent....$2.77 put on free Gift Cards/Certificates so ZERO OOP

Number of Items purchased.....56
Value of Items purchased....$285.51
SCR qualified for....$22.38
Other Cash....$0.00
Additional Rebates....$0.00
Additional Non-Cash Rewards....$0.00

+UPS Totals for July SCR period
+Up Rewards carryover from 7/9.....$51.76

+Up Rewards spent....$72.69
+Up Rewards earned....$49.38

+Up Rewards left....$34.00  includes ALL +Ups not just ones from this SCR period


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Food Spending from Saturday.....and Eating on Sunday

I went to use my $10 Catalina Q at Weis Markets last Saturday.
They had an unadvertised special on Hillshire Farms Smoke Sausage for $1.99 lb, so I picked up 2 as this is my "buy price" for kielbasa/smoke sausage.

I also found a $3.53 priced piece of steak with a $2 instant discount sticker on it, so $1.53 for just under a lb. of steak.  This will go into the freezer to use in chili, beef stroganoff or something else at a later date.

The main item was the hunk of ribs I picked up.  They were $1.79 a lb. and I got a 5.04lb. hunk that cost $9.02 total.  $1.79 was the best per lb. price around here.

My bill total was $14.53 but after the $10 CatQ I paid $4.53 OOP.  Not a bad price for almost 12 lbs. of meat. ;-)
That's an 81.18% savings rate.

Since the ribs were 'previously frozen' I used them on Sunday.
We fired up the smoker.  Here is my baby......I call her "Precious"......yes, she is the "one ring that will feed us all".....

After 4 hours "low and slow" with an applewood chips smoking, here is what  the ribs looked like....

And after another 3 hours in the smoker, I sauced them up and glazed them up for 20 minutes in the oven and ended up with this....
Not quite fall off the bone but with a pink smoke ring clear to the bone.  Just enough char on the outside but tender and moist inside.
Look good enough to eat, don't they? 8-)

There is one serving left and Hubs has put 'dibs' on them for tonight's Leftovers Night.

I am liking my Precious this summer.  It's one way to cut down on electricity use and generating heat in the kitchen in this hot weather.  And it turns out scrumptious meats! ;-)
Now I have to find me a beef brisket that isn't corned to fill my smoker.....

So do you like real barbecue?  Are you a dry smoked meat lover or do you like em sauced?
What's your favorite barbecued meat?


Monday, July 11, 2011

Using up the +Ups on Saturday

I had $11.50 in +Up Rewards on Saturday to spend or lose, so here is the junk I bought.
And trust me, most of this IS junk for Hubs and #2 son.....

2 x Planters dry roasted peanuts BOGO sale=$5.29
2 x Flavor-ice frozen sticks on sale .99¢=$1.98
2 x Reese's PB cups on sale .50¢=$1.00
1 x 5 Gum 3 pack on sale=$2.50
1 x RA cookies on sale but wellness discount was lower=$1.91

Coupons Used
1 x .50¢/2 Reeses PB cups AdPerk/VV IPQ=$.50
Coupon Total....$.50  *how pitiful is THAT!lol

I used my $11.50 in +Up Rewards and put the remaining .68¢ on my trusty Rite-Aid gift card so Zero OOP.

I earned ZERO +Up Rewards for this transaction and I got no Customer Survey though I did get one earlier in the week plus a Pharmacy Survey when I got my prescription filled.

A Note***It looks like RA pulled the AMP AdPerk/VV video and coupon off the website.  I guess the problem I had when I tried to use it was nationwide so they yanked it instead of having to deal with fixing/adjusting it.

This week, I have $35+ in +Ups to use by this coming Saturday.  We didn't get the Noxzema Qs here(of course!lol) and there is little I can see to buy to roll my +Ups besides the Compound W.  I really don't want to buy it since we have no use for it....sigh.  So basically unless something materializes this week, I'll be burning through a boatload of +Ups this week. 
It looks like my big stash of +Up Rewards will be dwindling down to nothing soon.  In a way it's a relief not to have to figure out how to roll/use them for awhile.  Maybe I need a break from Rite-Aid for a month or so.....
Since I won't get a summer vacation I'll aim to take a Rite-Aid vacation

So what is everyone else buying at Rite-Aid this week?
Come of people, inspire me! ;-)

Number of Transactions.....1
Total Spent....$.68
Value of Items....$21.92
SCR qualified for...$0.00
Other Rebates earned...$0.00
Gift Cards earned....$0.00
+Up Rewards earned...$0.00
+Up Rewards spent.....$11.50
+Up Rewards left to spend.....$51.76
And I have $39.36 left on my gift card.

Rite-Aid GRAND TOTALS--JULY Rebate Period so far

Number of Transactions......7
Total Spent....$2.38 put on free Gift Cards/Certificates so ZERO OOP

Number of Items purchased.....56
Value of Items purchased....$232.25
SCR qualified for....$9.00
Other Cash....$0.00
Additional Rebates....$0.00
Additional Non-Cash Rewards....$0.00

+UPS Totals for July SCR period
+Up Rewards carryover from 7/3.....$63.26

+Up Rewards spent....$46.93
+Up Rewards earned....$41.38

+Up Rewards left....$51.76  includes ALL +Ups not just ones from this SCR period


This Year's Garden...1st Update

I know I haven't blogged much(if any!)about our garden this year.
I don't know....I guess I am just not much 'into' the garden this year.

Here's a shot of the side bed from April 30th when we were just getting to cleaning out the beds and prepping the soil....

Usually we have nothing to harvest until mid July at the earliest because of our climate/zone.
Well, the 2 weeks of unseasonably HOT weather in early June sped up the rate of germination and growth a LOT!
We've been picking radishes for weeks!

I've got them coming out of my ears at this

And here is a shot of the same side bed taken two weeks ago....
A few tomato plants, some squashy/cuke type plants(I don't even remember what kinds....see what I mean about I'm not into it this year!lol) and a few bean plants.

We are having a devil of a time getting the bean plants to grow.  We've planted different kinds(bush and vine type)in all the different bed locations with little success.  Hubs sewed some into the wooden barrels also and those were doing great!
Until a critter found them and had a munchfest. bleh
 Hubs thinks one of the resident bunnies is decimating the bean plants since we know that the bunnies have jumped INTO the wooden barrels in the past.  But if the bunnies are doing this, explain why just the tops of the bean plants are being eaten, like someone taking a weedwacker to the plants and leaving the lower/bottom foliage and plant intact?  I think it's a taller animal, like a deer, walking through the yard and eating the tops of the bean plants.
Either way, our bean plants are not going to produce any beans this year.  *sigh*

Doesn't this shot look very lush and promising?
It is.
But it's all WEEDS not veggies!lol

And we got our first blossom on the eggplant plants 2 weeks ago.  See the lavender flower on the left in the photo?  I don't know if it will produce a fruit however since I haven't see any bees around yet to pollinate stuff.  The tomato plants in the backyard bed have golf ball sized tomatoes as of this week so I know the bees are around.
I hope I don't have to resort to playing bee and go from bloom to bloom with a paintbrush on the eggplant and squash blossoms. ;-)

Here's something I do that you might find unusual.
Lettuces are an early Spring crop.  You are suppose to plant it early and it dies back by mid summer usually.
Since we can't plant an early crop of lettuces/greens while the weather is still coolish here due to our climate, I sew the lettuce seeds among the cuke and squash plant seeds at the same time I sew the cuke/squash seeds.
This way, by the time the weather gets too warm for the lettuces(the hot weather that makes your lettuce wilt, dry up and die), the squash leaves have grown large enough to shield the lettuce from full sun.  The lettuce continues to grow well into August.

Here's my squash type plants....

 But move the leaves back and look closer....
 See my salad greens!

That's my diversity garden bed. 8-)

How is your garden doing?