Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Sacriest Halloween Costume EVER!

I'm wearing this mask because it's almost the scariest thing I can think of.
This man has been a heartbeat away from becoming our President for 4 years now and if things go one way, he will continue in that role.

Joe Biden....the man who claimed the wealthy got 500 TRILLION in a tax cut(hell the deficit is ONLY 16 Trillion right now!).....the man who averaged $300 a yr. for the past 10 years as his charitable giving on his tax return(while he earned how much per year?)....the man who never met a speech he didn't steal(remember the 1988 Presidential race?).......the man who considers any legislation he signed as a Senator from DE as his PERSONAL donation to charity....the man who, at the ceremony for the Navy Seal Tyrone Woods, made a disgustingly inappropriate comment to this patriotic young man's father about his son, the son who was murdered in Benghazi (when the White House told rescue forces to stand down), that I will NOT disclose.  Yes, it was confirmed and it is THAT offensive!

I'm sorry, having a doddering old fool in that high a seat of power is just wrong AND scary!


Have a Happy Socialist Halloween!

Here's what happened when someone tried to impose Socialist Ideals onto some kids' Trick or Treating fun.

You think this is unfair?
Just wait until you grow up kids! lol


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Rain & Wind Can't Keep Me From My Appointed RITE-AID Rounds!

Yes, before the weather got bad here on Monday, I was up at Rite-Aid.
The cashier reported it had been nuts in the store all know, with the people who wait until it's almost too late to get necessities like bottle water and batteries and flashlights.
Silly People......don't they EVER learn?

Me?  I was up hunting the deals.....

2 x Krave cereal on sale=$6.00
4 x Bounty paper towels BOGO sale=$2.98
2 x Pantene products on sale=$7.00
1 x Preparation H totable on sale=$3.99
1 x Lindt chocolates on sale=$3.00
4 x Hormel chili on sale $1.50=$6.00

Coupons Used
2 x $1.50/1 Krave cereal IPQ(Kellogg'sReward Qs)=$3.00
2 x $1/2 Bounty ManuQ(P&G insert)=$2.00
1 x BOGO Pantene products ManuQ=$3.50
1 x $1/1 Pantene Beautiful Lengths product Rite-AidQ(from self magazine)=$1.00
1 x $1/1 Preparation H product IPQ(website)=$1.00
1 x Free Q Lindt's(facebook-no longer available)=$3.00
2 x $1/2 Hormel chili ManuQ=$2.00
Coupon Total......$15.50

I used $13 in +Up Rewards and put the .47¢ on my Rite-Aid gift card.
I received $7 back in +Up Reweard($2 wyb2 Pantene, $2 wyb2 cereal, $3 Preparation H)and I have $9 tracking toward the Spend $12, Get $4 on select food items.


*Krave cereal.  This is among the cereals On sale for 2/$6 this week. Kellogg's has a Rewards program.  You save codes and get points and among the things you can get are coupons.  I joined, got some free codes and turned some in for this $1.50/1 on Krave cereal Q.  It printed 3 times so I have 3 Qs.  I used 2 and received $2 +Ups back for buying 2 boxes.  After sale/Qs/+Ups the cereal "cost" me .50¢ per box.

*Bounty Basic towels are BOGO this week, so $1.49 for 2 at my store.  Used the $1/2 ManuQ so each roll "cost" me .24/.25¢.

*Pantene on sale for 2/$7 this week.  I used the Buy one shampoo, get a conditioner or styler FREE P&G insert Q that expires on Wed.  So I paid $3.50 for the shampoo and got the conditioner free.  Then I stacked the Rite-Aid Q from Self magazine for $1/1 Beautiful Lengths variety of Pantene shampoo, making my total $2.50 for 2 after Qs.  Then for buying 2 Pantene products I received a $2 +Up Reward which made each bottle "cost" me .25¢.  Without the stacked Q, the total would have been .75¢ for each bottle.

*Preparation H totables on sale $3.99 this week.  There is a $1/1 Q on their website, making this $2.99.
There is a $3 +Ups for buying this item, so it is FREE or a .01¢ moneymaker after sale/Q and +Ups.

*Lindt's chocolate (small bags) on sale this week for $3.  There was a Free Lindt's Q offer(up to $3.99) on Facebook earlier this month.  I was able to get 4 prints of that Q.  Free bag of chocolate and it's a qualifying product for a "Spend $12, Get $4 +Ups back" Offer.  Free choccies and $3 toward that +Up Deal.

*Hormel chili is also part of that "Spend $12, Get $4 +Ups back" Offer.  On sale for $1.50 can, so 4 cans was $6.  I used 2 $1/2 ManuQs, making them "cost" me $4.  Add my $6(before Qs) spending to $3 for the Lindt's chocolate and I have $9 spending toward the $12 to get the $4 +Ups.
If I go buy 1 more bag of Lindt's with my Free Q, I'll have $12 spent, get a free bag of chocolate and a $4 +Ups this what will happen in the next couple of days.  8-))

In the end I "spent down" $6 in +Ups but after buying another bag of chocolate(and getting another $4 +Up with no spending), I'll only be "down" $2 in +Ups.

Grand Totals for October so far......

Out Of Pocket....$0.00  cash
Value of items bought.....$322.35
Savings Rate of  100%
Single Check Rebate due....$0.00
Other Rebates due......$0.00
After SCR applied, Out of Pocket.... $0.00
Savings Rate  100%

+Ups at beginning of month...$25.98+
+Ups used....$98.98+
+Ups received...$83.00+
+Ups currently...$10.00+ 


Reporting In From Eastern PA

We made it through the night.
Loss of power intermittently but nothing major.  I guess we lucked out here as PA was the 3rd worst hit with power outages.

We are down to light rain(which is going to continue until Friday)and some gusty winds.
Luckily, no downed trees around here either.....not even branches in the yard which we usually get with these types of storms.

The best thing I can go to Rite-Aid! lolol
Just to check on my friends/employees there......because I am concerned for their well being.....not that I want to shop for almost free or anything...... ;-)

I am just glad we weren't in Ocean City MD THIS week.

Hope everyone else made it through the night and is aok!


Monday, October 29, 2012

To My Neighbor....Have Fun Raking Again on Friday!

*I'm posting this Tuesday post now, as we will probably lose power at some point tonight.  I hope I don't see Antie Em and  Miss Gulch on her bike sometime tonight.*
We have a neighbor who is not on friendly terms with us.
Meaning he wants nothing to do with in he never initiates conversation, nor does he wave or smile or even acknowledge our existence.

I don't know why he is this way.  I'd like to think that it isn't his being a foreigner and wanting nothing to do with American ways and customs.  Our sons were friends when we moved here and remained friends through about the 3rd grade.  This kid's mother and I were Kindergarten parents together and she use to send her son over here to get homeowrk papers and forms he forgot from school.  Yes, I was suppose to scan and print out copies of homework papers for her kid but she barely spoke to me(her English is VERY good)and I never got a thanks either.

When our kids were young, they would play in their yard or ours.  Their kid had strict orders to never come inside our house and never eat or drink anything we offered to him.  Ok, I knew they were strict vegatarians and would never had given him a hamburger or something and I know how to read the labels on snack foods for gosh sakes!  But I didn't get too offended by him not drinking a juice box, etc.

But this not allowed inside our house?  I guess they figured we had a regular house of sin and decadence that would lead their son off the path to Allah.  Being typical Americans they probably thought we ran a house of prostitution or maybe even a Crack House.
Playing Pikmin on the GameCube in our den is just the epitome of evil, is it not?

My oldest asked their daughter out on a date many years ago.  She declined not because she didn't want to go, but because her parents refused to let her date.  I believe she has an arranged marriage but don't quote me on that.
It was to be a group date thing....more a teens going out together rather than pairing off, but even that she was not allowed to take part in.
I understand folks hanging onto their cultural identities but sometimes, if you refuse to mix with those in your community ON ANY LEVEL, who are not of your faith or racial group or cultural heritage, it appears that you don't want to belong to our American society.  You want all the perks but you don't want any of the responsibilities of being a member of that society. 

Anyway, relations went awry with this neighbor some time ago.

And He is anal about his yard.  That, right there, drives a wedge between him and us. lol
It's not so bad, except in the Fall when the leaves start falling.
If this neighbor had his way, he'd cut every tree in his yard, as well as in a 2 mile area around his house down.
He has taken down a couple of trees already.....small ones he's been able to cut down himself for free. 

There are some very large trees though and they are right on our joint property line.  He wants them taken down but he's too cheap to pay to have them removed.  I know because he asked us to take them down(meaning we should pay to have them removed)and he said he'd be "ok" with that even though the trees in question are partly on his property.

It wasn't broached as, "Let's do something about these trees together."  No, he clearly doesn't want the trees and he isn't concerned with if we want them to stay but he wants someone else to pay for the pleasure of having the trees removed.

Because of this, I am all for keeping those trees into eternity.  Even though one of them releases an ass ton of leaves into the swimming pool.  If we still live here when I die, I might just have a trust fund set up for the trees here, you know, to keep them happy and healthy and dropping leaves every Fall onto his yard into perpetuity.

So Mr. Neighbor gets out there in the Fall with his noisy ass leaf blower.  He can't be bothered to rake leaves, he has to wake the dead with that infernally loud machine.  What a waste of fossil fuels too!

And he blows the leaves into a long pile and then bags them so the municipality will cart them off.
When he blows, he starts about a foot or more inside his property line and blows them into a pile toward his house.  And that foot or more at the property line he doesn't blow into his pile?  He blows that over into OUR yard.  I guess he figures that since we have more trees on our lot, most of those leaves were ours to begin with anyway.
He doesn't think I notice but oh!....I do.....

We try to coordinate with our other neighbor who's property borders ours, so that we attack the fallen leaves on the same timetable.  What's the point of raking leaves, when your neighbor hasn't done his/her leaves yet, so that the next wind storm you get more leaves in your yard and you have to spend another day dealing with the leaves again?

Since we've been gone for the last week on a beach vacation, we came home to trees that look like this....

And here is what our yard looked like....just one little piece of it.....

And here is what our uncommunicative neighbor's yard looked like on Saturday.....

It appears that he is rimming his yard with bags of leaves now, huh?  Maybe he thinks he bags of leaves will act like sandbags against Hurricane Sandy's winds?

Notice how the other neighborhood adjoining his yard hasn't raked his leaves either? lol  I bet he blows a foot or so of his leaves onto that neighbor's yard too!

Anyway, it's a shame really.
A shame that our neighbor will be out there reblowing/bagging leaves after Sandy blows all our leaves into his nice leaf-free yard.
Friday is suppose to be a nice, partly sunny dry day.....the perfect weather for raking blowing leaves.
I will NOT be grinning evil-y......nope......not me......


Food spending OCTOBER Week 4, Meal Planning Week 4+ & NOVEMBER Week 1

When a weather emergency happens, we frugal, stockpiling mavens don't need to run to the stinkin' store for water, milk, bread and batteries!
We have the essentials in our stockpile already!  We are magnificent role models for society during emergency situations!
Having taken care of the basics, we can then concentrate on running to the liquor store and the snack food aisle of the grocery store.
Priorities people.....priorities!!


Since Hubs and I were down at the shore celebrating our 30th Anniversary, I have no CLUE what meals at home consisted of last week!  I left the almost 20 yr. old and 16.5 yr. old with many food options(most requiring little if any cooking), but other than some Ramen noodles they don't seem to have eaten anything!lol
Daughter got chinese take-out 1 night and #2 Son went and mooched off his friends and their family at least 1 night.
Oh, I forgot that 2 pizzas ARE MIA from the freezer.......of course they are! lolz

As for food spending......Hubs and I had a room with a kitchenette so we did do some food shopping on vacation.
We had breakfast in the room all but 1 day.
We had dinner in the room 1 night and we skipped lunch a few days and had toast or fruit in the room to get us through to dinner.  I spent $37.30 on groceries consumed last week.
We spent $24.94 on country ham to bring home for later(can't get it here).
Then we we got home, I went crazy Saturday at the grocery store and spent $109.81.  The local Shursave affiliate store is doing their Thanksgiving promotion(Spend $XXX, get a $XX gift certificate Deal)for the next 3 weeks.  I am using this time to stock up on sale items that are mostly nonperishable(canned/boxed/paper products/etc.).  Things I would need to buy anyway, so why not buy them in these 3 weeks and get credit toward the gift certificate.  
Since changing my shopping habits about 4 years ago, I haven't spent enough toward this Promotion to actually earn a gift certificate except for last year.  I may have a shot at a $15 certificate this year.  There is also a Baking Goods Catalina promo running concurrently with the Thanksgiving Promo....Spend $30 on select items and Earn a $10 Cat Q.  These baking promo items double dip with the Thanksgiving Promo.
So if you add up Week 2's spending of $52.68(which I didn't report last Monday), the $37.30 I spend for groceries on vacation, the $24.94 on ham we hauled home and the $109.81 from Saturday, that makes $224.73 used for 2 weeks worth of food spending.
Added to the $247.63 from the first 2 weeks of October and my grocery bill for October to this point is $472.36.
Over again this month by $72.36.
If I were to take out the money I give Daughter to buy convenience foods for lunches at work/school and the non-perishables I bought on Saturday to get the Thanksgiving Reward, I would have been under or on budget for the month.
Oh well.....there is always next month, right? ;-)
At least going over doesn't mean we go into debt to eat here.  While I don't have to keep under to stay solvent with the finances I still like to keep my thumb on the food spending.  If I ignore it and just spend whatever/whenever, the bottom line gets out of hand real fast!

Next month I plan to keep my $400 budget and PLEASE come here and wag your finger at me about that!  I am serious people!!

I still need to purchase about $200 for the Thanksgiving Promotion so half my Nov. budget will go for that.....buying items that will be needed for the month and/or good to have in the stockpile.  Another piece of my budget will go to Daughter for her lunches for work/school.  
As for Turkey Day, the only items I need to purchase for the Thanksgiving meal are whipped cream(for pies), celery, rutabaga and a turkey.  I have everything else--for stuffing, for making rolls, for pies, for cranberry sauce, for 3-4 veggie dishes.  I even have a few cans of GRAVY from last year.....yes Judy, I said GRAVY!!!lolz 
 I don't plan on stepping foot into Weis(Pound Me In The Ass)Markets in November so no GRAVY SCAVENGER HUNT this year for me!  More on the 2011 Great Gravy Saga HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE.  
If Weis does that Gravy Deal again and I start to waiver, please come here and tie me to my chair! ;-)


This week's menu.....taking power failure possibility into account.....
Sunday--Pot Roast, Carrots, Potatoes, Mushrooms, Onions

Monday--Sloppy Joe on Onion Rolls, Corn(can cook ahead Monday a.m.and reheat on grill burner should power go out later in day)

Tuesday--Grilled Steak(planning on no power), Kraft, Salad, Ice Cream LOL

Wednesday--Marinated Chicken Breast on grill(planning on no power), grilled Potatoes, thawing frozen Veggies will be heated on grill

Thursday--Beef Stew(from leftover Pot Roast-made on grill burner if no power), Homemade bread(if the power is back up)or store bought bread here(in no power)

Friday--Salmon, Rice, Broccoli (if power is up)--if no power, whatever is in fridge that has to be eaten
Saturday--Leftovers or TBA if still without power
What I need to buy this week to serve this menu?.....Not a single thing.  Ok, maybe some salad.

So what are you cooking at your house this week?
If you are in the path of the Sandy, do you have a contingency plan for meals?


Sunday, October 28, 2012

It's Heading Up the Coast Now!

Here's some photos from a friend on Facebook, down from where I am from.
These were taken on Hatteras Island today.  This is the second cycle of high tides since Sandy got offshore there.
That's the Frisco Pier, or rather what's left of it.......

And here are some homes about to be reclaimed by the sea......

Highway 12, the only road through the Outer Banks down to Hatteras is impassable in sections due to flooding and overwash from the sound and the ocean.   Widespread power outages in Eastern NC as well.

The low lying and underpass flooding has commenced in Norfolk VA according to friends in Hampton Roads.

Please don't be an idiot and go wandering out to the coast to see this people.
Stay home and let the adrenalin junkies on the Weather Channel go out in this and show you the pictures.


Storm Prep Sunday

So we left the shore on Friday, unpacked and a few other things on Saturday, and now we get to spend our Sunday making sure we are ready for Sandy to hit town.
I grew up in Virginia Beach so prepping for a Hurricane is nothing new to me.  I just never thought I'd have to do this sort of stuff in landlocked PA!lol

Here's my prep list.....

WATER--I had picked up 2 cases of water while down at the shore last week(the tap water there is nasty!lol)  Between what I have left and what I have here in bottle water, we are good to go on that item.

LIGHTS--I have a bevy of flashlights and a stockpile of batteries already.  I also have matches and jarred candles.

RADIO/PHONES--We have 2 radios that take batteries or electricity.  We have a landline in case the cell towers go down.  The cell phones are charged.

VEHICLES--The car that isn't filled yet will be filled up today if we need to bug out of here.  We aren't in a flood plain but if the electric goes down for an extended period and the temperature goes down, we may need to "hotel it" if the house gets too cold.  We have 2 different dog kennels on standby if needed, depending on where the grid problems are.  When the Tornado hit Dec. 1st in 2006 we lost power for 3 days but the outlying area and south of our town didn't.  The temp dropped from 70 to below freezing after the tornado came through so we had to bug out but didn't have to go far.  Last year with Tropical Storm Lee's flooding and then Hurricane Irene on top of it, we miraculously kept power and didn't have flooding at our house.  We've planned out 4 evacuation routes out of town, just in case we need to leave anyway.  Depending on where the flash flooding hits, we'll need options for routes out of the area.

CASH--I have cash on hand and it's enough for an emergency situation.

FOOD/COOKING--We have more than half a tank of propane on the gas grill, in case the grid goes down and we need to cook.  I'll be moving the meat/veg. items in the freezer I will need to get out for emergency cooking.
That way, if the electric goes out, 1 quick trip to the freezer and done so the door isn't opened alot and the coldness isn't dissipated.  Leaving the freezer shut will help keep the food from thawing sooner.  If the grid stays down, we'll be eating ice cream for
We have shelf stable foods to get us through at least 2 weeks, maybe more....let's hope it doesn't come to that though! ;-)  I've been making extra ice just in case and will keep the cooler from the trip out instead of putting it away in the garage.

CLOTHING-- We did laundry on Saturday from the trip so we are set on clean clothing for a week or two.

We are pretty much set except for bringing some outdoor things in.  I have to put the lawn chairs in the garage and make sure the flag pole is taken down too.
  Just waiting on if they are going to close the school here and watching the path.  Looks now like the worst of this will go inland PAST us into central South Central PA.

Everybody be safe now!!


Saturday, October 27, 2012


.....where I have been lately?

Does this photo help?

How about this one?

We hightailed it outta Ocean City MD as they were rolling up the sidewalks and blocking up the beach access against that unwelcomed  guest due to arrive soon, Hurricane Sandy.
Good thing we didn't elect to take next week for our beach holiday, right?lol

I'm back and sober(for the time being)and trying to get up to speed in the blog world.
What has everyone been up to?


Friday, October 26, 2012

It's Almost That Time Folks

Do you know what's just around the corner?
It's NOVEMBER and the kick-off to the madness we call Christmas Shopping!

This just in......just in time for the Holiday Shopping Season.....

Are YOU ready for it?


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Can It Be?....Another Boring Blog Box Giveaway?!?!

Another Boring Blog Box Giveaway...Come Enter!

Time for another......

Here's how it works.....
I put things in the box(mostly what I have gotten for free or almost free)each week and when the box is filled we draw a winner from all the entries received.

Here is what went into the Box today......
1.  1 Cover Girl mascara
2.  1 Cover Girl face powder (med. shade)
3.  1 Revlon nail file
4. 1 NYC nail polish
5. 1 Revlon nail polish
6. 1 NYC eye make-up compact (brown tones)

If this is your first time, please go read all the rules for these Giveaways HERE.  *As always, if you are located outside the US, you CAN enter and win but weight restrictions/shipping costs may mean your prize box will contain less items.*

***Time to enter.....You can enter on this Giveaway post until I close this post to entries.

1 entry per person per day on THIS POST.
Leave your name/email addy and a COMMENT on this post.  

This week I want to hear about your Thanksgiving plans.....
Do you cook/host a meal or do you go to someone else's to eat?
What do you eat for Thanksgiving?  Is it the traditional meal or is it "unusual"?
Do you have some family or regional traditional food to serve for Turkey day?
What kind of pie to you make/serve/eat?  Because we all know, Thanksgiving is about the
You can come directly to this blog post or find it through the link on the right side bar to leave 1 comment per day.  The current Giveaway Post will be linked right at the top of the side bar.

Please NOTE--You MUST be a follower to enter the Giveaway.  If you aren't one, just click on the "Follow" button on the right hand side of my blog to become a follower.

There are 2 ways to get 2 EXTRA entries on this and each new Giveaway Post.......

1. Put my blog on your blog's Blogroll.  Leave an extra comment for this entry on THIS POST with the URL of your blog so I can go check it out. **If I'm already on your Blogroll, say so in an extra entry comment once each week of this giveaway.
2.  Blog about this Giveaway on your blog with a link to this post.  Leave an extra comment for this entry on THIS POST with a link to your blog post so I can go view it.  You can do this extra entry once each week of this giveaway.

Any questions?  Just email me.

Happy Entering!! 


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Government is Dangerous

The Founding Fathers understood government.
They knew is was a great tool but it was a dangerous one.
Left unrestricted, it becomes lethal.
An eye or a million, has to be kept on it at ALL times.

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. "--George Washington

If not, we get elected officials who love their job so much that we can't get them to leave when they become unproductive.
They vote on their own salaries.....who wouldn't love that, right?
Nobody to deny you that raise you THINK you deserve, even if you've passed NO legislation like MY current Senator, Bob Casey.
It's been said of him that, "If he possessed a Super Power, it would be Invisibility."
Yes folks, if he didn't answer the roll call, no one would know he was IN Congrees!

Do you know the last time he sponsored legislation?
6.....SIX YEARS ago.
For 6 years we have been paying this man to do nothing but sit around in Washington and  do nothing.
His voting record, when he even votes, is abysmal.
But you know he shows up every payday and takes every perk allowed him.
And because none of these Legislators are STUPID enough to vote themselves Term Limits, we are doomed.

Have YOU got a crappy Senator?
I want to hear all about him/her.
I'll bet money mine is worse.  8-(


The One Where I Get Cranky About Politics & Our Young People

As a woman of "a certain age", I have basically given up.
Given up on my generation actually doing anything to change the direction our country is heading.
Can you say Roman Empire?
Heck, can you say modern day Greece?!

We inherited a fiscal mess from the previous generation and overall I have just seen it get worse year after year, not better.
And don't even get me started on all the social policies.....!
Between living on credit, ignoring a political and economic system that desperately needed overhauling and making bad personal choices when we have/had money, so that combined with the fiscal situation, we don't have enough to last through the end of our lives, so as not to burden the next generation with massive debt, our society is handing the next generation an even worse society.  Their future looks quite dismal.

We are standing at a great crossroads in our Country and while the American people as a whole sink at an ever hastening pace into a great abyss, the leaders in our nation stand on public stages and promise the moon AND the stars for our votes, all the while pointing fingers at each other and spend their time and energy to see who can fling the most horseshit at the other.
If political were a pissing match(and I'm not saying it isn't!lol), the National Leaders of the USA would be the Masters of the Pissing Match Universe.

I told my eldest son, who is about to graduate college into this abysmal economy and will need to find a job that can support him soon, that I had great hope that his generation would be the one to "right this ship".  Instead of supporting National Leaders who seek to gain and/or hold Power over our Nation, by being Leaders who separate us as a people, which is basically what the Republican and Democrat Leaders do, I have a view of this Generation actually seeing these people for what they are and what they do to our citizenry in order to keep us enslaved to ways of doing things that ONLY benefit these Political Leaders.
Benefit these Political Leaders at the expense of our Society as a whole.

I have a glimmer of hope that "our kids" can actually see past all the bullshit our Leaders talk and work together for the actual good of our society.

And then my son dashed that hope.  He actually laughed at me for holding this hope!
He told me that, as he looked around at the peer group surrounding him on his college campus, that he sees a generation, HIS generation, that is just like my generation had been at their age.  These newly minted citizens, the kids coming of age in 2012-2013 into an Adult world have their heads up their own asses.....or more specifically, have their heads up in Jersey Shore and other MTV type "non-reality" shows, up in their electronics, up in their social life/dating life/scoring life, in their goal to see who can skip more class lectures and still pass the course because they can't seem to find the time to study/attend class because they are always out at the bars or hungover.

Back when I was young we had a slogan, "Question Authority".
It was a good saying and a commendable way to live your life.

But we need to get these kids to go beyond the questioning and demanding answers.
They need to actively participate in helping solve the problems and not sit back as a group, like MY generation did,  and let others craft the pathway to the future.

Questioning is just the first step.
To be part of the solution, they need to get actively involved.....not just protesting and whining because they didn't get some government bailout or entitlement, or they didn't understand that when they signed that student loan promissory note  that it was going to change the course of their Adult financial life.
That's not "involved".
That just complaining about what life is handing you.

They need to be part of the solution.  That begins by joining in the dialogue, joining organizations DOING something  and being taken seriously by the Adult world.
And put the damned smartphones down and stop texting long enough to use their brains to work together to solve this mess for the good of their generation and the generation that follows them.

If you have a young person in your life, you need to get them to watch this short film at the end of this post.
And talk to them about being active in their government and participating in their future!
And tell them, that if they aren't interested enough to be involved in how their world runs, that someone else(with their own agenda)will be more than happy to run their world and probably make their lives one sorry place to be stuck in.

Make sure they register to vote and then nag them about voting ONLY AFTER they have become aware of the issues and how everyone who runs for office will vote on the issues.
If your young person is clueless on how the issues they are concerned about line up with the political schools of thought out there, have them go take this quiz HERE.
Hey, it's an online quiz......young people seriously LOVE to take these.  I see it all the time on Facebook with them!
If nothing else it might get them thinking about something other than the stuff they usually think about that, in the grand scheme of things, doesn't really matter much.

If this generation wants ANYTHING to really change/get better in this country they need to understand that NOTHING will change really until they realize that voting ONLY every 4th year for a President is NOT acceptable!
The people you can elect in your government who will have the MOST impact on your day to day life are those in Congress--your Senators and House Representatives.
Not voting for your legislative representatives is a cop-out.

So please, if you have a young person in your life, talk to them about our government.  I know they have government or civics classes in high school, but do you really think they paid attention to those lectures?
Seriously, do you?! lol
Talk real issues at the dinner table with your kids.....not just what hot new band they want to see, or what celebrity was caught on camera being naughty or who wore what to which awards ceremony.

And it's never too early to get them involved in learning what's going on in the adult world around them....not who's on Dancing With The Stars but what real issues are facing our world and mostly certainly will impact them as Adults on down the line.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Don't Miss This Debate!...The Free & Equal One

No, I'm not talking about the Press Conference aka The Presidential Debate on Monday night.

I'm talking about the 3rd Party Candidates Debate taking place on October 23rd, Tuesday.
Go HERE to find out where and when.
It's being streamed live online so don't miss it if you want to hear what Candidates other than the Reps and Dems are proposing for our Country.

The Presidential candidates from the Libertarian party, the Green party, the Constitution party and the Justice party will all be on the stage exchanging views and ideas and actually giving some REAL answers to the crises that are facing our nation.

Be there or be square!


Thought For The Day

Saturday, October 20, 2012

This Is Crazy....But Crazy Good!

Having a kid in Marching Band means I am a Marching Band Parent.  And in most American school systems this means that you are part of a Booster Group raising the funds to support your kid's "Sport".
Yes, Marching Band IS a sport, yet little if any school district funds are earmarked for this school activity.
The Football team, the Basketball team, the Wrestling team, the Track and Field team, the Field Hockey team, even the Cheerleading team gets a substantial share of the money allocated for school sports.
(And don't get me started about the 1 million dollars the school district spent on the football field when there are not enough classrooms to accommodate the number of students here to learn in classes.)

District Funds allocated for the Marching Band?
Not so much.
So this means the Parents Association spends a lot of time and effort raising money so the kids can afford the fees and to travel to competitions.
We also host a tournament at our school....not so much for the kids to compete but because it's a good opportunity to fund raise for our Marching

We have considered and attempted many moneymaking schemes over the past 4 years I've had a kid in Marching Band.  The kids have tried to sell anything you can think of to raise funds.  We have had car washes, dinners, sold ads, etc.

We are hosting a Marching Band Tournament next month.  One of the fundraising schemes(along with selling food concessions, selling flowers and candy-o-grams to give to the participants)that is being done is a Basket Raffle in the high school and at the tournament that weekend.

I volunteered to put together a Basket for the raffle.
Of course, I am using some of my excess Toiletries to good use here!

I gleaned 2 large grocery bags of personal care items from my stash.  This is enough for 3 baskets!
Then I hit the Dollar Store for actual baskets/containers to present the items in and for clear cellophane wrap to make it all nice and yummy.  I've got ribbon and bows here already for the finishing touch.

So today, I divvied up the items and I have 2 woman's baskets and 1 man's basket.

Each basket has at least $40 in retail value of personal care items.  I'll actually "build/arrange" the stuff in the baskets and wrap them late next week.

The funny thing about all this.......I spent MORE on the Baskets and Cellophane Wrap than I spent on all the STUFF going into the Baskets!!!
Yes, I spent $5.30 in cash....but on the presentation stuff, not on the products.
The products were basically free.

Crazy, huh?

I hope the Raffle is a success and they realize some profits from this.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Traipsing About the Graveyard

Here's some thoughts from my latest forays into the local graveyards.  When I go to take photos of loved ones headstones who request them on Find A Grave, I look around at the other interesting monuments I see and take photos of them as well.  If no one has posted pictures of them on F.A.G., I post mine because you never know when their family will go looking online for them.  I also share the "interesting" ones with you all.
Aren't y'all glad to be lucky like that?! 8-)

I wanted to share this lovely memorial with you all.....

You gotta love a man who goes by the name of  "Toot", don't you?
Can you tell what he did for a living? lol

And isn't technology great?.....I realize you can't "see" the headstone up close, but to be able to take a photograph like that and etch it into a headstone with that much detail?  My photograph doesn't capture nearly enough the quality of this one.

Of course, I wonder how it will look in 80 or so years after the elements have had their way with this slab of polished granite.  It's so sad to see the state of some of these older headstones out here.....

This one is only 90 yrs. old and look how worn it is.  The quality of stones is so inconsistent.  Even within the same media the materials can wear badly on one stone and markedly worse on another.

How about these 2 headstones.  They are sitting next to each other in the cemetery where I went to take some volunteer pictures for Find A Grave.....

This is the one I went to photograph.

And this is the one right next door.
Notice the last name AND the husband's first names are identical.  Turns out the second guy is the son of the first guy.  Duh.

And I'm confused about something.  Obviously this 2nd couple liked to bowl and hunt.  But did Ann Marie have the shooting skills and Harvey have good aim at the balls?
This kind of stuff weighs on my mind people!

And this one here I have titled "She always gets the last word!"

Ernest and Violet Williams were married 60 years before Ernest went to his reward in 2001.
I am sure they had their share of "having words" with each other in those 60 years, as most married couples do.

Well Violet outlived Ernest by 5 years.
And since she was the last man standing(so to speak), SHE got the last word about what little symbols and icons to etch into the headstone that would be their memorial here on Earth into eternity.
The cross in the middle is pretty standard fare, but look at the pair of scissors and that ball of yarn......Violet's idea no doubt.  But what about Ernest's icons?  Unless Ernest made tin toys I don't see how a pair of scissors was representative of what he liked to do in life.

I am imagining the conversation in the living room back in the '90's.
As Ernest sat in his lazy-boy recliner with his copy of the newspaper, listening to some sports game on tv.

Violet: So what do you think Ernest?  I think I'm going to go for a ball of yarn or something crafty on my side of the headstone.....what do you think?   Ernest.....ERNEST?!

Ernest:  What?  What did you say?.....oh, the headstone again.  Why can't I enjoy my paper without you babbling on and on about this stupid marker!  What do I care?....I'll be dead!  I won't be looking at it so whatever.

Violet: Sometimes you are so pig headed I wonder why I ever married you!  You don't care about my feelings, do you?  Would it kill you to play along with me and help make a decision for a change?  After all Ernest, it IS your money.

Ernest:  And don't I KNOW IT!  Humph.....all that money for what?  A hunk of rock......

Violet:  Ernest!  You are just so mean.  You can get your own dinner tomorrow night!  sniffle, sniffle....wipes a tear or two are just a monster.......quiet sobbing.......she hurries out of the room into the kitchen and takes a kleenex out of her apron pocket.....

Ernest: Violet!  Wait....come back!  There you go again......Violet turns and looks at him......I'm sorry, for real this time.  I'm just so tired tonight.  I didn't mean to get mad at you.  I've just had a bad week.  The fellas down at the VFW have been giving me fits over not going to Deer Camp last year.....and my blood pressure it up and that son of yours is driving me crazy with his calling here and asking me to invest in another of his lame brain schemes.  I knew we'd have problems with that kid from day one!
I've just been on edge and not myself honey.
I'm sorry....don't cry.......

Violet: Violet goes over to "her" chair and sits while dabbing at her eye.  Oh, I know you don't mean it.
I overreacted I guess.   You poor thing you.  Can I get you a beer or something?  I hate it when we fight.

Ernest puts down his paper and leans over and takes her hand and pats it.
Ernest: No, I'm ok.  I just want us to get along.  After all these years, we should be past stuff like this, right?  You just go ahead and put whatever you want on that headstone of ours.
Ernest raises his paper again to read.
Just make sure you don't put any of your girlie symbols and whatnot on MY side of the headstone!  Just put a buck or some antlers or a shotgun on my side of it....that'll be fine, mighty fine!

And for outliving her husband by 5 years, Violet gets the last words and her revenge on Ernest and 60 years of marriage by taking up all the real estate on that headstone with what SHE wanted on it.......



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Entertaining Myself at Rite-Aid

While SonyaAnn has casinos and gambling to entertain her, I have Rite-Aid shopping.
Each works for each of us.....SonyaAnn only uses cash she would blow anyway on some other entertainment(like movies, eating out, etc.) and I don't use money shopping at Rite-Aid. a great while I use actual money....but it doesn't happen very often! ;-)

Used the last of that Right Guard raincheck and got 2 more packs of soap=$3.98
Got 2 more packs of socks(1 was $3.99 after Wellness disc., the other was $4.55=$8.54
2 more bottles of Robitussin($5.59 with Wellness disc.)=$11.18
1 more Blistex lip balm=$2.39
3 packs of Trident gum on sale 3/$3 this week=$3.00

Coupons used....
1 x $2/2 Right Guard IPQ=$2.00
1 x $1/1 Right Guard PeelieQ=$1.00
2 x $3 Robitussin In-Ad Q=$6.00
2 x $3/1 Robitussin ManuQ=$6.00
2 x .25¢/1 Trident VV/AdPerks Q=$.50
Coupon Total.....$15.50

$29.09-$15.50=$13.59 + $.03tax=$13.62

I used $13 in +Up Rewards to pay and put the .62¢ on my gift card.

I received $11.50 back in +Up Rewards(2 x $4 socks, $2.50 Blistex, $1 WYB3 Trident).
This lot of goodies "cost" me $1.50 in +Up Rewards.

Grand Totals for October so far......

Out Of Pocket....$0.00  cash
Value of items bought.....$277.29
Savings Rate of  100%
Single Check Rebate due....$0.00
Other Rebates due......$0.00
After SCR applied, Out of Pocket.... $0.00
Savings Rate  100%

+Ups at beginning of month...$25.98+
+Ups used....$85.98+
+Ups received...$76.00+
+Ups currently...$16.00+


Inflation, Financial Suicide & Being Henny Penny

Some of you may want to go 'fortify' yourselves with some adult beverages before reading this.
It's a rambling missive in which I reflect on economic things and I do a fairly good impersonation of Henny Penny.   I will try to be perkier on Friday.  *

As we go into a brand new world after this election cycle I foresee things changing in this country.....but only changing for the worse for the average citizen no matter which "party" takes control.
I see lots of people struggling.....struggling everyday just to hang onto the life they have now.  More people swiping Access Cards(food stamp cards)at the grocery store or putting things back after they run out of cash at the register......people not filling their gas tanks fully at the gas parking lots seem a bit emptier.....the number of cars in the parking lot at the food bank when it's open is noticeably higher, et cetera.
With the growing rate of inflation, and the hyperinflation that's sure to come eventually if the course in this country isn't changed, it will be getting harder and harder to just maintain our lifestyle as it is.  Doing better financially is just not something that most of us can even hope for anymore!

As prices rise, more and more families are slipping off the cliff and falling into not being able to sustain themselves.  The wise ones are downsizing from their unaffordable ways, buying less and buying cheaper(though buying cheaper isn't always wise in the long run).  The ones who saw it coming put their heads down and braced themselves for austerity.  Hard times had forced many into trying on the frugal lifestyle.
While the rise of frugality in 2008 was an anomaly of the time that marked the beginning of the Great Recession of the 21st Century, the level of frugality we have now 4 years later indicates that it is NOT just a passing fade and that it has become the "New Normal" in this country.

Families are falling off the financial cliff due to several factors, but these people boil down to 2 financially fragile groups in this country......those who are not being able to change their lifestyles even if they want to and those who are unwilling to change their lifestyles even when it's clear that financial change is needed.

Now I can understand the group of people who want to change their lifestyle but are unable.....I mean those who, due to a lack of education or resources can't do anything beyond the same stuff to improve their standing in the economic world.  Then there are the people who can't work due to age or disability or mental illness mostly.  Granted this is a very small group.  Even some who are disabled or old or mentally unstable can find ways to bring in money if they put their minds to it.  I've seen it.  These folks are going to have a hard time getting some national chain business to hire them for a 40 hr. a week gig, but there are ways to bring in money.  You just have to be open to different ideas of what employment means and what an acceptable lifestyle is and embrace an opportunity when it comes along.

Notice that I didn't include the economically oppressed in this first group of the financially fragile.  While most of the poor have few economic options they do have their mental and their physical faculties going for them.  How else does one explain the success of many of our ancestors, who came here as poor immigrants, with nothing but a sack of belongings and some not even being able to speak the language of the land?  If someone with all that going against them could survive and thrive in a mostly hostile environment, don't tell me that an able bodied young economically challenged person can't find a way to support themselves now. 
But I digress.....

What I don't get are the people who refuse to change their lifestyles even when the reasons are staring them in the face!
If you were holding an anchor in your hands and standing on a ship that is taking on water......why are you not throwing that anchor overboard and using your hands to frantically bail the boat out?

That's what I see that the families who are unwilling to change their lifestyles are doing.  Continuing to hold onto the ways and lifestyle they use to have, even though their brain tells them that is NOT what they should be doing. 

An example of this is people who can't afford the car or the house that they own.  At some point in the past, they bought a house or a car and could afford the payments/mortgage but due to economic factors(income loss, price of gas, property taxes, insurance, etc.), paying for that car or house means they live above their income each month.  The house or car is unsustainable in their life.  No matter what they juggle financially, they just can't afford to pay all the bills and pay for that car or home too.

They may try to cut something else down or out, like food.  This may only be a short term solution because if their life is suffering in some other category because they are using  their economic resources to support a house or car payment that is unrealistic for their income level, eventually their solution will fail and they'll still have to face that crisis again.
We had a family member recently who went through this exact scenario.  They had a car repossessed and needed $2K+ to get it back, which they didn't have.  Come to find out they couldn't afford the payments on this car due to their income and other lifestyle choices.  But they were insistent on getting this car back.  It was pointed out to them that maybe getting the car back was NOT something they should do, since because of the lack of resources, they would not be able to make the payments yet again down the road,  and would lose said car again....thus having to find another $2K+ to get it back, which they wouldn't have in their budget obviously to do so.
Why was this person holding onto this car so desperately?.....a car that was unsustainable in their life?
This person was so emotionally attached to a C-A-R, they couldn't see how financially toxic is was to their life!
I am happy to report that the family member ultimately decided to let the bank take the car back and used some unexpected cash funds to buy a used car that they CAN afford.

When folks realize they need to cut an item out of their life, why do people not do it?

--Is it because of the lust for the item?  They have talked themselves into believing that in order to be happy they NEED that item no matter the cost to their financial well being?

--Is it the "what will everyone else think of me?" syndrome, where our image in the world is so important that we'll put our financial well being at risk?  "If I lose my car or house, my peers will think something negative about me?"  How they appear to the world is more important than being solvent?

--Is is denial that a problem exists?  They are so deluded about reality that they don't even see there is a problem here?

--Is is fear of the unknown?  They know they have to get rid of the car or home but they are so petrified of what will happen when they do so?

--Or is is combination of any or all of these reasons that people make insensible choices in their lives with money?

* Tell me what YOU think!  Are you downsizing your life?  Do you need to downsize your life?  Do you see more financial mayhem coming toward us after this election cycle?

* Tell me I'm wrong and why.  Got another opinion?....Tell me!

* Do we need to lower our economic expectations in this country?

* Tell me how you stay financially sustainable....give me examples.  Maybe you'll inspire someone!

* Tell me your personal story about being financially fragile and what you have done/are doing to get yourself out of that state.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

For Mark Because I "Get" Him

Get your head out of the gutter.....I get him in a political way.
You dirty dirty people....

Mark's post today is HERE.

The photo of Fred accompanying it instantly made me think of this political satire photo and literally laugh out loud!   
Yes, I scared the dogs doing that....

If you don't know Mark and Fred then just keep moving along....otherwise nod in understanding and let a wide grin slide slowly across your face.

Sluggy-who's still glad Fred can't vote yet ;-)

You Get Me.....You Really Do!

If you remember oh....yesterday's don't say you can't remember THAT long ago or I will commence to worry about you!......anyway, I presented an issue of great importance that was driving me to distraction.

After reading every blessed comment left, I am so glad to see that I have been VALIDATED on this issue!

Ok...maybe she should be saying, "You are like me!" lol

Thanks to one and all.
Of course, you my dear readers are of the frugal mindset(well, MOST of you are!lol)so I knew I had a supportive audience before I began. 
Now I just need all of you to come here and help me with a frugal intervention with the Hubs.


More Rite-Aid This Week...Oh Goody I Hear You Say!

And here is a quickie.......stop smirking Judy.......

2 x Brach's Candy Corn Mix..Gawd! Enough with the candy corn already!!! on sale=$2.00
2 x No Nonsense Sock Packs w/Wellness 20% off($3.99)=$7.98
1 x Blistex moisture lip balm on sale but cheaper w/20% Wellness disc.=$2.39
1 x Conair 2 pack combs w/20% Wellness disc.=$3.51  that's STILL alot to pay for 2 combs!
1 x Robitussin Cough/Cold syrup w/20% Wellness disc.=$5.59  I opted for sugar-free diabetic variety
3 x Rite-Aid brand Spice w/20% Wellness disc.=$2.40 (.80¢ ea.-cheaper than dollar stores)

Coupons Used
1 x $1.50/2 Brach's IPQ=$1.50  (I had to use this one as it expires next week.)
1 x $2/1 Conair item In-Ad Q from sales flyer=$2.00
1 x $3/1 Robitussin item In-Ad Q from sales flyer=$3.00
1 x $3/1 Robitussin item ManuQ(9/30 RP)=$3.00
Coupon Total....$9.50

I used $14 in +Up Rewards and put the .37¢ on my Rite-Aid gift card.(The balance is now under $10.)
I received back $11.50 in +Up Rewards (2 x $4 NN Socks, $2.50 Blistex, $1 wyb3 Spices)
This means all this stuff cost me $2.50 in +Up Rewards.

Now the analysis.....

* The candy corn cost .50¢ a bag after the Q.  I will be so glad when candy corn season is over!lol

*The No Nonsense socks 2-3 packs give a $4 +Up this week per pack, Limit 2(The sign may say Limit 3 but it's a lie!)  They had a single pr. of socks pack that would have been a moneymaker after +Ups BUT, it was NOT a 2-3 pack and the sign said +Ups only on 2-3 packs so I didn't chance it.  After 20% Wellness disc, the $4.99 socks were $3.99 each and I got a $4 +Ups back for each, so a 2 cents moneymaker!lol
Free socks so I won't complain, right?

The Blistex is a no-brainer.  It's the Moisture Melt variety, on sale for $2.50 and gives a $2.50 +Up.
If you have 20% discount level you pay $2.39 and still get a $2.50 +Up back.  11 cent moneymaker but who's counting?  My store had signage and lots on the peg and it's already Tuesday.....this is puzzling why it's not sold out!

* Conair hairbrushes, combs, mirrors, rollers.  This $2/1 In-Ad Q is NOT good on a single comb however(which still would have made it cost .71¢ after Q and discount).  I got the cheapest items I could find that qualified-a 2 pack of combs.  #2 Son eats combs....he must, at the rate at which they disappear around here. Ingesting combs is not good for one's health...I need to stop feeding his addiction.  The comb pack after 20% discount and $2Q still cost me $1.51.  I might just return this and go buy a pack of combs at the Dollar Tree and save myself .45¢ after tax.  Not my brightest purchase, eh?

* Robitussin.....bought the cheaper type.  Prices were $6.99 or $7.29 reg. shelf.  Either price point after 20% Wellness disc. would have netted me FREE cold meds.  I stacked a $3 Robitussin ManuQ with the $3 Robitussin In-Ad Q, giving me a $6 reduction in the price of the item.  The item was slightly under $6 after disc. but I had other items(like those overpriced combs)to eat up that overage.  Give the ManuQ first and then the In-Ad Q to avoid making the register gods angry and causing the dreaded BEEPAGE!

* The Spices....a little gen I just happened to spot wandering down the food aisle.
Rite-Aid spices are $1 this week.....I think they are $1 EVERY week!lol  With your 20% discount they will cost you .80, which is still cheaper than the Dollar Stores.
Even better this week, buy 3 Spices and get a $1 +Up Reward back.....meaning after counting the +Up, you pay $1.40 for 3 bottles of spice, or .4666666¢ each.  HALF the price of the Dollar store!  I picked up Garlic powder, Chili powder and Oregano.  We go through a LOT of garlic and oregano here.  I believe the limit on this +Up deal was 3....or was it 4?  Next time I'll pay more attention to that.

Another trip is in order later this week......more Robitussin, more Socks and Blistex(on BIL's card), more Spices and cheap Trident which I didn't pick up yet.

So what, if anything, are YOU getting at Rite-Aid this week?

Grand Totals for October so far......

Out Of Pocket....$0.00  cash
Value of items bought.....$232.99
Savings Rate of  100%
Single Check Rebate due....$0.00
Other Rebates due......$0.00
After SCR applied, Out of Pocket.... $0.00
Savings Rate  100%

+Ups at beginning of month...$25.98+
+Ups used....$72.98+
+Ups received...$64.50+
+Ups currently...$17.50+


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Eat Fresh! But Don't YOU DARE Save Money Doing It!

I want to get some other folks thoughts on an issue Hubs and I can't seem to see eye-to-eye on.

Subway is currently running a "special" this month.
A 6" Meatball or Combo Sub is $2.

When we get Subway, #2 Son always gets a Meatball Sub.
He will eat 1 12" or 2 6" subs worth.

So we went to Subway to get some subs to take home for dinner the other night.
I tell Hubs to get #2 Son 2 6" subs, so we pay $4.  If they make it as 1 12" sub, it's the regular price of $5.
We save $1 on his meal if we purchase it as 2 6" subs.

Hubs says that no, if he wants 12" of sub, he'll buy 1 footlong sub and not 2 6" subs.
He's spending an extra $1 on this when he doesn't have to......and he REFUSES to do it my way and save that $1.
It is driving me insane!

Why is he so bull headed?  It's not like I am asking him to use a coupon or do anything dodgy or illegal!

I know we won't starve for want of him spending that extra $1 on the sub(s) but why spend it when you don't have to?!

You do stuff like this....spend unnecessary money when you don't have to......and it adds up, right?
It just goes against every frugal fiber in my being.

I think he'd better off saving that $1 because the alternative is spending many more dollars than that when he has to pay for additional blood pressure medication for me because he is making it shoot into the stratosphere, he is!

I guess I could go start drinking heavily instead of getting annoyed to no end.

So how about you?
What side of this globally important issue do you come down on?

*Would you buy 2 smaller subs and save that buck?

*Or would you be so inflexible and stick to the way you always buy the sub, as a footlong and go ahead and waste money by staying with how you have always done it in the past?

As you can see from how I worded this question, I harbor no bias toward either side of this issue.....*snort*....


Monday, October 15, 2012

Food Spending OCTOBER Week 2, Meal Planning Week 3 & A Bit More

 Need I say more?

And here is what passed for meals around here last week....

Sunday--Salmon, Asparagus, Coconut Milk Rice
Monday--Hot Dogs, Corn, Beans
Tuesday--Tuna Helper, Brussel Sprouts
Wednesday--Chicken Parmesan, Caesar Salad
Thursday--Chinese Take-Out
Friday--Subway Sammies

Can you tell I ran out of steam at the end of the week? lol

Last week I was good.  One trip to the grocery was it for me.  I spent $45.57.  Reg. retail would have been $72.57.  I used no coupons but just bought loss leaders and sale items.  I did an Instant $5 Discount Deal(on Betty C/Gold Medal/Green Giant/etc. items) which made my spending total higher, but it was all things I would need in the weeks coming.....pie crust mix(cheaper and easier to store than the frozen crusts), bags of flour(holiday baking and we were almost out), OJ for $1.88(!), a couple of Healthy Choice TV dinners for $1.88(for when #2 son doesn't want what I cook), 100% Juice for $1.66(!), some sugared-up yogurt, apples, grapefruit, milk and chicken(thighs on sale) and ground beef(was all out of this/needed it for Sunday's dinner/good sale price).

I've spent $247.63 of my $400 monthly food budget so far this month.  That leaves me $152.37 for the second half of October....or to break it down, approx. $75 for each of the next 2 weeks.
It's very do-able I think....considering the sales ads here SUCK this week! ;-)
I am going into the new week with these leftovers......NOTHING!   I am cooking a tad less  in quantities overall, so we are having fewer leftovers.  What little leftovers we had this past week got used.  1 helping of Tuna Casserole, 1 helping of Salmon and Asparagus and 1 helping of Chicken Parm each gotten for lunches or on leftover night.  Hubs used some of the leftover rice with his leftover Chinese food for lunch yesterday and he's used more of it up for lunch today by throwing some chili over it. Mmmmmm


This week's menu.....moving 2 meals we didn't serve last week to here.

Sunday--Tacos(that we didn't have last week)
Monday--Crockpot Garlic Pork, Mashed Potatoes, Collards(from garden)
Tuesday--Beef Stroganoff, Rice(using leftover rice), Sugar Snap Beans
Wednesday--Rigatoni with Sauce, Garlic Bread, Caesar Salad
Thursday--Barbecue Chicken Thighs, Veggie I dig out of the freezer, Cornbread
What I need to buy this week to serve this menu?.....lettuce, mushrooms, sour cream and frozen pizzas.  I figure I'll be out of steam by Friday and there is a good deal on Freschetta pies this week(plus a $1.50 Q)so I'll just break the bank here and buy some pizzas.  I can dress them up once I get them home if I want them to taste almost homemade.  I want to pick up some fruit this week as well.  Add in the milk and we can do this for about $30.

So what are you cooking at your house this week?

Let me tack on a quick run to Rite-Aid this morning too because that's not enough for a post unto its self.  My store runs out of 12 packs quickly when they go on sale, especially the Dr. Pepper.  If I wanted any I had to jump on this or have to go all the way downtown to do the deal later in the week.  And why spend the gas going downtown if I don't have to, right?

3 x Coke Product(Dr. Pepper) on sale Have to buy 3=$12.00
1 x Coke Product(Dr. Pepper) w/Wellness Discount=$4.71

Coupons used were....
2 x $1/2 12 packs Dr. Pepper IPQ=$2.00
2 x $1/2 12 packs Dr. Pepper VV AdPerks Q=$2.00
$16.71-$4.00=$12.71 + .04¢tax(on the .71 I didn't use +Ups to pay)=$12.75
I used $12 in +Ups to pay and put the .75¢ on the trusty gift card.
I received $3 +Ups for buying 3 coke product 12 packs, so I spent down my +Ups by $9.
I had to get that extra pack so I could use the 2nd of the AdPerks and the IPQs.
After everything this deal worked out to $2.25 per 12 pack which is a good price for here.
I'll hide 2 of these away for the kids until Christmas time, because I figure now that I'm done buying soda for this year, they'll be out by then.
Having this unexpected surprise will help keep them in a good mood when they are home trapped all day with me.  It's my "eye rolling" insurance.  lol\
And can you believe what Rite-Aid is charging for 12 packs of soda now, their regular price which I NEVER buy it for?
For colored sugar water. 
Are WE insane or are THEY for thinking anybody would buy this product for that price?

Grand Totals for October so far......

Out Of Pocket....$0.00  cash
Value of items bought.....$202.46
Savings Rate of  100%
Single Check Rebate due....$0.00
Other Rebates due......$0.00
After SCR applied, Out of Pocket.... $0.00
Savings Rate  100%

+Ups at beginning of month...$25.98+
+Ups used....$58.98+
+Ups received...$53.00+
+Ups currently...$20.00+


Sunday, October 14, 2012

The End of Rite-Aid Shopping for 10/7-10/13

Here's what I got an Rite-Aid late Saturday afternoon.
This was as soon as I could get around last week to getting back there!
I wanted to hit the larger Rite-Aid downtown because my town's store has less shelf space so lots of times by the time I hit them for a good sale, they are wiped out.
This other Rite-Aid also gets their truck in on Friday's so on Saturday, IF they got wiped out during the week, they get more goodies in for me to buy....woohoo!

So here is what I got.....

2 x Dove for Men Body Wash for $7.  They had them at this store so after $4 in Qs and the $2+Up I got back,, they cost me .50¢ for each bottle.

2 x Colgate Toothpaste at $5.98.  I used 2 x $1/1 ManuQs and after the 2 x $2+Up they generated, this deal was a .02¢ moneymaker.

4 x Trident Gum(16 ct) for $4.  After 2 x BOGO IPQ and the 2 x $1+Up every 2 packs  generated, this was 4 packs of FREE Gum.

2 x Zicam Spray on clearance for $6.48($3.24 ea.).  These clearance ones also generated the $4+Up like the ones on sale for $8.99 did, so after my 2 x $2/1 IPQs and the 2 x $4+Up generated, this deal was a $5.76 moneymaker!

2 x Right guard Soap 6 packs for $3.98($1.99 ea.).  Remember this was on sale a week or so ago?  I got a raincheck because my store didn't have any on the shelf when the sale started even!  I found 2 packs at the downtown store, using my raincheck.  I used a $2/2 IPQ which brought the price down to $1.98.  Then the cashier used a $1/1 PEELIE Q on one of the packages, which means after Qs I paid .98¢ for BOTH 6 packs(or .49 cents for ea.).  Unfortunately I didn't see that the other pack of soap have a $1 PEELIE on it too, or this could have been a .02¢ moneymaker instead.
I do have 2 more packs left on my raincheck so I'll be sure to take the Peelie and stick in on any more packs I buy.....if they don't already have a Peelie on them.  ;-)

1 x Chapstick Overnight on clearance for $1.24.  No Qs or anything....I just wanted to try this.  The clearance price made it tempting enough. lol

Coupons Used....$15.00
Total....$13.68 + .55(taxes applied are after +Ups are applied to bill)=$14.23

I used $14 in +Ups from last week and earlier in the week to pay, and put the .23¢ on my gift card.
I received $16 in +Ups back($2 Dove, 2 x $2 Colgate, 2 x $1 Trident, 2 x $4 Zicam).

I got all pictured above for free plus I grew my +Ups by $2.

I plan to give the Zicam spray to #1 son and #2 son.  The gum is for Hubs.  The body wash and soap are also for the menfolk here.  Look for the Colgate to come to a giveaway on the blog in the near future. ;-)

Now I'm off to study the new weekly ads.
I'm in no hurry to roll +Ups this week but if I see something good I will go in.

Grand Totals for October so far......

Out Of Pocket....$0.00  cash
Value of items bought.....$178.90
Savings Rate of  100%
Single Check Rebate due....$0.00
Other Rebates due......$0.00
After SCR applied, Out of Pocket.... $0.00
Savings Rate  100%

+Ups at beginning of month...$25.98+
+Ups used....$46.98+
+Ups received...$50.00+
+Ups currently...$29.00+


Saturday, October 13, 2012

What and How I Spent My Week

Well I can tell you what I didn't do this week......I didn't spend much money on anything other than food/paper goods! lol

I went to Rite-Aid early in the week, but that doesn't count because I don't actually spend money there, do I?
Hubs and I went to Big Lots last Sunday, as they had their 20% off Everything in the Store Day.
We stocked up on some food/paper goods, as they were cheaper there than even when they go on sale at the grocery stores around here.
That came out to $67.12.

Napkins(because we always need those), brown sugar(holiday baking ahead), and some canned goods.
I make no secret that I am not a big fan of canned foods, at least not canned veggies outside of corn and water chestnuts.  But tomato products, olives and green chilies are another story!  I like to keep these 3 types of products stockpiled.
Especially in the tomato arena, I love to keep paste on hand.  It's so handy...duh...on hand,  I find tomato paste is the jack-of-all-trades in the kitchen.  It can be used in so many ways in so many dishes.  Why pay more for pizza've got a can of paste, garlic and spices and access to water?'ve got pizza sauce.  You need an easy sauce thickener?...tomato paste.  Need to extent a sauce to feed more?.....tomato paste.  Need to help or fix a meatloaf and out of tomato sauce?.....dilute some tomato paste and cover that ugly meatloaf.
If tomato paste was a person, I'd marry it. 8-)
I also love green chiles when I do Mexican style dishes(and even beyond Mexican).  But access to fresh chiles here in PA?  Not happening.  And those tiny cans in the grocery store?....You'd think they were filled with gold instead with what they charge.  So any time I can find them cheaply, I buy them.
I also picked up some cornbread mix and pancake mix cheap.  I know I can make my own mix just as cheaply, if not cheaper.  I buy these for my family to use or for when I am rushed to get something on the table.  I try to encourage the kids to cook things for themselves and if I have a box with directions on it that's already to pour out and use, they are more likely to cook it if they are hungry.  I should make up batches of my own pancake mix and such but as soon as I do it, the kids will never eat another pancake.
Seriously.....they would do that!  They drive me crazy that way.

I also picked up a few Christmas presents at Big Lots.  Now I need to spend some time going through what I have picked up through the year and start calculating where we stand with the Christmas budget for 2012.  That should keep me busy and out of the stores wandering around, being tempted to buy crap I don't need NEXT week.

I took #2 Son driving a bit this week, since he still needs hours of practice before he can take his driver's test for his license.  Of course we hit some cemeteries while we were out and I got some Find A Grave photo requests fulfilled and took some extra shots of headstones to pass along to other memorials on that site.
The only spending(other than on gas)was $3.39 for fast food for a starving 16 year old.  We justified it by calling it Drive-Thru Window practice.......

We got Chinese take-out on Thursday night for dinner.  There was $34 out of our Eating Out part of the budget.

Besides the Usual daily stuff I do, there was some working on stockpile organizing and some changing out the wardrobe to the Fall/Winter clothing.  Still have some items to go through with that.

We finished pulling up the garden this morning.  We had a severe frost last night so many of my Collards didn't survive but I was able to harvest a shopping bag full of the smaller leaves.

 I gleaned some Morning Glory seed pods that had dried out already, off those flower vines before Hubs yanked it from the deck railing too.
If I can get these seeds to germinate next Spring, that's a money savings.  Yay!

We'll be attending a local Church auction this afternoon.  I talked about that last year HERE.  I'm hoping to get some more goodies this year.  Wish us luck bidding! 8-)

Other than a quart of milk I had Hubs bring home, I've spent $0 at the grocery stores this week.  And we've eaten at home 6 out of 7 days.  Tonight is a frugal pasta and sauce dinner plus leftover veggies in the fridge.  The Collards are on the menu for Sunday dinner but I'm still undecided on what to fix with them.....maybe a pork chop or two?

Oh, I almost forgot to add that I bought gas this week.  I drive so few miles that I can usually fill my minivan tank once a month(unless Hubs or the Daughter uses my car for work that month).  I had 80 gas points from Weis PMITA Markets that had to be used this week.  The timing was right so I filled up on Sunday.  I saved $12.42 on my gas fill-up.  Go me!

I'm off to get ready for the auction now.