Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Plan for Food Spending in 2015



Food Spending.
The bane of my existence. 8-)

Here is a list of what I have spent since 2010(the year I started fully tracking where all the food/toiletries monies went).  Not too scientific as the number of persons being fed varied during these years from 5 to 2, depending on kids at college or not, and kids moving out or not.


2009--$6,254.84 +(I didn't track rebates and gift cards received that year)
2010--$2,291.67 + ($841.73 rebate checks/ $563.99 gift cards received)
2011--$3,080.59 + ($433.22 rebate checks/ $76.00 gift cards received)
2012--$4,196.36 +($67.48 rebate checks/ $5.00 gift cards received)
2013--$4,560.82 +($80.99 rebate checks/ $15.00 gift cards received)
2014--$4,989.49 +($44.54 rebate checks/ $10 gift cards received)

A little explanation of these figures--
I started couponing and deal hounding seriously in Feb. of  2009 so my full year's spending in food was even more than shown that year.  Yikes!
Obviously 2009 was the year I started stockpiling and learning how to coupon in earnest and by 2010 I had a system and ramped up the rebating.

As you can see a combination of rising food prices, a dirth of rebate deals/gift card deals in each succeeding year and a bit of "food lifestyle inflation" and even though I am feeding less people now than in 2010 my food costs have inched up every year since then.

LOOKING AHEAD for 2015.........
With some planning and watching the pennies better we should be able to keep the food/toiletries/paper goods/cleaning products spending at $4800 or less in 2015.
Here's how I am going to do that--

*  Buy Less.  Since we are looking at selling this house and moving within the next 2-3 years I will start reducing the size of our stockpile.  This means using up more of it in 2015 so I'll need to buy less.  Less $ spent + Less stuff to move=Success!

*  Seek out the best deals I can find on what I need to buy.  Stick to my price book principles and think twice before splurging on items I "want" but don't "need".  Make better decisions with the food dollars.

*  Preserve our garden harvest.  We need to get serious about the garden again and can or freeze what we grow.

*   Make more of an effort to find rebates to send for to offset food spending.  Around 2010 saw the end of the Glory Days of rebating/refunding.  Add in that in PA we can't even do the liquor rebate deals most of the rest of the country can participate in. sigh.

*  Food Waste.  While we have minimal food waste most months I could do better.  I will do better.  Successful meal planning goes hand in hand with food waste(or the lack thereof).  By planning you are halfway to eliminating the waster.  8-)

I am hoping that with these measures I can get the spending down below $4800, even though I was $200 over that in 2014 and food prices are predicted to go up 2-3% in 2015.

So what do you spend on food/toiletries a year if you track those expenses?
What measures do you take to keep your food/toiletry costs down?

Sluggy
 

Friday, January 30, 2015

I Finally Have Some Goals for 2015




After much ruminating over this subject I have come up with a set of Goals for My 2015.

Here they is......


*  Save $28K of our income this year.  This is my Savings Challenge for 2015.  I've upped the goal $4K from last year's goal.  While January isn't off to a great start financially speaking, my eye is on the prize.

*  Sew and COMPLETE 8 Projects.  Last year I completed 2, count 'em 2, sewing projects.  I started another 4 and they sit untouched so far this year.  Sewing is something I can't schedule, I have to be in the 'mood' to sew.  I just never got in that mood much in 2014.

*  Lose 40 pounds.  For the rest of 2015 this means losing 3 & 2/3 lbs. each month.  slow and steady and changing up your diet is the way to go with this one.  I must do this for my health!

*  Have eye surgery.  My trip to the optometrist in January was not good.  That teeny tiny cataract that he saw in Dec. of 2013 has taken off into a full blow one.  I noticed on my roadtrip to the Midwest last July things with my eye weren't right.  I don't know how soon but I will be having cataract surgery in the coming months.

*  Go on at least 5 trips for pleasure.  This is an easy goal. lolz  We already have 1 trip taken to Virginia to visit my brother.  September will be the Family Reunion also in Virginia and October we go to Ocean City MD.  I am planning on going down to Louisiana soon after my eye surgery so that leaves 1 more trip to plan.  Date and place are still to be determined.

*  Have 2 House Repair/Improvement Projects completed.  2 years to go until we start dealing with selling this house so we have a few items to repair/replace in anticipation of that event.  Still figuring out which projects we should tackle this year and the cost.

*  Get rid of 6 boxes of possessions plus some larger items that need disposing of.  I have been in decluttering mode for years now and I am still not done.  That should tell you just how much crap I owned! lolz  The decluttering will continue in 2015, though we are getting real close to having nothing left to ditch.  I think I can ferret out at least 6 more boxes of "stuff".

*  Complete 1 crochet project.  I bought yarn awhile back for a project so I need to get on it.  I finally found the pattern I want to use so this will commence shortly.

*  Reorganize our Personal Files.  Hubs was in charge of filing stuff.  After seeing the mess up in the file room last week I have already begun to tame that paper dragon this week.  I have purged about half of the files and begun on reorganizing all that is left.  I need a better system and I think I'll be taking over this chore because it just drives me crazy when he leaves piles of paper everywhere in that room!

*  Start an exercise program and do it every month.   I will begin slowly with riding the exercycle and snow shoveling.  Once I build up some stamina(and I unbury the dreadmill in the garage)I'll start walking.  I've got some hand weights and need to come up with a routine I can do.

*  Gardening.  Not sure how much of a garden(veggies)I will attempt this year.  At least a few plants so I can make my relish in the Fall and can some tomatoes.

Ok, I think that's a nice big list.
Now I need to break this all into bite sized chunks so I get it accomplished.

Wish me luck because I'm going to need it with some of this! ;-)

Sluggy

The Feline Nieces & Nephews

My brother has 5 cats. 

He inherited one named Kit Kat.  She had been my oldest brother's cat and when he went into a coma in early 2008 and then died in 2009 my other brother kept her.   And since she wasn't fixed there was soon a litter of kittens and they kept one male.  They call him Socks, because he had white markings on his feet.
And then when they didn't fix that male cat Socks, when he got old enough to procreate, Kit Kat had another litter. 8-(
Both of these cats are fairly feral and live outdoors.  If the weather is bad they live in the garage but they won't come into the house.

They kept two kittens from that litter(and I think they finally got those two cats fixed, at least I hope so).

The boy kitten they kept is called Sling Shot and looks like his mother KitKat(a striped calico?)but he is much larger than the momma.
The other girl kitten they kept is called Baby Socks because she has the markings like her father, Socks, but is small like her momma cat, KitKat.
Confused yet?



Baby Socks also has a "skin condition".  I don't know from cats, but if she was a dog I'd call it mange.
At any rate, any time College Boy touched Baby Socks I made him wash his hands. ;-)

Baby Socks needs to be given spray baths with some medicated stuff but trying to get her to hold still for these treatments means using a harness and a leash and much meowing and gnashing of teeth.

 


Sling Shot had a urinary issue and had very expensive surgery and has to stay on even more very expensive cat food for the rest of his life.
I am not a cat lover so I'd be rehoming all these expensive fluff balls if it was me.

The fifth cat is my sister in-law's cat.  She is a huge white cat called Lilly.  She is also an alpha cat that doesn't get along with any other animals(or people for that matter)so she lives in their bedroom and never comes out. A regular "kitty bitch" they call her. lolz

I didn't get any pictures of the other 4 cats while I was in Virginia.
I am not a cat fan so that's my excuse.

Sluggy

 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Shopping Today

Well I think I've turned the corner of whatever got ahold of me.
I felt up to going shopping today.  First to,where else?, Rite-Aid!


2 x Dove Deo on sale=$9.98
2 x Dove 'Poo on sale=$7.00
1 x Jergens lotion 20% wellness disc.=$3.59
1 x Jergens crema 20% wellness disc.=$5.83
2 x Jergens Natural Glow trial size 20% wellness disc.=$4.46
1 x R-A cotton balls Free w/BF Rain Check=$0.00
SubTotal=$30.86

Coupons Used
2 x $2/1 Dove Deo ManuQ=$4.00
2 x $1/1 Dove Deo VideoValuesQ=$2.00
1 x $4/2 Dove 'Poo ManuQ=$4.00
1 x $3/2 Jergens products IPQ(coupons dotcom)=$3.00
2 x $2/1 Jergens product VideoValuesQ=$4.00
1 z $2/? Mystery Load2CardQ which came off!=$2.00
Coupon Total......$19.00

$30.86-$19.00=$11.86
I used $11 in +Up Rewards and paid .86¢ OOP.
I received back $15 in new +Ups($5 wyu 2 Jergens, $5 wyu2 Jergens Natural Glow, $5 wyb$15 Dove/Noxzema/St. Ives/Simple).



I have no clue what Load2Card came off but I suspect it was a $2/1 Dove 'Poo Q since when the cashier tried to take the $4/2 Dove ManuQ off it beeped and she had to push it through.
My store employees are so tired of this issue and just let it go.  I don't mind getting an extra $2 off my total so it's good with me too. ;-)

And the Jergens Deals are 2 separate ones.

There is a Jergens/Biore Buy 2 Get $5 +Ups on the regular sized products.



There is also a Jergens Natural Glow Buy 2 Get $5 +Ups on the trial/travel sized Jergens.  These are $2.79 at my store(might be a bit cheaper at your store)so with 20% Wellness discount they are $2.23.
2 come out to $4.46 and you get a $5 +Up Rewards back(limit of 2 per card/account).


$40.52 worth of products.
Spent $11 in +Ups, got $15 +Ups back.
OOP .86¢
Nice.

Then I hiked over to WeisPMITAMarkets for this stuff....



8 x Lipton dry soup mix on sale=$10.32
2 x Knorr Pasta sides on sale=$2.00
1 x Lipton decaf tea bags on sale=$2.99
SubTotal......$15.31

Since I spend $15 on select Unilever items, $5 came off instantly making my total $10.31

I used--
1 x $1/2 Knorr pasta sides ManuQ=$1.00
2 x $1/2 Lipton dry soup mix ManuQ=$2.00
2 x $.75¢/2 Lipton dry soup mix IPQ(doubled to $1/2)=$2.00
Coupon Total..........$5.00

$10.31-$5.00=$5.31 OOP

11 items for $5.31 makes each one .48¢.
And we have enough dip mix for a year. lolz

Sluggy


 

And the Winner Is.......




I numbered all the valid entries(there were 68--someone didn't give themselves that second entry for posting it on her blog, so I put one extra in for her) then used Random Dot Org to draw a number and the winning entry is.............

Well lets hope you can win with only one entry!
barbaraserna@hotmail.com
 
So yes, you can win on the last day and with one entry. lolz
 
Congratulations to Anonymous Barbara!!
 
Please email me privately from that email addy Barbara.....contact info is Blogger Profile(see side bar for "View my complete profile" link)within the next 48 hours with your mailing information to claim your prize.
 
If I don't hear from the winner within that time frame I'll have to draw another number.
 
Thank you to everyone who plays along with these little giveaways.
 
I'll have another one coming up in February.
Here's hint to the contents.........Pamper Yourself!
 
Sluggy

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Rite-Aid This Week

Hubs and I went on Sunday and we stopped at Rite-Aid for this stuff.....



2 x Nestle 24 pack bottled water on sale=$6.00 *not pictured*
2 x Cheez-Its on sale=$4.00
4 x Pepsi brand 2 ltr. sodas on sale=$5.00
4 x Dove 'Poo on sale=$14.00
2 x Noxzema on sale=$9.00
2 x Simple cleaners on sale=$9.98
SubTotal......$47.98

Coupons Used
1 x $1/2 Nestle water Video ValuesQ=$1.00
1 x $1/2 Nestle water In-AdQ=$1.00
2 x $1.50 wyb 2 sodas & 1 Cheez-Its IPQ(coupons dotcom)=$3.00
1 x $4/2 Dove 'Poo ManuQ=$4.00
1 x $4/2 Dove 'Poo Load2CardQ=$4.00
1 x $3 wyb$9 Simple/Noxzema/St. Ives/Ponds Load2CardQ=$3.00
2 x $2/1 Simple cleaners or wipes IPQ=$4.00
2 x $1/1 simple cleaners or wipes VideoValuesQ=$2.00
Coupon Total......$22.00

$47.98-$22.00=$25.98

I used $25 in +Up Rewards and paid .98¢ OOP.
I received back $15 in new +Ups($5 wyb select gamed day foods, 2 x $5 Dove/St. Ives/Pond's/Noxzema).
These cleaner products also qualified me for a $5 cash refund through my Saving Star account. 8-)))

$73.04 in products brought home.
.98¢ out of pocket.
"Spend down" my +Ups by $10.
Earned $5 cash refund.

Then today, since I had to drag my poor old body out for a prescription refill I got this stuff while in Rite-Aid.....


2 x Dove Men's 'Poo on sale=$8.00
2 x Dove 'Poo on sale=$7.00
1 x Noxzema on sale=$4.50
1 x Pond's on sale=$4.50
SubTotal......$24.00

Coupons Used
2 x $2/1 Dove Men's 'Poo ManuQ=$4.00
1 x $4/2 Dove 'Poo Load2CardQ=$4.00
1 x $3/wyb$9 Ponds/Noxzema/St. Ives ManuQ=$3.00
Coupon Total.............$11.00

$24.00-$11.00=$13.00
I used $13 in +Ups and paid ZERO OOP.
I earned $7 in new +Ups($2 wyb2 Dove Mens, $5 wyb $15 Dove/St. Ives/Ponds/Noxzema).

$34.64 in products brought home.
Zero OOP.
"Spent down" the +Ups by $6.

I will probably go back and spend down some more +Ups this week as very little interests me the next week or two.
I've got $16 in +Up left right now.

And with the weather here during the Winter I don't like the pressure of having to make sure I get out to spend +Ups before they expire so best to use them up.  8-)

Sluggy

 

Giveaways Galore! Last Chance on Mine, Go Enter on Sonya's



Just a reminder that today is the last day to enter my Giveaway.
Go HERE or use the link on the side bar over there----->

Also even though I am still feeling a bit peak-ed I saw there was a Giveaway over at my cousin Sonya Ann's blog.


Go HERE.
Besides the gift card, she is also giving away digital copies of her new Book to everyone who goes to Amazon and downloads it in the next couple of days, so head over to her blog to get the link to the book too!

More later when I feel up to it.....

Sluggy
 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Oh Heck! I'm Going Back to Bed



Between my computer acting up and feeling like I am coming down with something I am calling off Tuesday and going back to bed.

Enjoy playing in the snow if you got any.
Don't wake me until tomorrow.

Sluggy

Monday, January 26, 2015

This Week on the Dining Table


The "Lots of Snow Here & More Coming" Edition........

 

Here's what we got overnight.....about 1 inch.  That's on top of the 5 inches we got overnight Friday/Saturday.
These Nor' Easters are tricky where we live.  They can track more west and we get dumped on too like the coast.  This one is suppose to stay east so we won't be looking at a potential of 3 feet here.  Maybe another 6 inches.
Another storm is due in Thursday from the North but shouldn't give us but a few more inches.
Ah, the joys of January in NEPA! lolz


Here's what was planned last week.....................

1.  Leftover Lasagna
2.  Garlic Ginger Shrimp Stir-fry
3.  Bean and Ham Soup(If too salty for me I'll eat Broc/Caul. Soup.)
4.  Chicken Parmesan, Salad
5.  Broiled Salmon, Coleslaw, Veggie
6.  Leftovers
7. Birthday Meal out(probably steak)
 
And this is what actually happened--

1.  Leftover Lasagna, Steamed Broccoli
2.  Chicken Parmesan, Salad
3.  Birthday Meal out-Steak, Salad, Green Beans
4.  Leftover Broccoli-Cauliflower Soup
5.  Breaded Fish, Coleslaw, Steamed Sugar Snap Peas
6.  Brisket on Rolls, Coleslaw
7.  Leftover Lasagna, Salad

Substituted Breaded Fillets for Salmon and didn't make the Shrimp or Bean Soup yet.  Still eating on that Lasagna too. burp 

Last week I made 3 trips(Hubs made another one too)to 2 different grocery stores here and spent $92.79 on $197.12 reg. retail worth of food.

My spending so far for January on food is $258.08 for $545.00 worth of food.(Not counting Rite-Aid.)
I went $7+ over on my self-imposed $250 budget for January and there are 5 days left in the month.

Let's see if I can keep from setting foot into a grocery store until Feb. 1st(Sunday) and dig through the pantry/freezer to come up with meals for this week.  I might break down and go Saturday as there are about $10 worth of deals I want.

Leftovers going into this week are barbecue, coleslaw and breaded fish.

Here is the plan for this week.........

1.  Leftovers(I had soup, hubs had hot dogs)
2.  Risotto with Chicken & Mushrooms  
3.  Leftover BBQ, Coleslaw
4.  Chicken & Dumplings, Carrots
5.  Bean and Ham Soup, Brussells Sprouts
6.  Tuna Noodle Casserole, Veggie
7.  Leftovers

I bought a cheap small whole chicken last week(instant discount sticker)so I've got it in the crockpot today cooking away.  Will use half for Risotto tonight and the other half of the meat and stock from simmering the bones in Chicken 'n Dumplings later this week.  Tomorrow I'll make the Ham & Bean soup.
We still have 2 helpings of Lasagna leftover even after having it for dinner and lunch last week.  That will probably go into the freezer this week.
 
I can do this plan without buying anything this week.

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

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

Any great deals on food at your stores this week?

Sluggy

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Blogger Update

If anyone is missing Cindi over at "Thrifty at Sixty" she moved her blog to Word Press.
I have updated the link to her new digs on the Side Bar Blogger Roll as well as on the Blog Roll Page.

That is all.
Carry on.

Sluggy

Rite-Aid Oops!

Well I showed you what I bought at the end of the week at Rite-Aid but I forgot to show you what I bought at the beginning of the week.
Duh.

It's just a little bit bought on Tuesday.....


2 x Quattro razor refills $13.99(20% Wellness disc. $11.19)=$22.38

I used these coupons--
2 x $5/1 Quattro refills IPQ(coupons dotcom)=$10.00
2 x $3/1 Quattro refill VideoValuesQ=$6.00
Coupon total....$16

$22.38-$16.00=$6.38 + .63¢tax=$7.01

I used $6 in +Up Rewards and paid $1.01 OOP.
I earned $6 in new +Up Rewards(2 x $3 Quattro).

$27.98 in merchandise for $1.01.

Sluggy

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Last of the Shopping This Week


With snow due in on Saturday *Update--we got 5 inches so far* I finished my shopping for the week on Friday.

First I took some Qs and my $10 off your next order catalina I earned earlier this week and bought all this at Weis.........



4 x Barilla pasta on sale .88¢=$3.52
3 x Spaghetti-o's on sale .88¢=$2.64
1 x Weis sour cream=.88¢
4 x Musselman's apple sauce cups on sale=$5.48
3 x Oreo cookies on sale=$5.91
1 x Pretzel rolls 50% off=$1.49
SubTotal............$19.92

Coupons Used
2 x .75¢/2 Barilla pasta IPQ(coupons dotcom, doubled to $1)=$2.00
2 x .75¢/2 Musselman's ManuQ(doubled to $1)=$2.00
2 x .50/1 Oreo's IPQ(coupons dotcom but I think they are NLA, doubled to $1)=$3.00
Coupon Total......$7.00

$19.92-$7.00=$12.92
I used the $10 Catalina and paid $2.92 OOP.
The Spaghetti-o's purchase will earn me .40¢ back in my Saving Star account. ;-)

Savings rate of 92%.
$36.85 reg. retail worth of items.

The Spaghetti-o's and the cookies are for College Boy(except the pumpkin spice ones are for me ), the applesauce is for Hubs' lunches, the pasta & sour cream are for the stockpile and the rolls were for dinner last night.

Then I had $4 in +Ups to spend/roll at Rite-Aid before Saturday night so I got this stuff.....



5 x Palmolive dish liquid on sale $1=$5.00
2 x Nature Made Vitamin C BOGO=$7.69
SubTotal.....$12.69

Coupons Used
4 x .25¢/1 Palmolive dish liquid IPQ(coupons dotcom)=$1.00
1 x $7/1 Nature Made item ManuQ(mailed to me)=$7.00
Coupon Total.....$8.00

$12.69-$8.00=$4.69 + .20¢ tax=$4.89
I used $4 in +Up Rewards and paid .89¢ OOP.

I earned $1 in new +Up Rewards($1 wyb 5 Palmolive).

After Qs and +Ups earned the dish liquid comes out to .60¢ a bottle(if you don't pay with +Ups)and the vitamin C bottles were .69¢ for 2.....that's all before sales tax of .20¢ here.

My next batch of +Ups expire 1/29 so I'll be going back to Rite-Aid early next week.  I've got about $30 in +Ups to spend/roll then.

After looking at next week's ad online I am figuring my trip will include facial cleaners and shampoo and maybe some snacks(it's Super Bowl deals time)like frozen pizzas and chips(for Hubs).  We'll see once the new Video Values come out after midnight and we see how they will pair with the available Qs and sales ad.

Did you get any great deals at the stores this week?

Sluggy

Friday, January 23, 2015

$24K Savings Challenge Updates & 2015's Savings Challenge Goal





So this Savings Challenge I do every year, well, since 2009 at least........I use the previous year's SC $ saved as an emergency fund for the following year.

IE-the money saved in 2012 was used to fund emergencies & irregular expenses in 2013 when regular income didn't cover everything.
Then at the end of following year, when all the emergencies that were going to take place had, I took whatever was left in that SC and put it into an interest bearing non-retirement account of some sort and it became "permanent". And hopefully when we retire it will be added to our sack o' money/retirement funds.

I started my personal Savings Challenge in 2009 when I was on a Yahoo group called "The Compact".  I was younger and pretty na├»ve about how much I could save from our income then and challenged myself to put away 60 THOUSAND DOLLARS!  Yes, 6 with 4 Zeroes after it. lolz
I didn't even get halfway there.
But you know what?
It didn't matter that I failed at my goal.
What mattered is that I saved something, right?!?

In 2009 I saved $23,865.36
We used $13,460.81 of that money in 2010 for unexpected expenses, sending the remaining $10,404.55 to permanent savings.

In 2010 I saved $34,019.88
We used $427.81 of that money in 2011, sending the remaining $33,592.07 to permanent savings.

In 2011 I saved $34,461.31
We used $2,627.16 of that money in 2012, sending the remaining $31,834.15 to permanent savings.

In 2012 I saved $28,907.08
We used $23,611.66 of that money in 2013, sending the remaining $5,295.42 to permanent savings.

In 2013 I saved $24,033.60
We used $0.00 of that money in 2014, sending the remaining $24,033.60 to permanent savings.

In 2014 I saved $27,427.06 and this will be the pot of money we draw from for any emergencies/irregular expenses in 2015, before sending whatever remains to permanent savings.

You can see from above that some years we had many unexpected expenses and most years we had few.....what we spent from the previous year's savings varied from $23,611.66 in 2012 to using $0 in 2014.
I am just thankful I DID save money because if there hadn't been that pot of money sitting in the bank in 2012, we would have had to delay or worse, put some of those expenses on a credit card!

So with 5 full years of my Savings Challenges(2009-2013) tucked away for our retirement years my total is sitting at $105,159.79.

But..........you knew there had to be a but somewhere, right?........Hubs got a generous Bonus in 2014 as well.
He gets a bonus most year's but last year's was waaaay awesomer.

We had 3 large irregular expenses last year--having our driveway re-asphalted, my road trip to the Midwest and oh yeah, we bought a new car in May.
Instead of funding these purchases with our 2013 Savings Challenge monies we used part of the bonus. 
This means we didn't spend down any of the money saved in 2013's savings Challenge.
Go us!

And after paying for these expenses with the bonus we still have $18+K leftover from that hunk of bonus money.
So I am adding it to what I saved in the 2014 Savings Challenge, which boosts our 2014 total saved to $46,193.93. 8-)))))))

Again when 2015 is over and everything is paid for, whatever is left from that $46+K will go into permanent savings for our retirement years.

Now I need to settle on a savings goal amount for 2015.
Since we actually saved $27+K in 2014(without the bonus $), I think I'll inch the bar up a bit to $28K for 2015.

$28K is very doable, given our income level.   If I keep my frugal nose to the grindstone and no big expenses wallop us this year we should make that number.

We will have some extra expenses in 2015 with home repairs(getting things ready to sell in a couple of years) and the ever present car issues....plus 1 child still in college and dependent on us(IE $$$) and another child still on our medical insurance.

I plan to keep our living expenses as low as possible without having to go into "financial desperation mode".  We won't be turning off the lights or heat or eating just rice and beans but we won't be splurging on lobster and filet mignon out at restaurants every night, lighting up the neighborhood like the Vegas strip or spending on extravagances like luxury goods and world cruises either.

So who wants to play along and save some of their income in 2015?
Figure out what you can reasonably live on and put the rest away for your retirement....or if you still have debt(and why do you still have debt at this point in your life?!?)put something extra this year toward that goal and get yourself DEBT-FREE and/or MORTGAGE-FREE.

Set whatever goal feels right for your life.  Experts have said that people who set goals do better with their money overall.  Set a goal to keep yourself accountable.  Better yet, post a goal on your blog or in a community forum online and let other people's eyes help keep you more accountable.  8-)

Yah, it might not be fun to track your expenses but if you don't know where your money is going(and with most folks the money DOES GO!)how can you know if you keep any?

Tell us your savings goal for this year and how you plan to go about achieving that number.


Sluggy


 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

And Thus It Begins.....

Yes, the new year means we are at $0 satisfying our High Deductible Health Insurance Plan's deductible before benefits/co-pays kick in.
Sigh.

I needed to refill some rxs earlier this week.  Only one was REALLY costly..................


Once our bennies kick in I co-pay between $45 and $50 for this script.
So I am out of pocket $335.39 for 1 prescription.
ouch.
Well, really our HSA is out the money.

I now have a pattern for drug refills since having to go onto this health insurance plan with a high deductible......beginning of the year, when I have to pay full freight, I transfer everything over to Walmart that's on their $4 refill list.  Once the deductible is satisfied for the year, I transfer every drug back to Rite-Aid that will have a $5 co-pay there.  I am paying $1 more per refill but the convenience of having these filled in town is worth that much.

Thankfully 2 of my other rxs are of the generic $4 variety and need to be transferred to Walmart and filled next week.
But I do have 1 more rx that won't need filling until the end of Feb. but this cost may top $470.  There are no generics for this one sadly.
8-(

Hopefully by the time that one needs refilling I'll have enough new deposits into the HSA to cover it.

Sluggy

 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Weis Shopping This Week

There were some deals this week at Weis(PMITA)Markets that I wanted to get in on so I went out this morning before the snow flew to shop.
If you shop at Weis you may want to get in on some of these offers.

I hadn't planned on buying paper products/cleaners but this Buy $30/Get $10 Deal paired with coupons I had was too good to resist.........

 
 
This all came to $30.72(sale prices-I never try to run off the reg. shelf price on Kimberley-Clark stuff at Weis anymore because last time the Catalina didn't generate when I did).
Subtract the $5 of Qs and I spent $25.72(plus tax).

Between the $6 I already have spent on Huggies wipes on  a trip to Rite-Aid, and the items here that qualify for the SavingStar "Buy $30/Get $5 Kimberley-Clark" rebate, I have enough to have earned that $5 reward into my SavingStar account.
$25.72, subtract the SavingStar $5 Refund, and I am at $20.72 OOP.

Add in the Catalina that the machine spit out............

And this lot of products "cost" me $10.72.
Good deals for TP, towels and dishwashing liquid.

Then I did the Customer Appreciation Sale Deal(buy 8 select items and pay .88¢ ea.).  Some of the select items are on sale $1 this week if you don't buy 8 at a time, some are regularly priced at $1.29 or more.
Here is what I got..........


4 whole grain variety Barilla pastas
2 Spaghettios w/meatballs(for College Boy)
2 Weis facial tissues
Total with sale........$7.04
I used 2 x .75¢/2 Barilla Qs(coupons dotcom)which double to $1/2 so paid $5.04 OOP, making each item .63¢

I goofed up on this.
I should have gotten 3 Spaghettios and 1 facial tissue instead.  This would have kicked in a SavingStar Q for .40/3 Spaghettios and my per item price would have dropped to .58¢ each.
I may go back with 2 more Barilla Qs later this week and do this deal again utilizing the SavingStar Q too.

I also bought this stuff.......

The hot cocoa mix is to replace the less fresh box in the Giveaway box.  I have a Q for .40¢/1 which doubled to .80¢ off the cocoa plus it was on sale.
That's how we roll around here............ ;-)

The Oreos are for College Boy.
On sale for $1.97 this week and I had .50/1 IPQs that doubled to $1 off each, so Oreos for .97¢ a bag.


Weis had Furmano's tomato products(the big cans)as part of the Customer Appreciation Sale for .88¢ each, however there was a blinkie box hanging off the shelf, with $1/3 Qs for Tuttorosso tomato products AND the Tuttorosso's were on sale for $1 a can.  After the Q was applied the Tuttorosso's were only .66¢ a can making them a better deal than the Furmano's at .88¢ a can.

If I hadn't had my trusty calculator with me to do the math I might have bought the less good deal.

The halal chicken was $5.24 after $2 instant meat discount Q on it, making it just over $1 a lb.
Both OM Deli meat trays had $2 instant meat discount Qs on them so I splurge on a lb. of deli meat for $6.98.  Much cheaper than the deli counter meats which were $10 or so a lb.



This applesauce was also a good deal this week.
On sale for $1.37 each, limit of 4(I am lucky to see applesauce in cups for $2 a package here).

I had 4x .75¢/2 Musselman's ManQs from the 1/4 inserts(thanks to my sister in-law not wanting them!).  I used 2 Qs and will go back later this week to use the other 2.
So each package, after the Qs doubled to $1, cost me .87¢.
Sweet!
Hubs likes to take these in his lunch.


I had 2 x $1/2 Hanover frozen Veggies Qs and they were on sale $2 each so the veggies cost me $1.50 a bag.  These are the "premium" gold and silver line of veggies.

The Helluva Good cheese was BOGO and I had a .55¢ ManQ that doubled up to $1, making each block of cheese $1.09 and a half($2.19 for both).

Then I bought this treat because it's my birthday and it was on sale.......
$5.99

And here is the only thing I bought at Weis that was FULL PRICE.........


A bag of Coleslaw shreds for $2.49
Yah, I could have bought a head of cabbage and cut it down myself but being frugal with other items let's me be a spendthrift with a bag of coleslaw and not have to worry about it. lolz

This bag will see us through 2 meals......with fish and then again with bbq sandwiches.

My savings rate over regular retail was 45%, I earned 20 gas points and that $10 OYN order Catalina Q.

Sluggy
 

Looking at Making Some Financial Moves



Since I had pulled up financial accounts to see what the interest earned in 2014 was, I noticed that in my Capital One 360 accounts I have spilled over the $250,00 FDIC insured amount.  Not wanting to have a portion of my ASSets hanging out there in the wind and not covered(see what I did there? lolz)I need to move some money into a new savings instrument/institution.

Neither of my local financial institution with brick & mortar locations have rates that would induce me to put more funds into them.
Not even close!
In fact, I swept the credit union savings account and made a large deposit into Cap One 360 last year, which is what put me over the insured limit.

So I am shopping for the best CD rate I can find to move some funds into.  Funds numbering as much $ as I feel won't need to be accessed in the next year or two before Hubs retires. This isn't our nest egg by any measure.  It's just extra money I've tucked away that last 5 years that needs to earn as much as it can without being gambled.

All of the college money needs to stay liquid in Cap One but all the rest is up for review on where it should be sitting and growing.
Cap One 360 gives me .75% with a lot of liquidity(2 day turn around) so the college money stays put.  It's the best rate with almost total liquidity out there I've found.  8-)

But I'll like to find some place I can earn more on the $ that doesn't need to stay liquid-ish.

Bankrate is showing 1.15% for a 1 year rate through 2 banks & 1 credit union.  Both banks are online entities(1 well known, 1 I've never come across before)and the nearest location of the credit union is in NJ(it also has an online presence which I could use).

I think Hubs can make some "catch-up" deposits into his retirement account as we didn't fully fund it early on when the kids were babies and money was tight.
I'll check into that this week and talk to Hubs to see if he wants to put some of this money there too.

Does anyone out there have any recommendations for what institution to put this money into?
I am not interested in putting this $ into the stock market, just a CD or something. Got enough $ in the market already, this pile is being kept in "safe" ventures since we are so close to retirement.

Thoughts?

Sluggy

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

1st Giveaway of 2015!

It's time for my first Sluggy's Boring Blog Box Giveaway of 2015.

As suggested by various readers in 2014 this Giveaway box will be chocked full of "Items that Come in Handy During the Winter Time" stuff.
Check it out..........


Contac flu & cold medicine
Yogi Throat Coat tea
Vaseline lotion
Box of facial tissues
Box of hot chocolate
Hall's cough drops
Excedrin migraine pills
Alba tropical fruit lip balm
And then two items to help you FEEL better--
Mary Kay body smoothing scrub
Flipz dark chocolate covered pretzels

*I'll replace the box of hot cocoa pictured with a new box before I mail it out.  The box I pulled from the stockpile is past it's "freshness" date so it will be replaced. 8-)

I'll leave this giveaway open until January 28th, Wednesday, at 11:59pm.  The next day I'll put all the valid entries into a container and draw out a name and that person wins.

There is a limit of ONE ENTRY per Day by leaving a comment on this blog post.

To get a BONUS entry, you can do this once---

Post about my Giveaway on your own Blog or on Facebook with a link to this post.  This will earn you 2 additional entries for each action.  Please leave 2 additional comments on this blog post for each additional Bonus entry. 


 Disclaimer--This giveaway is open to those with mailing addresses within the US or Canada only.
If you are in Canada, you will receive a smaller box of goodies, as the shipping rates internationally are ridiculous and I am not taking out a mortgage on my house to pay to ship this stuff.  ;-)

**
If you need this shipped to Canada, I'll have to change the box and it's contents a bit.  I can ship a plain box weighing up to 4lbs. via 1st class mail, which, while more than the flat rate Priority to US addys, is still affordable.  These prize boxes usually weigh 7 or more lbs. when full, so if the winner is in Canada, I'll let them pick and choose which of the items they prefer sent in their box, until the box weighs 4lbs.  I hate to have to do this(not ship ALL prizes to them)but I would hate it even more to exclude them totally from entering the giveaway.

***NOTE***
Please make sure there is a way for me to contact you in your comment.  If you're not a registered Blog User with your contact information on your User page, please put your email or email me your email addy privately when you leave a comment or something so I can get ahold of you if you win. If I can't contact you then you can't win.  Thanks!

So let's get this started!

 
Sluggy
 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Well I Got Something Done!




I paid the bills and mailed them Saturday.....and then a new bill came in.
Besides that one, I am still waiting on a phone bill and the electric bill and then all Jan.'s bills are in the books, as they say.

My Daughter also made her loan payment to us 4 days early this month.
I like to see promptness like that.  8-)

College Boy left to go back to school on Sunday.
Of course he promptly forgot to call me when they got there and the weather got bad and sleety so I was worried.
So I called him and he called back and said everything was "cool".
Kids..........

And now I can walk around the house nekkid again if I wanna.
I know, TMI....... ;-)

All the Christmas paraphenlia got put away as well on Sunday.

Today I've been working on tax stuff.  (Cover your eyes if you don't want to see anything having to do with taxes yet.)

I've been working on my income from online sales and blogging revenue this afternoon.
I am due another check from Google for blogging so I'm waiting to see if they put this bit under 2014 or 2015.  It should be under 2014 but waiting to see how they mark it down in their books to see how/when I report this.

I have all the eBay(1 item), Etsy(105 fabrics)and Amazon(1 book)Sales figures finished.
All these online sales netted me a profit of $626.73 after all fees and costs of goods sold were figured in.

So far the Blogging Revenue is at $209.68 for the year.
At the end of December I had another $118.94 earned that hasn't been paid out yet so the blogging money could be $328.62 when all is said and done for 2014.
Heck that means I almost broke $1K in side income last year.
I will TRY not to spend it all in one place..........lolz

Well I am off to water my magnolia bush and go put my feet up and think about the year ahead and what I need/want to get done in 2015.

Sluggy

 

This Week on the Dining Table


The "It's My Birthday Week but I Really Don't Want to Cook" Edition........


Yep, Sluggy adds another year to her tally this week.
bleh.

Maybe I can talk Hubs into not making me cook this week like last week mostly.
Yeah, I am getting spoiled.
 


Here's what was planned last week.....................

1.  Fried Chicken, Coleslaw, Corn, Biscuits
2.  No Clue
3.  No Clue
4.  No Clue
5.  No Clue
6.  No Clue
7.  No Clue
 
And this is what actually happened--

1.  Fried Chicken, Coleslaw, Corn, Biscuits
2.  IHOP(I had an egg sandwich & onion rings)
3.  Subway sandwich(Chicken)
4.  Leftovers(Still didn't feel like cooking lol)
5.  Lasagna, Salad
6.  Broccoli/Cauliflower Cheese Soup
7.  Chinese Take-out

I cooked 2 meals for the week, once we got home on Tuesday.  I am just a slug.
  
While I was in Virginia I made a trip to Harris Teeter and some other snacks at Food Lion.  Add in the grocery shopping I did before we left and I had spent a grand total of $143.61 in food shopping and brought home products of a retail value of $317.13 up to Jan. 10th. 

Last week I made 1 trip to the local grocer and spent $21.33 on $30.75 reg. retail worth of food.

My spending so far for January on food is $165.29 for $347.88 worth of food.(Not counting Rite-Aid spending.)
We have 12 days left in the month and I want to keep the spending below $250 for January.  This leaves me approx. $85 left to spend.

Yah, good luck with that Sluggy ol' gal! ;-)

Here is the plan for this week.........

1.  Leftover Lasagna
2.  Garlic Ginger Shrimp Stir-fry
3.  Bean and Ham Soup(If too salty for me I'll eat Broc/Caul. Soup.)
4.  Chicken Parmesan, Salad
5.  Broiled Salmon, Coleslaw, Veggie
6.  Leftovers
7. Birthday Meal out(probably steak)
 
I have ham stock waiting to be made into soup, a large pan of lasagna still leftover, shrimp, fish & chicken in the freezer plus these new meals will net us more leftovers(at least 2 of them).

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

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

Any great deals on food at your stores this week?

Sluggy

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Rite-Aid the Week of 1/11-1/17

Here are my shops for this past week.  I am sorry I didn't get it up before the sales week ending so I can't be of a help to anyone figuring out the deals this time.
There wasn't much to get anyway.  ;-)

Transaction #1.......


and this which I forgot to take a pic of with the other stuff.....remembered after changing the tablecloth from a Christmas theme.........

1 x GE light bulbs on sale=$7.99
1 x Max-Freeze on sale=$5.00
2 x Colgate toothbrushes on sale=$5.98
1 x Xmas candy bar 75% off=$.32
SubTotal.....$19.29

Coupons Used
1 x $1/1 GE light bulbs IPQ(nla)=$1.00
1 x $2/1 Zim's product(Max Freeze)Facebook Q=$2.00
1 x $1/2 Colgate toothpaste ManuQ=$1.00
Coupon Total.......$4.00

$19.29-$4=$15.29 + .05¢tax=$15.34

I used $15 in +Up Rewards and paid .34¢ OOP.
I earned $14 in new +Up Rewards($5 GE, $5 Zim's, 2 x $2 Colgate)

Transaction #2 bought on the other card..................


1 x GE light bulbs on sale=$7.99
2 x Colgate toothbrushes on sale=$5.98
SubTotal........$13.97

Coupons Used
1 x $1/1 GE light bulbs ManuQ=$1.00
1 x $2/1 Colgate toothbrushes ManuQ=$1.00
Coupon Total.......$2.00

$13.97-$2=$11.97 + .08¢ tax=$12.05

I used a $10 +Up Reward and paid $2.05 OOP.
I earned $9 in new +Up Rewards($5 GE, 2 x $2 Colgate).


This week's totals--
$25 in +Ups spent
$23 in +Ups earned
$2.39 spent OOP
$60.92 retail value in goods brought home.

Total spent at Rite-Aid in Jan. to-date..........$6.65 cash(after $4.49 rollover in credit from 2014 applied).
Total value of goods bought..........$269.61

My stack of +Ups are down to $36.
I figure I'll be out of +Ups by mid-February(maybe sooner)and then I'll take 4-6 months off from Rite-Aid shopping unless a tremendous deal comes around.
This is my pattern......heavy Rite-Aid activity late in the year and tapering off a couple months into the following year.
Nobody can keep this deal shopping pace up year round! 8-)

Sluggy


 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

What a Slug I've Been!

Gosh, I've just done practically nothing since getting home on Tuesday!
Ok,, I DID go to Rite-Aid since I had another $25 in +Up Rewards expiring but as you can see(or would that be NOT see?!?)I haven't even posted about that shopping trip.

See? What did I tell ya........just a slug!

It's already the 17th of the month and I have yet to pay a single bill even.

College Boy is going back to school tomorrow and I still need to finish gathering up his goodies to take back with him(toiletries, food, etc.).

Hubs told me he put away all the Christmas stuff while I was gone.
Ha!
By "put away" he must have meant I've put some of it away and the rest is still sitting in boxes/tubs or is sitting on the dining room table and YOU need to finish this job.  8-(

While away in Virginia I was suppose to contemplate my goals for 2015 and frankly, the thought never crossed my mind while I was there.
8-/

I've also got to get a handle on the food/grocery situation here.  Hubs will eat strange things and combinations of foodstuffs rather than cook or go to the store when he is left to fend for himself and as a result will let perfectly good food sit unloved.
That is the only reason I can think of to explain why an entire homemade apple pie I made for the Holidays is still sitting in the fridge untouched!!
The man is seriously ill(or in his own little world)to let a pie go bad......

And there is also the making of the plan for next week's dinners to work on and Hubs is no help.
I ask him, "What do you want to eat this week?" so I can work in his wants/needs to the plan.
So he answers me with, "How about chicken?"
"OK", I say, "There are only FOUR THOUSAND ways to make 'chicken'.  Which way were you thinking?!?  Narrow it down a little for me, willya?!"
This is what I'm working with here.............

So between paying bills, packing the kid up, cleaning out the fridge and meal planning/preparing and then figuring out our goal plan for the coming year I've got more than enough to keep me busy this weekend.

I am not a big fan of January.
January, post-holiday, is always stressful to me.
It's too cold.
All the year end financial stuff needs attending to.
I get post-Holiday blues.
It's too dark and snowy. (And today it's 5F degrees. bleh.)


I have usually fallen off the eating right wagon w/the Holidays so I don't feel as well as I should.
There are Yearly taxes and FAFSA to attend to. bleh.
I have to pay full price for prescriptions as the high deductible kicks back in on Jan. 1. Happy New Year my ass!
And to top it all off, Hubs paychecks are lighter at the beginning of the year(due to all kinds of local taxes being taken out in Jan.).

The only bright spot is that January contains my birthday(this Wednesday).
Otherwise I'd be happy to just punt January off the calendar.

I did accomplish one thing this week(besides surviving it).
I got maintenance on my Sonic scheduled and completed.
What an ordeal THAT turned out to be!!(Don't ask.)

This fancy pants new car displays a message when you need to take it in to change the oil, have the system reset, rotate tires, etc.  And you have 600 miles once the message displays to have the car services OR ELSE......they don't say what happens if you don't but it sure sounds ominous.

Of course the message came on while driving back from Virginia.  I have been so paranoid lately about that message coming on while I was not at home in Pennsylvania and not being able to get the car serviced before that 600 miles.  I've fretted bout it happening when I went to the Family Reunion in Sept., we rented a car for the trip in Oct. to OC so it didn't happen then, and again on 2 trips to get College Boy.
So of course it happens while in Virginia, right? lolz
But we were only 200 miles from home so it turned out ok.
The car is good to go and happy again with new oil/filters/etc.

So car tuned up, Rite-Aid +Ups spent and a few groceries picked up this week.
Now it's on to the weekend chores and getting back into the regular routine at home.
Or maybe I'll just go back to bed, pull the covers over my head and ignore my life for a couple more days. ;-)

What are you up to this weekend?

Sluggy
 

Friday, January 16, 2015

My Week Away

Sorry for the radio silence lately but I was down in Virginia for 10 days.
And mostly I laid around doing nothing at all!
Just a regular Sloth Fest down there.

Well, except for trips to Rite-Aid(which I posted)and a few other mundane trips out.

When we left Virginia Monday night it was 56F degrees.
We went from "no coat weather" to this...............


That was the temp reading on my car's dashboard the afternoon we got home.....and that was the HIGH for the day.  8-(


Now for the highlights of the trip.......

While my brother, College Boy and my Great Step-Nephew(yeah, I'm a Great Step-Aunt)played basketball......


My sister in-law took me shopping.
First to a consignment store, then to Tuesday Morning where I found these Awesome Christmas Cards on clearance...........



Then I sat in the car people watching while she returned stuff..............




We hit the drawbridge open delay on the way back to the house.  I posted this on Facebook and no one got the location correct.  This is "the bridge" in the Great Bridge section of Chesapeake, VA.



That evening College Boy & I went to Rose's looking for clearance Claxton's fruitcake but to no avail.
We did however pick up some foodstuffs for him to take back to college and I found this awesome shirt.........


I also found this classy lenticular painting for College Boy's dorm room.  Next month is, after all, his birthday too.......



On Monday my brother and I went to Ollie's(Good Stuff Cheap!) and Trader Joe's.........


TJ's down here has beer and wine in it so that was a no brainer!

I saw this woman wearing a hoodie promoting a local landmark here..........


(My sister in-law's mother worked there as a skating waitress for something like 40 years btw.)

I also found the brand/type of wine Hubs wanted me to look for at Total Wine & More.  I must say I never made it to TW&M but TJ's had it......


We also went to visit my oldest brother's house while in Virginia Beach.


This is a shot I took of the HUGE magnolia tree that takes up the entire front yard.
My brother loved that tree...........and not just because it kept the grass from growing(and having to be mowed-a chore he thoroughly detested)...............



On Tuesday College Boy wanted to get some "real" seafood so we went out for lunch.  Not wanting to have to drive all the way to the Oceanfront we tried to find something nearby, even though I really don't know my way around Chesapeake since it got "built up" like this since I left in 1982.
We got the GPS out and ended up driving from Chesapeake, into Va Beach and back to Chesapeake to get to Wicker's Crab Pot......



We were the only customers in the joint on a Tuesday afternoon.
I had a cup of She Crab Soup..............


I should have stopped at the soup.  I got the scallop basket(FIVE scallops)for $15! The hush puppies were a ball of grease and the coleslaw was lame.
College Boy wanted fried shrimp for $24.99.  I told him if he wanted fried we should have gone to Captain D's for a helluva lot less money!!

Yah, I was pretty crabby after I got the bill...........



As punishment for making me spend so much on mediocre overpriced seafood I made College Boy accompany me to a Fabric Store!  Oh, the evilness I can inflict on that child.......




I did get to give my next year's Christmas list to the Big Guy early at Wicker's.
I asked for the good money I just paid out to be returned to me in my stocking next Christmas....geez!



That night we all went out to a local Mexican place...........El Toro Loco


A warning here--they use a very caliente Pepper for their Chille Rellenos so beware if you are thinking of ordering that.

They had their Christmas tree still up in the foyer.  That's my sister in-law standing with it.........
 

They had these little ornaments all over it........


And the tree topper was this wreath of peppers, very cute..........
 

But the best was this everyday decoration by the front door..........


Too funny!

I found this local microbrew at the grocery store but Hubs didn't want me to buy him any......



Great name for a local beer!
Mmmmm.....swamp water!!lolz

I also found this wine and thought of cousin Sonya Ann........because she's so "sweet".
Yeah, that's why.................



I made dinner on Wednesday.  Spaghetti and Meatballs.  It turned into quite the production because sister in-law didn't have all the ingredients.....which we didn't find out until we were knee deep in cooking so there were two, count 'em TWO excursions to the grocery store to pick up needed items.

I took College Boy out for lunch again on Thursday.
Of all the places he could have chosen, places we don't have up in NE PA, he picks The Golden Corral.
bleh.
Well at least it was lunch prices and not dinner prices.

Even though it was a buffet I ate very healthy there.
Stop laughing.
I am serious!
Well, I didn't go into it wanting to eat healthy, but it turned out that way.
They had some "Chinese" selections but everything I took was doused in soy sauce, even the Sweet & Sour Chicken.
Then I took a slice of Lasagna but it was nasty and dried out from sitting too long so I couldn't eat it.
So I took a hamburger slider and it was overcooked.  All the meats and the fish I tired tasted like they were marinated in salt.

I ended up just eating 2 plates of vegetables.....Brussels Sprouts, Asparagus, Sauted Cabbage, Collards and Carrots and a couple of rolls.  And not 1 fried veggie thankyouverymuch!  Though the fried Okra was calling my name. lolz

The dessert bar was almost as long as the real food stations and full of cakes, pies, puddings and a chocolate fountain.  They also had cotton candy!  I am thankful I wasn't there when a bunch of little kids were there, as they'd probably be swinging from the rafters after ingesting all that sugar!

Other than lunch out I slept Thursday away.

On Friday and Saturday College Boy had work.  The sister in-law's daughter cleans houses for a living(mostly new construction and flips I think)and she asked College Boy if he wanted to make some $$ helping her those days.  He jumped at the chance, since his Bakery gig never materialized back home for this school break.  I spent Friday just hanging out at my brother's house doing dishes and laundry for everyone......and more naps.



On Saturday I took a ride by myself to Va Beach to a bread outlet I use to go to near Princess Anne Plaza.  Come to find out when I got there that the bread store was gone and now that building housed a thrift store.
So I went around the corner to the Harris Teeter grocery store.  HT is the king of "Buy 2/Get 3 Free" Deals and we don't have HT's in NE PA so I went in to see what I could find cheaply.  Last week HT also had a "Double any Q up to $2" Event so I went in to see what few Qs I brought with me that I could match up with sales.

I got 2 loaves of bread, one for .92¢ and the other for $1.15 after doubled Q.
I got 4 cans of Healthy Request Campbell's Soup for ZERO money after Qs.
I got a box of Cheerios for $1 after Q.
I got 2 bags of Starbucks coffee for $4.99 each after Q.
I got 2 bags of Community coffee for $5.49 each after Qs.
I got 5 bottles of good olive oil for $4.57 each after B2G3F sale.
I got 5 cans of Progresso soup for .86¢ each after B2G3F sale.
I got 5 large jars of Ragu sauce for $1.34 each after B2G3F sale.

I also bought some other items on sale which got used while we were down there and I bought a bottle of Asti Spumante which I promptly forgot to bring home and this "other stuff" with taxes came to $19.61.

Yes, I am the kind of oddball who buys groceries while on vacation.

I had to find an alternate route to get back to my brother's house because when I went to get onto the interstate it was a parking lot and the cops had the entrance ramp blocked off due to a very severe accident.
So I headed south and made my way via local roads.  Along the way I passed a couple Rite-Aids so I stopped in to see what they had that I could spend/roll some +Up Rewards on.
The most exciting thing was clearance Axe Deos for $1.34 that gave back $2 in +Ups wyb2, making them .34¢ OOP.
Score!

Sunday was more lazing around the house.
I went out at lunchtime to get a sub at a local chain I used to work at when I was in high school.
At dinner time I went and bought a bucket of chicken as a treat so no one had to cook.

I didn't take hardly any pictures while down there....except for the Rite-Aid stuff I bought.
Sad, isn't it?

There were quite a bit of adult beverages consumed though.

This......


And this among them........


And this photo is for Sonya Ann again............look at THIS can of peanuts!

Note the weight........

Now THAT'S a CAN OF PEANUTS!!!



Monday my brother and College Boy went with me to a new local BBQ joint(it was ok, not great) and then we ran over to Walmart so brother could pick up an order that was in and I wandered around the Christmas clearance stuff.  If it was 5 years ago I SO would have bought a bunch of clearance toys to resell on eBay(I had the same urges while in Ollie's the week before to score some clearance toys to resell), but the fact that I'd never fit them into my teeny tiny car made me pass on those deals.

I was tempted to get this though..........

Not to sell but just because it was so weird and I wanted that ice tea glass. lolz

Speaking of weird, I found this book in Ollie's........

And here's another strange cookbook............


What kind of a protein is a "Pooh" anyway? ;-)


We packed up and after a late dinner at IHOP(College Boy's choice)with brother, sister in-law and great step-nephew, we headed out into the night to start the journey home.
Because of weather forecasts and wanting to avoid Philly at rush hour we broke the return trip into 2 stages and spent that night in Seaford, DE.  After a leisurely breakfast we made it home around 2pm on Tuesday.

So now you are up to date on the Travels of Sluggy.  8-)

Sluggy