Monday, February 29, 2016

The Rite-Aid Standings

I went to Rite-Aid last night but just to do the moneymakers........

2 x Dove 'Poo on sale=$6.00
2 x Colgate toothpaste on sale=$5.98

Coupons Used
1 x $3/2 Dove 'Poo ManuQ=$3.00
2 x $2/1 Colgate Total toothpaste IPQ=$4.00
Coupon Total........$7.00

$11.98-$7=$4.98 + .36¢=$5.34
I paid with Plenti Points and earned back $7 in new Plenti Points($3 wyb2 Dove, 2 x $2 Colgate paste) so a $1.66 moneymaker.
Plus there is a $3 off 2 Dove hair products offer on SavingStar which the 'Poo qualified for so I'll get another $3 in cash rebates for buying this stuff......bringing this to a $4.66 moneymaker.  8-)))

I'll put this trip onto March's Rite-Aid totals as I've already closed out the books on February "spending".....not that this trip qualifies for "spending". lolz

So where do I stand with all things Rite-Aid.

In the last 2 months I've brought home $1239.11 of goods for zero OOP.
As far as Plenti Points go, one card has $52.85 currently and the other $77.22 on it.
I also have $42 in cash from "post coupon" situations since Jan. 1st......

This is when they forget to process the coupons I hand them before the clerk finished out the transaction.  Sometimes it's my fault sometimes it's their.  This $42 represents $42 in additional Plenti Points my cards should have at this point.
But I really prefer the cash after all, you can spend it anywhere. lol
I keep this wad of bills stashed in my wallet so that IF I ever run out of points or gift cards(given to me by family for Xmas/birthdays/etc.)I won't have to spend "my" money.

I also have $43.12 in my SavingStar Rebate account but some of that amount is not from Rite-Aid buys but from grocery store purchases.  I cash that out and count it into my figures at the end of the year.

With these two beginning of the year promotions over with at Rite-Aid now I'll be going less frequently and usually only to get the freebies or the moneymakers.


This Week on the Dining Table

It's the "Who Took My Bathroom?!?" Edition--

The crew showed up on Thursday and within 3 hours my bathroom was gone.
Wow, that didn't take long.
Of course, putting the new bathroom in will take a tad longer but they should be finished by Friday if the weather cooperates(and of course it's raining now and NOT cooperating).
The shot is of the underside of the roof as even the ceiling of the bathroom had to go.  It got mighty cold in there once they took the ceiling down.

Onward to the meal planning!

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

1. Sunday--Thai Peanut Chicken, Rice, Broccoli
2. Monday--Meatloaf, Brussels Sprouts, maybe dreadful Mac&Cheese fixed up
3. Tuesday--Cheese Lasagna, Tossed Salad
4. Wednesday--Kielbasa on rolls, Saute Cabbage
5. Thursday--Fish, Potato Salad, Veggie TBD
6. Friday--Leftovers(Meatloaf)
7. Saturday--Leftovers(Lasagna)

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Thai Peanut Chicken, Rice, Broccoli
2. Monday--Meatloaf, Brussels Sprouts, Garlic Mashed Taters
3. Tuesday--Cheese Lasagna, Tossed Salad
4. Wednesday--Beef Stroganoff, Rice, Leftover Veggies
5. Thursday--Pecan Chicken, Mac and Cheese, Sugar Snap Peas
6. Friday--Leftovers(Meatloaf, Baked Beans, Leftover SSPs)
7. Saturday--Leftovers(I had a Lean Hot Pocket )

7 meals cooked at home....well sort of. lolz
We went to a new Chinese Buffet on Sat. for lunch.

As for my grocery spending for February.....
Added spending of $70.85 this past week for a grand total food spending in February of $359.09.
Yes, I am over budget for the month.  Not horribly over budget but still over and I put the Feb. Grocery Spending Update up on the blog yesterday.
Moving on.......

I have closed out the books on February and taken out my March cash and begun spending this past weekend on the March books.  Can't leave the house all this week so we did some grocery shopping on the weekend.

Leftovers going into this week......Beef Stroganoff, Rice, Meatloaf, Cheese Lasagna, Pecan Chicken, Sugar Snap Peas, Thai Chicken.  I suspect that I'll put whatever Lasagna is leftover into the freezer after serving in one more time on Sunday.  College Boy comes home this coming weekend and I'll put out a bunch of frozen leftover that he enjoys, like Lasagna and Barbecue.

Here is this week's "food plan"--

1. Sunday--Leftover Lasagna
2. Monday--Sausage Patties on Rolls, Sauted Cabbage
3. Tuesday--Leftovers
4. Wednesday--Fish, Potato Salad(using up old taters), Grilled Asparagus
5. Thursday--Leftovers again?
6. Friday--Italian Torta, Salad
7. Saturday--?

This week will see 3-4 new meals cooked and 3 meals of leftovers(re-purposed into new dishes or not). We might get take-out on Saturday as I will be too tired to cook that evening after driving to get CB and back.

What I need to buy for this menu? Nothing at all.  I already bought the Cabbage and Asparagus on Saturday with March's food monies.

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 last week?

Any great deals on food at your stores this week?


Sunday, February 28, 2016

2016 Food & Toiletries Spending.........February Update

Onward to February's food spending report.......

Here are my FOOD BUDGET spending totals for FEBRUARY 2016.

I have posted February's totals on the Total Grocery Savings for 2016 Page located HERE and have updated the Yearly Totals there.  I am listing subtotals for each store I purchased from in February.  If you aren't interested in that much detail, just skip to the bottom for the Totals Sum.  My spending includes Food, Toiletries/HBA, Cleaning Products, Paper Goods & tax where applicable. We are a family of 3(2 at home this month). No kids under 19.


OOP  $5.00
Value  $20.95
Savings  76.13%

OOP  $4.55
Sales/Qs  $28.69
Value  $33.24
Savings 86.31%

OOP  $0.00
Qs/Ads/gift card  $521.87
Value  $521.87
Savings 100%

OOP  $54.57
Qs/Ads $41.78
Value  $96.35
Savings  43.36%

OOP  $294.97
Qs/Ads  $379.86
Value  $674.83
Savings  55.74%

My best 3 Store Savings Totals were Rite-Aid at 100%, CVS at 86.31% and the Bakery Outlet at 76.13%.  My WORST savings rate was The local Shursave grocery at 43.36%.

I shopped at 5 different stores this past month.

TOTAL Out of Pocket..........$359.09
TOTAL Coupons & Store Sales Savings...$988.15
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased............$1347.24
TOTAL Savings of...................................73.35%
TOTAL Savings without Rite-Aid...........56.49%

Value of items excluding Rite-Aid bought ones was $825.37.
Rite-Aid goods brought home totaled $521.87

This closes out the February food/toiletries spending.

THOUGHTS & COMMENTS for this month.....
I went into February wanting to do a $250 to $300 food budget for the month($250 for family spending and $50 for deals).  I also separated out monies spent on food bank donations from my food budget for Feb.
I didn't meet that $250-$300 goal this month, going over by $59.09.

The monthly savings percentage went down by 2.17% in February to 73.35% compared to January's 75.52% savings average.
So we are still well above a 40% savings rate on groceries for 2016.
While saving 3/4 on food every month is unsustainable I'll take it while it lasts. lolz

With 2 months accounted for, I have spent a total of $709.06 on food/toiletries so far in 2016 which averages out to $354.53

LOOKING AHEAD To March 2016.........
Ok, since College Boy will be home for a week this month, I can't do a super tight budget for March.
I'll shoot for a $250-$300 month in March.  I won't be buying much extra this month for CB as I already did some stocking up for his needs in February(compleats and coffee).
I will continue to anticipate our needs and buy them while on sale instead of paying full regular retail for these items(except for milk as that doesn't do on sale here in PA).

If you have other ideas or guidelines you follow please leave a comment and share yours with us all.
Here's hoping y'all had a great year for spending less on food in 2016.

*  How much did you spend on food/toiletries in February?
*  Do you track your yearly food spending?
*  What was your savings percentage buying on sale and/or with coupons vs. buying at regular retail price last month, if you track that sort of thing?
*  What are your methods for keeping your food spending in check?

Is anyone out there up for tracking expenditures and trying to spend less but still eat well?


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Rite-Aid and the Big Point Event & My Day Out

Two trips to Rite-Aid this week to finish out the Big Point Event on one card this week.  I won't go into the details though as these deals expire this evening............

After sale prices and coupons this lot cost me $41.32 in Plenti Points and I earned back $28 in new Plenti Points.

After sale prices and coupons this lot cost me $19.58 in Plenti Points and I earned back $22 in new Plenti Points.

So I spent "down" my Plenti Points by $10.90.
I also earned a $1 SavingStar cash Rebate on one of the Vaseline lotions and a $1 cash Rebate on the Hall's cough drops.

So after this $2 in cashback I am only "down" $8.90 for all this fine quality merchandise.
UPDATED--A new $1 Dove Men's popped up in my SavingStar account over the weekend and I have already received another $1 rebate for buying 1 so I am now "down" $7.90 for all this stuff.

I should be able to also get $4 or $5 per pack of diapers once I sell them which puts me in the Overage category for all this eventually.

Hubs and I ran errands(grocery stores, Rite-Aid)since I haven't been able to leave the house the last two days due to the construction.
Then we had a date today.
He took me to the new Chinese Restaurant that opened up at the mall. I had a coupon of course.

Then I sat in the grocery store's cafe area and watched him pick out 6 beers..........

If you look very close you can see Hubs' hand plucking a bottle of the top shelf behind the 312 Goose Island 6 pack in the foreground on the right.

Fun stuff.
I know "I" was having fun......


Friday, February 26, 2016

2015 Road Trip......Day 12 to the End

Ok, last post on our trip to Louisiana in 2015.

So Day 12, our last full day in Louisiana started off rolling out of bed late.
Too much drinking after dinner the night before?
Could be......

So the Daughter had a day off from work this day so we picked her up and headed back over the river East of Shreveport to Bossier City around lunch time.

We just had to eat here.........

A brand spanking new Tom + Chee Restaurant.
They serve gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup(as well as other soups).

I had a basic sandwich with the addition of bbq potato chips and bacon inside....


Hubs and Daughter did the "build your own" sandwich and got spicy sausage on theirs(among other things).

Daughter wouldn't let me take a picture of her eating so I got this one between bites....I think she was still chewing though. lolz

Then we just had to get one of these, their "specialty"........

Yep, a grilled cheese donut.
We got a "Blueberry Blue" which had blueberry compote, blue cheese, mozzarella cheese and lemon mascarpone on it and shared amongst the three of us for dessert.
Sorry I didn't get a picture of it as I was trying to get my share before the other two hogs at the table devoured it.

Here's a photo off the internet of someone else's........

It is "different" but it was OMG good.

I "heart" Tom + Chee!

Then we let Hubs hit up a local used bookstore and he found some of his highly unusual books for cheap.

After that Daughter wanted to take us here..........

The biggest pawn shop I've ever seen.

It's located right next to an Air Force Base(which figures).
There was a lot of this going on overhead, reminding me of home, staying at my brother's house near the oceanfront in Virginia Beach with the flyovers from Oceana Naval Air Station.

This place was waaaay over priced and sometimes more of a glorified junk store but we had fun goofing around.

Slapping five the the gorilla out front........

Hubs shooting off his "big gun"....hehehehe......

I found a lawn ornament to take home to PA but would have needed a trailer on the car to get it home.

Some naughty wine glasses.....I wonder who I thought would enjoy these, Hmmm??

A fiberglass shark for your den?  Well at least it's purple!

"Say hello to my little friend!"

We walked off most of lunch in here where were in the place so long.  The back part was NOT air conditioned so we sweated off part of lunch too.
Yes, late May in Louisiana can get beastly hot and humid.

A cool mural I saw from the highway while going through downtown Shreveport on the way back to Daughter's house.

So we spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out at Daughter's house with her and her weird dog(the granddog)......

Cinnamon showing us her vicious face........she is such a wimp!

Either Daughter had something to do that evening or we just wore her out because by dinner time we said our goodbyes and Hubs and I hit this place for dinner before going back to the hotel.........

They had recently opened up(they were still painting parking lines in front of the restaurant!)and I found a Groupon for it so why not try some more barbecue?

Brisket is "King" around these parts(we were about 5 miles from the Texas line)........

The good stuff....burnt ends..........Mmmmmm......

It was a tiny place with only 3 tables(I guess they do more take-out business)but the prices were decent(even w/out the Groupon)and it was good "cue".
We'll be back when in the area again.

Day 13, we got a good breakfast at the hotel, loaded the car and started the long slog home.
But I did take these gratuitous photos of casinos on our way out of town...........

Just a few we passed leaving Shreveport.....

There are more there and no Sonya, I didn't set foot in any of them.......yes, I know it's killing you! ;-)

Heck, you can even stop off along the interstate at various truck stops and play the slots here.
It's nuts.
No wonder nobody down here has any money between the drive-thru daquiri stores and the gambling places.........

We headed into Mississippi.....

Stopped at a Mickey D's for a quick sack of burgers to eat on the road and then into Alabama soon after that.........

There was one stop Hubs wanted to make this day in Alabama.

Moundville Archaelogical Park.
Yes, Hubs wanted to see large piles of dirt.
So that's what we did, in temperatures closing in on 100F. ugh.

 We drove around the place and took pictures of big mounds of grass covered dirt.

Are we having fun yet???

They had this really tall mound with a replica building on it(was the chief's abode)with a crazy number of tiny steps up too it.
I stayed in the car with the a/c going while Hubs tried to break his neck going up there.
Guess who had a better time? ;-)

Finally we got to an actual museum building.......

I might have been a great little set-up but I'll never know.  The place was so dimly lit inside and I still had 1 good eye and 1 bad eye so I couldn't see anything very well or read anything.
But they had these lifesized dioramas of scenes I could enjoy....

Hubs read me some of the information so I wasn't totally in the dark about what it all meant.

So I spent some time in the gift shop and sitting in the cafe drinking a bottled water while Hubs took it all in.
Cranky as I was, I even climbed the stairs behind the gift shop and went out onto the viewing area in that heat and I didn't complain at all.
Shocking, I know!

Not soon enough for me we were off again.  I asked Hubs to make a stop outside of Birmingham so I could walk around a World Market store........and he blew his top because he didn't want to make anymore stops and make some time on the road.
He grumbled but acquiesced.

They have lots of interesting food and drink in these stores and each one is different depending on where in the country you are.

Not only is this Spotted Dick but it's "Premium Quality" Spotted Dick.

I liked the name of this craft beer out of Georgia.  Hubs bought some.

It was a quick-ish stop and we were back on the road soon.

I bet you didn't know that Alabama has their own Statue of Liberty?
Granted she is much smaller than the one in NY's harbor but her torch is lit up and she is visible from the interstate.
Now you do.
You are welcomed.

We stopped for the night in Trussville, AL.....great name for a town, right?

If you had any doubt where you were, the Hooters we stopped in to to buy College Boy shirt clued you in........

"Roll Tide" spelled out in the front windows of the Hooter's.
*Sluggy rolls her eyes.

We got a hotel room nearby at a Hampton Inn(tiny room, huge price for it's location!) and grabbed some dinner.......

Zaxby's make a really good Salad with Chicken by the way.........

We spent the evening laying in bed and binge watching House Hunters(since we no longer have cable)and yelling at the idiots on the show.

On the way down the next morning to breakfast we saw this sign in the elevator.
Who says people in the South have no sense of humor and aren't "hip"? lol

We set out right after breakfast and made Chattanooga before 11am.

So we hit a liquor store just to see what was worth buying.
$125 later we left Chattanooga.
Hit some bad interstate traffic until we got past that big town.

Then near Gatlinburg Hubs blew up at me when I asked him if we could stop and walk around a Russell Stover Factory Outlet for a bit.
He wouldn't stop yelling how it was slowing us down.

So I reminded him that I just dropped 30 pounds of sweat while he stopped for HOURS to look at piles of dirt yesterday and where was his "he can't stop" speech then and unless he wanted me to grow a blood clot in my leg because I can't sit in a car for hours and not move he'd better get over himself and stop for a break.

Well I never got to the chocolate factory(sniff, sniff)but he finally let us stop at a truck stop for a drink and something to eat(a crappy Subway in a truck stop).
I stayed pissed for the rest of the day.

We hit Virginia finally....

Breezed through Wytheville........

And stopped at dusk for the night somewhere outside of Christiansburg, VA at a Comfort Inn filled with teenagers on some sports trip.
Oh goody.
Just the perfect end to a craptastic day.

An overpriced noisy motel and the pool was closed.
Not much comfort at this place.

We hit the road next morning and Hubs wanted to get home before the day ended which was fine by me as I was tired of being in a car with him at this point. ;-)

Back in PA after 5 hours on the road(with a lunch break).
We got home right before dark that evening.

Here is what greeted me when I opened the front door and looked down the hallway into my kitchen.
Keep in mind that College Boy had been home alone and unsupervised for 2 weeks....

Yes that my living room wingback chair IN the kitchen.

Here's what I found in my living room......

Yes my living room was being used as a music studio/rehearsal space.

And all this was now living in my dining room.....

College Boy got it all put back into place quickly and he enjoyed his new shirt......

So that's the end of this adventure.
I hope it was worth the wait. lolz