Saturday, July 30, 2016

2016 Food & Toiletries Spending.....July Update

* I've closed out the July books a couple of days early as I am done shopping.  Anything bought in the next 2 days will come out of August's funds. *

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

Here are my FOOD BUDGET spending totals for JULY 2016.

I have posted July'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 July.  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 5(5 at home this month). No kids under 20.


OOP  $11.93
Value  $35.72
Savings 66.60%

OOP  $39.50
Value  $77.17
Saved  $37.67
Savings  48.81%

OOP  $11.18
Value  $18.18
Savings  38.50%

OOP  $24.93
Value  $36.55
Saved  $11.62
Savings  31.79%

OOP  $52.29
Value  $89.46
Savings  41.55%

OOP  $0.00
Value  $19.29
Saved  $19.29
Savings  100%

OOP  $85.78
Qs/Ads $144.54
Value  $230.32
Savings  62.75%

OOP  $348.96
Qs/Ads  $376.40
Value  $673.94
Savings  55.85%

My best 3 Store Savings Totals were Rite-Aid at 100%, Bakery Outlet at 66.60% and Shursave Market at 62.75%.  My WORST savings rate was at Food Lion at 31.79%
I shopped at 8 different stores this past month.

TOTAL Out of Pocket..........$574.57
TOTAL Coupons & Store Sales Savings...$489.95
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased............$1064.50
TOTAL Savings of...................................46.02%

TOTAL Value of Items Purchased w/R-A.....$1082.79
TOTAL Savings including Rite-Aid shopping....46.94%

This closes out the July food/toiletries spending.

THOUGHTS & COMMENTS for this month.....
I went into July wanting to do a $450 food budget for the month.  I ended up going over by a whooping $124.57.

Again I am still trying to find the spending sweet spot.  Some of my spending in July was due to picking up good deals which we'll use later on in the year and there were many good deals to be had since July 4th was this month.  I picked up more meats/proteins for the freezer than I used in July so the freezer is fuller at the end of the month than it was at the beginning.

At least my savings rate is up again to 46.94%(only a bit of that was due to Rite-Aid shopping)while in June it had dropped to 39.80%.

The monthly food spending savings percentage went up by 7.14% in July to 46.94% compared to June's 39.80% savings average.
I'll take that savings rate all day long!

With 7 months accounted for, I have spent a total of $2379.22 on food/toiletries so far in 2016 which averages out to $339.89 per month spent.  This is $39.11 higher per month than the average in June was.
But then again, I am feeding 2 extra people this year so that increase is not so bad.

LOOKING AHEAD To August 2016.........

I will continue with my usual shopping ways in loss leaders or great deals which we can use, use a few coupons, cash in points for gift cards or buy discounted gift cards to food stores when possible.
I am going to give myself $500 for August.  Not sure if this amount will work for August as Hubs and I are going away for 9 days and I'll need to leave some cash here for the kids to buy groceries and you know they won't be as careful with their purchases as I am.  ;-)

If you have other ideas or guidelines you follow please leave a comment and share yours with us all.

*  How much did you spend on food/toiletries in July?
*  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?


Friday, July 29, 2016

So Over These Career Politicians

The full Hillary Clinton story, not the fairy tale glossed over version Bill Clinton delivered in his speech the other night.


As with everything, take it with a grain of salt but there are large nuggets of truth in this rebuttal.

Why is this country so concerned with voting a POTUS with "darker than white" skin, or this year, a vagina?

Why are we not asking the REAL questions, examining candidates policy stances on real issues such as mass surveillance, fiscal policy or transparency in campaign finance, congressional reform?
You know, the stuff that actually affects us, the people's lives directly?

At least one person, other than the politicians, is making money off our country's horror show......

Vivienne Westwood's new t-shirt speaks the truth, though I'd never pay $180 for the honor on owning this rag.
But if someone gifted me one I'd wear it fiercely! ;-)


More Rite-Aid from My Trip to VA Last Week

Since nobody can copy the deals I did I'll not go into massive detail here.
I still had 2 Mentos BOGOF Qs and a $1/2 Colgate toothpaste to get free stuff so we stopped at a Rite-Aid in Delaware, along the way to Virginia and I got this.......

This particular store only had the spearmint flavor mints so I didn't get them(seeing as a detest spearmint anything).
But I did pick up 2 tubes of toothpaste and with the sale, coupon, points earned they were free.
I gave them to brother and his wife when we got to Virginia.

Then the morning we waited 3 hours for them to return from grocery shopping I went up to a nearby Rite-Aid to see if I could track down an acceptable flavor of Mentos........

They had the Wintergreen variety which I had wanted all along!
I had to add the candy bar to the transaction because of the order in which this cashier did things.

Usually they scan your card, then the register asks if you are using points(I say yes)and then cashier rings up your items and lastly your coupons.
Total after coupons should have been(for just the mentos)$3 + tax and I would have earned $4 back in points(2 x $2 on the Mentos).
Not this time!

The cashier scanned my card, the register asked if I wanted to use points, and then the cashier scanned in my coupons, the both of which rang up as $2.29 off-the regular retail on the Mentos.
She lastly rang in the mints which scanned in on sale at $1.50 each.
So $6-$4.58=$1.52 + tax.

Seeing as you can't use Plenti points if the purchase is UNDER $2 I now had to add that candy bar.
If things had been rung up correctly, in the correct order my transaction would have been $6-$3=$3 + tax, and no extra items would have been needed

So I paid .92¢ for the candy bar(20% wellness discount)and my grand total for all was $2.34 + .17 tax=$2.51
Instead of using $3 in Plenti points I used $2.51 but still earned $4 back in PPs.
So this transaction gave me .49¢ more back in points and a free candy bar to boot.  ;-)

I ended up giving the candy bar to my son for his birthday, because I am generous that way.......lolz


Thursday, July 28, 2016

In Other News......

Hubs picked the first zucchini of the season 2 days ago........

It went from 5 inches long to 12+ inches in 2 days!
I forgot how fast these babies grow with the optimum weather.

If I am feeling up to it mr. zuke will be starring in a Blueberry Zuke Cake very soon.  8-)


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Happenings at Chez Sluggy the Last Month or So

A few not-so boring things happened around here the last month or so.
Grab a cold one and have a sit-down, this may take awhile. ;-)

* Let's start with some crime drama stuff.  At the end of June the Daughter and the BF came into the house after being out shopping or something and said there were two police cars with lights flashing in our cul-de-sac, having pulled over two people in a car.
So we went out to the front porch to "observe" know, in case the cops decided to pull some tazer shenanigans or something.
Seems some of our neighbors on the cul de sac also wanted to watch from their porches. ;-)

From what we could hear and see from the porch the car got pulled over for a moving vehicle violation.  The woman driver appeared intoxicated so they did a field sobriety test on her.  While that was being done the other officer saw drug paraphernalia in the car.  At that point they cuffed her and put her into the back of one of the police cars.  They then took the male passenger out and sobriety checked him while the cuffed driver kept screaming from the cruiser, "Stop lying!  Tell them it's your shit!!".
Evidently the passenger was not going to fess up to being the owner of the "shit".
After cuffing the passenger and lots of yadda yadda between the cops and driver, the tow truck arrived to haul the car away and the police took the two to booking(I am assuming.).

Darn it!  I had my camera ready but there was to be no disturbing video to go viral on FB.
This sort of thing has never happened in our neighborhood.  I hope this isn't a portent of things to come around here.

I have been perusing the local newspaper's police blotter and nothing ever showed up on this arrest. But let me tell you, if you need a good laugh, go look at your local paper's crime blotter.  Some of the things people do and get into trouble for are pretty weird and/or stupid.  It's a good thing many of the criminal element in this country are not too bright.....lolz

* Daughter and I decided one day to use one of my restaurant gift cards to go to lunch at Longhorn Steakhouse.
We ordered an appetizer of Fried Green Tomatoes to share.
The photo from their website........

"Hand breaded and topped with goat cheese and red chili ranch."

Here is what we were served..........

Even before I cut into them you could see through the breading that these were RED TOMATOES!
Ok, to be fair 1 of the 5 slices were from a green tomato......

We called the waitress over and told her this dish was not correct and to send it back.  When I explained that the tomatoes were red not green she tried to give me a line about how cooking the tomatoes makes them turn red.

That's total bullshit as anybody with half a brain knows, even a Yankee up here in PA.

If you have an idiot prepping in your kitchen or you don't have enough green tomatoes just take that dish off the menu.....geez!

The "chef" came out to apologize and offer to remake the dish but I declined.

Then our steaks arrived..........

You can tell from the scale of the knife behind it that I got a micro-steak.  No way that baby was 6 oz unless it was some super dense beef.
But the bigger problem is the broccoli behind the knife.
It was RAW!
The kitchen help had at the most dunked my broccoli into boiling water for 10 seconds(but I am guessing it was even less than that).
Totally raw and crunchy.

The waitress was taking orders at a large talk of Senior Citizens next to us.
I may have proclaimed in a rather loud voice, "What the F**k!  My Broccoli is raw!!!"
Though the elderly guests next to us didn't hear me(8 of them were wearing hearing aids)the waitress sure did.
She gave me a look that said, "I hear you and I can't believe the kitchen screwed up again.".
A few minutes later the chef brought me out some cooked broccoli(which was still on the crunchy side but at least you could tell it had seen some cooking action)with another apology and a card good for a free appetizer on our next visit.
Yah, I don't think there will be a next visit as we have another steak place here that doesn't screw up the basics.

* Daughter has a new job.  She got hired the same day she applied at her first job she got here working at a franchised sub shop.  The pay was crap but it was convenient and something she could do in her sleep basically.
But the manager there was a disaster.  I believe she was just a worker and the manager left so they made her the manager without any experience, training or the skill set for the position.  The owner has 2 other stores south of here and this shop for some reason can't keep employees so they are constantly having assistant managers from those store come to the local one here to cover shifts.  These employees aren't happy with the arrangement(having to drive 1 hour+ one way), the manager can't manage and employees keep leaving.
As my Daughter described it, "It's a Shit Storm.".
Procedures aren't followed, other employees talk trash and ignore customers and refuse to clean the dining area and lots of other problems but here is the kicker.......

Twice in the span of a week she reported to work on time(and she is ALWAYS on time)and there was no manager there to open the door.  She sat in her car for half an hour the first time it happened waiting to clock in and work.
The second time it happened she was in her car(had waited 15 minutes at this point)and saw the substitute manager go into the store.  When Daughter went up to the door and banged on it to be let in nobody came.  She banged on the door for 10 minutes and the manager never opened the door.

So she got in her car and came home.
6 hours or so later she gets a text asking if she is coming to work today, to which she said, "I came to work.  Nobody let me in so I left.  My shift ends in 1 hour and I am not driving all the way back for that."

What followed was lots of texting between Daughter, substitute manager-of-the-day and her boss(who was on vacation)for the rest of the day.
The owner's wive got involved texting Daughter to call her but neglected to provide a phone number so she couldn't call her.
Daughter texted the boss to ask for owner's wife's cell number and her boss ignored her request and started talking crap to her.
The boss texted her 5 days later before Daughter's next shift asking if she was coming in to work.
They weren't going to fire her for "not coming in" that day they wouldn't open the door but write her up instead.
Daughter said no, this store is a disaster and I won't be returning.
She had already gone out and gotten another job at that point that paid $2 more an hour.

I guess we taught her well to find a new position before you quit the shit storm job. 8-)
She is now a line cook at Cracker Barrel.  A company with some organization and they seem to know what they are doing.  Daughter is happy as a clam there.

* Our July 4th cook-out went well.  Just us and the brother in-law and nephew.  Basic cook-out foods....burgers, dogs, macaroni salad, corn on the cob and an apple pie.

* I smoked those 3 small pork roasts I got on a Buy 1/Get 2 Free Deal the day before the cook-out....

I smoked them 6 hours and threw them into the fridge to rest until later that week.  I finished cooking them off in the crockpot, adding a homemade sauce near the end.  That was some good bbq that we ate off of for 3 days.
I'll probably smoke another bigger pork shoulder in August.

* We took advantage of having Daughter's BF here earlier this month.  We finally bought a new ceiling fan/light and had BF help Hubs install it a couple of weeks ago.....well, really BF installed it and Hubs held the ladder and such.


After a mere 5 months I finally have light over the kitchen table again.
Now we need to change the other kitchen light to match this one. lolz

* While Daughter and I were in Virginia last week I noticed I was developing a sore on my breast.  By Sunday it had turned into an abscess.  Three days of hot compresses didn't help(and it was getting red and hot and spreading)so I was off to the doctor.
When I called to make the appointment the person on the phone asked what the problem was, ti which I replied, "It's an abscess on my left breast.".
She responded, "So it's a lump?".

Did she think I couldn't tell the difference between a lump and an abscess?
Lump hard......abscess soft.
I almost responded to that comment with, "It's not a Tumor", done in my best Arnold Schwarzenegger voice. ;-)

As suspected it was a full blown abscess and needed to be drained.  This is something that can happen if you have HS though I've never gotten one there before.
My boob got cut open, drained and packed.  Luckily for you my camera is dead so you don't get to see any gory photos.
It hurts like a son of a bitch but I have nice painkillers for a few days while this thing heals. ;-)
And hopefully it wouldn't keep us from going to Maine soon.

I guess that's about all the highlights from here.  I'll blog about the trip to Virginia at another time.
I need to go take an antibiotic now with a pain pill chaser.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Those Mysterious Kirks.....A Pain in My Genealogical Butt

In the 1900 Census my 3 x Great Grandparents, Robert Spencer Bowman and Sarah Redfern Bowman are quite elderly, 74 and 71 respectively, and still living in Orange County, New York.
In their household also resided 1 daughter, Ellen "Ella" Bowman, who is listed as single, and a 13 year old boy, listed as a grandson, named John Kirk.  Ellen is also listed as John's mother in this census either due to the enumerators assumption or they were told John was Ellen's son on the visit to the Bowman household.

And thus, until recently, this is how the family trees with this line listed in them showed the familial relation of John Kirk to the robert Spencer Bowmans of Orange County, NY.

But earlier this year NY State released online many Wills and Probate papers, and I found Robert Spencer Bowman's will contents.

Wills can be a treasure trove of information, especially on ancestors who are difficult to trace by other paper trail means.
And Robert's will contents did NOT disappoint in this regard!

Not only did it yield up a list of family; sons, daughters and grandchildren of Robert and Sarah Redfern Bowman who were alive in 1901, the year Robert died and his estate was probated.....

But it also gave us a precious page that told the real story of who was John Kirk's mother.

"John Kirk is a son of Sarah J Kirk, deceased, who was a daughter of Robert Bowman, deceased."

One little sentence written over 100 years ago in a will corrects my Bowman family tree information.

So John Kirk is living with his grandparents and his aunt because his mother, Sarah Jane Bowman Kirk, is dead by 1900.

Now the question still unanswered is Who is John Bowman Kirk's father?

I have yet to locate a marriage document for Sarah Jane Bowman and this Unknown Kirk husband.
The only Kirk of the correct age and gender I've uncovered in Orange County NY is this one.......

a John Kirk.

In 1880 John Kirk is living with the James Dayley family in New Windsor NY, the same town Sarah J Bowman was living in with her parents in that census.  John Kirk was born about 1862 and is working as a servant in the Dayley household.
In 1880 John Kirk was 18 and Sara Jane Bowman was 16.

In 1887 Sarah Jane Bowman Kirk gave birth to a son, John Bowman Kirk.
There is no direct mention of Sarah Jane in records after 1880 but we do know from indirect records for her son that she had to have lived to 1887 as that is when her son was born.

I suspect she died in childbirth or shortly thereafter but short of a headstone in a cemetery in Orange County, NY or finding a death certificate we have no way of knowing when she passed.

The only other record I can find that I can link to John Kirk is an admittance record on 22 March 1916 for the Orange County NY Almhouse.  He gives his parents names as James Kirk and Margaret Grimble Kirk, both born in Ireland.  He is 58, a carpenter and can not work due to sickness thus needing to be supported by the county in the poorhouse.

The next record we have for their son, John Bowman Kirk is that 1900 Census where he is living with his grandparents and aunt.

By 1908 John is found married to Margaret "Peg" Doyle and in 1909 their first child is born, Richard Henry Kirk.

In the 1910 census the John Kirk Family is living with his wife's family.
Another child is born in 1911, Dorothy "Minnie" and a second daughter, Lydia S. in 1913.
Lydia dies the following year in 1914.

There is a NY state census in 1915 and Margaret and the 2 surviving children, Richard and Dorothy, are living with Margaret's parents.  No sign of husband John Bowman Kirk living in NY let alone with his wife and kids in 1915.

By 1917 when the WW1 Draft registrations happen, John Bowman Kirk is living in Gary Indiana working as a foreman in a sintering plant.  He says he is married.
If you suspect something is amiss in the John Kirk family at this point, you would be correct. ;-)

In 1920 census John is lodging in a house in East Chicago Indiana.  He says he is divorced now and working as a salesman in cigar store.  Either the sintering plant wasn't to his liking or he lost that job.

Later that year, on 4 March 1920 John married Elizabeth Talmadge in Chicago, Illinois. There were no children from this union.

Meanwhile in the 1930 census Margaret Kirk and the 2 kids are living on their own in Orange County NY.  Margaret is working as a practical nurse and records her status as married.  This is probably to save face as John remarried 10 years before.  I can't find a divorce decree as of yet due to NY's not granting online access to that sort of information.

John and Elizabeth resurface in the 1940 census, now living in Hammond, Indiana and John is working as a flagman for the highway department.  A good steady government job for a man in his 50's.

In the 1942 WW11 draft registrations John is living in Hamilton, Indiana.

The last record for John Bowman Kirk is his death certificate from 5 June 1944.  He died of chronic myocarditis at St. Catherine's Hospital in East Chicago, Indiana.  At the time of his death was 57 years old and working as a machinist for Fruit Growers Express Co.
John was buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Hammond Indiana.

On 26 April 1946 wife Elizabeth joined John in Elmwood Cemetery.

Anybody out there want to go to Hammond Indiana and take some photographs of headstones for me?   It's right next to Purdue University.  8-)

While I've unraveled some of the mysteries of John Bowman Kirk and his parents, there are more to sort out.


Monday, July 25, 2016

This Week on the Dining Table

It's the "Welcome to the Heat Dome" Edition.............
No photos today as the camera is broken.
The guy on the tv tells me we are under the "Heat Dome" phenomenon.  All I know is that it's hotter than blazes here and has been since we got back into town last Thursday.  Of course, where we were last week(down South)was also hotter than blazes and I am over hot weather now.

I came home to 1 little zucchini on one of my garden plants(along with scads of teeny tiny green tomatoes).  That zuke should be a size to pick and eat very soon this week.

Moving on......

Onward to the meal planning!

Here's what was planned last week--

1. Sunday--No Clue
2. Monday--No Clue
3. Tuesday--No Clue
4. Wednesday--No Clue
5. Thursday--No Clue
6. Friday--No Clue
7. Saturday--No Clue

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Pork Chops, Scalloped Potatoes, Spinach Souffle(not home)
2. Monday--Leftovers(not home)
3. Tuesday--Leftovers(not home)
4. Wednesday--Pizza(not home)
5. Thursday--I had Leftover Pizza
6. Friday--Catfish, Shrimp, Asparagus, Potato Salad
7. Saturday--Hamburgers

6 meals cooked at home, 3 of them nights of leftovers.   Hubs cooked Sunday night, bought take-out Pizza on Wednesday and when I came home I cooked dinner on Friday and Saturday.

As for my grocery spending..... I spent a total of $158.05 on 5 trips to 4 different stores. I have negative $124.57 left of my $450 food budget with 6 days to go in the month.
July's food budget has kicked my ass it seems.......

Leftovers going into this week........asparagus and a small bit of potato salad.

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

1. Sunday--Take-Out Chinese
2. Monday--Chicken Parm, Tossed Salad or Leftover Asparagus
3. Tuesday--Chicken Pot Pie
4. Wednesday--Quiche, Tossed Salad
5. Thursday--Tuna Noodle Casserole
6. Friday--Verde Salsa Chicken on Tortillas
7. Saturday--No Clue?

This week will see 5 new meals cooked and 1 night of  Take-Out and possibly 1 night of Leftovers.

What I need to buy for this menu.....possibly some milk.

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?


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Well This Sucks & Other Stuff

How come every time I am about to go on a trip my camera dies?

2 years ago my camera died 1 week before I was to leave on my solo road trip to the Midwest.
Now the camera I bought then died last Monday while on my Virginia trip.
I suspect it might just be the battery so I've ordered a replacement one that should be here by Wednesday.
If the battery turns out NOT to be the problem, guess who'll be going out Thursday to buy a new camera before leaving town next weekend?
This gal.

I sure hope it's just the battery and I don't have to shell out $200+ for a new camera.
But they make it in purple now so that's something to look forward to if I need to purchase a new camera.  8-)

It's currently 94F here now.
Hubs cut the grass before noon and about had a stroke it was already so humid and warm.  I told him to just let the frickin' grass grow! lolz

Then we hit Sallie's this afternoon with a donation load and then hit the Bread Outlet for bread and rolls as we were completely out.
A quick run into the local Shursave grocery for ground beef and a few other things.
My food budget for July is officially shot as of Friday when I hit Weis(PMITA)Markets.
Food spending is sitting at $500+ now.
I am so disgusted.

I made hamburgers for everyone and said that is all the cooking I am doing today.
Y'all want dinner?......y'all have to figure that out for yourselves as I am not setting foot in the kitchen again today, I am reclining in my chair and binging on OITNB and then heading upstairs for a nap in the a/c'ed bedroom.


Friday, July 22, 2016

Stick a Fork in Me.....

Sorry to have been AWOL for a bit but I was away traveling through 5 states(counting the one I live in)for the last week.
Getting online was not a priority nor was eating 3 meals a day most days it turns out. ;-)

I am back now and trying to catch up.

Can I add that in addition to paying bills, cooking. cleaning, food shopping, etc. I get to also plan a trip to Maine for the beginning of August?
By the middle of next month I will be plum worn out between the travel and heat.

I am done with Summer in my head and ready for Fall.....bring it on!!

What's going on in your universe?


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

It's Too Danged Hot Here so This is All I Gots!

Well this happened this past weekend........
And so did this.........

Not much time or internet connection until I get back home so mull these photos over until I am back into blogging mode.


Monday, July 18, 2016

This Week on the Dining Table

It's the "Not Home and Not Cooking This Week" Edition.............

Well the photos aren't loading in blogger this morning so I'll try again to put one on later.
I am in Virginia visiting family and it's hot as hell here(Summer in the South, duh!?)so I am trying to stay cool as I can.

Maybe I'll revise the menu for the week later when I get home......and maybe I won't. ;-)

Moving on......

Onward to the meal planning!

Here's what was planned last week--

1. Sunday--Chicken Spaghetti(don't ask!lol), Sugar Snap Peas
2. Monday--Breakfast for Dinner(Daughter is cooking)
3. Tuesday--Reuben Sandwiches
4. Wednesday--Lemon Pepper Chicken, Rice, Zucchini
5. Thursday--Shrimp Scampi, Salad, Garlic Bread
6. Friday--TBD
7. Saturday--TBD

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Chicken Spaghetti(don't ask!lol), Sugar Snap Peas
2. Monday--Breakfast for Dinner(Daughter is cooking)
3. Tuesday--Reuben Sandwiches
4. Wednesday--Lemon Pepper Chicken, Rice, Zucchini
5. Thursday--Shrimp Scampi, Siciliam Tomato/Onion Salad, Garlic Bread
6. Friday--Chicken Spaghetti, Veggie
7. Saturday--No Clue what they had, I wasn't home

5-6 meals cooked at home, 1 of them nights of leftovers.
Most every meal was cooked on the day planned last week until I left town.  The Scampi came out well and was so quick and easy once the shrimp was peeled.  This is the first time I've ever made scampi with linguine but it's going on the warm weather rotation from now on.

As for my grocery spending..... I spent a total of $111.54 on 4 trips to 4 different stores. I have $33.50 left of my $450 food budget with 13 days to go in the month.

Leftovers going into this week........Chicken Spaghetti, Corned Beef, Sauerkraut, Rye Bread,Lemon Pepper Chicken, Shrimp Scampi, Garlic Bread.

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

1. Sunday--No Clue
2. Monday--No Clue
3. Tuesday--No Clue
4. Wednesday--No Clue
5. Thursday--No Clue
6. Friday--No Clue
7. Saturday--No Clue

This week will see ? new meals cooked and 7 nights of NO CLUE yet.

What I need to buy for this menu.....again, No clue, as I am not home and am not cooking until the end of the week when I get home.  It will be interesting to see what Hubs comes up with while I cam gone. lolz

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?


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Giveaway Winner

And the winner of the July Boring Blog Giveaway Box of Goodies is........

Miserly Mac!

I would love to win this giveaway, my 3 kids are driving me to the poorhouse with all the supplies they use.

I've emailed the winner and am waiting for a reply from the email addy they supplied.
If I don't hear back within the next 48 hours I'll pick a new winner so send me your info Miserly Mac soon.

Thanks to everyone for entering and reading.
I'll be taking a break for a couple of months from giveaways  because it's too hot to ship chocolate during the Summer and I have a life in which I have to do other things believe it or not. lolz


Friday, July 15, 2016

Don't Forget......

To enter the giveaway!
Today is the last day I am taking entries.
Go HERE to enter before 11:59pm EDST.

And with that I am off for the day.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Can It Be?....I Went to Rite-Aid?!

Why yes, yes I did. ;-)

I have missed going so much and there were a couple of items I could pick up this week for better than free, so why not?
Did this transaction on my son's card.........

4 x Mentos mints 2/$3 on sale=$6.00
1 x Colgate toothpaste on sale=$3.50

Coupons Used
2 x BOGO Mento mints IPQ=$3.00
1 x $1/1 Colgate optic white paste IPQ=$1.00*this one is no longer available online*


I used $5.50 in Plenti points to pay and earned back $7 in new Plenti points($2 x 2 Mentos, $3 Colgate).
I got paid $1.50 to take this stuff home.

I'll print off another few coupons(2 more bogo Mentos and a $1/2 Colgate)and, using my Wellness card, get better than free mints and while the toothpaste won't be better than free with this other coupon available, it will be at least free. We'll hit some Rite-Aid along the way to Virginia this weekend to use them.  I hope they have the Wintergreen variety of Mentos at one of those stores.
 I can give the toothpaste to my brother and his wife since we are staying with them.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Summer of the Car(Windshield More Specifically)

This Summer is turning out to be all about the Cars here at Chez Sluggy.

Since May we've spent $1,153.01 on car repair and maintenance.
May-new tires, belts, tune-up and oil change on Hubs car.
June-windshield repair, new windshield on Hub's car.  Mystery problem on College Boy's car.
July-another windshield repair on Hub's car.
Can I say Ugh here?

The one that irks me the most is the windshield issues.

While passing through Pascagoula MS on our Louisiana road trip in May on I-10 a truck through up a rock(pebble sized)that hit our windshield and put a nice hole into it near the driver's side edge.

When we returned to PA Hubs went and had the glass place fix it but they thought it just needed filling.
We have $100 deductible for glass replacement on the cars so we paid $79.50 OOP for that repair.
Two weeks later we get into the car to take Hubs to his favorite brewpub during Father's Day weekend.
I mentioned that it looked like the crack had gotten a bit bigger.....maybe 1/2 and inch on one of the lines emanating from the hole that was filled.
Hubs said I was hallucinationg.

So we go to the brewpub and when we went out to the car 2 hours later the crack, that Hubs said was NOT betting worse/longer, is now snaking halfway across the windshield........

I know it's difficult to see in this photo under those fluffy cloud reflections but it is there nonetheless.

So Hubs takes it back to the glass place and we pay another $25 to get the windshield replaced this time.  Same "repair event" so they only charge us the difference between what we paid for the fill and the balance of our deductible......except they charged us $25 instead off the actual difference which was $20.50.

The windshield replacement was on June 22nd.
Not even two weeks later Hubs is going down the mountain to get to the Interstate here to go to work on July 5th and another pebble hits his windshield and puts a hole into it.

So as of this past Monday we have another filled hole and we are out another $79.50.
And don't even mention that he should have bought a kit and fixed it himself.
I mentioned that both times the glass company were just going to fill the hole and he REFUSES to even consider doing it.
Can't live with them,
Can't kill them.

CB's car is going to be the death of me.  It keeps throwing Check Engine codes.  The dealership had the car last month for almost a week running diagnostics on it and driving it around and pulling things apart and putting them back together.  After a bill of $551+ they still can't figure it out!  They even called Corporate or whatever.  This car is now famous(or should that be infamous?)at this dealership.  They "think" it's a bad oxygen sensor.  I told Hubs if he takes it back in there will be no more extended "look see"by the dealership, just replace the sensor and we are DONE!  I am not putting that kind of money into this POS car again only to have no solution or fix to the problem.

It kills me that Hubs is so eager to throw money at a car problem(because he knows nothing about them when it makes no sense to dump good money after bad.

Have I ever said how much I detest cars and the $ they suck out of my wallet?


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Since so many asked for my made from scratch Mac and Cheese recipe yesterday, here it is.

It's actually the recipe off the back of a box of Mueller's elbow macaroni from back in the early 1980's.  That's when I married and we set up housekeeping.

It's a simple little recipe.  The recipe can be doubled to feed a large gathering or a couple of teenagers. lolz
I modified the recipe a few years back to use only half the amount of dry mustard called for in the recipe.  We like it better that way.
I also don't do a crumb or cracker topping anymore.  It doesn't need it really. ;-)

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

2 TB Margarine(I use butter)
1/4 Cup Flour
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Dry Mustard
1/4 tsp Pepper
2 and 1/2 Cup Milk
2 Cups Grated Cheese
8 Ounce Elbow Macaroni
1/4 Cup Bread Crumbs(can substitute Ritz crackers or use nothing like I do)

Boil macaroni in pot of salted water for 6 minutes.  Drain and put aside.

Melt margarine over low heat in large pot.
Stir in flour, salt, mustard, pepper until smooth and flour has "cooked"(about 2 minutes).

Remove from heat and stir in milk.
Stir constantly while cooking over medium heat 10 minutes until thickened.

Remove from heat and stir in 1 and 1/2 cup grated cheese until melted.

Turn macaroni into greased 2 quart casserole.  Pour cheese mixture over macaroni.  Mix.

Sprinkle remaining cheese and bread crumbs(or crackers or nothing)over top.
Bake 375 Degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes.



Monday, July 11, 2016

This Week on the Dining Table

It's the "Cooking From Scratch A Lot" Edition.............

I've been doing a lot of scratch cooking this past month.  Above was a meal eaten sometime in June-salmon(breaded fillets for 2 of the diners), roasted Brussels Sprouts(with bacon!)and mac and cheese.

The Daughter had to work until 9 pm that night so she had to reheat hers and missed being the first person to dig into that pan of mac and cheese.  I sent her this photo above at work and told her dinner was ready.
She messaged me back that I was a brat.  Well, yes, yes I am! ;-)

Moving on......

Onward to the meal planning!

Here's what was planned last week--

1. Sunday--Leftovers or FFY
2. Monday--Cook-Out Foods
3. Tuesday--Chicken Parmesan, leftover Risotto(for those who want it), Salad
4. Wednesday--Pork BBQ, Cole Slaw, Buns, leftover Cook-Out sides
5. Thursday--Meatloaf, Sugar Snap Peas, leftover stuffing(for those who want it)
6. Friday--Shrimp Dish(Shrimp and Grits or Garlic Ginger Shrimp Stir-Fry or Shrimp Scampi)
7. Saturday--Leftovers

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Leftovers or FFY
2. Monday--Cook-Out Foods
3. Tuesday--Chicken Parmesan, Salad(nobody wanted leftover Risotto)
4. Wednesday--Pork BBQ, Cole Slaw, Buns
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--Meatloaf, Leftover cook-out Corn, Spicy Mac and Cheese(leftover stuffing was added to the meatloaf)
7. Saturday--Leftovers

7 meals cooked at home, 2 of them nights of leftovers.

As for my grocery spending..... I spent a total of $161.87 on 6 trips to 3 different stores. I have $145.04 left of my $450 food budget with 20 days to go in the month.
Yah, this doesn't bode well for staying under budget this month. 8-(

Leftovers going into this week........Pork BBQ.  That's it.  Everything else got eaten.  I live with eating machines evidently!

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

1. Sunday--Chicken Spaghetti(don't ask!lol), Sugar Snap Peas
2. Monday--Breakfast for Dinner(Daughter is cooking)
3. Tuesday--Reuben Sandwiches
4. Wednesday--Lemon Pepper Chicken, Rice, Zucchini
5. Thursday--Shrimp Scampi, Salad, Garlic Bread
6. Friday--TBD
7. Saturday--TBD

This week will see 5 new meals cooked and 2 nights of NO CLUE yet.

What I need to buy for this menu.....small shrimp, rye bread, 2 bananas, sauerkraut, zucchini, French bread.

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?


Friday, July 8, 2016

Grocery Shopping This Week

Well this week is turning out to be a spendy one as far as groceries go.
2 trips to Weis(PMITA)Markets, 1 trip to a small regional chain store in the town South of us, plus I sent College Boy to buy bottled water at Weis as it was 50% off this past weekend.

Here are the deals I got that are worth mentioning............

6 boxes of Nabisco crackers and was paid $2.88 to take them home. ;-)
3 boxes of Jolly Time popcorn for $2.39(Buy1Get2Free Deal)
3 bags of Emerald nuts for $3.99(Buy1Get2Free Deal)
2 boxes of Ronzoni Manicotti shells for $1.14 each(half price clearance deal)
3 boxes of Ronzoni Pasta for $2.50(half price clearance deal)
3 boxes of GM cereal for .88¢ each($1.88 ea. had to buy 3 plus $1 off each box Qs)
2 cans Hormel no beans chili for .74¢ each (after sale/Buy6Get$3Off Deal/Qs)
2 packages of Chi-Chi's flour tortillas for $1.29 each(part of the B6G$3Off Deal) + I also had a Chi Chi's Q for $2 off Eggs wyb2 Chi Chi items, so I got 1.5 dozen free eggs too
2 packages of Perdue breaded chicken cutlets for $1.50 each(after BOGO sale and Q)
1 jar Hellman's olive oil mayo for $1.47(after sale and Q)
1.5 lbs. of ground beef for $1.97 lb.
30 breakfast sandwiches for $21.85 *
3 tubes of Grands! biscuits for $1 each on clearance
6 dozen eggs(besides the 1.5 dozen listed above) for $4.00 total

*The breakfast sandwiches are $42.71 regular retail.  On sale 30 those bad boys were suppose to be $29.97.  The cashier screwed up and when I tried to let her know she was ringing things up the wrong price she got snippy and copped an attitude like, "bitch you don't know". lolz
So I let it go and let her ring stuff up wrong and save me another $8.12, spending $21.85 on $42.71 worth of sammiches.  I will attempt to be honest if you aren't charging me enough, but if you give me grief for it I'll just live with your mistake. ;-)

Grocery spending this week?
Savings rate varied from a low of 48.81% to 55% off so it's not so bleak if you look at the deals I got over regular prices.  $160 but I got a LOT of food for that.

There seemed to be lots of deals around the 4th Holiday so why not take advantage of them, right?

Next week's ads aren't so great so I may stay out of the grocery stores next week.....or at least try to because I am over halfway through my food monies for July and it's only the 8th.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Eating Out Totals....June Update

We spent $120.82 on eating out in June.  I like to keep it at $100 or less so we are over some.
We had Father's Day in June so that accounted for the bulk of it at $98.14.
Just a little Chinese take-out and a couple of subs from Subway otherwise.
No trips in June so no trip eating out.

We have spent $998.24 so far in 2016 on Eating Out.  That averages out to $166.37 per month.
Hopefully we can keep the last 6 months of the year at this level and keep the yearly amount spent at $2K or less.

My Eating Out Log can be accessed HERE.
For some reason the tab for this page is not visible on my home page.


July 1 Net Worth Snapshot

We are actually up $19,552 from last month's net worth overall(only liquid cash/investments, as I don't count housing or car values).  The retirement accounts were up a mere $4K+ for July 1.

We are up $86,423.90 from one year ago, the July 1st of 2015 net worth snapshot. 

Once Hubs retires I will miss these little monthly look backs, when we move from acquisition mode with money to spend-down mode. ;-)


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

June To-Do List Update

Here's the update on my June To-Do List.  I post a To-Do list on the side bar of my blog's homepage every month.
Let's see how ol' Sluggy did this month on her list, shall we? ;-)

* Pay Bills  DONE  
Everything got paid and on time, as per usual.

* Bike Something DONE
Well it was something.  The bike finally got set-up on June 30th and I think I biked 1 mile total for the month. lolz  I need to get use to this bike AND get my knees use to using it again as it's been 2 months. bleck.

* Declutter DONE
I used June and having Daughter and the BF here with all their stuff as an excuse to to pitch more of my own things.  Decluttering will continue into the near future as well.

* 1 Load to Salvation Army DONE

Hubs and I took 1 car load to Sallie's.  Some was Daughter's stuff too. 

Plus all that large furniture type stuff Sallie's was suppose to pick-up, we otherwise got rid of in town by giving it away to those who wanted/needed it.

* Read 1 Book DONE
I didn't finish the book yet as I only read at night before bed and it's a thick book.  I am more than halfway done with it so will have to find another one to read by next month.

*  Plant Something DONE

We finally got a dozen tomato plants and 2 zucchini plants mid June into the ground.  That's the extent of our garden for this season.  I just put in stuff that the chipmunks and rabbits will leave alone as we couldn't come up with a way to keep them out of this area without going to Herculean efforts and spending a large sum of cash.
This is how the plants are doing as of June 30th.....still smallish but looking healthy and they all have blooms on them already.  Perhaps we will get some veggies from them eventually.

* 1 Doc Appointment DONE
Had my every 3 year pap smear done in June.  All my lady parts are well and in good working order.  Yes, I felt you needed that critical update. lolz

* Vacuum and Shampoo Bedroom Carpet DONE
Cobwebs also cleaned up, room cleared out and a/c unit put into window.  The room was ready with days to spare.

* Clean Ceiling Fans in Bedrooms DONE
With assistance from College Boy we got this done.  He is taller......

* Put Shelving in Bathroom DONE
Got the shelving moved to the bathroom, scrubbed down and vinyl liner  sheets put into it.  It is now filled up to the brim with their personal care products so it's not all just piled under the sink cabinet in the dark.

* Buy/Replace Ceiling Fan/Light in Kitchen PARTIALLY DONE

It has been purchased but is still in a box sitting in the kitchen waiting for the weekend when the menfolk will be here and available to install it.  It will be so nice to again have lights over the kitchen table. 8-)
It has been soooo long!

* Clean and Seal Deck DONE

It finally got done the weekend before July 4th! rah!!!  Though I didn't personally do this chore I did have a large hand in the nagging/pleading/begging for it to be done.

* Clean Out Shed FAIL
I DID drag out two old bicycles to give away and a bike helmet to toss while Hubs was at work but the bulk of the shed still needs cleaning/clearing out.  The shed is Hubs "kingdom" and I dare not go there, so I am left with begging/pleading/nagging about it.  Besides just finally getting it cleared out of all the junk in there we need a place to put a large car jack and other car type items the BF brought with him so we aren't tripping over them in the garage.  If for no other reason, making space for BF's "manly" stuff is a reason to tackle this job.
I don't know.....if Hubs isn't careful Daughter and I might just decide to get in the shed and "have at it" one of these days.......

So there you have it an almost perfectly completed June To-Do list.  But then again, it wasn't very extensive or strenuous, was it?
And I had help with some of the items on it.

I think the fact that I stayed sane in June and am not a stark raving lunatic at this point indicates I survived June well and am doing AOK.
On ward and upward to July!

How did you do with your To-Do list for June?


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Cracker Deal at Weis

There is a good deal this week at Weis(PMITA)Markets on Nabisco crackers thanks to a coupon and a Checkout 51 rebate.

Weis has various Nabisco crackers and cookies on sale for 3 for $6(Must buy in multiples of 3).

Pair that sale price with a Buy Two/Get One Free coupon for some of these varieties of Nabisco products at SmartSource dotcom.  Print 2 coupons and buy 6 boxes.
*Pay attention because some of the varieties on sale for $2 aren't valid for the B2G1Free coupon though.

And then apply for a Checkout 51 Rebate of $2.50 off when you buy 2 Nabisco products(no size specified).  Apply for 3 of these rebates(there is a limit of 5 rebates)to earn $7.50 back.

Here's what the deal looks like.....

Buy 6 boxes of crackers and/or cookies=$12.00
Use 2 B2G1Free Coupons $12-$4=$8.00
Upload your receipt and claim 3 Checkout 51 Rebates for $7.50

6 boxes of crackers/cookies after sale/coupon/rebates will cost you .50¢ OOP.

And that's what I did........

Only the cashier put the regular price of the crackers on the coupons, so she took $3.69 off for each coupon instead of the sale price of $2.00.
This meant after all is said and done Weis(PMITA)Markets actually paid me $2.88 to bring 6 boxes of crackers home.
Go me. 8-)))

This sale at Weis ends on Wednesday so you have 1+ day to get there and do it.


This Week on the Dining Table

It's the "Happy Fourth" Edition.............

We had a low key July 4th cookout here.  Just burgers, dogs and 3 sides(grilled corn, pasta salad and homemade baked beans)plus dessert(an apple pie on sale from the store with an ice cream topped option and homemade strawberry shortcake).

I smoked those 3 small pork shoulder roasts on Sunday and will finish them off in the crock pot later this week for a barbecue pulled pork dinner one night.

Moving on......

Onward to the meal planning!

Here's what was planned last week--

1. Sunday--Leftovers or FFY
2. Monday--Spaghetti with Meatballs and Sausage(using leftover sauce and sausage too)
3. Tuesday--Italian Chicken Thighs and Potatoes, Collards
4. Wednesday--Cheese or Pork Enchiladas, Spanich Rice
5. Thursday--Salmon(breaded fish for BF), Mac & Cheese, Veggie TBD
6. Friday--Pizza, Salad
7. Saturday--Leftovers

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Hubs & I had Subway(2 others working, 1 fended for themselves)
2. Monday--Spaghetti with Meatballs and Sausage(using leftover sauce and sausage too)
3. Tuesday--Italian Chicken Thighs and Potatoes, Collards
4. Wednesday--Cheese & Pork Enchiladas, Spanich Rice
5. Thursday--Pizza take-out(special 1 day deal)and nobody wanted a salad lolz
6. Friday--Salmon(breaded fish for BF & CB), homemad Mac & Cheese, Roasted Brussels Sprouts
7. Saturday--Leftovers(I had a Pimiento Cheese Sandwich and Salad)

5 meals cooked at home, 1 of them nights of leftovers and 2 nights of take-out.

As for my grocery spending..... I spent a total of $160.21 on 2 trips to the stores. $52.75 of that went onto June's budget and $107.46 went onto July's budget, meaning I have $342.54 left of my $450 food budget with 26 days to go in the month.

Leftovers going into this week.......Risotto, Stuffing, Sausage/Meatballs and Spaghetti Sauce, Spaghetti, Spanish Rice.  The leftover enchilada sauce and chicken stock went into the freezer for another time.

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

1. Sunday--Leftovers or FFY
2. Monday--Cook-Out Foods
3. Tuesday--Chicken Parmesan, leftover Risotto(for those who want it), Salad
4. Wednesday--Pork BBQ, Cole Slaw, Buns, leftover Cook-Out sides
5. Thursday--Meatloaf, Sugar Snap Peas, leftover stuffing(for those who want it)
6. Friday--Shrimp Dish(Shrimp and Grits or Garlic Ginger Shrimp Stir-Fry or Shrimp Scampi)
7. Saturday--Leftovers

This week will see 5 new meals cooked and 2 nights of Leftovers.
I plan to use up the leftover Risotto, Stuffing in dinners.  The Rest will be lunch fodder or eaten on leftover nights(hopefully).

What I need to buy for this menu.....cabbage, corn, hot dogs(we are out!), hamburger buns, maybe fresh stir-fry veggies.

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?


Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Fourth!

 Vote Yes, Vote Yes, Vote for Independency..........

Enjoy this live production of "1776".
This musical should be mandatory viewing every July 4th.

This show speaks to me as a few of my ancestors are depicted in it. ;-)

I especially like the number which was cut from the movie version(due to objection by then sitting President Richard Nixon)called "Cool Cool Considerate Men".


Sunday, July 3, 2016

2016 $38K Savings Challenge.....June Update

Every year I keep a close eye on our monthly expenses and our monthly income.
Our income is mainly the salary my Hubs draws from his job.  We have money taken off each paycheck from the top to put into savings, before we even get our hands on it.  This money that's taken goes into various insurance, health insurance premiums, long term care insurance premiums, investments and retirement savings.  It's automatic so we are never tempted to NOT put it into savings or these other categories.

Once the automatic savings amounts, plus taxes and medical/dental/vision premiums are taken out, it leaves what we get to "live on".  From this amount we budget for bills, both monthly and irregular bills(semi-annual, annual etc.) and our variable bills(like food, eating out, clothing  etc.)  Anything left over once our monthly expenses are paid, I put aside into an interest bearing Savings Challenge account.

For 2016 I am continuing my Yearly Savings Challenge.  I am raising the Goal amount to $40,000 this year, $10K more than my goal for last year.

I have reconsidered and changed my Goal from $40K to $38K for 2016.  With some things coming down the pike this year I thought it prudent to back up my Goal a couple of thousand.  8-)

On to the June report.....
I have posted my June End of Month $38K $AVING$ CHALLENGE Totals.
Check out the Savings Challenge page tab at the top of the blog for the specific numbers HERE.

I have 2 goals each month.....
The 1st is to actually finish each month in the black and not the red.
The 2nd is to hit the targeted savings amount of $3,166.66.

I have to report that we finished up June with a less than stellar amount.
The extra amount we ended the month of June with?.......$1962.66


We had $1734.33 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
Other monies received in June totaled $228.33.  This included interest made on non-retirement accounts, a per diem and stock dividends.

This brought us to our gain of $1,962.66
Since we have no debt, this goes into savings.

As for the expenses this June, here are the good and the bad side of things....


*  Phone charges, electric bill and internet were approximately the same as last month(With $1 or so).
*  The cash withdrawals were down $100 from last month.  Considering we took $500 in cash on our LA trip and we didn't go anywhere this month but had more food spending, that sounds about right.


*  Water use was up $21.35 from last month.  More people's laundry and showers so it was expected.
*  The gas card spending was up $111.89, mostly due to charging gas on the May trip to that card.
*  The credit card bill was up $1948.10 from last month.  Most of that was trip spending in May.
*  The direct medical spending was up $110.65 from May's total.
*  We "recycled" 2 tvs in June and had to pay $60 OOP in fees.

The Food Budget costs for June are in another post, which is located HERE.

With 6 month accounted for, our Savings Challenge Grand Total for 2016 is $19,399.50.

Final thoughts on June---

June was a fairly expensive month for us, given all that credit card/trip spending.  Some regular expenses went up too and will be up for a couple years into the future.
No irregular bills due this month, that happens next month.

But compared to June 2015 we put $593.29 more into savings this June. 8-)
We have $19399.50 saved so far in 2016, and we have only $18,600.50 left to save over the next 6 months at this point to reach our goal of $38K saved.  That averages out to $3100.08 a month for the rest of the year.  We are just a little over saving half of what I want in 2016 so we are right on target at this point in the year.

We are at the halfway mark for the year folks!  I can't believe the year is half over.

In 2015 we put $18,797.36 into savings at the halfway mark so we are averaging slightly more saved per month in 2016 so far.

THOUGHTS going forward into July----
The only irregular bill I have to pay in July is a quarterly Garbage bill and that's not much.
August and September will be my Bill Armageddon however.(House and car insurance AND property taxes.)
There may be a short trip in July which will mean some c/c spending to pay in August. Our c/c balance due in July is hovering at $1K($550 of which is a car repair...ugh) so that bill will be a bit less this month that what it was in June(over $2500).

So how was your June financially?
Did you spend less than the income you had in June?
Did you stay within your budget or not?
What did you do with any money leftover at the end of the month?
Did you pay off any debts or put extra toward your mortgage principle or into savings, in an emergency fund or a retirement account?
Or did you blow it on a want?

If you posted your financial progress on your own blog, leave a link in the comments so we can go check out your progress too and celebrate or commiserate with you!

As we go forward into the last half of 2016 why not make this year the one were you clean up your finances and pay off your debts.
Plan to set something aside if you don't already now or increase what you bank now for your future self.
Or pay extra on the principle of your mortgage is your house isn't already paid off.

Live below your means and keep some change for a rainy day....because no matter how sunny it is in your life now, dark clouds come along and you'll be glad you have that umbrella to keep you dry.


Saturday, July 2, 2016

State of the Freezer & Pantry

Taking a page out of Anne in the Kitchen's book, I decided to track what we used up from the freezer and pantry in June on dinners.
I also tried to track what we added to both in June.


* 3 packages of chuck steaks
* 2 packages of cubed steak
* 2 whole chickens
* 2 London Broils
* 2 lbs. of Flounder
* 2 packages of Kilebasa
* 3 packages of Pork Chops
* 1 large Ziploc of homemade Meatballs
* 2 packages of Italian Sausage
* 2 packages of Chicken Thighs
* 2 packages of Salmon
* 1/3 bag of potato crusted Fish
* 3 bags of Ravioli
* 2 bags of Brussels Sprouts
* 1 bag of Cauliflower
* 1 bag of Broccoli
* 1 bag of Yellow Squash
* 1 bag Mushrooms
* 2 bags of Assorted Veggie(can't remember which kinds)
* 2 large Ziplocs of Home grown Collards
* 1 package Stuffed Clams
* 2 packages chicken Breakfast Sausages
* 1 bag Gnocchi
* 1/2 bag of Corn Dogs
* 1lb Ground Beef roll
* 2 packages of Bacon


* 1 can corn
* 1 can of creamed corn
* 1 box of spaghetti
* 1 bottle Italian dressing
* 2 cans crushed tomatoes
* 1 can puree tomatoes
* 1 jar spaghetti sauce
* 1 bag Spanish rice mix
* 1 box pasta shells
* 2 cans baked Beans
* 3 cups Risotto Rice
* 2 boxes Stuffing mix
* 1 bag Alfredo noodles
* 1 box instant mac & cheese
* 1/2 jar roasted Red Peppers
* 3 cans green Chiles
* 1 can Refried Beans
* 1 bag Hush Puppy mix
* 1/2 box White Rice
* 3 boxes Cornbread mix
* 1 box of Chicken Stock
* 1 can Tomato Soup
* 1 quart Vegetable Oil
* 1 package Flour Tortillas
* 2/3 package Corn Tortillas
* 1 jar of Pimientoes

And here is what went into the Freezer and Pantry in June.....


* 1 bag of Shrimp
* 1 package Stuffed Clams
* 2 packages London Broil
* 2 lbs Ground Beef
* 1 roll Breakfast Sausage
* 2 packages R/S Bacon
* 2 bags Gnocchi
* 1 box of Corn Dogs
* 4 lbs of Ground Beef rolls
* 2 bags of Broccoli
* 1 bag of Chicken Strips
* 3 Pork Shoulders(small ones)
* 3 packages of Chicken Thighs
* 1 small Sirloin Steak
* 1 package Cubed Steaks
* 2 boxes Breaded Shrimp
* 6 packages of Bacon
* 2 packages of Turkey Breakfast Sausage


* 1 can tomato Soup
* 1 half gallon Vegetable Oil
* 1 package Fettuccine Noodles
* 1 package Flour Tortillas
* 1 package Corn Tortillas
* 2 boxes instant au gratin Potatoes
* 7 bags assorted noodle side dishes
* 2 bags of Instant Taters
* 1 bag Brown Sugar
* 3 cans Beefaroni
* 14 bottles of Salad Dressing
* 4 canisters of Lemonade
* 2 jars of Pimientoes
* 2 jars of Pickles
* 3 boxes of Taco Shells

If I hadn't added more to the Freezer in June it would be half empty by now.  With Daughter and BF's freezer purchases in June it's just about at the same levels of cream cartons and boxes breakfast sandwiches seem to take up more room comparatively than most items. ;-)
We did add less than we used up on both fronts in June.


Friday, July 1, 2016

Grocery Store Hijinx & Finding the Budget Sweet Spot

Well I actually spent $160.21 this week in two trips--1 for $104.15 and 1 for $56.06.
I split the $104.15 trip as some items were bought for our July 4th cook-out(and I didn't want to wait until July's food budget kicked in)so I put $52.75 in the June budget, which put us $10+ over for the month.
So $51.40 of that $104.15 trip went onto July's spending.
Then I went back to Weis(PMITA)Markets on Thursday to pick-up a "few" things and use 2 coupons I forgot to take earlier in the week on that other trip.
Oops. ;-)

But really how could I say no to 2 bags of coffee for $1.75 a bag, salad dressing for $1 a bottle, 5 packs of OM bacon for $3 after sale and $3 off stickers, 2 boxes of turkey sausage bkfst patties for $1 after sale and $2 off stickers, 4 bags of shredded cheese on clearance for 1/2 price, 2 loaves of PF bread/2 canisters of lemonade mix/2 packs of snack crackers(for BF's lunches) for $6.49 total(it was a Buy 6/Sale $3 Deal + I had $3 in Qs to use), 1 Hummus dip for $1(after sale and Qs)?
A 58% savings rate for that trip alone so yes, I'll spend extra now to save later.

The $104.15 trip was a 48% savings rate as well so not too shabby.

This means I have already spent $107.46 of my $450 food budget for July.
And it's just July first.

As for the rest of July I am NOT going to push off any monies spent in July onto August, like I did with some of June's spending onto July.
Good, bad or ugly, my July total will be what it will be.

As for being stressed out over food overspending.....
I am not stressed right now.  I am still trying to find our new normal food budget.  IF we need to spend $500 or $600 a month now, so be it.

What would stress me out more now is to have more food waste.  We've got more of that than I am comfortable with right now.

But again, still honing in on that sweet spot of the new normal for us so I'll be working on keeping all the leftovers being consumed and not throwing them out when they go off.

Daughter and BF don't seem to like leftovers from what I can tell.
Yes it would be easy to just tell them eat it or go hungry but to put into practice?.....not so much.

 Maybe the plan going forward is to keep my amounts cooked for meals tight/smaller and try to avoid leftovers unless it's something I can repurpose into a new dish that we will all eat OR over cook some foods for planned-overs.

We do have a dog here now so an instant garbage disposal for leftovers(if it's not vegetables).  Yes, that will help with making sure everything gets eaten before it goes bad BUT I really don't want to be buying food and cooking it to ultimately feed to the dog because the humans here didn't eat it.

So much to work on and consider.