Monday, October 31, 2016

Jump on These Weis Markets Deals!

This week Weis(PMITA)Markets has extended their "Fabulous Friday" one day sale from Friday to today, Monday.  4 Days of some great deals made even better if you have the Weis Fall/Winter Coupon Book that was available in their stores.

I also picked up a few deals in their regular sales ad too below.
The regular sale you can do through Wednesday evening but the Fab Friday Deals you need to get done today.
That's why I am posting this today.

Let's take a look at what Sluggy snagged for a great price........

They are doing the "Mix & Match" 6 items/Get Instant $3 Off" Deal again this week.  Every week the items that qualify change.

* In the photo above I bought for this Deal--
1 Hungry Jack Pancake Mix(on sale for $1.99)
1 Hungry Jack Syrup(on sale for $1.99)
2 Pepperidge Farms Swirl Bread(on sale for $2.99)
1 Price's Pimento Spread(on sale for $4.50)
1 Country Crock margarine(on sale for $2.99)
SubTotal for sale prices=$17.45

Coupons I had that apply to these items.........
1 x $1.25/2 IPQ wyb both HJ mix and syrup=$1.25
2 x $2.50/2 IPQ wyb both 8 O'Clock Coffee and PF Swirl Bread=$5.00
1 x $1/1 IPQ Country Crock 45 oz size=$1.00
Coupon Total.....$7.25

$17.45-$7.25=$10.20-Instant $3 off=$7.20 for these 6 items

* Also bought were 6 bags of 8 O'Clock Coffee on sale for BOGO this week.
6 bags @ $5.49=$32.94-BOGO=$16.47

Besides the $2.50/wyb this coffee and BF swirl bread Qs, I had 4 x $1/1 8 O'Clock Coffee Qs.
At Weis even when an item is on sale as a BOGO you can use a Q on the item that you are getting for free!
So 6 bags(even though I only paid for 3 of them)could use 6 Qs.

$16.47-$4 off in 8 O'Clock Coffee IPQs=$12.47 OOP for all 6 bags.

* I bought 2 jars of Pace Salsa(the large jars-24 oz?)on sale this week for $3 each making 2 jars $6.00 on sale.
I combined a Weis Q Book coupon for $1/2 Pace Salsa(24 oz. size)with 2 x .50¢/1 IPQ(which each double at Weis to $1 off).  This gave me $3 off the salsa so it was $1.50 a jar or half price.

* I also bought 3 bottles of Weis brand ketchup which was .73¢ off per bottle on sale($.77)=$2.31

Total OOP so far is $24.98 for all.

* This Seviroli brand Ravioli is part of the 4 Day Fab Friday sale and 1/2 off through today, so $1.50 per bag=$12 reg. price-$6=$6.00 or $1.50 per bag on sale.

There is a Q in the Weis Q Book for $1/2 Seviroli Ravioli or Tortellini.
Since there is a limit of 1 of each Weis Q Book Q per transaction I had Hubs(since he was already with me)buy 2 of the bags and use a Q too.
$6.00-$2.00 in Qs=$4.00 OOP Total or $1 per bag.

* Another Fab Friday item are 12 packs of Lipton Iced Tea for half price or $5.99 for 2(reg. price $5.99 each).
There is also a Q in the Weis Q Book for $2/2 packs of this item!
So for every 2 packs you buy your cost after sale is $5.99 and after $2/2 Q it's $3.99 for 2 packs, so $2.00 per 12-pack.
Again, only 1 of this Q can be used per transaction so either bring someone along to buy 2 more packs or go to the self-checkout so you can separate your transactions.

Add this additional $12(tea)and $4(ravioli)OOP to the $24.98 above and my grand total for everything pictured in this post was $40.98 OOP.
Regular retail on all this was $91.25.
That's a 55% savings rate for all.

Now excuse me while I hike back up to get more cheap iced tea(the diet peach is awesome!)and more coffee(since I found more coffee IPQs I can print!)


This Week on the Dining Table

The "I Broke Down and Bought Halloween Candy for the Trick or Treaters" Edition--

After telling Hubs over and over that "No, we are not giving out candy this Halloween", I broke down and bought candy.
Went to Weis(PMITA)Markets on Friday and they had all their H'ween candy 50% off already.
Not only that, 2 of the bags had $2 off Peelie Qs on them so I paid LESS than 1/2 price for all this.  300 pieces total(giving out 2 pieces per kid)should see us through until we switch the lights off at 9pm.
I got a mix of chocolate and non-chocolate types.  Anything left over can get put into my Christmas stash for stocking fillers.....that is, if the family members don't pilfer the leftovers before I get them spirited away.  ;-)

Moving on......
Onward to the meal planning!

Here's what was planned last week--

1. Sunday--Cheese Lasagna, Salad, Garlic Bread
2. Monday--Leftovers
3. Tuesday--Shrimp Scampi w/Fettucine, Green Beans
4. Wednesday--Kielbasa on Rolls, Roasted Potatoes and Acorn Squash
5. Thursday--Chicken something, TBD
6. Friday--Pork Barbecue on Rolls, Cole Slaw
7. Saturday--Leftovers

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Cheese Lasagna, Salad
2. Monday--Leftovers
3. Tuesday--Kielbasa on Rolls, Potato Salad
4. Wednesday--Shrimp Scampi with Linguine, Spinach Salad
5. Thursday--Leftovers(I had some Lasagna and Cucumbers in Vinegar)
6. Friday--Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches, Spinach Salad, Au Gratin Taters
7. Saturday--Pizza, Caesar Salad

7 meals cooked at home, 2 of them a night of leftovers, and 0 nights of Take-Out.
Alll but 2 meals didn't happen, the Barbecue and the Chicken Something.  Pork Tenderloin Sammies and Pizza happened instead.  The Roasted Veggies w/the Kielbasa morphed into Potato Salad instead and Roasted Veggies move to this week. Bags of Spinach were on sale BOGO so that meant 2 Spinach Salads last week(can you tell Daughter and I LOVE Spinach Salad?lol).

As for the grocery spending.....2 trips to Weis and 2 trips to the Shursave market and a forgotten trip to the Bread Outlet from last week, brought my weekly spending to $134.76 and my October food spending Grand Total to $516.39.

My try at a $400-$500 month total didn't happen.
Oh well.  Got deals that will mean less spending on some future date.

I have been doing well however in my savings percentages in October.  This week the savings rate was "only" 42%, a bit lower than expected but still good.

Leftovers going into this week........ 1 crab cake, chili, cornbread, kielbasa, pizza, lasagna,1 pork tenderloin piece, and a small amount of au gratin taters.
Some of this will be eaten for lunches and some for dinner on Leftover Days.

Here is this week's "food plan".

1. Sunday--Pork Barbecue on Rolls, Cole Slaw
2. Monday--Crockpot Salisbury Steak with Mushroom/Onion Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
3. Tuesday--Leftovers
4. Wednesday--Baked Chicken Thighs, Roasted Potatoes and Acorn Squash
5. Thursday--Clam Corn Chowder, TBA
6. Friday--Teriyaki Flank Steak with Stir-Fry Veggies(leftover taters for BF)
7. Saturday--Leftovers

This week will see 5 new meals cooked and 0 nights of Take-Out and 2 nights of Leftovers.

What I need to buy for this menu? Nothing as I have all the ingredients already.

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, October 30, 2016

I Made it Through Saturday! Onward to Sunday....

I made it through Saturday without going to the ER.
Go me!
I am contantly checking my neck and arms now waiting for hives to come back and that's about as annoying as having them actually appear! lol

If it ain't one thing it's another, am I right?  ;-)

Here's my current theme song.......

I've got a smoked pork butt in the crockpot and a roof over my head today so despite everything else, life is good.


Saturday, October 29, 2016

My Day as Angelina Jolie & The Saga Continues *UPDATE*

Well my life seems to roll along like a misshapen lumpy rock.

Last week I had a flare up of my HS with an abscess in my left armpit.  I'll spare you and won't go into details or share lovely, color photographs here. ;-)

A week ago Thursday I was at the doctor's office having said abscess drained, cultured and dressed. Nothing unusual was found and I was sent on my way with an Rx for a course of Bactrim anitbiotic.

On Tuesday I went back to this doc for a follow-up on the abscess.  Everything seemed progressing in the right direction and she told me to finish out the course of Bactrim and no need to return for this issue.

Fast forward to this past Wednesday evening and after taking my evening dose of Bactrim I got a horrendous itch "down there" that led me to believe I may be developing a yeast infection.(I am also on another maintenance drug that can cause yeast infections so this wasn't a strange thing to consider.)
I took an oatmeal treatment bath in the tub which seemed to calm the itch and I went to bed.

Thursday morning I took my a.m. dose of Bactrim followed by my usual cadre of routine pills.
About an hour later my scalp started itching like a mutha and then my neck started and my left arm had what looked like a mosquito bite welt on it.
A short time later I went to pluck my eyebrows and saw that my neck was covered in red welts. WTF?

After reading a few blogs I noticed a tingling in my lower lip and saw that the middle of my lower lip was swollen.  As I sat looking into my magnifying mirror the swelling started spreading and by 10 am my entire lower lip was swollen by about double it's normal size.

I dug out some Benadryl and took a dose and waited for the swelling and welts to go down.
I also messaged the doc I had seen for the abscess and who had prescribed the antibiotic that I was possibly having a drug reaction.(Bactrim can cause hives and swelling though it's not usual.)

By 1 p.m and I hadn't heard back from the doc I made the decision to go to the local Urgent Care to be seen.

This is what my lip looked like before I left the house for the Urgent Care......

Again, WTF?!?
You can see a bit the welts on my neck in this shot too.

Up to the Doc-in-a-Box and after waiting an hour there the PA prescribed me a course of steroids.
Could be a reaction to the Bactrim so stop taking that now.  As long as my tongue and airway wasn't swelling and my vitals were normal there wasn't much more to be done there but wait and see if the Prednisone helped.

I went to Burger King to grab a small burger to eat in the car and wait for R-A to fill the Rx.
I resembled the Elephant Man trying to eat my burger.  It hurt to bite it and then finding it's way inside my mouth and then not letting food dribble out of the indentation that was the middle of my lip took real effort.

I finished the burger but R-A was taking forever to fill this script so I had to sit in the pharmacy for 15 minutes and wait with my hand over my mouth.
On the way out of the story I walked past a woman with a small child who saw my face and yelled in fright.
I felt like John Merrick from the movie in this scene......

I took the first pill of the script with some iced tea when I got home after 3 p.m.  Most of the tea ended up down my face and on my shirt but I kept enough in my mouth to swallow the pill.
I laid down to nap before 4 and waited for the drug to work.

When Hubs got home around 6 p.m. I got up, and if anything, the swelling had gotten worse 3 hours after taking the steroid.
Plus the tingling and swelling was now moving down my chin, up my cheeks and to the edges of my upper lip.
I took off my shirt to see that I had red welts all over my chest, my breasts and my stomach area. In addition, the back of my thighs and hands were now itching like a SOB!

Hubs threw me into his car and headed straight to the emergency room.
Finally got back into the ER and after asking me a bazillion + 1 questions the learned professionals "think" it is a reaction to either the Bactrim or the blood pressure med I am on, or a combination of the both.

My BP med is an ACE Enhibitor which can cause angioedema and hives in rare cases.  ACE Enhibitors can kill you if you develop a reaction to them and you continue to take them.
I guess I am one of the "lucky people" to be allergic to them. lol

ER doc can't be sure this is what caused my episode so I was referred to an allergist for testing in the future to see if the Bactrim or ACE Enhibitor caused this, or both.  For now I am off the BP med and the Bactrim.

Nurse in the ER gave me a Benadryl cocktail into my IV......well, after two tries to find a vein by two different nurses.(I am a hard stick as they say.)
Mega doses of Benadryl cocktails don't like me either it seems, as my eyes rolled back in my head and I nearly passed out on the gurney.  After laying there for about an hour I felt like my lips were improving and was well enough to get up and go home.  The IV was suppose to make me sleepy as well but I was up another 2+ hours after we got home before I could sleep. sigh.

Here's a shot of me around 11 p.m. Thursday night.  The bottom lip is almost normal size but the upper lip is still puffy.  I look like I had my lips botoxed, don't I? lolz

I don't think the Angelina Jolie look is for me......

I'd probably still scare a small child with this face.........

Obviously I'll never be mistaken for Angelina Jolie and I sure hope not to be mistaken for the Elephant Man either ever again.

As of Friday morning my lips are normal and all the welts are gone.  rah.
Awhile ago though I got another welt on the crook of my right arm and my thighs started up itching again.

*Update as of 5 am Saturday morning*

About 8pm Friday evening I started in with the intense itching and by 9pm everything besides the lip swelling started again.  I took another dose of Benadryl but it did nothing so we spent from 9:30pm to 1am back at the ER getting another IV of benadryl and prednisone(administered at 11:30pm)and the hives started disappating so I was discharged at 1am.  Got a script for Pepcid but no pharmacies open to fill it so we went home.

PA at ER said this could go on for 5 days or so if it's what they say it is.  We are on Day 3 now.

Got home and took another dose of Benadryl and went to bed by 2am.
Woke up at 4 am with crazy mad itching and can't sleep because of  it. Hives are getting worse and spreading on all previous areas and going into my armpits and back of arms too.

Daughter woke Hubs up at 5am before she left for work. Hubs is heading out now to find the 24 hour pharmacy in Dallas PA to fill the Pepcid script.

And I am sitting here trying to type between scratching.
I am so tired I can hardly see straight.

I am seeing a third trip to the ER in as many days in my near future, though they'll probably just give me more Benadryl and send me home. Sigh

Can this end now.....please?
So. over. it.

I'll check-in later today or tonight. Ugh


**Saturday 1 PM Update**

Hubs brought home the meds from the 24 hour pharmacy.  With a metropolitan sized region we live in, I find it strange that there is only ONE 24 Pharmacy around here(next one is an hour away or father if you live north or east of here), especially since hospitals no longer house 24 hour pharmacies on site.

Rx taken at 7:30 am along with another dose of Benadryl plus most of my other morning meds* and by 8:30 am I was itch-free (mostly) and heading off to bed to nap.
I did sleep until 12 pm and awoke still mostly itch-free and the welts have disappeared(mostly).
Took another dose of Benadryl at a 4 hour interval and so far, so good at an hour past taking this dosage.

The IV cocktail they gave me the first night at the ER was a combination of mega dose of Benadryl and a dose of Pepcid.  While Pepcid is usually given to treat stomach aliments(acid relief, ulcers, GERD, etc.)it is also a Histamine-2 blocker.  Hives and angioedema to some extent are caused by allergic reactions and are helped by blocking histamine releases in your body(Antihistamines).
Benadryl and other similar medications are histamine level-1 blockers.  So a combo of both blockers are often used in cases where hives just won't go away. (Of course you can also be allergic to Pepcid or the other meds labeled as histamine-2 blockers so this Pepcid may have made the problem worse, but luckily I am not, and it did not.)

I spent this morning between scratching myself and waiting on Hubs to return with the script googling Hives(Urticaria)in all it's forms.  Yikes.  If it doesn't go away it could become a chronic case lasting for basically the rest of my I had to stop looking!  No information can be a bad thing but a little information can be dangerous.
I'll take this one 4 hour segment at a time for now.

* While googling Hives however, I did read that a maintenance drug the specialist put me on in late August after my referral "has been documented to induce allergic Urticaria".
At my follow-up appt. with this specialist this past Monday it was discussed taking me off of this one med I started in late August since it was only a minimal dosage(1 mg)and the condition I was prescribed it for seems to be improving and he doesn't feel I "need" to be on it and said I'd probably be taken off of that soon.

So I made the executive decision(along with my gut feeling)to stop that script as of this morning.
I'll contact this doctor and explain what I am doing and why, especially if the combination of taking the 2 different histamine blockers along with discontinuing three drugs now(Bactrim, the BP med and this new drug in my regime)keeps me hive and angioedema free and doesn't cause me even worse symptons, until I hear back from his office.

It's possible that the first outbreak on Thursday was both angioedema and hives but when the swelling of tissues(lips)didn't come back on Friday, that could just be hives(or not).  Which drugs caused what could be complicated or changing, but I will not take them for now until we get definitive proof which one(s)are the culprit.

I will be making an appointment asap with my primary doctor too to go over all this and get his input, as well as push for an allergist appointment on three drugs that seem to be the likely candidates for causing these outbreaks.  If none of the 3 medications come up as the culprits we go back to square one in looking for a medicinal cause with the allergist.  At which point, this could take a very long time to discover what the trigger(s) were and this will be my new medical hell.

So we still don't know why this is happening other than I am allergic to something.  Between the various docs and PAs I've seen since Thursday and knowing my own body and environment at home, we have ruled out environmental causes(not due to laundry detergent used on clothing, a difference in my surroundings in the last week), animal or bug infection/bites, a food allergy, cold-induced, warmth-induced, solar-induced, so we are left with drug-induced Allergic Urticaria or Idiopathic Urticaria caused by stress which leads to a break down of the Autoimmune system, and can result in developing autoimmune thyroiditis, celiac disease(in which case food will be involved), rheumatoid arthritis, Sjorgren's syndrome or systemic lupus erythematosus. (Type 1 diabetes is also among the outcomes but I can't develop that at this time in my life.)

So that's it from here for now.  I see many oatmeal treatment baths in my near future and luckily for me I have A LOT of rolled oats on hand to pulverize into oatmeal dust for it(and I got it really cheap by buying it at rock bottom price.....see what I just did there?....worked in a frugality thing in this medical update? ;-) ).
Fingers crossing I can get through today without another outbreak and trip to my regular gurney up to the ER. I have to, merely for the fact that they have run out of good veins to use to put an IV into because due to my disappearing veins and their crookedness I am a very "hard stick".

Though there was some excitement last night when 6 cops showed up with a belligerent man in handcuffs to get his blood drawn for a DUI charge I'd rather stay home and find other entertainment.

The bright side of all this?

I am still alive(knock on wood)and our healthcare insurance is "good"(not great but at least good)and we have now maxed out on our Maximum Deductibles OOP we are required to pay/co-pay for(all medical treatment accept RXs).  Umm, I think we hit the ceiling for out of pocket medical sometime between the Urgent Care and the 1st ER trip.  Everything medical from then until Dec. 31st will be no OOP so I'll want to get this allergy consult, etc. on the books before Jan.1st.  If this saga drags on into 2017 we'll probably max out our OOP next year too, given that 3 of the 4 people under our policy are frequent flyers now due to various health conditions. bleh.

I'm off to find something to eat now.
Thanks for all the well wishers in the comments.  It does help a bit getting some positive vibes(or dare I say blog love?). 8-P


Friday, October 28, 2016

A Few Deal Cheapies At Weis & Building an Emergency Pantry

I got a few things at Weis(PMITA)Markets on Tuesday........

4 x DaVinci pasta on sale $1 each, used 4 x .50¢/1 IPQ which double to $1 making these free.
3 x RedPack tomatoes on sale $1 each, used $1/3 ManuQ which made these .67¢ a can.
8 x Hanover canned beans on sale for 1/2 price(.59¢), no Qs used.

The beans were a surprise find and they had the rare reduced sodium varieties on most.  I should have bought more than 2 of each at this price but the larder is pretty full right now.  Besides the "best" price I find Hanover beans on sale for around here otherwise is $1 a can.  A couple of pots of chili, a pot of pinto beans and rice and some hummus making and these will disappear fast! lol

This is how you build a larder/pantry/stockpile.
Pick up staples when they go rock bottom price(even better if they are free after Qs!)a little at a time.
This was $6.72 well spent in my estimation.  And that small amount doesn't take much out of your food budget, not such that you will miss it.

                    A neat stockpile-not mine! lolz

Preppers and some religious groups get a bad rap about "hoarding" food supplies as does anyone who goes to extremes like those "oddballs" on some reality tv shows(unless you are of the mind that our civilization as we know it is nearing an end).

But having a decent sized emergency supply of food is NEVER a bad idea.  I don't care if you live alone or you are a family of 15.  Having extra food is the only way to operate in this world.

Does it snow or does your area get hurricanes or tornadoes?  Have you seen what the daily food supply chain system is like with the approach of a weather related event?  Have you seen store shelves cleared of bread, milk, eggs, water, etc. after bad weather is predicted to hit in any area?

                Part of my stockpile taken August 2015

Most grocery stores operate on a 3 day supply of food, meaning most supplies are restocked every 3 days on average with new deliveries.
When a weather emergency or natural disaster interrupts the transportation system from getting your food from the growing source to a processor to a warehouse to a wholesaler to a method of delivery(planes/trucks)to your actual market a store can run out within 3-7 days if that chain remains broken.

So unless you want to be at the mercy of this short food supply chain it only makes sense to have a stash of self-stable items in your home for emergency situations.  And if you would experience power outages during an emergency don't rely on stockpiling items that need refrigeration or a freezer.  You could experience financial losses when you have to throw out a mass of spoiled items and then rebuild that stash.

If you are interested in building a stockpile/pantry(even a modest one)here's a plan----
* Make a list of items you use often that are shelf-stable and decide how many you need to keep in your pantry on a regular basis
* Put $5 out of your weekly grocery budget/spending aside in an envelope(if you use cash)or mentally put it aside on a paper to keep track(if you charge your food purchases).
* Every week when you peruse the grocery ads, if you see an item you wish to stockpile, put it onto your buying list and purchase it at the store.
* Keep track of what you bought/didn't buy yet on your pantry list by marking off or changing the quantity still needed on that list AND pay with cash from that pantry stock-up envelope and move that cash used physically to your wallet or another location(like a savings envelope)OR once items are put on credit card/debit card make a note on your list of available cash for stockpiling how much to deduct from your running total.

Easy Peasy.
And if you don't find any stockpilable items one week, roll that $5 over into the following week.
This system will only take $20 a month out of your normal food budget but by thinking this way it may help you build you a very inexpensive stockpile without any distress to your budget.

                  Donation from 2015

If you don't need to build a pantry/stockpile you can utilize this same method to put together a Food Bank/Pantry donation.

             Another donation from 2015

Direct $5 a week while grocery shopping to pick up inexpensive but nutritious items your local Food Bank always needs; items like peanut butter, tuna fish, soups, pasta, canned tomatoes, pasta sauce, canned veggies, condiments, etc., especially if you find an item(s) on rock bottom price and/or you have access to good coupons on said items.  And don't forget to also look for deals on toiletry items this way at the grocery and/or drug stores.  People on Snap benefits can NOT purchase paper goods, OTC medicines or personal care toiletries with government food benefits.  Most Food Banks will be more than happy to take your toilet paper, laundry detergent, deodorant, shampoo and toothpaste donations to hand out to their clients.

The beginning of the Great Gravy Caper Donation of November 2011

At the end of the month doing this will give you a right decent amount of food to donate or keep for your own emergency pantry.

Any questions on how to build an emergency pantry?   Leave a comment.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Rite-Aid Black Friday Deals

A black & white copy of the Rite-Aid Black Friday ad is up on the I Heart Rite-Aid site.

Here are the freebies-the items that will cost you nothing after earning Plenti Points on their purchase.

* Colgate Toothpaste and/or Toothbrushes  2/$8.00  Earn $8 in PPs  Limit 2 Offers
Includes Colgate Sensitive paste, Enamel Health paste, Optic Platinum brush, Total Advanced brush, Enamel Health brush and Slim Soft brush(can't make out the name of the last one).

If you find Colgate Qs valid on these items(usually .50¢-$1)these Colgate Deals will be moneymakers for you.

* Scunci Hair Brush or Elastics  $3.00  Earn $3 in PPs  

* Philips Ear Buds  $6.00  Earn $6 in PPs  

* Rite-Aid brand Select Gift Tape(3/4" x 300")  2/$2  Earn $2 in PPs  

* Kleenex Facial Tissues  $1.00  Earn $1 in PPs  Limit 2 Offers

* GE Light Bulbs(cfl 1 ct. or halogen 2 ct.) $4.00  Earn $4 in PPs 

If you printed off this $2/1 GE light bulb Q awhile back on coupons dotcom you can get 2 offers for negative $4.00 on your receipt.....a $4 moneymaker.  Sweet!

* Crest Pro-Health Rinse or 3-D White Rinse  $5.00  Use $1/1 Crest Rinse Q which is slated to come out in the coupon inserts the weekend before BF makes this $4.00  Earn $4 in PPs  

* Reach Toothbrushes will be Buy One Get Two Free so it's possible that the Reach Toothbrushes Deal will be cheap or free if a coupon appears before the sale.

I will also be doing the Listerine Floss Deal...$2.99 per pack  Earn $2 in PPs.
I have coupons I got in my dentist's waiting room from a flyer she had available.

It was a one page tear pad sheet with these Qs at the bottom.  Be sure and check at your dentist's if you are going in before the BF sale.

$1 off each floss pack makes this a .01¢ moneymaker with coupon.

These Deals are all a Limit of 2 Offers per Wellness/Plenti Card.

I have got to say that I am rather disappointed by this year's Black Friday Deals.  They are all the same offers as last BF's ad.  There is NOTHiNG different or new in the offering And there are substantially less things that will be free after points.
And no free candy, chocolate or snacks....or nail polish.

From my past experience items that go faster than others among the freebies will be ear buds, the gift tape(because of the time of year)and maybe the light bulbs(since stores don't generally stock much of that item).  Freebies might go even faster this year due to the dearth of items available.

I'll be able to get all the above(except the Reach toothbrushes)x the 2 Offer limit per card for $53.98(plus tax)in Plenti Points and earn $60 in new Plenti Points per card if the supply and my coupons hold out.  ;-)

Most of the items in the ad don't interest me at any price, exceptions being some cheap Huggies Wipes(if a Q appears between now and BF)and a few Gift Cards that give back Plenti Points.
Since I have no PPs on Daughter's Plenti card I'll purchase the gift cards on her card and go back the next day(when those earned points will be active)and scoop up some freebies.  That will net me $32 or so in freebies depending on which gift cards I purchase.

And be sure to get RAIN CHECKS for all the Freebies if they are out of items!  No need to rush in on Thanksgiving or Black Friday.  Just stroll in at your leisure on Saturday and you'll still get the deals, however few there are this year.  8-(


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Best Political Commercial EVER!

Ok, this isn't going to be a rant or a mud slinging fest.

I just wanted to share the BEST EVER political ad with y'all.
Take a look......

When I think about Hubs retiring in a couple of years, I can so relate to Gerald's wife!! LOLOLZ


Update on the Garden's Final Update of 2016

Ok some readers asked some pertinent questions about my garden harvest totals from yesterday HERE.
I thought it best to address them in a new post.

Offhand my purchases were just the 12 plants(I misspoke yesterday, it was 10 tomato plants and 2 zucchini plants).
We had fertilizer left over from previous year and any compost we amended the soil with was free kitchen scraps and yard clippings.  So I guess $24($2 per plant) was my cost outlay?  I may have watered with the hose a few times but the extra water costs were negligible.  I should count the cost of the tree netting that Hubs bought to cover the garden area and keep critters from munching on my crops, but I don't know what he spent.....and besides he used a free hardware store gift card we got with c/c points to pay. lolz

I went back and broke down how much was harvested of each crop and the lowest price in season I could buy said crop at the local grocery store for---

Acorn Squash--5.26 lbs. @ .99¢ lb.=$5.20

Zucchini--8.05 lbs. @ $1.49 lb.=$11.99

Tomato--30.50 lbs. @ $1.99 lb=$60.69
* Of course the store bought tomatoes taste NOTHING like a home garden grown ones.  8-)))

That totals $77.88 worth of veggies I didn't spend at the store for, which cost me $24 in supplies.
A savings percentage of 69.18% so I good monetary ROI.  Not even counting the flavor and nutrition ROI. ;-)

I'd say it was well worth the little bit of time and effort the garden turned out to be.

Now I could have developed a more strategic plan for the garden.

* I could have not waited until the last minute and started my own plants from seeds, which would have brought costs down more as a pack of seeds or two costs far less than a dozen seedlings purchased.
* I could have grown veggies that cost the most if purchased at the grocery store.  Summer squashes are fairly cheap and Winter/Fall squashes are rather cheap in season but tomatoes while plentiful at the grocery store and still reasonably priced just don't taste as good.  Plus unless you live down South you can NOT get green tomatoes(unripe red tomatoes)at a Northern grocery store.....EVER!(Unless of course a boutique type market carries them in season but I'd never be caught in one of those places so I just don't know if they'd stock green tomatoes.)

Some of the most expensive veggies that can be grown well in my climate are cauliflower and asparagus.
Asparagus won't happen here because they are real work and starting from scratch they don't really produce enough for a few years and they have to be left undisturbed between growing seasons.  I am too impatient. lolz  Cauliflower is a little more work too, since you have to keep the heads covered so they stay white plus the plants take up a lot of garden real estate(same goes for Collards/Cabbage/etc.) and you only get one bunch/head per plant.

I suppose the most expensive veggie I've grown before are fancy salad greens.  The cost of a packet of seeds and the little work they require plus the short time it takes them to grow until ready to harvest make them a good garden value.....if you like salad greens and you don't have a family of rabbits living in a warren under your shed like I do. ;-)

Anyway, this is the last update on 2016's Garden Talk.  It's time to start tinkering with next year's garden plans(if any).  Maybe I'll get more mojo to do a better job at it in 2017.

So how did your garden work out this season?
Are you pleased with the results?


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Garden Harvest.....Last Update for 2016

We picked the last of the tomatoes last week and have put the garden to bed for another year.
Another 4 tomatoes netted us 18.4 ounces for a Grand Total of 701.3 Ounces of produce for the year.

This equals to 43.83 lbs. of squash and tomatoes out of our garden.

Not a huge amount but it's pretty good considering we only planted 12 tomato seedlings this year and the squash came off of volunteer plants. 8-)

The only thing left to do is to harvest the morning glory seed pods as they become ready so I can share those seeds in the Spring.


Monday, October 24, 2016

This Week on the Dining Table

The "Peak Color Season" Edition--
The end of this past week was the height of the Autumn colors Season in Sluggy's yard.  

Then the wind and rain moved in over the weekend.

Yet the Celosia are still going!  The leaves are a bit dogeared but they are just starting to go to seed.

Moving on......
Onward to the meal planning!

Here's what was planned last week--

1. Sunday--Fend for Yourself or Leftovers
2. Monday--Pizza, Salad
3. Tuesday--Chili, Cornbread, Collards
4. Wednesday--Leftovers
5. Thursday--Cheese Lasagna, Salad
6. Friday--Fish, Roasted Cauliflower Acorn Squash and Potatoes
7. Saturday--Leftovers

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Fend for Yourself or Leftovers
2. Monday--Pizza, Salad
3. Tuesday--Fend for Yourself
4. Wednesday--Chili, Cornbread(I just had Cornbread)
5. Thursday--Fend for Yourself(Hubs and I at the Pub)
6. Friday--Fish, Spinach Souffle(2 Eaters)
7. Saturday--Tacos and Taco Salad

6/7 meals cooked at home, 1/2 of them a night of leftovers, 1 night Eating Out(for some of us)and 0 nights of Take-Out.

Hubs and I went out on Thursday so we didn't eat at home for dinner that night but the kids did.  With College Boy home for the weekend(thank you strike!)I made a taco filling on Saturday instead of leftovers that day.

No collards were fixed with the chili night as no one was interested but me(and you can't make a small amount of collards lol).  Only 2 of us ate here on Friday night(Hubs was off picking up CB and the BF wasn't hungry)so Daughter and I split a spinach souffle instead of making all those potatoes and squash.

As for the grocery spending.....2 trips to Weis and 1 trip to the Shursave market brought my weekly spending to $145.59 and my October food spending Subtotal to $381.63 with 7 days left in the month.
I now have spent enough at Weis to get my free meat item and will be concentrating on buying what I need for groceries at the Shursave market to try to get a $10 gift certificate(or $20 if I spend A LOT in the next two weeks!lol).

My try at a $300 monthly food spending doesn't look likely for October at this point.  I am thinking $400-$500 a month($100-$125 per adult)is about as low as I am going to get with 4 adults eating here.

I have been doing well however in my savings percentages in October.  This week the savings rate was "only" 43.49%.  I'll take that. 8-)

Leftovers going into this week........rigatoni in sauce, bbq beef, 1 crab cake, chili, cornbread and taco filling.

Here is this week's "food plan".

1. Sunday--Cheese Lasagna, Salad, Garlic Bread
2. Monday--Leftovers
3. Tuesday--Shrimp Scampi w/Fettucine, Green Beans
4. Wednesday--Kielbasa on Rolls, Roasted Potatoes and Acorn Squash
5. Thursday--Chicken something, TBD
6. Friday--Pork Barbecue on Rolls, Cole Slaw
7. Saturday--Leftovers

This week will see 5 new meals cooked and 0 nights of Take-Out and 2 nights of Leftovers.

What I need to buy for this menu?

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, October 21, 2016

Collateral Damage R Us...Update

Well as predicted the Association of PA State Colleges(PSSHE) and University Faculty Union(APSCUF)have gone out on strike.  This is the first time a strike has happened in the 34 year history of the state school system.

This happened Wednesday so we are at Day Three of this "event".

Recent news article on the strike HERE.

Local news report HERE.  (I love the clip in this one from our knucklehead Governor, Tom Wolf, urging the two sides to come to an agreement, when he is the person who held our state budget hostage in 2014-2015 and refused to sign a budget for 2 years.  Hypocrite much?)

The PA teachers and the PA State System of Higher Education(PSSHE)which controls/runs the 14 state supported schools here in PA didn't reach an amicable contract settlement by Tuesday evening's deadline, so the teachers walked.
Including the teachers at College Boy's school.

The PSSHE kept saying they would bring in temporary teachers for the duration of the strike.
I shook my head at this because finding an unemployed teacher in PA who has a PHD in music and is a master flutist who could teach College Boy's master music classes to sub for his professors was just a joke.  Yes, there are lots of people with teaching credentials in PA but not working in this field(due to corruption and nepotism-way more teachers are graduated each year here than their are positions for so they have to leave the state to work as teachers)but the pool that meets this criteria is nil.

We got an actual phone call from College Boy last night.  As he never calls(always messges on FB instead)I knew this was bad news.

The PSSHE and officials at his school are telling students they have to "go to class"(even though the professors are not there and not holding "class").
A check of the school website is saying the school is open for business and operating as usual.

So College Boy's professors are all out on strike and he has no classes into the foreseeable future. There is no word or even a hint on when these two powerful groups will hash out a deal that they both will accept.

Friday to Monday of this weekend is the school's Fall Break(no classes Monday even if there wasn't a strike).  College Boy has never come home for Fall Break as it's only a long weekend.  The last 2 years he has attended school there the dorms have remained open and the dining halls have also remained open.

But not this time.
Supposedly this strike is only between the teacher's union and the PSSHE and doesn't involve an support staff at the school.  Bureaucrats, Clerks, Maintenance, Office workers, Food Service workers, etc. are not affected by this strike.

Even though, the "Powers That Be" at College Boy's school have decided to close the dining halls for 4 days staring today until Tuesday morning.  The dorms will remain open however.
So College Boy informed me that if he remains on campus over Break he can't eat for 4 days.

And he is out of personal money(again this year!)so he can't walk to the local gas station and buy processed crap to eat.  I knew he wasn't saving enough this past Summer and I knew this would happen again.  8-(

Then I saw a note was posted on the school website that all sports teams practices and games will go on as players must remain on campus for that but hey!, let's not feed them for 4 days.
That doesn't seem like a very bright plan now, does it?

Now I am not going to take sides on whether the PSSHE or the APSCUF are the unreasonable pieces of shit in these contract negotiations.  But going over 450 days working without a contract and being in negotiations and still not hammering out an equitable solution isn't fair to the people affecting by the skills your negotiating teams seem to lack.

All I know is that the students and their parents(who are footing the bill for tuition and meal plans)are COLLATERAL DAMAGE in this whole brew-ha-ha.
And I am NOT happy about it!

College Boy said all the students are walking around not knowing what to do as they are getting mixed messages(what little information the school actually sends them and of course we, the parents, have received NO communications on any of this!)on what they are suppose to do.
Many of the kids with cars have already left and gone home to wait this out until the strike is over.
I really feel for the international students as they are in no position to call mom and dad and go home easily(if at all).

So we will be picking College Boy up today to bring him home and see what happens over the weekend with the strike.
He can't remain home long term if the strike continues because he has Wind Ensemble rehearsals Tuesday and Thursday evenings. The band director isn't cancelling rehearsals since they have a concert tour next month and are cutting a CD too and you can't not rehearse for however long and then jump right back into it without it affecting your orchestra.

Later today we'll be contacting our PA State Legislative Representatives and the President of College Boy's school as well to voice our displeasure at the way in which this has been handled and find out what the "PA Political Powers That Be" are planning on doing to resolve this mess.

My plans into the foreseeable future are in limbo until this thing is over.  
And I am NOT a happy camper.

I hope the parents of these 100,000+ affected students who foot the bills at these schools are planning to band together and DEMAND a pro-rated refund of tuition/fees/meals/housing costs we paid for services/goods that won't be delivered during this strike.

I hope it doesn't come down to us all having to get a lawyer and suing the PSSHE and APSCUF leadership chuckle heads for our money back!

As an aside, the school has NOT sent us, the parents, a single piece of communication about this whole strike fiasco.  I am having to hear everything from College Boy(who is mostly in the dark about this)or read it online from various news sources.

So thanks a lot PSSHE, APSCUF and President Hendricks for disrupting our son's education/life!

The local school district's teachers went out on strike in 2007 when all 3 of my kids were still attending schools here(1 middle, 2 high)and that debacle lasted a month+.
I can't even hazard a guess how long this strike will go on for.

President Hendricks on his welcome page statement off the University's website says....

"Here's to building a memorable year for Mountie Nation!"

Yep, 3 months in and it sure it a Memorable Year.....but for all the wrong reasons!



As of about an hour ago the strike had "tentatively" ended.  Now why couldn't they have done this three days ago and avoided all the upheaval to parents and students?  Oh, right power struggles are the reason.
So the news came AFTER Hubs picked up College Boy and headed home with him.  
Of course.....*bangs head on wall*.
Hubs could have just given him cash to eat this weekend and left him there but no, they didn't hear until after they left for home.
So now I get to figure out how to get him back before Tuesday morning as Hubs will be back at work on Monday.  I have a dr. appt. on Monday and after having an HS flare two days ago I don't feel well enough to drive him back right now.  Hopefully by Monday I'll feel better.

It's always something, isn't it!? lolz

Thursday, October 20, 2016

One Goal Met this Fall

Well if nothing else I did achieve one goal this Fall.
I kept the heat off until after the electric bill cut on October 19th.
Go me. 8-)

Since we were still using a/c at the beginning of September or October electric bill came in $42.90 lower.
Once the heat goes on however the electric bill will start that upward trend until next Spring.  Last year our electric usage rose $39.97 from October's bill to November's bill.  If it rises at that same rate this won't be a bad thing, though overall the amount will be higher than what we paid/used in 2015 because it's double the amount of people living here now and sucking up energy from the power grid.

We have had an unusually warm Fall so far with the exception of two nights that dipped down into the 30'sF two weeks back.  Forecasts are calling for possible snow this Saturday night but it won't stick around at this point in the year once the sun shines, if we even get that snow.

I have a stretch goal of keeping the heat turned off until November 1st.  11 more days to go to get to that one but with temperatures in the 30's/40's at night(Tuesday's predicted low is 29!!!)I don't know if Hubs won't want to flip the switch.
I can hold out by putting on my layers but he won't want to.
The kids don't want the heat on yet.  Heck, they have their bedroom window open and both a standing fan and the ceiling fan running in there(which I have to constantly turn off when they leave for the day)!  With all that body heat(plus a large dog),the door always closed so no cross ventilation and all the elctronics hooked up in there dragging the power grid it's no wonder that room is so warm.

It annoys me that I keep having to go behind them and turn things off-fans in their room and random lights when they are the last ones downstairs at night.  Daughter is bad about leaving the deck light on all night when she brings in the dog from her last potty break for the night. ugh.

I am still interested to see how the BF does once we get into Winter temperatures here.  He has never lived anywhere but the Deep South his whole life!  The boy doesn't even own a heavy Winter coat, let alone a hat, gloves, etc.
I wonder how long until he wants to go back to Louisiana.  Any guesses?  ;-)
This should be an


A Little Weis Shopping

Before we start here, these are the cinnamon brooms I spoke of yesterday...........

People buy them and hang them either as is or decorate them with fall items/flowers and then hang them in their homes(a kitchen usually I am guessing?).  Not a pleasant aroma in the Summer heat or when you get 100 or more together giving off fumes in an enclosed space at the store.

Moving on--

Last day of the sale so I hit Weis Wednesday afternoon for a few Deals.........

The Scottie facial tissues were $1 a box this week.  I have a $1/3 IPQ and a .25¢/1 Weis CatalinaQ that stacked with the IPQ so .58¢ per box for 3 boxes.

The San Giorgio pasta was .67¢ a box and with the $1/2 ManuQ in Sunday's paper insert each box cost .17¢.

Weis has a free turkey/ham/etc. Thanksgiving Deal--Spend in $50 increments and receive 10 points per $50 purchase.  50 Points gets you a free meat item, so you need to spend $250 to get the freebie.
Select items(mostly Weis branded items)earn you 10 Points when you buy 5 in one transaction.  This is a less expensive way to earn those Points toward a freebie, especially since most of my shopping trips don't hit $50 in a single transaction.
The bags of noodles, the whipped cream topping and the bag of croutons were among the select items. All but the croutons were also on sale this week.  I needed noodles and croutons and the whipped cream goes in the fridge for Thanksgiving pie action.  Between reaching $50 in spending on this trip and those 5 items(which was $7.89 of my spending total)I received 20 Points today and now have 50 Points to get my freebie.

I also bought 10 Powerades for Daughter.  Limit of 10 and they were .57¢ each.  She works in a hot restaurant kitchen on weekends so needs the electrolytes they provide(and has promised to save the caps for me to get points on my Coke Rewards account).  10 bottles were $5.70 minus the $1/4 Weis coupon book Q making these $4.70 OOP or .47¢ each.

The 3 pounds of butter got added to the other 6 pounds I bought earlier this week at a rock bottom price around here of $2.37 lb. (The 6 packages bought earlier in the week got me another 10 Points toward my free meat item.)

I also did the Mix & Match Deal-buy 6 select items, get $3 off instantly.  3 Apple Juices and 3 bags of Croutons(both for the BF)after the discount cost .99¢ each....half price for the croutons and better than half price for the juice.

My last find was 4 packages of Ground Beef(3 80%/1 73%)with $2 off Instant Meat Discount stickers on them.  After discount stickers the packs came to between $2.50 +$2.58 per lb.  The best price around here this week for ground beef. Each package is a little over 1 lb. each so I just popped these into the freezer as is to pull out to use in the future.

After Qs and discounts and sales my total for all this plus more things was $46.57 OOP and I "only" saved 44% over regular retail.
A good trip but I've done much better.  ;-)

Since I got to 50 Points already I'll only be buying the best deals at Weis from now until Thanksgiving.  I'll concentrate my shopping at the Shursave grocery store to try to get to their reward.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Random Stuff

* Do the grocery stores where you shop put out those ultra-smelly "decorative brooms" that are treated with cinnamon oil and smell like an overload of "Fall"?
You know.....the ones that have that overpowering cinnamon smell.
Weis(PMITA)Markets in my town puts them out in the "foyer" area of the entrance, which gets a lot of sunshine, and that extra warmth in an enclosed area that acts like a solar oven just adds to the release of the cinnamon aroma.

I do love me some cinnamon smells but it's quite disconcerting when it's September and the brooms are out since late August and we have a heat wave of temps in the 80's and as high as 90, and I walk into the foyer and am hit with a wall of hot cinnamon fragrance while I am dressed in Summer attire and sweating my brains out.
It just isn't a pleasant thang.......

* A reader left a comment about why I do giveaways.  Well, people like free stuff, right?  I make a teeny tiny bit of $ on my blog from advertisements(thanks to everyone who clicks on those)so I can afford to pay to ship a box now and again out of that income.  Plus I get stuff for cheap/free at Rite-Aid and occasionally at other places too.  And I like to give stuff away(and it gives me an excuse to buy things, the few things I do buy).
So, why not? 8-)))

* As of this past week I have passed the 1.7 million views threshold for my blog.  That's a whole lot of people stopping by to read since this here blog opened for business in January of 2009!

*  My computer updated Windows last week and when I opened up my mail program(OE)the update had done something strange to my inbox.  I was no longer able to delete emails in there.  Well, I could delete them but if I closed out and opened the mail program up again they were magically back.
WTF?!?!  By Wednesday, which was when everything righted itself(sort of), I had over 400 New emails in my inbox(most of those unwanted).  I tried to google a solution but everything I could find was at least from similar problems people had 2 years ago and didn't apply to my situation.
Everything is sort of back to normal now except that now I have two with all my old emails from before the Windows update that is now inactive and the other new inbox.  I guess once I get the new inbox cleaned out I'll migrate all the old inbox mail over to it.
This whole episode does point out that I really need to clean out my mail hoard however. lolz

* I already did a post about College Boy's concert that that's about it for things going on around here lately.

What's happening in your world?


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Music in the Mountains

On Sunday Hubs and I headed to College Boy's school to listen to one of the bands he is in perform.
This was the Mansfield University Concert Wind Ensemble's first concert of the school year.
Mansfield's Wind Ensemble is one of the oldest college/university Wind Ensemble's in the country, at least that's what they claim on their website.
The Ensemble is made up of approx. 48 students who play woodwind, brass and percussion instruments and competition to get into it is fierce.  College Boy auditioned and made the cut this year.

I guess the kid cleans up good, huh?  Look at him all fancy and shit in his tux.
He had to buy that tux.  I told him if this music thing doesn't pan out he can always get a job as a waiter in a classy restaurant. lolz

The Wind Ensemble performs 5 or so times during the school year; they tour in the Fall regionally at special events/conferences and go to area high schools to perform and possibly recruit students for Mansfield's music department.
They also record CDs and will be cutting one next month.  Past year recordings have been nominated for Grammy awards.  8-)
Conducted by Dr. Adam F. Brennan, the Concert Wind Ensemble interprets the classics as well as commissions new works to perform by noted composers.

 College Boy preperformance adjusting his music stand

Here are a couple of sections from a number they performed(can't remember it's title).  Though College Boy didn't have any solo sections at this concert this part of this piece featured flutes.
I had a bit of a problem filming as a tall old man(with a bad comb-over and an unfortunate birthmark on his mostly bald head) and his wife sat down in front of me at the last minute.  I had to keep adjusting and leaning to the right to get a decent shot.  Luckily, College Boy was sitting downstage on the right so I could see him well.

And HERE is their closing number.  Extra bonus points if you can tell me the classical composer and/or title of this piece.
*For some reason YouTube won't let me embed this music clip so I had to link to it.*

College Boy in the mandatory photo with the parental unit once he shed the monkey suit and we took him out for dinner.......

Seems he is taking the phrase "long haired musician" to heart.  Here's a bit of trivia, especially if you aren't old like me.....long hair was popular with classical musicians and associated with classical music long before it became a "thing" with the rock and roll era. Don't believe me, go google pictures of classical composers of the 1700/1800's.  Many of them wore their hair longer than normal for the time.
Classical was referred to in the vernacular/slang as "long haired music" going way back to the 1930's among musicians and in the media.
In the late 1950's and 1960's it got co-opted to refer to popular and rock musicians of that era(or the Hippie Era).

On the way up, since it was dark 0'thirty when we left for home, I shot a few photos of the foliage. Foliage around here isn't at it's peak yet since we've had a warmer than normal Fall/late Summer but once we hit the Northern Tier of PA the colors were better.

The day was so overcast without any direct sun that the colors don't really "pop" in the photos.

Anyway, we had a nice time even though there were 2 long car rides in one day.  And it was good to see the boy.