Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Last Day to Enter the Giveaway!

Today is the last day to enter my current Giveaway so get your last entry in before 11:59 pm EDST.

Don't leave an entry on this post, go HERE to enter.

This will be the last giveaway for awhile(maybe forever), at least until October I am thinking.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

2016 Road Trip.....Day 18 & Day 19 AL, to GA to SC, Rinse & Repeat then NC

After a leisurely breakfast we packed the car up and hit the road East out of Alabama........

We got a little east of Oxford Alabama and saw a homemade billboard from the interstate for what looked to be an interesting place.  We weren't in a rush that day so we said, "What the heck!" and took a little detour.........

To the Dixie General Store.

This is an interesting little shop full of all things Dixie and Southern related--t-shirts, flags, hats, belt buckles, blankets, etc.

Bob, the gentleman who runs this operation knows his American history and we had a nice long chat with a fellow Southerner who loves his piece of our country.
Be sure and take the time to stop in if you are passing through this part of Alabama and check out his wares.  Bob is super nice and personable.  Tell me I sent ya! ;-)

And we bought a few things too. ;-)

Bob has an online presence as well here for all your SouthermConfederate needs-- Dixie General Store

Fairly soon after getting back on the interstate we were crossing over into Georgia.

And an hour later we hit Atlanta.......

Luckily we got through there before rush hour hit.

We did see the torch/flame where Olympic Park is(and where the 1996 Summer Olympics were held)from the highway as we passed by.....

We made a quick stop off the interstate in Conyers, Georgia to stretch our legs when Hubs saw a billboard advertising a liquor store. lolz
I went in but left to sit in the car as I had no shopping to do here(really? how much liquor can one person buy?!? lolz).
Next door was this food place with Louisiana metro Georgia.

I went in but they were out of what I was going to buy so I got Hubs some Bread Pudding with a Whiskey Sauce to eat later that evening back at our next motel.

We stopped in Augusta for the night at a Comfort Suites.
After Hubs checked in he came out to the car for me and the luggage and hands me some tokens.
Evidently this particular motel has a manager's reception between 5-8pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays were they give you two free alcoholic drinks each.
And lucky for us, it was a Wednesday!

Not only drinks but they give you dinner too!  I sure wish I had known that before we checked in because we had already made arrangements to meet some online friends for dinner near their home.
Darn it!  Hubs was about near tears that he had to miss a lasagna dinner........

So we hit the road across the border into South Carolina down windy back roads.
Oh look!  A turkey vulture.  Was this an omen?

We finally arrived in the little out of the way town that blogger Java Jones and her husband Superman live in.
We met at a local to them brew pub called "The Mill House Pizza".

Good Times Brewing happens here and we partook of a few different beers.
I hadn't seen Java in person since the 2nd Bloggerpalooza back in March 2014 and I had never met her DH since he didn't attend that Blggerpalooza.

Hubs and I ordered and shared a pizza........

We didn't realize it was really really small or we would have each ordered one for ourselves. lolz

The hours just flew by as we caught up on each others' lives and bonded.  Before I knew it, it was after 9 pm and we had to hit the road back to the hotel.

Superman, Java and Sluggy

Across the street in the parking lot I saw two Giraffe statues.  Too bad it was so dark and the shot didn't come out very well.....

We stopped before leaving the town for gas and I was STARVING!  I grabbed a pre-made sandwich at the gas station convenience store to eat on the ride back to Augusta, GA.
The ride home was a bit spooky on those back roads, this time in the dark, but we finally made it back to the hotel, sleepy and tired.

After the free breakfast on Thursday morning we hit the road for our next stop.
Across the Savannah River on a gray and gloomy day........

And we were back in South Carolina, again!

We passed a small town with many orchards...........

More rain.

A big flag at the Camping World store outside of Spartanburg, SC.

Log Home Builder along the highway in SC.

Oh look!  Kudzu......

And more Kudzu........

After almost 3 hours we finally hit the North Carolina border.

Headed into the mountainous Western part of NC and the foggy mist descended.......

Oh look!  I found the way to the Bat
Yes, it's a real town in NC.

Then it was off I-26 onto I-40 toward Maggie Valley....

Then more fog and mist and gray skies as we head West on the Great Smokey Mountains Expressway......

Into the town of Cherokee NC on the Eastern Cherokee Reservation.

And yes, they have a casino here now and no Sonya Ann, we didn't go in there. lolz

Now go bug her to start writing again on her blog and tell her I sent ya!

More of the adventures for Day 19 later........


Monday, June 19, 2017

This Week on the Dining Table

The  "It Bloomed!" Edition--

After not blooming last Spring my peony bloomed this year again.  Not sure why it took a year off but it was mighty pretty while it lasted this June.

Moving On....

Onward to the meal planning!

Here's what was planned last week--

1. Sunday--Marinated Steak, Salad
2. Monday--Chicken Parm, Carrots
3. Tuesday--Hamburgers, Potato Salad, Cucumber/Tomato Salad
4. Wednesday--Leftover Chicken and Dumplings
5. Thursday--Fried Shrimp, Cole Slaw, French Fries
6. Friday--Rigatoni and Meat Sauce, Salad
7. Saturday-Daughter is cooking(not sure yet what)

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Marinated Steak, Salad
2. Monday--Chicken Parm, Green Beans
3. Tuesday--Hamburgers, leftover Beans
4. Wednesday--leftover Chicken n' Dumplings
5. Thursday--Fried Shrimp, Cole Slaw, Green Beans, leftover Au Gratin Potatoes
6. Friday--Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos w/Corn and Black Bean Salsa(Daughter cooked this)
7. Saturday-Leftovers

Last week saw 7 nights of home cooked dinners....2 nights of Leftovers and 5 nights of new meals.

I made 2 trips to the Weis Markets for $78.46, a trip to the Shursave Market for $15.96 totaling $94.42 OOP.  This brings my June food spending total to $252.62.  There are 12 days left in the month. 

My savings percentages last week was 49.54% which brings the month's percentage to-date to 64.13%. 

Leftovers going into this week.......1 chicken fried steak and gravy, pizza(I think), chicken and dumplings w/carrots, salsa verde chicken taco filling.

Here is this week's "food plan"....
* Denotes "complicated" meals

1. Sunday--Enchiladas, Rice, Beans
2. Monday--Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches, Potato Salad
3. Tuesday--Leftover Tacos
4. Wednesday--Caesar Salad w/Chicken
5. Thursday--Kielbasa on Rolls
6. Friday--Roast Chicken and Veggies
7. Saturday-Rigatoni w/Meat Sauce, Garlic Bread, Caesar Salad

This week will see 6 new meals cooked, 1 nights of leftovers and 0 night of Take-Out/Eating-Out.  Daughter is cooking again this Friday.

What I need to buy for this menu? I've got this covered already.  We stopped at the Amish Surplus Outlet after we took Hubs to his brew pub on Saturday and found enchilada tv dinners to try so that was last night.(I'll include Saturday's shopping on next week's tally.)  I have everything else on hand for this week's 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?


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Rite-Aid This Week

Went up to Rite-Aid on Friday to refill an Rx so I did these transactions.

First on my card...........

2 x Liquid IV Hydration packs on sale $5.00 ea.=$10.00
2 x Suave shampoo on sale $2.50 ea.=$5.00
1 x GE lightbulb on sale=$7.99

Coupons Used
1 x $2/2 Suave Gold ManuQ=$2.00


But then Load2Card Qs came off--
1 x $5/1 GE lightbulb=$5.00
1 x $1.50/1 Suave gold shampoo=$1.50

$20.99-$6.50=$14.49 + .27¢tax=$14.76

I paid with Plenti Points and since I had the regular Plenti Point offers as well as some targeted Plenti Point offers on this card I earned back $21.50 in new Plenti Points(2 x $5 Liquid IV, $3.50 Suave-2 different PP offers, $8 GE-2 different PP offers) plus a "Get $3 in PPs when you use $10 in PPs on a transaction"(which gets credited up to 3 weeks later to your account).
In the end, I grew my PPs by $9.74 for buying these items.

I was surprised that they had any of the Liquid IV items left in stock as the sale started last Sunday and this sort of item is not well stocked.  Sometimes if signage is not on the shelf for an offer that's free after PPs there will be stock left, but in this case, there was signage.  Weird but I happily "bought" the two there anyway.  ;-)

Then I bought this stuff on my son's card.......

2 x Suave shampoo on sale=$5.00
1 x I-Caps vitamins on sale=$17.99
1 x GE lightbulbs on sale=$7.99

Coupons Used
1 x $10/1 I-Caps ManuQ=$10.00


Then Load2Card Qs came off--
$1.50/1 Suave=$1.50
$5.00/1 GE lightbulb=$5.00

$20.98-$6.50=$14.48 + .03¢tax=$14.51

I paid with Plenti Points and since I had the regular Plenti Point offers as well as some targeted Plenti Point offers on this card I earned back $13.50 in new Plenti Points($3.50 Suave-2 different PP offers, $3 GE, $7 I-Caps).
In the end, I "spent down" my PPs on this card by $1.01 or all 4 items cost me $1.01.

But......I sent for 2 x $1 cash rebates for buying the GE bulbs on Checkout51(limit of 2 for the GE rebate this week), so I am "up" a total of $10.73 for both transactions(+ $9.74, -$1.01, + $2=$10.73).

I am off today with the kids to take Hubs out for Father's Day since Sunday's weather here looks less than acceptable.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Frugal Friday.....the June 16th Edition

* Back in late April I bought Right Guard dry spray deodorant on a BOGO offer at Rite-Aid(and used a Q)and sent a mail-in rebate for 1 of the bottle to "Try It Free".

The original post is HERE.
The TMF Offer said they'd deduct the price of any coupon used so I was unsure if I'd get back $7.29, $5.46, $3.64, $3.79, $1.96 or .14¢.
Turns out I got the full $7.29 back..........

So that trip, instead of "spending down" $3.59 in Plenti Points becomes a $3.70 "moneymaker".  I got paid $3.70 to buy all the stuff in that transaction.  8-)

* We like to buy nice/pricey bagels from Panera Bread now and again so I cashed in some c/c points and sent away for this awhile ago and it arrived this week.........

$50 Panera Bread gift card.  This will pay for 7 orders of a Baker's Dozen bagels on Tuesdays(when the dozen bagels are discounted and the only day I will buy them there). 8-)

* I was sent a 15% off any shopping order at Ollies(Good Stuff Cheap!)that was expiring this weekend so I took a trip down the mountain to our local store.  I had found a fabric shower curtain there a few months back for our master bathroom that we had redone last February that I really, really liked and though went well with the color scheme in that room.  We still don't have any kind of curtain on the window in there so I picked up another of the same shower curtain and will turn it into a window curtain. ;-)

I also picked up some other goodies at Ollies--a replacement "good" non-stick pan(which will be used in the Fall once College Boy goes back to school and isn't here ruining my cooking pans), some air fresheners for .58¢ each after 15% off discount, a pantry staples of minced garlic, and some Xmas gifts for cheap(which I can't show or talk about here).
Plus 8 bottles of Dawn dish soap.....

Ollies had the orginal plus a pomegranate scent variety for .89¢ which was .75¢ after my discount so worth stocking up.  I don't mind using that Dollar store variety but I do think Dawn is better(you can use less as it's more concentrated).

* No Take-out this past week, we've been eating home cooked meals as per usual.

* I have begun to pick up items for the kids to cook when we are on our Summer road trip, and incorporating the cost of those into my food budget for the next 4 weeks(4 WEEKS and we are leaving!?! Yikes!)

I found these St. Louis pork ribs with $3 and $2 instant discount stickers on them.  3.83 lbs. of ribs for $1.63 per lb. after sale and sticker.  The kids love ribs and they can either smoke these or just cook them through in the oven or crock pot so easy peasy.

That's about all I got this week besides the usual stuff I do around here that is frugal.

What Frugal Wins did you have this week?


Thursday, June 15, 2017

2016 Road Trip.....May 16 & 17th, Last Day in LA and Driving to AL

I don't remember what we did on Monday, May 16th, on our last full day in Louisiana.  Probably a trip to the insurance agent to cut a check for house insurance, hanging out in the motel pool and a little shopping.
Speaking of shopping, the Daughter and I hit the Hancock Fabrics near her house.  Last Spring/Summer Hancock stores were having going out of business sales.

The trip to the Hancock Fabrics near her/own house turns out was the last time I spent money at that chain.  This loyalty card got pitched when I got home to PA. sigh.

Here are a few goodies I picked up there because at 50% off or more, what fabric-aholic could resist?!?

 A bunch of rayon prints, my favs.

More rayon and the green one is a cotton print.

Some novelty prints, Dr. Who in cotton and flannel and a craft beer print.

 We also hit the liquor store.  I got some cheap watermelon vodka and more of my frozen paper umbrella drink  packets.

I also spied a nice sale on Laphroaig 18 year Scotch for Hubs.  At the price it was at, I should have had Hubs buy a case of it!

I also hit Walmart and loaded up on Blue Plate mayo and sandwich spread.  This lot didn't last very long.......

On the morning we left Shreveport, we stopped in at Daughter's work as we headed out of town for home.

Daughter was a manager at a Jimmy John's sub shop in Bossier City.
She wasn't there when we arrived because she had to run to Sam's Club to pick up some supplies that they were out of........

After she and one of her workers got everything in the building they set to work getting ready for the lunch crowd........

Even with us there, Daughter is all business when she is working and we had to visit while she barked out orders and prepped for the lunch rush(even though it was barely 10 am).

I liked these signs they had in the eating areas.

We said our goodbyes and headed out East on I-20.

We made a pit stop(for both the car and us)before we crossed over into Mississippi at a truck stop in Tallulah LA.
While waiting for Hubs to finish in the men's room I wandered around the convenience store and found some Southern eats......

As the sign says, "Hot Boiled Peanuts", regular or spicy.....

And jackpot! a jar of pickled eggs too. lol

The guy working the register saw my flash go off and when I wandered up to the front he started asking me, in very obviously stilted English, a bunch of questions about what I was doing.  Could be that he thought I was a health inspector or INS spy or something.  Who knows?
He looked a bit calmer when he understood that I was a blogger and just take photos of interesting things for my blog and nobody from the state was going to shut his store down or cart him off for deportation.

We rode straight through MS and next stopped in Tuscaloosa Alabama to gas up and then stretch our legs at a store.
No we didn't go into this store........

We headed to World Market in that same shopping center.

Ok, here is a great mosaic table on clearance this WM had on their front sidewalk....get it now because it's "The LAST ONE!".

Or is it?  LOLOLZ
Only in Alabama?......maybe.......

This shopping center also had a fancy Burger/Craft Beer joint.......
Lots of fancyfied stores in Tuscaloosa.

Between our trip to WM in Shreveport and this Tuscaloosa stop we picked up some necessities at a good price.  Those bags of coffee were awesome buys on clearance(not ground so they kept fresh longer)and I LOVE that hibiscus syrup added to my iced tea in the Summer as it's so refreshing.

Another hour+ back on the road and we made it to Birmingham and our hotel at the start of rush hour.
The Quality Inn we stayed at was not bad pricewise(considering it was in B'ham)plus they had a small pool and a nice breakfast spread.

The only not so great thing was that our room and window was on the back of the building and appeared as if the woods by our room was used as a hang-out drinking spot.  If you can't see it there are beer cans and glass liquor bottles in this photo I took.  I guess the motel management wanted us to feel at home.  *snort*

After settling in and taking a quick swim I called a fellow blogger who lives in the area to see if she was free to meet up and maybe have a little dinner with us.

About half an hour later up drives Anne in the Kitchen of New Happenings At The Table Blog in her van.
Quick hugs and hellos happened and I think I said something ever-so witty like, "Anne! You're not in the Kitchen!". lolz
After she finished rolling her eyes at me(and thinking but not saying, "Bless her heart", at me)Anne whisked us off to this place............

Well not their catering truck(which I took a photo of as we were leaving) but the Full Moon Bar-B-Que restaurant. It's a local chain that does BBQ and other southern specialties.
Their motto is "Best Little Pork House in Alabama".  Now how could you NOT like a place like that? hehehe

Anne got a plate of 5 non-meat items.....

I got a plate with 'Cue, Collards and Fried Green Tomatoes(of course).
While still in line ordering I saw they had grilled pimento cheese sandwiches on the menu, after I had already ordered a plate of 'cue.  Without a second thought I also ordered a sammich! lolz
Hey, we didn't have lunch that day so I didn't feel like a big ol' greedy slug, but maybe I should have. '-)

After a couple of hours of getting to know one another and chowing down, Anne had to take us back to the motel.
I had Hubs snap a few photos of us together for the proof that we really did meet Anne and this was the best of them where one or the other of us wasn't closing our eyes or had a big goofy look on their face(you decide who did which).........

It was so nice to finally meet Anne and she is such a sweetheart and full of that good ol' Southern hospitality and charm.

And I found out that she has VA ancestors too so once I actually do the work we may also be related. lolz

I would heartily recommend if you are ever in Birmingham to try out Full Moon Bar-B-Que.  Not only was the food good but even though it was well after the dinner rush the staff was mighty friendly.

It was back to the motel and we waved as Anne drove toward home.  We went to bed that night with 'cue in our bellies and the satisfaction of having met another online friend.