Friday, January 27, 2023

Frugal Friday....the January 27th Edition

 Welcome to Frugal Friday!  There are a few Frugal wins this past week......

*   We hit Walmart on Monday and I timed it just right as an employee was pricing clearance items that had been pushed to the back of the household shelves and hidden for moths.  Aerosol cans of Febreeze(.99¢ for double packs), Airwick warmers with 1 refill($1.50 each), Airwick essential oil warmers with 1 refill($3.50)and Airwick double packs of refills(.75¢ each).


I used 2 different Airwick digital coupons totaling $7.25 on these 2 items plus I had an Ibotta rebate on the Essential Mist unit for $5.50, so I spent $10.22 on all the clearance air freshener items and I got back $12.75 in rebates/coupons, helping to put $2.53 toward paying for groceries. Nice.

*  I found money!


I found a penny in the backseat of Daughter's car on my birthday.


Picking up Rx at Walmart for Hubs on Sunday I found another penny.

After the Medical appointment I found a penny at the Walmart we picked up 5 things in.

Then we had lunch out at a Piccadilly Cafeteria and I found another some what grody penny in the dining area.

Total Found in last Week.... .04¢
Total Found this Year........15¢

*  Staying home and going through tubs and packing boxes here.  Still setting things up, deciding on what we need to purchase and putting things away.

We finish hauling in all the toiletries from the "Bubba" garage and going through things.  Most of what we are keeping to use is put away in the Master Bath and this is my nice neat stack of tubs to sell.  I feel so accomplished now!lol

*  We got a bill from the ER doc from Xmas eve's visit that said it was submitted to insurance and they paid nothing on it so we owed over $2,500.  Well not only did they not submit it to the correct insurance, once insurance pays it we don't owe a red cent, as I had hit my out of pocket mid 2022.  It took DAYS to figure out how they screwed this up but screw it up they did.   Imagine all the elder folks out there getting dunned for bills they actually don't owe because the medical billing department screwed something up, and these elder who either don't stay on top of financial stuff or don't have the capacity to understand all the complexities just pay it to make it go away.  I swear our medical system is so broken even died in the wool conservatives are going to start screaming for National Healthcare, it's that bad.

That's about all I've got for this past week.  

Any frugal wins in your neck of the woods?  Let's hear all about them!

Sluggy   

Monday, January 23, 2023

This Week on the Dining Table

 The "Happy Birthday to Me!" Edition.....




This was the sign at the restaurant Daughter and Son in-law took me out to for my birthday on Saturday.  Sissie would approve! hehehe

Onward to the meal planning!

This is what was planned.......
1. Sunday--leftover Chicken and Dumplings
2. Monday--Teriyaki Chicken w/Stir-Fry Veggies, Rice
3. Tuesday--Beef Pie
4. Wednesday--Leftovers or ?
5. Thursday--Catfish, oven Steak Fries, Slaw
6.  Friday--Shrimp Scampi w/Linguine, Salad
7. Saturday--It's my Birthday!! so ?

And here's what actually happened........
1. Sunday--leftover Chicken and Dumplings
2. Monday--Teriyaki Chicken w/Stir-Fry Veggies, Rice
3. Tuesday--Beef Pie
4. Wednesday--Leftovers or frozen dinner
5. Thursday--Pot Roast with Carrots and Taters
6.  Friday--Catfish, Oven Steak Fries, Slaw
7. Saturday--Birthday meal out

Getting back on my feet to cook a bit with help from Hubs.  The Shrimp Scampi will happen this week(hopefully).

What got put into the freezer last week....
*  1 Chicken Parm package
*  3 bags of frozen Veggies
*  6 lbs. of Chicken Breast
*  4 various containers of ice cream
*  1 Smoked Sausage

What got taken out of the freezer and used...
*  1 bag of Teriyaki Chicken
*  1 bag of Asian Veggies   
*  1 package of Ground Beef
*  1  Frozen Dinner(turkey)
*  1 bag of Catfish    

Hubs & I hit Super 1 Foods, Shoppers Value Food and Walmart for various items to the tune of $102.54 last week.  We needed fresh produce and milks, I stocked up on a few loss leaders, fresh produce, some OTC meds we needed and we got some "wants".
This brings our food/toiletries/paper goods Total to $383.29 for January.  

There are 8 shopping days left in January.

I've earned $101.93 on Ibotta in January.
I've earned $2.82 on Checkout51 in January.
I've earned $16.75 on Coupons dotcom in January.
I've earned 2,499 points from shopping on Fetch in January.
I earned 1,590 points from food shopping on Shop Kick in January.
I've earned 640 SB from food shopping on Swag Bucks in January.

That's $121.50 in rebates(not counting the Shop Kick/Swag Bucks/Fetch)on $383.29
 in grocery spending so in reality it's $261.79 in food spending after the 3 rebate apps I count.

My savings percentage for the last week was 37.40% and the monthly savings total for January comes in at 34.08% so far.  

Leftovers going into this week.....Beef Pie, Pot Roast w/Carrots and Taters, Slaw.

Here is this week's "food plan".....
1. Sunday--Leftovers
2. Monday--Shrimp Scampi w/Fettucine Noodles, Salad
3. Tuesday--Leftovers
4. Wednesday--Salmon, Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans
5. Thursday--Kielbasi, Cabbage
6.  Friday--Leftovers
7. Saturday--Turkey Dinner w/Fixings

I am still not suppose to walk a lot but I can do more cooking now.

What do I need to buy to fix everything on this menu?  All I need is a small head of cabbage.

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 deals on food at your stores this week?  

Sluggy 

Friday, January 20, 2023

Frugal Friday.....the January 20th Edition

 Welcome to Frugal Friday!  There are a few Frugal wins this past week......

*   After my appointment at the Wound Center we hit Super 1 Foods because they had cantaloupe for $1.99 and Roma tomatoes for .77¢ lb. also picked up shredded carrots, hearts of Romaine and 3 bags of frozen veggies.  I checked the clearance meats while I was there..........


I found a marked down roast.  2.41 lbs. for $6.73 which is $2.79 a lb.  I can't even get Ground Beef for that price!


That store had Sanderson Farms BSCB for $1.99 lb. so I picked up 7 lbs. and prepped and into the freezer it went.
We also hit Shoppers Value Food for sour cream, sweet potatoes and a frozen chicken parm as those items were cheaper at this store than the other ones.

*  We hit Zaxby's for lunch after the medical appointment and shopping.  I got the Asian Zalad and I paid for both of our meals with some of my WAM.



*  I found money on Wednesday!
Out and about hitting 2 grocery stores and I found a nickel.

Total Found in last Week.... .05¢
Total Found this Year........11¢


*  I had a JCPenney's gift card I used back in November to replace my Dutch oven.  After the gift card the pot cost me under $5 in sales tax.  I applied for a rebate and this $20 gift card finally came this week.  Once my leg is better Hubs and I will venture there to spend it.

*  Staying home and going through tubs and packing boxes here.  Still setting things up, deciding on what we need to purchase and putting things away.

That's about all I've got for this past week.  

Any frugal wins in your neck of the woods?  Let's hear all about them!

Sluggy   

Thursday, January 19, 2023

House Hunting Saga....Part 2

So our agent(the daughter of the agents we went to see houses in Texas with), is licensed in Louisiana so we began an earnest house hunt around where my daughter lives in LA.  

We calculated that without having the funds from selling our house in PA, we had about $200K in liquid savings to put toward a house down in Louisiana.  That amount would include any closing costs, etc. and we would NOT buy something that meant we needed a mortgage.(Haven't had one of those since the mid 2000's when we paid off that house in PA.)

So our agent took us around to houses on the market that met our general requirements.  They were all over the map in terms of size, condition of house, land size and price.  Plus this was mid September in Louisiana and only two of the houses were currently occupied so two houses meant we were sweating out asses off! 8-)

The first house we saw was out in the country in a town called Benton, a 35 min. drive from out daughter's house.  Nice area but in the middle of nowhere.  It was a manufactured home, older(20 years?)but had been maintained well.  They had a strange shed next to it and the carport they were disassembling and taking with them when they moved.  The house sat on 2 acres but it was situated at a strange angle on the land.  Part of the land was across a creek too with no access to it other than jumping there or building a small bridge(which we would have had to do).  The house was 1,800 sq, ft,, 23 years old and they had priced it at $185K.  Other than the land strangeness and no garage it was acceptable until....until we were walking around the property and we heard someone playing a drum set rather loudly in the middle of a work day.  Hubs didn't notice it at first(he's one of those folks who don't notice stuff sometimes. lol)until I brought it to his attention.  So we told the agent we'd keep it on the list as a possibility for now but we wanted to see other properties.
*  Later the agent let us know that the drummer was a neighbor young adult who was in a local band that played gigs and practiced in his parents barn or pole building near the house we were considering, according to the homeowner of the house we had been looking at.  That fact put a big NO on this house since we like the quietness of the area but having that sort of noise(pretty loud since it was at least 2 acres away)on a regular basis was a deal killer.  It looks like it sold 28 Nov.

The next property was in the same little town, 3 bedroom, 2.5 baths manufactured home, 1,760 sq. ft. and 16 years old, on 1.6 acres for an asking price of $199,900.  It was vacant and supposedly had been updated(new vinyl plank flooring, carpeting, new kitchen counters and paint throughout.  The layout was weird, the counters(which were formica not an upgrade)and stove in the kitchen seemed higher than normal(not good for a short person lol).  It also had a wood burning fireplace which strikes me as strange this far South. The best thing about this house was the 1,200 sq. ft. shop/garage that was included.  It had a high ceiling with 2 10 ft. rollup bay doors and electricity.  Obviously someone had run a repair shop out of it or such.


I found this penny in the shop/garage but this wasn't the house for us.  I think the shop was nicer than the house. :-)  This house sold Dec. 30th and from the photos still on the listing it looks like they did a bit more work to it.  https://www.zillow.com/homes/220-Cypress-Lake-Cir-Benton,-LA-71006_rb/109807057_zpid/?mmlb=g,29
I hope they carted off the burn pile outside the back door too that was there when we saw it.  We've found out that many homes here for sale have these piles of debris on the properties where folks burn their trash(and sometimes try to burn things you can't like plastic!lol)when they are not in the city proper and don't have city garbage pick-up service.

The last house we saw that day was a possibility but with issues.  It was a MCM home(stick built in 1955).  It was a lot closer to daughter's house plus near shopping north of town.  Sq. Footage of 2,132 but on not quite .50 of an acre.  The house was a dream! with all the mid-century modern charm and was well maintained.  It had 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths a large backyard flagstone patio/veranda that the house wrapped around and lots of windows.  A small living room and a large den which you could have done a lot with.  The asking price was $185K.  I fell in love with this one except for the lack of property.  You could reach out and touch the house next door in the backyard.  It was in an older subdivision.  The backyard slopped downward and had 2 sheds on it and a few very tall dead trees at the back of the property.  It would have cost a lot to have those trees taken down.  This is tornado country and those trees were a hazard waiting to happen.  I was so torn on this one.  It was on the market because the husband was stationed at the local Air Force base and was being transferred out of the area  so they were looking for a quick sale.

Here is the listing for when those owners had bought this house with photos.......

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/767-Livingston-Ave-Shreveport-LA-71107/51381697_zpid/?

This house was definitely on the list even without the land we wanted.

The last house we saw that day was nearby, another stick built one from 1990.  It was 1,663 sq. ft. with 3 bedrooms//2 baths on over 1 acre.  The listing said it had a new roof and new water heater, both in the last 2 years and the home needed updating and had appraised  $50K higher than the asking price of $195K.

As we approached the house I noticed it sat in a depression(a low spot)on the land.  There was a house near the driveway on the right of the house so the house wasn't anywhere near the middle of the lot.  The large front yard slopped down from the road and the house was vacant.  There was at least one pecan tree on the lot as I saw this walking up to the front door.....


A pecan tree on the property was a plus in my book.  But that didn't make up for the house.  There was a notice from the sewage/water company that the utilities should NOT be turned on as the people who owned the house has NOT paid their utility bills for gosh knows how long!  Once we got into the house you could see it hadn't been updated inside since the 1970's(avocado appliances much?!)and the place smelled of must and mold.  It was a hard NO!  Nonetheless it still sold 18 Nov. I suppose they cleaned it up and paid their utility bills to get this one sold.  Goodbye pecan tree.............sigh.

That was our first day of looking.  More to follow........

Sluggy





Monday, January 16, 2023

This Week on the Dining Table

 The "I Know You're in There!" Edition.....


If you've ever lived or been in a manufactured home you'll notice that there is a rather large gap under the doors, between the bottom of the doors and the floor.  This is for air circulation purposes, especially when the a/c is on.
I snapped this picture of Chester's nose the other day.  He can wedge his nose under the door so every time I go into a room and shut the door I get to look at this. lol

Onward to the meal planning!

This is what was planned.......
1. Sunday--Chicken and Dumplings w/Carrots
2. Monday--Salad, Spaghetti and Meatballs
3. Tuesday--Chicken Parm, leftover Collards
4. Wednesday--Teriyaki Chicken w/Stir-Fry Veggies, Rice
5. Thursday--Salmon, Veggie TBD
6.  Friday--Leftovers
7. Saturday--Leftovers

And here's what actually happened........
1. Sunday--Chicken and Dumplings w/Carrots
2. Monday--Salad, Spaghetti and Meatballs
3. Tuesday--Chicken Parm, leftover Collards
4. Wednesday--Fend for Yourself, ate out Lunch
5. Thursday--Chicken Salad Sandwiches using leftover chicken
6.  Friday--Salmon, Shells and Cheese, Spinach Souffle
7. Saturday--Leftovers(I had meatballs and pasta, Salad)

Not able to stand much and cook here yet.  Everything happened except the Teriyaki Chicken stir-fry dish.
I've still got some chicken pieces left.  I'll probably put them in the freezer for chicken enchiladas at some time in the future.

What got put into the freezer last week....
*  1 bag of Chicken Tenderloins

What got taken out of the freezer and used...
*  1 whole Chicken
*  1 bag of Meatballs
*  1 bag of Salmon
*  1 Spinach Souffle               

Hubs & I hit Walmart and Kroger for various items to the tune of $187.32 last week.  We needed fresh produce and milks, I stocked up on a few loss leaders and we got some "wants".
This brings our food/toiletries/paper goods Total to $280.75 for January.  

There are 15 shopping days left in January.

I've earned $69.54 on Ibotta in January.
I've earned $1.82 on Checkout51 in January.
I've earned $9.50 on Coupons dotcom in January.
I've earned 1,424 points from shopping on Fetch in January.
I earned 1,160 points from food shopping on Shop Kick in January.
I've earned 624 SB from food shopping on Swag Bucks in January.

That's $80.86 in rebates(not counting the Shop Kick/Swag Bucks/Fetch)on $280.75
 in grocery spending so in reality it's $199.89 in food spending after the 3 rebate apps I count.

My savings percentage for the last week was 32.04% and the monthly savings total for January comes in at 32.78% so far.  

Leftovers going into this week.....Chicken and Dumplings, Spaghetti and Meatballs.  Hubs will finish these for lunches.

Here is this week's "food plan".....
1. Sunday--leftover Chicken and Dumplings
2. Monday--Teriyaki Chicken w/Stir-Fry Veggies, Rice
3. Tuesday--Beef Pie
4. Wednesday--Leftovers or ?
5. Thursday--Catfish, oven Steak Fries, Slaw
6.  Friday--Shrimp Scampi w/Linguine, Salad
7. Saturday--It's my Birthday!! so ?

I am still not suppose to walk a lot.

What do I need to buy to fix everything on this menu?  All I need is slaw mix which I'll have Hubs pick up when he goes out later in the week.
The ads starting Tuesday aren't very thrilling so other than produce/salad/fruit we may skip this week mostly.

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 deals on food at your stores this week?  

Sluggy