Monday, May 27, 2024

What's On The Dining Table....May 27th

The "Baby Bird is Ready to Fly the Nest" Edition.....

Five days ago I caught a glimpse of the mother bird in the nest.

Two days later I got a shot of the baby bird's head.  I know this photo is all blurry but it has the baby bird down on it's head if you can't make that out.

Here's the shot I got Sunday before I got in my car.  The baby bird(still has two spikes of down on it's head)is now standing on the edge of the nest, considering taking flight.  It never did attempt flight while I was looking.

Onward to the meal planning!
This is what was planned for last week...........
1. Sunday--Kielbasi on Rolls, leftover Cole Slaw
2. Monday--Meatballs, Sauce, Spaghetti, Caesar Salad
3. Tuesday--Salmon, Sauté Yellow Squash
4. Wednesday--Leftovers
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--Catfish, Green Beans
7. Saturday--One Never Knows, Do I?

And here's what actually happened....
1. Sunday--Kielbasi on Rolls, leftover Cole Slaw
2. Monday--Meatballs, Sauce, Spaghetti, Caesar Salad
3. Tuesday--Portobello Mushroom Parmesan, Teriyaki Green Beans
4. Wednesday--Leftovers(I had a Whopper)
5. Thursday--Take n' Bake Pizza, Leftover Roasted Broccoli
6. Friday--Leftover Rib, Mac & Cheese, Caesar Salad
7. Saturday--Leftover Lemon Pepper Chicken, Zuke, Rice

I found Portobello Mushrooms and a Take n' 
Bake Pizza both on clearance at Kroger so the Salmon had to wait and we had leftovers to use up on Thursday.

What got taken out of the freezer last week....
*  Kielbasi
*  Meatballs

What got put into the freezer last week....
*  Catfish
*  Liver(sorry Anne!)
*  1 lb. of Bacon
*  Cheddar/Jalapeno Sausages
*  1 Hunk of Salmon
*  a Pork Tenderloin

Last week we spent $207.56 on grocery shopping for May.  Big week for grocery shopping but lots of little stops and they added up.

Total shopping comes to $516.44 for May.   There are 4 shopping days left in May but I am basically done for the month procuring food.

Rebate monies earned this month so far.....
I've earned $217.44 on Ibotta in May.
I've earned $27.50 on Shopmium in May.
I've earned $15.50 on Alexa app in May.
I've earned $21.55 on Kroger Cash Back in May.
I've earned $10.70 on TaDa in May.
I've earned $2.31 on Checkout51 in May.
I've earned $26.47 on Aisle, etc. in May.
I've earned 3,844 points on Fetch from food shopping in May.
I've earned 2,635 points from food shopping on Shop Kick in May.($)
I've earned 0 Points on My Points in May.($)
I've earned 0 SB from food shopping on Swag Bucks in May.

That is $273.72 in rebates(not counting Shop Kick/Fetch/TaDa/MyPoints/KCB/Alexa)on $516.44 of grocery spending so in reality it's $242.72 in food spending after the rebate apps I count. I now separate out the Food Bank donations and don't count those in the grocery spending.

My savings percentage for the last week was 51.25% and the monthly savings total for May comes in at 60.33% spent.

Leftovers going into this week...Green Beans, a little Rice, Mac & Cheese, plus some leftover cheese sauce from making Mac & Cheese.

Here is this week's "food plan".....
1. Sunday--Steak, Leftover Green Beans
2. Monday--Hamburgers on Buns, Corn on cob, Pasta Salad
3. Tuesday--General Tso Chicken, Green Beans, Leftover Rice
4. Wednesday-Salmon, Sauté Yellow Squash
5. Thursday--Pork Tenderloin Sandwich, Broccoli, Red Cabbage(Hubs)
6. Friday--Catfish dinner, Cole Slaw, other Leftover Veggies
7. Saturday--Chicken, Broccoli and Cheese Casserole

Not much in the leftover department this week so I'll be cooking(on boy!).  Hubs is making the pork tenderloin pieces.  Might get take-out Catfish at the local joint we like on Friday.

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?  


Sunday, May 26, 2024

Kim & Sissie Update...Sort Of


Since Kim is still MIA on her blog I will provide an update of sorts.

She made it to the DC area where Sissie commenced to torture her by making her scrub bathrooms. lol  No laying in bed until the crack of 9am at Sissie's house!

Next update I got was almost a week later when they were on the road.  It had been an adventure thus far with Sissie's two cats, Lucy and "my" Bud.  I'll let them tell the hilarity that ensued in that realm.  

They were a day away from Kim's house, with one more night to spend in a hotel with the kitties at that point.

I got a text response on May 21st from Kim that she was not going to Alaska with us in the Fall.  Not a word since then and I've texted both and called(gotten voice mails and no replies).  I am assuming the truck has been unloaded and the new home search is tentatively underway.

As for Sissie's home in MD, she kept worrying about the possibility that it wouldn't sell fast and they'd have to delay their house search out in Idaho.  I kept telling her I KNEW it would get snatched up lickety split but did she believe me?  Noooo.
Well before the house even when properly on the market(it was still in the "coming soon" phase on the website)someone made an over asking offer!  See?  I am a soothsayer. lolz

So hopefully that sale goes through quickly and with cash in hand Sissie can find a great home for her and her Hubs and the kitties. 8-)

I am sure when she's not dealing with the home sale and new home search, Sissie is bossing Kim around and straightening her out. lol
But it would be nice if Kim would POP UP AND WRITE SOMETHING(and call me)SINCE WE ARE ALL WORRYING ABOUT THEM!!!


Saturday, May 25, 2024

I Loves Me Some Kroger Clearance

One thing I enjoy(well "enjoy" may be an overstatement lol)doing is digging through the clearance bins at Kroger.  Now and again the various Walmart stores here will set up a clearance shelf/shelves but they are likely to remove then or worse luck, move them to where I can't find them.  I am not up for a game of hide and seek trying to find where the clearance has moved to.  Plus clearance at Walmart at my stores is rather pricey as they hardly mark things down much so the prices are "meh".  

But Kroger, that is a whole other animal when it comes to clearance.
If the items are refrigerated, I know just where they dump the stuff they want gone in both of the stores I frequent.  Meat type foods just get a clearance price slapped on the label so you have to look for it in the normal places where the meat/chicken/pork/seafood is kept.  And if it's not perishable, they have designated areas where it is put and I can dig to my hearts desire.

The one store's clearance area is a hot mess but the other store's area is tidy so that one is a bit easier to wade through.  That store is where I found these items yesterday.........

I am not particular or brand loyal to any allergy product and I find I can use most any allergy spray with good results.
I found a Flonase, an Astepro and a Nasacort product in the clearance.
Here are the clearance prices....

The Flonase was marked at $5.60, the Astepro was $6.30 and the Nasacort was $7.00.
I had a $4 digital coupon that came off for the Flonase making it $1.60, another $4 digital coupon for the Astepro AND it was part of the "Buy 5, Get a $1 off" Mega Sale and I got another $1 off, so that one cost me $1.30 and while there was no digital coupon available for the Nasacort, there was an in date $3 off Peelie coupon on the box so that one cost me a whole $4.00(extravagant I tell ya, extravagant! lol).  '-)
And none of these were expired(or anywhere near their use by dates).  It would have been even better if there were Ibotta rebates on the items but alas, not this time. 8-(

Plus there is some stuff in their normal aisle that is clearly tagged on the shelf as clearance.  The best is when a "Buy 5, Get $1 Off Each Item" Sale is going on and the clearance tagged item is part of that Sale, making it an even better deal.  Those are sweet deals. 8-)

I also picked up a Take and Bake Pizza(shout out to SAM who is always writing about picking up Take and Bakes!)that regularly sells for $7.99 at Kroger for just $3.37 on Thursday.  We stopped in as this store as we needed something there and it was right near my PT facility.  The pizza had a use by date of that day and it was just the right size for Hubs and I to share for dinner that evening(along with some leftover Roasted Broccoli).  Of course that meant adjusting my meal plan for the week but that wasn't a problem as I am not a strict "must follow the meal plan or else" type. ;-)

OTC Allergy meds are pricey things(not as bad as rx ones unless you have small co-pays for those)so getting stuff like this at a rock bottom price is great.
This is just one of the ways I keep our grocery/toiletries/paper goods/etc. budget under control.  Stuff sure adds up.....

Do you like shopping clearance deals at your stores?


Friday, May 24, 2024

Frugal Friday.....the May 24th Edition

There are a few Frugal wins over the past week.

*  Had two PT sessions this week.  Again, no co-pays.  Man, this gal works me hard too.

*  I hit up Walmart for this on Monday after my Bone Density Scan.....

The Hair Color was $1 on clearance and a $6 moneymaker from Ibotta.  The Raid spray was double attaching on Ibotta each one cost a whole .97¢.  The Carefree pads were a moneymaker of $2.52 after Ibotta and Shopmium.  The Ajax dish soap was .20¢ after Ibotta and Shop Kick.  The Gooey hazelnut spread(think Nutella)was free with a manufacturer's full refund.  The Beneful dog food was on rollback with a .50¢ Ibotta rebate on each so .56¢ for each container.
The hair Color, pads and dish soap are all food bank bound....
A side note-this Walmart has had a complete remodel and revamp, it's also the one where I had an issue using peelie coupons on the produces I was purchasing before we went on the cruise, which turned into a big old ordeal.
When I tried to purchase those clearance hair color items at a self-checkout, the employee manning this area came over and said she couldn't override the reg. price they rang up of $10.96 and I'd have to go to a checkout with a person.  So I did and when I finally got up to be waited on, she couldn't override the full price to ring them up! WTF???  So she had to call whomever was the floor manager at that time and she gave me lip about overriding the price(practically accusing me of putting that clearance sticker on the items!)so I gave it right back at her that if whomever is marking clearance items improperly they need to find that person and TRAIN them on how to properly do that job.  Incredible....  So then that manager had to call for someone else higher on the food change to put the correct price into the register.  Now WHY did that first person tell me to go to a manned register if that person couldn't do the job, and WHY did this floor manager give me attitude and not be helpful.  Hell, those hair colors had been in that store for awhile(boxes were shelf worn)and had gone through various markdowns(multiple clearance stickers under the top one).  I need to avoid this store because whomever is ultimately in charge there is a PITA Prick or worse! *End of rant*

*  As for Kroger and my KCB account...after my call with Rachelle on the 16th, who said she was escalating this issue, I then got an email from "Adam"(I am thoroughly convinced this was an AI "person")on the 18th, asking me again to explain the issue.  I did and I just wanted them to "fix" the KCB thing.  I don't want them to keep offering me store credit, I just want KCB to work and not have to spend time contacting Kroger about the KCB I am owed and don't get.  I am a good squeaky wheel when I want to be. 8-)
I then noticed that 3 of my KCB offers magically appeared in my account, raising my total there to $9.  Great!  They fixed it.....oh no, they didn't.
Then I got an email for "Future" on May 21st.  expressing their concern.  "Future" went on to say  ......"I would be more than happy to assist, however, upon reviewing your case, I was able to confirm that you issue has already been escalated to our technical team. Once resolved, someone should be reaching out to you via email with an update. In the meantime, to make this right, what I have done is applied a $20.00 store credit to your shopper's card which can be used toward future purchases. "
So I went into my KCB account and now it said I had $28 in there......I HAD $9 so if they added $20, it should be $29!  Aaargh!!!
Today I am suppose to get another $3.30 in KCB($2.55 for 3 bags of Garden Veggie Tortilla Chips and .75¢ for 2 Airheads and of course it is NOT showing up.  I feel another call to Kroger tomorrow coming on.  Plus that escalation to the technical team has never resulted in an email or call to me.
You know, I am NOT the only person who has issues with their KCB account.  I guess it's easier for them to throw store credit at squeaky wheel customers than to actually FIX THE SYSTEM!!! *End of 2nd rant*

*  I got a Rakuten Check this week.......

A big fat $6.02.  Oh Boy!  

*  I got an unexpected UPS delivery on Thursday....

A good sized box from the Texas Star Nut Company.

I had purchased a package of their product back in Feb. or Mar. and it was subpar so I wrote to them.

The bag was misleading as it was a "mixed" nuts pack but the bag said, "Cashew Crave".  So I had naturally thought it was a bag of Cashews in various preperations, right?

I had suggested they label it differently as the bag was 3/4 almonds and not cashews.  Some one responded to my email about my concern and offered to send me a bag of any of their products as a goodwill gesture for my disappointment.  I explained that we'd be out of town for an extended time and said not to send anything until we returned.  About 2 weeks ago I remembered this offer and how they had yet to send this free bag of nuts to me so I wrote and remembered them.

I received a nice letter from their customer relations person and SIX bags of nuts!!
Well, they have won me over with this.  While I will still me dubious about any bag of nuts marked "Cashew Crave", I will recommend doing business the Texas Star Nut Co.  You can find them online--  
Or if you don't want to use my referral link it's

*  We have been using food here and eating all the leftovers(except I got a Whopper on Wednesday as it was discounted).  No eating out so far this week.

*  Besides the items for Hubs new diet, I picked up this for the food bank on Wednesday too........

The razors were .47¢ after rebate and coupon and the Iced Latte packets were on clearance for $1.72.  Even people who have to use a food bank deserve a treat now and then. ;-)

*  We went to Kroger after PT on Thursday but I'll recount what we got next Friday as I am so done with this post. lol

*  I found money!

On the 19th I went to DG to buy an Anniversary Card for my Brother and Sister in-law.........

Found this behind my car in the parking lot.

Then on the 20th I found this in Walmart next to a vacant self-checkout register......

Then we dropped off a load at the Food Bank.  I noticed a guy with lots of bags standing at the church entrance on his phone.  He had been there awhile and I assumed he was trying to contact someone for a ride home because it was more than he could carry.  So I offered him a ride and after he got him safely home with all his goodies from the food bank I noticed these at the end of the dirt driveway by his house........

Two more pennies for my found change bag.

On Wednesday I went to Walmart for some items as Hubs had to start a low fiber diet.  I spied this next to my checkout register.......

Another unloved penny.

Then I went to Burger King since it was Whopper Wednesday and the thought of eating leftovers yet again didn't sit right with me.  Their drive through is glacially slow so I walked in to order my $3 Whopper and found this while waiting for it to be prepped....

Another penny....a bit grimy but it washed up well. 8-)

Total Found last week.... .06¢ 

Grand Total Found this Year.......$4.54 & 5.30 Euros

That's all I got.  

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


Thursday, May 23, 2024

Thank You All!

I want to thank everyone who has commented on yesterday's blog post with good wishes and prayers.

I do have an ace in my back pocket as far as the Neurologist goes.  My new PCP has set me up with a Neurologist in their healthcare system(this current Neurologist is part of a different healthcare system here).  I don't see her until Mid June.  I am trying to get medical records sent to her(as well as the surgeon in Dallas that does the Focused Ultrasound)before that appointment.  So while all hope is not lost, if I have to wait until mid-June to get a referral from her that puts me behind another month in this very long process and keeps me in this shitty place I live.

It's no secret that Hubs and I are not happy living here(  Oh, and we had yet another power outage last night.  This one was Only 5 hours.  In April we had three separate power outages-one before we left for the cruise, one while we were ON the cruise and a long one after we got home from the cruise.  Hubs had alerts from the power company set to let him know on his phone, that's how we knew about the outage while we were in Europe(or in the Atlantic somewhere).  Thankfully, that one didn't last very long but I tell you, it gets very tiresome that we constantly have to go through this....wondering how long until we get power back and if we need to take action, especially in the Summer when temps here are triple digit even before heat indexes and having a fridge that is hardwired into the house and we can't just get a little generator to help keep the food cold.

I am prone to depression and anxiety and when I think I can actually make progress on any project, I hit a brick wall and inertia sets in.  

While Hubs is happy as a clam to do his projects and be alone, I need to be around people sometimes.  I am so very lonely here.  That's probably why I go to the grocery store so much. It's become my social activity. lolz

Now I sit and peruse the cruise website and plan out all the trips I want to go on.  Anything not to be here!  We are going to visit Kim & Sissie in the Fall and then follow that up with another Alaskan cruise from Seattle since we'll be out that way.  Kim has decided not to come with us as there are too many memories of her Hubs from our trip there.  That makes me sad.

I have tentatively set up a trip to Northern Europe for next June too.  We fly into Copenhagen Denmark and visit 4 ports in Norway before going to Longyearbyen on the island of Svalbard near the Artic Circle(I follow a Youtuber who lives outside of Longyearbyen.  Her videos have prompted me to want to visit there.).  Then it's off to Iceland(another place on my bucket list since the 4th grade)and then back to here.  That trip is pricey but we can afford it as we have an entire year to save up. 8-)

Now I am looking at a cruise to South Africa, Madagascar and Mauritius this December.  Heck that one is only slightly more than the cruise to Alaska(and that's including airfare to SA and back from Mauritius!).

And there is always the cruise I wanted to take this past April/May around the tip of South America but I called too late for it and we would have had to get ourselves to Buenos Aires(or was it Rio?) instead of having the cruise line handle it.(And we don't habla espagñol or portugese.)  That can happen next year perhaps???

I have to remember that there are possibilities in life still and there are people who care about me(and I care about them), even though I am in a bad place for now.

Again thanks for reading my drivel and caring about me. 8-)