Friday, April 30, 2010

Wanna Trade?

So, would you like to trade days with me?
Let me fill you in on what days are like here.
Take my Thursday for instance.....

I got up after being serenaded for 2 HOURS straight by the dog with the largest case of separation anxiety known to man or beast.  This dog will howl non-stop if someone is not physically in the same room with him.  I can be in the dining room with the gate across(as the dogs are NOT allowed in there)with this dog not 2 feet away from me in the kitchen and he's STARING a whole through my head.  But because that gate is there, he will whine and whimper and then start the howling hysterics because he can't GET TO ME!
I am NOT an early riser, therefore once the kids and DH are out the door I am not downstairs with the hounds yet, so I get sung to every morning.  It is ANNOYING as hell but after so many years, I can block it out and sleep right through it.

So I'm up and dragging around.  Check the email, write a blog post to put up later in the day and then I do any eBay emailing/listing/photoing/packing/shipping I need to do.  Next is checking for deals on other deal blogs and check out what my favorite bloggy friends are up to.

I had a 1st class international package to mail yesterday so I was FORCED to go to the PO.  I like my PO, really I do.  It's a teeny tiny town and I am on a first name basis with the clerk Pete.  Pete is great and lifts my spirits when I get to chat with him.  I have been known to bring him a cup of Dunkin' Donuts java on occasion....hey, you want good service it helps to grease the wheels. ;-)
We use to have 2 clerks but Jim retired and the PO is hemorrhaging money so they are NOT replacing Jim.
Poor Pete....
So anyway I go in with my package and get in line.  Some guy gets in line behind me a bit afterwards.  Suddenly this guy is screaming into my ear!  Well, HE thought he was screaming into his phone, but HE was so close and within my 'personal space zone' and at the right height that his shouting went right past his phone and into my left ear.
"Yes, this is XXXX  returning your call. I can be reached at XXXX.  Please call me back when you get this message."
It's a small room at our PO and this asshole could have waited until he got back into his car that leave that message, dontcha think?
So I got to turn around and give him the look while I waited for the ringing in my ear to subside.
The woman in front of me in line(an older woman with a dour look on her face)shot a look back at old "Can you hear me now? Guy" too.  Then she turned around, and also invaded my personal space zone, and tugged on his arm.  I thought for a minute old granny was going to give him "what for" but she then said, "Aren't you Aunt XXX's son?....Don't you know my mother XXX?"
Turns out these 2 folks are some distant cousins or something.  I'm sorry I can't provide you with the play by play genealogy but I didn't take notes as they went on and on and on! figuring out just how they were related.  Seems their mothers were sisters tho from what I could tell as they shouted back and forth over me.  Then when they got to granny's mother I got to hear all about her 90 yr old mother's health issues....from the catheter to the ostomy bag to the other non-essential organ removable surgeries to needing skilled nursing care 24/7 and she was now living with granny lady and she has to have one of those monitor things on her when she leaves the house in case something happens to mom when she steps out to run errands.  And then we got to hear about how she retired finally from her job and then all these older relatives started getting sick and she is worn out from caring for them all.  Geez lady, can't you say NO to anybody??
It seemed like a year and a day but granny finally got her turn and left and I got my package mailed.

So I then get to have the highlight of my day.....going to the local grocery store and getting free dog food with my coupons!  I was in and out in 10 minutes.  Now why couldn't that part of my day take longer instead?

I come home and deal with putting the dogs out to do their 'business' and go pack some more packages to mail tomorrow.
As I'm rocking out to some music turned up VERY loudly I hear dogs barking in the distance.  That's weird I think because they sound like OUR dogs but our dogs are in the den sleeping.
The wind had blown the backdoor open and all 3 dogs had make a break for it.  Cherry our female beagle(our runner-who loves being outside and will take EVERY opportunity you give her to runaway)was standing on the deck barking at the now totally out of sight other two dogs.    So I had 2 loose dogs to NOT, I don't run after dogs anymore.
Peanut, our bagel(bassett/beagle mix)is all about food.  He use to run like a beagle but now at his age he likes napping and eating more(kind of like me).  I took a bog of dog biscuits outside and walked around the yard shaking it and calling his name.  About 20 mins. later he appeared in the next door neighbor's yard racing around like a maniac.  He saw me and heard "Cookies" and he came running.  Of course, we have a small netting fence between the yards(so that their black lab doesn't come over here and poop when they let him loose in their yard), so Peanut ran to the fence and then along it up to the front yard where he could get around it.
But then it didn't appear back in the backyard.  So I walked to the front door and he was standing and barking at the closed front door......he is not the brightest crayon in the dog box, is he?

The chihuahua was still MIA.  She will snarl and bark and stand at the edge of the deck if she sees someone or something move but she rarely leaves the deck and attacks anything because she is all bark.  But I guess Peanut's leaving gave her the courage to bolt.
I got a phone call a bit later from #2 son's friend's adult brother that he had her in his yard up the street so I sent #2 son up there to retrieve her(she is HIS dog anyway)when he got off the bus from school.

So my afternoon was full of fun and mayhem.

Then the other highlight of my day was attending the school's band and chorus concert.

#2 son is in both the middle school and high school bands(tho he's in middle school because he is more advanced and was in the high school marching band, he gets to be in both this year) and daughter is in the Chorus.  It was nice to see them both perform but every time we go to one of these I think I am going to have a stroke!
Because of the rudeness and total lack of consideration among the parents in the audience.
If their kid is performing they are standing in the aisles or climbing over the seats with some bigass camera trying to get the perfect shot of  "their precious Tiffany".  They are blocking the view of everyone around them who is trying to WATCH the performance too.  I watched one guy last night prop himself up on 2 seats so he was almost as tall as if he had stood up, blocked the sightlines for about 5 people behind him for an entire set of numbers.  He never WATCHED the show that whole time his kid was performing.  He had his face in his viewfinder clicking on shots and then reviewing them to see if it was a shot worth saving.
And if their kids are NOT performing at the moment the parents talk incessantly while other kids are performing.  At the winter performance DH actually turned around and laid someone out for this kind of rudeness....not that it helped.
The other thing is people will get up and leave when their kid is done performing so the kids who go last have barely anyone left in the audience.
And people who get up and walk around DURING a piece....for gosh sakes, can't you hold still and do your moving BETWEEN performances??!
And then there are the parents who come in late. ARGH!  If you can't bother to show up on time(they do post the time it starts you know!), then have the courtesy to stand in the back(and NOT talk!)and wait until a piece is over and THEN walk down the aisle and find a seat in the 3rd row.
Finally, cell phones.....hello?!?!
Can you untether yourself from that piece of plastic for 1 hour people?  And if you can't please turn off the ringer or buzzer or whatever you have it set on.

Finally it was home to answer more eBay moron questions like......

*How much to ship this to Austria if you take it out of the box.  "Well, let's see....if I take it out of the box to throw it into a padded envie to verify the shipping for you, it will no longer be new and sealed in the box and if you end up not buying it after all that, I'll be left with something I can get even LESS money for than when it WAS new and sealed in the box."

*Is this the largest Iron you know if they made a bigger one?  This is the type of ? I call the "fishing expedition".  They are not interested in buying your item....they either have one to sell to or they need this information for some other reason and figure they will bother you for the info rather than go look it up for themselves.

*I am interested in buying your xxxx but will you take $xx instead of $xxx?  "Dear buyer, Do I look like a flea market?"

*Will you take $xx for your item XXXX. "Sorry but that price is more than a 30% discount on the listing price.  If I wanted to give it away(after eBay and Paypal fees), I would just give it to charity now."

*I also have gotten 4 QTS emails so far from one guy about one item I have listed.  He is truly pestering me with every  possible question he can come up with about this item and some of it I can't answer since I am not omniscient.  I do think he will eventually buy the item but he is going to make me jump through all the hoops and spend an inordinate amount of time and energy on this sale.....sigh.....

And to top this day off, I found out on Thursday that we are going to have some "Relative Problems".  Sorry but I can't go into this whole other area of my life but I think there are some family members who actually read this blog sometimes so I can't dish about any of the juicy hilarity that would be our families.
It's killing me but I can'

Between all this I had to make dinner and make sure laundry was done so the kids had performance clothing to wear(I even had to IRON A SHIRT...ack!).

So that was my day yesterday in a nutshell.
Now do you wanna trade??


Thursday, April 29, 2010

This is Why.....

This is why I am NOT allowed to go to yard sales anymore......

Yes folks, I unearthed these fine beauties while going through the eBay stuff.  As I vaguely recall I procured these finely crafted**ahem** salad tossing implements at a garage sale about.....8 yrs. ago.
I know you are bummed out because I didn't take a close-up photo so you can see the "Florida" imprinted in gold on the brown handles!

And THIS is why I am no longer encouraged to go browse the aisles at Salvation Army when we drop off a load of stuff.....
Yes my friends, that is an ashtray.....with alligators circling it(or maybe they are crocodiles since they are brown?).  
No one here smokes and I haven't been to Florida in 40 years.  I seriously bought this to display in my home.

I do think I am an undiagnosed schizophrenic.  I must be! 
My whole life I have bought stuff that I thought was neato, only to change personalities later and ask myself, "WHAT was I thinking!?"
I've done it with kitchy stuff like this...shabby chic stuff......modern stuff.........victorian stuff.......and on and on.

At least I can say I never pay alot for


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

More April Donations....Clutter G-O-N-E!

Here is what is leaving the house this week.....

More goodies we hauled up from the basement--
* 2 Pewter Mr. Spock Figurines...poor Mr. Spock no one on eBay is loving on him anymore

* 1 Grinch Ceramic Cookie Jar....cute but very limited as a decorative item since if you put this out on your kitchen counter all year people will begin to wonder about your sanity.  Perhaps I should have marketed it toward those people who keep their Christmas lights up all year?

* 1 more Crinkle Claus house....I think I am all 'crinkled' out now.

* 3 assorted Football Stadium Replicas-Penn State Beaver Stadium/Rose Bowl UCLA Stadium/Candlestick Park....these are actually quite nice on real wood bases, but because of the weight nobody wants to pay anything for them once you add on the shipping costs. 

2 used items....
* a Beagle Gum Ball Bank....#2 son's cast-off

* a Small Soldiers Activity Case with colored pencils, stamp pads, etc.....#1 son's cast-off

Then the new stuff....
* 3 Dept. 56 Christmas ornaments-replicas of different light-up houses done as ornaments...while the full sized light-up houses still sell ok, the ornies not so much.

* 2 Hot Wheels LE Christmas Cars with Surfing Santa....even the Limited Edition Hot Wheels market has bottomed out

* 2 boxes of Star Trek TNG Tv Show Cards-Season 4....again, not much Star Trek love out there anymore.

* 1 box of Star Trek Movie, tv love for either.  They are still mad for ST down in Australia but the weight to ship=not selling them.

*1 Boyds Pig.....cute OLD boyd's critter but it has a stain and I don't feel like spending an hour cleaning it so I make .79¢ on it after fees.

* 2 set of Ty Teenie Beanies 1998.....can't sell if for enough to buy me something off the $1 menu.

* 1 miniature Lionel Train Lunchbox tin....the only thing selling in Lionel is the old trains.  I fear this is one of the areas where the collectors are too old to spend their money on toys from their childhood.  They need that social security check to eat. lol

* 1 Limoge type porcelain trinket box in the shape of a beer NOT ask me why I bought this!

*1 Glinda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz Musical Figure.....not sure why I never was able to sell's cute and WOZ and Glinda are still collectible.

* 1 Set of Stationery with Envelopes.....A personal item of mine but I have way too much stationery.  I have never been able to sell paper ephemera on eBay.

* 1 Small Soldiers Cassette Player and PA System w/microphone....a cool toy and Small Soldiers is still highly collectible in Europe but this is heavy so the shipping is an "ouchy".

Today's total....25 items.
Grand Total to date....96 items to Sallie's.
Add 78 items to the Food Bank=174 items G-O-N-E!


2 out of 3....

Remember this guy's photo the other day-and my messy desk?....
Frances got 2 of the 3 things you should never do to a Gremlin correct--feed them after midnight & get them wet.
The 3rd thing was to keep them out of the light.
It must be true because it's all written inside that Gremlins hang tag still attached to his arm.

I know this vital information was keeping you all up nights.
I can to go take my nap now with a clear conscience that I am longer responsible for anymore sleepless evenings.

That is all.

PS-It's 30 something degrees here and it was snowing 2 hours ago........ack!

Sluggy *yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn*

Move Your Money...Send a Message!

As the old saying goes....I trust banks as far as I can throw one.

And with the latest revelations about Goldman Sachs knowingly and purposefully selling it's clients losing investments so that they could reap profits on their clients losses, Wall St. is on my sh** list too.

I'll state for the record that I have my money in a local bank. Our joint money is still in an evil monstrously large bank. I'll be working on DH to move at least some of it into a credit union this year.

I think everyone in America should vote with their money.  Not spending the money but just putting it elsewhere out of reach of the big banks.  Why give these TOO BIG TO FAIL Behemoths the capital to make more money off of your deposits?  They'll just spend it on paying lobbyists to put members of Congress in their back pockets.



Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Oh, You Have GOT to be Kidding Me!

I drove #2 son to his Orthodontist appointment after school today.  I am pulling into the parking lot and the skies opened up.  It's.....It's.....SNOWING!!!
April 27th and I am being pelted by little tiny snowbally things as well as big chunky white flakes!

I thought the receptionist was going to crap her pants when I came in and told her it was snowing....seriously, she freaked out a little!

And it's suppose to hit 75 here this weekend......

Remember my lemon magnolia tree that bloomed a tad early?

Here's what happened to my little tree after 3 nights of frost last week.....
*sigh*  Why oh why didn't the leaves send a memo to the blooms that it was too too early to open?

I also have a mystery going on in my garden bed behind the deck.  I planted a mix of salad green seeds last spring.....arugula, rocket, leaf lettuces, etc.   This plant was among the things that sprouted up.  At first I thought it was curly leaf parsley or something.  It took awhile to get growing but the leaf thickness and texture made it look more like something that was not a salad green, but more like a root vegetable plant or the leaves on a fall veggie plant, like a winter squash or something in the cabbage family.  So I didn't pick it and let the plant grow but by winter we still didn't see any veggie....nothing was 'heading' in the center, etc. so I just left it to die over the winter.
But it didn't die....the plant survived the winter and is now growing like a son-of-a-gun!
Can anyone ID this plant for me?  It's got thick leathery leaves with curly edges and a purpley/pink spine. 2 of these plants took root in with the salad greens last spring.

If it's good eatin' I'll let it continue to grow....if it's just a weed that's not consumable it's getting plowed under this weekend....unless it snows again on Sunday after it hits 75 on Saturday. ack!


Monday, April 26, 2010

I Finally Woke up Today & Planned my Menu for the Week

Now I'm wide awake at 10pm at night so I'll get no sleep tonight.ugh

I've decided that I need to move to this town.  Not only does the name fit me but there aren't alot of people there.  Figures, if it's located in the US-land of McMansions and massive consumer debt- a town with that name would have few fulltime inhabitants......

I finally cobbled together a Meal Plan for this week.  Lots of stuff going on the next few days(appts./meetings/school events/dh working late)so I've got a mish-mash of meals going on.

Monday--Pork Chops with Plum Glaze, Stuffing(the box stuff), Mixed Veggies
Tuesday--Chicken Parmesan, Spaghetti, Salad
Wednesday--Beef Pie(like Shepherd's Pie but with Cornbread topping, not taters)
Thursday--Haluski(finally getting to this....maybe lol)
Friday--Chicken Marsala with Shiitake Mushrooms, Mashed Potatoes,Asparagus
Saturday--Spaghetti with Meatless Balls, Salad again
Sunday--Leftover Delight(whatever you can find in the fridge)

What I need to buy for this menu....
salad greens

I think I even have everything on hand to make that crockpot peanut butter and chocolate cake thingy too this week.

Shopping in the stockpile yet again this week.
Processed crap used....Stove Top and Marsala mix.

Chicken breast is .99¢ this week at the local independent store chain so I might hike up to the location that I still have a gift card for and get some free chicken.
And we are running low on bread so I might hit the bread outlet on the 1st so it's on next month's budget...sneaky,
The only Catalina deals locally are for junk food....again! I won't be doing them.

The goal is to keep the food spending under $20 this week.
Last week we spent $13.64 on food.  Another week of me staying out of the grocery stores.  8-))

What have you got planned for meals this week? 
Any great deals in your grocery stores this week?


Monday Monday....Enough already with the Rain!

Here are some thoughts on this dreary Monday....

I feel like I've been sleeping for 3 days nonstop.  I blame all the rain.  I am now getting congested it's gone on so long.  I don't even feel like working on any scenarios or chasing any deals.  If I get the urge I just go look in my living room at the boxes of stuff I am taking to the flea market next month....that cures me right fast!

I have decided that nothing smells worse than 3 days of wet dog....

I stayed out of the grocery stores again last week.  Except for that little spurt a week ago Friday at Price Chopper and on Saturday at Weis and the local independent market, I have NOT done any shopping for 21 days out of the last 23 days.  And I am too lethargic to want to go.
I need a doctor and fast!lol
Hubby has bought milk, celery, eggs and cheese last week-most of it at Walmart of all places!lol(PS-I don't shop at Walmart but DH thinks it's the "bee's knees".)

I watched reruns of the TLC Hoarders:Buried Alive Show on Sunday evening.  I saw one I had missed when they first ran it.  This unmarried woman(mid 40's I think)had moved back in with her widowed mother and had filled this large home with her crap.  Among the things she 'collected'?.....Fabric.
That hit a little too close to home for me.... ;-)

I've been plodding along with the eBay stuff.  No weirdos, scammers or non-payers last week....yeah!  With the rain and my lethargy I am struggling getting stuff listed and sorted out.  I did get another load together for Sallie's however and I've been fairly productive this morning having written up listings for a box+ worth of stuff. 

What can be more frugal than to stay home, not spend money and actually make money?  If this is true then I am the Goddess of Frugality lately....

I need to get my Meal Plan going for the week.  I made up 28 Manicotti yesterday. Fixed half for dinner and froze the other 14 for later.  Today I pulled out pork chops and I'll pan saute them and make a plum sauce, serving them with the last of the Stove Top boxes and whatever frozen veggie the kids pull out of the freezer later today.
Oh, and I am so making that peanut butter & chocolate crock pot cake/pie/thing that Mommy The Coupon Hunter made and talked about on her blog!  Don't even go look unless you want to gain 10lbs. from reading the

And I found this guy in my boxes--anybody remember this guy?  Of course you will be gracious friends and refrain from looking at my messy desk behind him.....
Who remembers what 3 things you can't do in regards to a Gremlin? 8-)
If this is true, I think I am a gremlin....

So what is everyone else up to today?
Me?....I'm growing moss on my northern facing parts.


No more Lobster.....sniff

Remember my $52.11 splurge on fresh lobsters last week?
Well here is a photo of the last lobster roll...
I ended up buying 6 lobsters(almost 8.75lbs. total).  I ate 2 straight up and then took the other 4, picked the meat out, chopping it up, adding finely diced celery and enough mayo to hold it all together.  Warm a bun, spread  generously on the bun and sprinkle celery seed on top.....then devour!lol  
Of course, there is alot of disagreement among New Englanders on what to add to a lobster roll.  There are the purists-no condiments or binders of any kind....the classists-a little mayo and maybe some butter or salt and pepper.....and then there are those who add what they like as they know from eating many MANY rolls made many different ways-like me!lol  But all aficionados agree on one thing--you NEED a New England  style Hot Dog Roll!  It looks something like this.....

I got 9 lobster roll servings from the 4 lobsters that were left.  Sooooo, if you figure each lobster cost $8.68($52.11 divided 6 ways), 4 lobsters was $34.72.   9 Rolls into $34.72 would be about $3.85 per sandwich.  Considering you would pay at least $10 for a lobster roll at a roadside seafood shack in New England(you can get them at McDonald's up there for about $8) that's $90 worth of eating for $34.72.

A frugal splurge? betcha.....

Sorry but I can't stop myself from taking photos of food.
I do need a new camera though that takes closeup shots because mine sucks at it.
Maybe it's time to upgrade my old Power Shot A40.  I've had it 8 years now.
I hear Canon is up into the A500s now making my A40 pretty well


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Making a Food Budget 101...A Month of Homework in May will Reap Rewards in June

I am posting this a few days before the new month begins so everyone can give this Budgeting Idea a try.  You will need to start doing this really EASY Homework from the 1st of May until the 31st. At that point, you need to bookmark this post and come back to finish this assignment.
One area where every household in the World spends a big chunk of money on is FOOD.  If you aren't controlling this piece of your money, then this money is controlling you!  Get a handle on your food spending today by making a Household Food Budget.

 The best 1st step to go about making a food budget is to simply do this......

Save all your receipts you get from buying food for 1 month in an envelope.  I don't care if you use coupons or only buy on sale, Everyone should try this for at least 1 month.  I am sure it would open many people's eyes up to how they actually spend their food money!

If you buy some food and don't get a receipt, write down the amount you spent & what it was for on a sheet of paper and put that with your receipts.
Personally, I have a loose leaf notebook...
Whenever I buy food/toiletries I throw the receipt into this notebook.  At the end of the month I write down all my receipts(date/store name/amount spent/amount saved)and add up what I have spent and saved.
This way I can instantly see if I stayed within my budget, where the money went and how much I saved using sales and coupons.  It helps me plan next month's shopping better.

Bookmark this Post and when the month of saving your receipts is over, come back here, take all those receipts out and add them up.  This is the basis for your 1st working Food Budget.  Whatever you spent last month on food, use this as the baseline for this month's food budget.

Now, go on over HERE and see where your food spending lines up compared to the Federal governments guidelines for what you 'should' be spending.  The USDA keeps a current list of 4 food spending plans--from thrifty, to low to moderate to liberal.  
So where did your monthly spending put you?

What are your thoughts when you see your monthly food totals?
Are you happy?
Does it make you nervous to see how much cash left your wallet last month?

Compared to your total monthly income, what percentage of your spending was on food?
The USDA says the average family spends just under 10% of it's income on food.

Now looking at your food spending for the month....are you comfortable with that figure?
Did you spent more or less than 10% of your income last month on food?
Are you comfortable with how much you spent?
Or do you want to spend less?
If you are like most people these days, you want to or even NEED to spend less!

If you want or need to spend less on food you will need to make different/better choices on what you bought last month.
In order to figure out where/how you can cut the spending, get those last month's food receipts out and a new sheet of paper.
Make 3 columns labeled....BASIC, CONVENIENCE & EXPRESS.
Take each item you purchased on each receipt one at a time, and write it down in one of those columns.

A BASIC Food is something like milk, eggs, butter, salt, dried beans, rice, pasta, meat, fresh fruits or produce, oatmeal, frozen fruits or produce, cheese, canned tomatoes, flour, coffee, tea, bacon, sugar, spices, oils, bread, etc.  A food that is used to make something you eat or a basic form of a food.

A CONVENIENCE Food would be something that comes in a box or a mix or a frozen meal or food that's either already prepared that you just heat up or partially prepared.  Examples are Hamburger Helper, Kraft Mac & Cheese, sugared cold cereals, Beefaroni, Biscuit dough in a tube, pancake mix, cake or brownie or muffin mix, instant oatmeal, frozen tv dinners,  canned or boxed soups or soup mixes, frozen meatballs or burritos, breaded chicken strips, battered anything, pre-made hamburger patties, hot dogs, canned beans, fresh pasta, spaghetti sauce, yogurt, veggies in cheese sauce, pastries or pies, chips, cookies, soda, etc.

An EXPRESS Food is anything that's ready to eat like take-out Chinese, Sushi, McMuffin's, Burgers and Fries, Pizza, Roasted Chickens or the Salad Bar at the Deli Counter, Prepared Cups of Coffee, Donuts, etc.

Now add up the numbers in each of these columns.
Where are you spending most of your food budget?

I bet you are shocked at either how much or where you are spending your money, huh?

Where you want the bulk of your food budget to be is in Column 1, BASIC.
This is the healthiest overall category to spend on.  This category will give you more 'bang for your budget spending buck'.

Some of your spending can be in the CONVENIENCE Category.  Some people lack the cooking skills or don't have the facilities or time to make some things so if you have a decent food budget amount you can spend a bit more overall by buying the premade biscuits in the can rather than making them from scratch or canned beans instead of dried beans if you don't have time to soak and boil them.  Just remember that most convenience foods will cost you more of your budget than the basic form or the basic ingredients that make that food and most convenience foods will have added ingredients that you might not want in your food.

Look at the EXPRESS Category and tell me how many meals out of the 90 to 93 breakfasts/lunches/dinners you ate each month did this category's spending supply?
And then figure how high a percentage of the overall food spending was used on items in this Column.
Can you see how this Category of food spending can supply you with so little in terms of number of meals compared to how much of your budget it gobbles up?

What you want to shoot for...
The bulk of your food spending should be on BASIC type foods with some CONVENIENCE type foods mixed in.
Think of the EXPRESS type foods as the 'condiment' of your food budget....if you have some wiggle room in the budget then include some special 'treats' now and again like homemade calzones from the local mom & pop Italian joint or fish tacos from the local mexican restaurant.
But spend your food dollars sparingly in this Column.
If you do, you'll find that you will overall eat healthier(as you have more control over what goes into your food) and your food dollars will stretch further.

Once you have an amount set for your 1st Food Budget it's time to go spend that money.

But before you set foot in the grocery store, you have some homework to do.

Get a copy of the current sales flyer from wherever you plan to shop, or get flyers from  two or more different stores if you wish to comparison shop.
Get a copy of a coupon insert &/or find an online coupon site where you can print coupons.

Now grab a sheet of paper and write down the foods that are on sale that your family will eat.  Remember to try to choose Basic foods first over Convenience ones.

After you have a list of sale priced items, now you need to come up with meals using those items that you can prepare.  Check your food pantry at home for any ingredients you already have too and then add onto your shopping list any items not necessarily on sale that you also need to fix these meals.

Now check if there are any coupons available for any of the items on sale or not, that you wish to buy and take those coupons with you to the store with your shopping list.
Do a quick preliminary calculation on approximately how much your list of groceries will cost you so you can make sure you take enough cash to the store.  Nothing will ruin a trip to the grocery store if you are short on money at the register after all your hard work shopping.

Now shop for your items and KEEP TO YOUR LIST!
Yes, I know those cookies in the bakery look yummy....but they aren't on your list.  I do give you permission IF you have some spare money in the food budget, to pick up unadvertised specials or deals like discounted produce, canned goods or meats that you know you will use.  Remember, it's NOT a deal if you end up throwing it away!

Bring your groceries home, put them away and save that receipt in an envelope so that next month you can add up your food spending for this month and see how you did.  If you go over your budget this month, you either need to adjust how much you budget for food or reduce your costs in some area(s) by choosing less expensive alternatives or more basic foods.

So get an envelope now and get into a habit of saving your grocery receipts.  This is the 1st step to getting a handle on your Food spending!


Friday, April 23, 2010


The 2nd Sluggy's BORING BLOG BOX GIVEAWAY is Ready!

Just to recap, I put things in the box(mostly what I have gotten for free or almost free)each week and when the box is filled we draw a winner from all the entries received.

Here is what went into the Box today.....

1.  A Package of BIC Silky Touch disposable razors.
2.  A sample sized bottle of ACT Mouth Rinse.
3.  A bottle of Ecotrin enteric coated aspirin.

If this is your first time, please go read all the rules for these Giveaways on THIS POST.

Time to enter.....You can enter on this Giveaway post until I post another set of items for the Giveaway--which is usually about a week.

1 entry per person per day on THIS POST.  Leave your name/email addy and a comment for a valid entry on THIS POST only.  When I post again about this BORING BLOG BOX GIVEAWAY entries on this Post will be CLOSED and you must post on the New Giveaway Post to enter.  I hope this isn't too confusing. ;-)
Please NOTE--You MUST be a follower to enter the Giveaway.  If you aren't one, just click on the "Follow" button on the right hand side of my blog to become a follower.

There are 2 ways to get extra entries....

1. Put my blog on your blog's Blogroll.  Leave an extra comment for this entry on THIS POST only with the URL of your blog. If I'm already on your Blogroll, say so in your extra comment.
2.  Blog about this Giveaway on your blog or on a Message Board.  Leave an extra comment for this entry on THIS POST only with a link to your blog post or the message on the board.

Again, you can enter on this post until I put another Giveaway Post up and then you need to enter on the NEWER Post.

Any questions?  Just email me at

Happy Entering!! 


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Are you a Lover or a Hater?

While I am NOT older than Planet Earth I am older than the day designated here in the USA to honor our "Big Blue Marble".

This day reminds me of this Public Service Announcement from my youth....

It's a shame that it would still be necessary to run this PSA today, almost 40 years later.

My Bloggy Friend Annie Jones has a nice post today HERE.  While it's not an Earth Day post per se, she brings up how to go about making changes in your life(like being more earth friendly) and how to make them stick.

I'll just say I concur with her thoughts there and I'll drag this fine clip out from my archives as it's always a good reminder.
Not only that but this comic/singer/songwriter is one of my favs and even though he is young enough to be my son, I'd do him in a NY minute if he'd just ring me up!

Do something to be kind to Mother Earth today....and everyday!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

DeCluttering in April Part Deux....

Here is what hubby dropped off yesterday at Salvation Army.....

6 new toys I can't sell for anything
a plastic tissue cover
a roll of poster paper
a photo album
1 yd. of red knit fabric--don't look McVal!
another stack of Beanie Baby Sticker Cards
An AromaSpa diffuser which has sat in my bedroom under my ironing board unused for 10 yrs. now.  I keep thinking, some day I'll get the umph to take it out of the box and set it up and pour the tiny bead thingies in......if it hasn't happened in 10 yrs., it is likely NOT going to happen ever!lol 

In the used department there are....
2 book sox(my kids don't use these anymore)
a pair of track shorts
a decorative cobalt blue mason jar(can't be used to hold food)
a tall wrought iron candleholder with a cobalt blue tassle.  I love and collect cobalt blue glass but I have too much and these are NOT my favs nor do I have anywhere to put them.

In this picture we have.....
2 Mystic Knights action toys
a Board Game
3 Matchbox Mets themed cars
box in the back is a set of Burger King Star Wars toys still in the packages
2 Christmas Houses
a Home Decor set of a candle on a metal dish with Christmas-y decorations. 
my Noah's Ark shelf.  This was a Christmas present many years ago that hung in my old house.  I have no place for it in this house so off it goes.

I love this tin box!  It's huge.  If the shipping wasn't so gawd awfully high on it, I could sell it for decent money even though it got left in the damp basement and is starting to rust.  
But it's not, so I can't.....**sigh**

Also taken but not pictured where another 5 Diabetic Glucose Meters from the "Buy Meters, Get Free RR$$ at Wags Frenzy"  of '09.

34 More Items.....GONE!

37+34=71 items to Sallie's
78 to the Food Bank
149 Grand Total so far.

Back to the piles.


Giveaway Weirdness and a Word of Advise for 'our' Alex

Remember the Giveaway the other day, when I posted the winner's name?
Well, Alex contacted me shortly after I posted that with her info., tickled pink to have won it.
Happy Happy, Joy Joy time.....

Here's where the weird part comes in.
Later that evening I get an email from someone else named Alex(same first name, last name started with same letter as 'our' Alex but different last name).
She went on and on about being thrilled to have won and provided her shipping info.

After I finished looking at my computer screen sideways like one of the beagles here would do and then confirming that TWO people named Alex had NOT submitted entries for the giveaway, I wrote back to her and basically said, "Who are you??  And why are you claiming to have won this prize for a contest you didn't enter?"

She did respond and said that she has some Google Alert thing where if a web page goes live with her name + the word winner, she gets a notice.  She evidently enters lots of contests online and uses this so she doesn't miss seeing that she won something somewhere.
While this is a good idea(especially if you are super busy and stretched for time or have CRS syndrome), it's also an even better idea that once you get the winner alert to check the contest post and make sure you actually ENTERED that contest!LOL

I'm just glad this turned out aok.  But what if our Alex hadn't email me quickly and this other Alex had emailed me instead and I had jumped right up and mailed the prize out?  Luckily here I read 'our' Alex's blog and know what region of the country she lives in, so I knew instantly that Alex #2 was NOT the right person who won, since she gave me a mailing address that is in a totally different part of the country.

One thing you should do 'our' Alex if you are reading this.....put your contact email on your profile page!  The reason I asked you to email me on the "You Won" Page, instead of emailing you directly was because I couldn't find your email info.  If I hadn't known where you live and had 2 people saying they were the winners the only way to know for sure would be to check your email addys.  So please add that info.-especially since you know another Alex is out there now and she enters frugal type blog contests! ;-)

I am still shaking my head over this one folks.....


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Stockpiling 101....How to Begin

 If you are an old hand at stockpiling, you may want to bypass this post.  It's strictly for the novice Stockpiler.

One of the best ways to save money on your groceries is to use the Stockpiling Method.
This entails buying grocery items when they hit rock bottom in your area and storing them until you need them for your meals.  By doing this you can theoretically never have to pay regular full retail price again for the groceries that are stockpile-able.

There is the right way and the wrong way to go about stockpiling.  If you do it the wrong way it can cost you more.  But if you goof up now and again don't get panicky since everyone goofs something up sometimes, especially when they are still learning the ropes of stockpiling.

But how to begin Stockpiling?

First you need to know what is a rock bottom price.

Grocery store sales run in cycles....usually every 6 weeks.  If you watch the price of a few items for 2 months you'll probably see that there is a rhythm to when it goes up in price and it goes down in price.
In order to know when the rock bottom price appears for any particular item, make a PRICE BOOK.

Making a Price Book
Get a pad or notebook and jot down a list of the 25 most common foods your family eats/uses that can be stored.  You probably use more than 25 items but to start, keep it to 25.  You can expand after you learn the ropes.
Some of my 25 items are  a variety of cheeses, pastas, ketchup, canned tomato products, mustard, cooking oil, oatmeal, salad dressing, peanut butter, canned fruit and spaghetti sauce.

Now take that notebook to the grocery store when you go shopping each week(I am assuming you go weekly), and make a note of what store you are in and what that week's current price is on those 25 items.
If you go to more than 1 store each week, make a note on the price that week at each store you frequent.
When 2 months are up, analyze your you see a pattern in the pricing? you see how often the item hits a rock bottom price?

The point is to use these sales cycles to buy enough of a particular product at it's lowest price to last your family until the next time it goes that low.  If you have a stockpile of an item there is no more running to the store because you are suddenly out and paying full high retail price for it.
If you do find that you stockpile but you run out of something before the next sales cycle, try to make do without, change your menu plan or substitute something you have....whatever it takes NOT to buy it full retail!  Paying full retail will torpedo your savings efforts.

How much do I buy when I buy things on sale to stockpile?

This question will vary with each person.  My best advise for a Beginner Stockpiler is to plan for a 2-3 months worth of items stockpile.  A stockpile that size will be enough to start, it won't cost very much money and most anyone can find enough room to store that amount of food.
Some people like to keep 6 months worth of food on hand.  I personally at this point in my Stockpiling journey like to keep a full year's worth of any item.
The Mormons have this system down and are known to store years and years worth of food aka long term storage.  This generally involves buying in bulk and repackaging food in large amounts with oxygen inhibitors, etc.  We are NOT going to this extreme here.
Once you are comfortable stockpiling a 2-3 months supply you can expand your stockpile depending on your needs.  You may find 2-3 months is fine but you like to keep a larger/longer stockpile of some items.
Once you 'get it', make the stockpile your own.

The Four things you must keep in mind when stockpiling.....

1.How much space do you have for your stockpile?

Figure out the amount of space in your home that you can comfortably devote to storing your stockpile.  I have a 4 bedroom house and a 2 car garage and a basement so I can find room all over the place.  Someone who lives in a 1 bedroom apartment will have alot less space available to them than I do.  If you don't have large amounts of free space, get creative on where you can store things.  Under beds are nice places to hide stuff.  If your bed is too low, get a set of bed risers to lift your bed so you can fit things under there.  If your stockpile is scattered throughout your living space in hidden places(closets, drawers, under or behind furniture)it would be a good idea to keep a master list of what is located where so you don't forget items.
Garages or basements or attics with shelving is a great way to store your stockpile.  Just remember that some items don't keep as well if not in a temperature controlled climate and often these 3 areas have wide swings in ambient room temps.  Keep that in mind.
Besides room temp. storage, you can stockpile in your freezer space.  As you get a handle on stockpiling and see more and more savings it might be a wise move to invest in a freestanding freezer.  You can't store much in that little compartment in your combination fridge/freezer.  Having a freezer(or a second fridge as some people have)opens up many more opportunities to stockpile. Freezer space lets you expand into meat, cheese, frozen veggie stockpiling.   Stockpiling meats is where you can see a significant savings over the long haul.

There is also home canning to consider to preserve foods for stockpiling.  I know someone who is an avid canner and grows/preserves most of what he eats year round.  He buys at rock bottom & grows his own in the summer, preserves and saves money in the winter.
There is also a more temporary form of cold storage called Root Cellaring.  This is derived from the way our ancestors kept perishable items like fresh produce and cheese in the days before refrigeration.  You can build a root cellar and keep winter type veggies for many months.  I have one where I store onions I buy at the farm market in Oct/Nov. and they stay fresh all winter.

Figure out the amount of space you have available and don't buy more than you can fit!

2. How much money do you have available to spend on stockpiling?

How much to spend depends on you and how much extra money you have.  When you are starting to stockpile, take it slow on building.  Avoid rushing out and spending a massive amount of money(no matter how much you are saving in the long run)at first.  Take your time and build it with specific items that you KNOW you will use.  Pop-Tarts at .50¢(after sale and coupon savings)are a great buy but if no one in your house eats them, don't take up your valuable stockpiling real estate with them....just pass that deal by!
Sit down with your spouse or significant other(or not if it's just you)and rationally see how much extra cash you have this month to put toward buying extra food or toiletry items that you find for a bargain price but that you don't necessarily need this month but will need in the future.
Use a few pages in your Price Book to keep track of what you spend on stockpiling purchases so you keep within that budget.

3. How much of any particular item will you use?

 Take each of those 25 items you are tracking the prices of each month from your Price Book.  Sit down and realistically estimate how much you will use of that item for 2-3 months or how ever long the cycle is for that item to go through a cycle from high to low.

For example....jarred spaghetti sauce goes rock bottom around here every 3 months. With that sale and coupons, I can buy sauce for $1 or less. Reg. retail is $2.69.  I figure we have a dinner that includes sauce once a week.  3 months=12 weeks=12 meals needing sauce.  Add in an extra jar or two for spontaneous meals and I would need to maintain a sauce stockpile of 14 jars every 3 months.
If I buy sauce at rock bottom, I'll spend $14 every 3 months vs. spending reg. retail of $37.66 on it for a 3 months supply.

$37.66 or $14.00....which would you rather spend?

Now if I were to come across an incredibly low price, like last summer when there was a Catalina deal at Acme where I got lots of items for pennies on the dollar.  Among the items was Ragu sauce and in the end it cost me $.05 a jar, I immediately bought as many as I could stockpile in my space that we would use before the expiration dates.  The expiration dates were 2 yrs. off so theoretically if I went through 56 jars a yr.(14 jars every 3 months=56 jars per year), I could stockpile 112 jars and still use them all before they expired.  I would have paid $5.06 for a 2 yr. supply of sauce(had I bought 112 jars).  Though I had the cash to spare for them, I didn't buy that many as I wouldn't have had space to store them along with everything else I have stockpiled.
IF I had had the space for 112 jars, I could have saved $296.22 over the course of 2 years on this ONE ITEM we frequently eat!
A 2 year supply of sauce for $5.06 on sale vs. a 2 year supply of sauce for $301.28 at reg. retail. 
Now take that savings on 1 item in my price book and extrapolate it out over 24 more items and the savings do become significant over time!

4. How long can you store any particular item before it expires?

Keep in mind when you are purchasing stockpile items that most have a sell by date(when it's freshest)or an expiration date.  By only buying as much as your family will use of any item BEFORE the sell by date on the item you will almost eliminate any concerns about items going 'bad' before you get to use them.
Most dated items don't necessarily go bad at some magical date.  Go check out the USDA's Food Safety website Here for more on what sell by/expiration dates mean to you as a consumer.
As concerns expiration dates--you need to do what makes you comfortable.  If using something past it's date bothers you then just don't buy more than you need/can use before that date.
As for items you stockpile in the freezer--once you deep freeze a fresh item you extend that sell by date.
An items 'life' is prolonged when put into cold storage.  A bag of flour, cheese, as well as many products can be frozen to prolong their life.   If there is 6 months left on the 'use by' date when I put it into the freezer, I can count on having 6 months left to use it AFTER I take it out of the freezer. 

Just don't put cream cheese in the me, it gets a real weird

There is also dehydrating to preserve and store fresh produce.  This method doesn't require refrigeration so it's cheaper than freezer storage for produce as it's shelf stable.  But it limits how the produce can be used once it's rehydrated.  If you are going to use your dehydrated produce in soups/stews/casseroles, it a very cost-effective method of preserving.

If you are buying only as much as you can use within the expiration/sell by dates on the products you shouldn't have a problem with items going bad.
UNLESS you are NOT rotating your stockpile!
You need to practice the rotating system that the grocery stores use...."first in, last out".
For example--when I get a new load of spaghetti sauce in, I make sure I pull what it already in the stockpile to the front and put the new jars in the back.(The only exception to this is if any of the new jars I bought have closer expiration/sell by dates than the jars that are already there.)
Another trick to keep from having items expire on you is to make sure that you stockpile the same items together and make sure you can SEE what you have.  Keeping all the beans or ketchup or spaghetti noodles in the same place will help you to keep track of how much is left and which box/jar/bottle needs to be used first.  Some people use elaborate can stacking/storing systems you can buy to keep their stockpile organized.  You don't need to invest in that level of organizing when you are starting out and you may never need that kind of system.  If you can't store things where you can readily see them all, try keeping a master list with the stockpile items.  When you use something, mark it off the list & when you add something add it on.  If you keep this list current you should have a pretty good system for keeping track of where your stockpile is at any given moment.

So what are you waiting for.....go  get some paper and start making your Price Book.

If you have any tips or additional questions about stockpiling in general or what I do, please feel free to leave a comment!


Cleaning out the Stockpile=Food Bank Donation

So I got some more items cleaned out of my stockpile this morning.
I had more boxes of cold cereal, boxes of pasta and jars of peanut butter than we could ever eat before the sell by dates.
Also extra canned veggies, bread crumbs, pancake mix, cans of soup and assorted condiments to go along with the Pop-Tarts and Fruit Snacks that had to go!  In addition, I found some cat food to take over.  People don't think about donating pet food when it comes to food banks.   If you can't afford to feed yourself and your kids, you surely aren't feeding your pets, right?

All totaled I took 78 items over to the Food Bank.
The church's secretary knows me by sight now and loves to see me come!lolol

I got home and found I forgot to leave 1 bag of food.  I had so many boxes of eBay items and boxes of freecycle things in the car I missed 1 bag so I'll have to go back tomorrow. ugh

I also just got a freecycle post up to get rid of 3 more boxes of stuff asap.  5 minutes later and I've got 3 Very eager(I might say aggressively so!) takers already.  I haven't participated in the freecycle board in a yr. even though I'm subbed to it.....Boy, some of these folks get pushy, don't they?lol

After I do the Flea Market next month I'll probably have Toiletries to take over to the Food Bank as well.  I found another box of toiletries in the storage unit today.  I had moved some boxes out of the house & garage right before xmas and didn't see this one when I brought all the toiletries bound for the flea market back to the house last month.
You should see all the boxes/bags of excess toiletries for the flea is so an embarrassment of riches.....

It's a shame I don't have people to gift at Christmas that would like a nice big basket of personal care items!
Oh SonyaAnn.....where are you when I need you here?  I could finish up a big chunk of your Santa's Secret List.   ;-)

But more on the Flea Market stuff another day.  It's time to get some more things sorted out for Sallies or up on eBay.

78 food bank +37 sallie's=115 items Decluttered in April

Now show us your decluttering!


Monday, April 19, 2010

Decluttering Last Week

Here's what I sent packing out of my life last Week......

Power Rangers Pajamas anyone?  New with tags.  These will make some kid real happy....

Various VHS movies, a dvd and a book.  I must say I will miss Frankenweenie and Galaxy Quest(that movie is funny as heck!)

Assorted crossword puzzle books, stamps and ink pads that I am never going to use.

5 new with tags sweaters.  Now WHY on EARTH did I even ever buy these?  Yes, they are cozy and soft and most people up here need them in the winter.  Notice I said 'most people'......'most people' is not ME!  I hardly even wear a coat in the winter and have been known to walk barefoot in snow(briefly)and not be pained in anyway by this.  I overheat easily.  I can't stand wearing sweaters!!!lol
I probably bought these because they were on clearance and the price was too low to pass up.
The bad thing is....I still have 4 sweaters in my room that I am not emotionally ready to give up yet.  Is this sick or what?lol

Hands-free phone thingy that DH donated to the cause.  It never worked right with his phone.  He hardly talks on it anyway so he just pulls over if he feels the urge to chat.

An old Avon Make-up case with plastic containers inside.  A big stack of TY Beanie Babie(yes, I can use the word BEANIE here because it's a ty thing)Sticker Cards.  Another of my stupid "why did I ever buy this?" purchases.  Confession time--I was a beanie baby addict 10 yrs. ago.  I drank the Kool-aid and even became obsessed with Beanie Cards.  All the while I told myself it was something I bought/did/collected with my kids....and to an extent we did share the whole beanie experience.  I do know I never would have started in on the beanies stuff if I didn't have kids who were interested.   I'm surprised my hubby didn't have me committed!lol

Diabetes Meters.  Another of my extreme couponing purchases from last year.  Diabetes Meters=free money.

This is what left my house last week.
37 Items.
Show us what left your house!


Johnson & Johnson $10 Rebate and a Mystery

So, remember that J&J $10 Skin Lotion/Care Rebate fiasco earlier this year, when people's Rebates were getting refused if their receipt total was under $10?

Well both BIL and myself got our $10 checks earlier this month.
Has anybody else gotten theirs yet?

Here's the mystery......I found this in my mailbox today from Johnson & Johnson.....
A note with a Coupon for a FREE item up to $10!

All I can think is that I emailed Johnson & Johnson back in February asking/complaining about the way they were handling this whole $10 skin care Rebate deal.
Maybe this prompted them to send me a Free Item Q 2 months later.
Totally unexpected but a good thing in my book.

Speaking of poor little Rebate Book is feeling neglected.  I have sent NO Rebates in this month.  Just nothing worth doing/nothing I want to do.  I'll be feeling it next month when the mailman won't have any checks for me.... 8-(
Even my Rite-Aid SCR check will be pitifully small.  I think I'm up to $8 or something this month.  Because of the bursitis, I haven't made a trip into Rite-Aid since April 3rd!


We Have A Winner!

Oh yeah....I almost forgot....

The winner of the Mead Binder is...............


Congratulations Alex and please email me your shipping information.  You can find my contact email on my profile page. ;-)

And thank you to all who entered the Giveaway and I appreciate each and every one of you who check in here and read my Boring Old Blog!

I'll have another of my BORING BLOG BOX Giveaways  up and running later this week so stay tuned.....


Dumping the Contents of My Head

Yep, that's just my colorful way of saying this post is just a mish-mash of random things rattling around in my head.

RE:Mr China/NY/CA Guy--Not a peep heard from him on Sunday.  Oh, did I mention he is now unregistered?  Gee, I wonder why.......!lol  I filed on him and got my fees back on 1 of the items.  Now that eBay has unregistered him, I'll write them to try and get my fees back on the other item.

Mr. Didn't Pay Me $249 Yet--Still no payment.  He has been filed on too.

Ty Lawyer Bullies--I changed "beanie" to "beanbag" in the listing.  DH gave me a "look" when I suggested I play around with these snakes.....playing with snakes will just get you bitten so I'm just going to let it go.

I sold a couple of things over the weekend...yah!  Now I need to get more listed while I'm on a roll.

One of the items I sold was a massive Mega Bloks set.  I went to the storage unit Sunday to fetch it so I could prepare it for shipping.  Now this box is 4.5 FEET tall and 3 FEET long.  I asked DH to get it out of the car for me.  DH knows me....I usually have multiple boxes of stuff in my car at any given time.  So he asked me how he'd know which box I wanted him to carry in.  I said, "It's the big box."  He just looked at me and reinterated, "How will I know it's the right box?"  I gave him a "look over the top of my glasses look" and said, "Unless you are dumb as a mud fence, you WILL know!"
He got the correct box....and on the first try!

My new favorite food--I Love a freshly grilled hamburger or beefalo-burger.  Just season it up well with sea salt and slap it medium rare on a plate with a little puddle of ketchup.  If you have to bun it, bun sea salt, burger and a slice of tomato...that's it!
No cheese.
No other condiments or onions or bacon or other gunk.
Just the salt to enhance the beefy/buffalo-ness and some tomatoness.
Simple and nothing better.

I have also discovered that no candy/junk is better tasting than Peanut M&Ms.....DARK CHOCOLATE Peanut M&Ms. I picked some up for free on one of my many Rite-Aid excursions and finally opened a bag to try.
Dark Chocolate heaven!!!

Clutter/House Stuff
Other than it looks like a bomb went off in the Den, I need to get more stuff out of here.  I've got another load in DH's car heading for Sallie's on Tuedays and I started another load on Sunday to put in his trunk as soon as he empties it in a couple of days.
The living room is a mess too with all the stuff I got listed while DH was out of town.  I need to pack it all into boxes now and wait for people to buy it so I can ship it out.

I had daughter help me bring up toys from the basement on Saturday.....I had forgotten I still had stuff down there.  I am trying to be ruthless as I go through it all on whether to keep to sell or donate this stuff.
So far I've decided to send about 75% of it to Sallie's.  I'm only keeping to sell the stuff that after fees/shipping will give me a profit of at least $5 over what I paid.
The eBay criteria now is to list stuff for a REALISTIC Price that it will sell at quickly.  If it doesn't in 30 days, relist for a bargain price and if that doesn't work, off it goes to Sallie's after the 2nd 30 days.  According to my CPA brother, if you can't recoup at least 60% of what you paid on something in cash, it's more financially prudent to donate and take the tax write-off.  Of course, if you really really NEED the CASH, that rule of thumb flies out the window and you take whatever Cash you can get for

Anything that is very pricey to ship, that is not rare or valuable, will also just get donated since buyers don't seem to want to pay for shipping.

I donate every year to the local volunteer fire dept.'s fundraising auction that's held in the fall.  But the woman who runs it won't accept my donates until the month of the auction(even though they do have space to store the stuff in the fire hall).  I'd love to donate some of what is going to her but she's totally rigid on this.  I'm not planning on having much if anything left that donate-able by Nov. so she's totally getting nothing from me this year.  Her loss....

I am addicted to 2 shows:the one on Sunday on TLC and the one on Monday on A&E.  Both are about Hoarding.
It's a fascinating subject to me because it hits close to home.  We have the hoarding 'gene' in my family and I believe this condition is partly to blame for my oldest brother's death...indirectly but still, it did contribute to his demise.  I've seen this stuff up close and personal and have helped a hoarder clean...if you can call it that.  Some nights I just want to reach through that tv screen and shake these people it's so frustrating that they just don't get it.  If only they could get out of their own heads and look at themselves.
Last night's episode they said the woman was an organized collector type of hoarder and that she had 60 bottles of shampoo, among a bazillion other things.
60 bottles of shampoo, huh?
Well don't look at me!lolol
I wonder if someone saw my hundreds of rolls of t.p. and my 50 bottles of shampoo if they would want to sign me up for this show?

I've rattled on long enough I guess.  Off to make a list for the food bank and get some stuff hauled up there.  Then it's back to going through eBay 'treasures'....oh joy!

So what is everyone else up to on this fine Monday?


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Saturday Shopping.....Just Say Cheese!

I made 2 quick runs to 2 grocery stores on Saturday afternoon.

First the local independent chain grocer....
3 x Green Giant Veggies on sale $1=$3.00--use $.60/3 ManuQ doubled to $1=$2.00 for 3
2 x Wisk Detergent on sale $2.98=$5.96--use 2 x $2/1 ManuQ=$1.96 for 2
5 x Mighty Dog dog food cans on sale $.60=$3.00--use $3/5 ManuQ=FREE 5 cans
1 x 2lb. Strawberries on sale=$3.99 for 2lbs./$2 a lb.
2 x Store Brand 1lb. bags Mozzarella Cheese on sale $2=$4.00 for 2lbs.
2 x 1lb. Butter on sale $1.49=$2.98 for 2

I wanted to pick up more of the cheese because it was the larger grate size and without all those anti-caking ingredients some pre-grated cheeses have.  But these were the last 2 package in the store.....serves me right for waiting until the last minute to get

Grand Total spent....$14.93+$.54 tax=$15.47
Value of items...$41.25

Since I didn't get enough cheese, it was off to Weis.....
Forget Kraft cheese folks, go try the Sargento brand.  They have a Mozzarella/Provolone blend that is yummy!  Sargento runs more than Kraft but find it on sale and use coupons and it's just as cheap or cheaper than bland old Kraft.

8 x Sargento Cheese on sale $2/bag=$16.00--use 4 x $.55/2 ManuQ doubled to $1=$12.00 for 8 bags
1 x Turkey Pepperoni on sale=$2.00
1 x Ground Beef $1.99/lb. 2.03lbs=$4.08
2 x Pork Boneless Ribs @$5.29=$10.58-$4.46 markdown=$6.12--use 2 x $1.50 Instant Discount sticker=$3.12
Used a $3 OYNO Catalina for a Grand Total of $18.20

That was suppose to be my total.  Going over my receipt now I see the cashier didn't ring up one of the Pork packages but did take off the $1.50 Instant Disc. sticker so....$18.20-$3.06(cost of pork)=$15.14 TOTAL.
This means I paid .06¢ for 2.5lbs. of pork. 8-)

 Total spent....$15.14
Value of items...$42.35

Grand Total spent....$30.61(before tax)
Value of items....$83.60
Percentage saved....65.4%

I am happy with this percentage of savings, especially because nothing I bought was 'junk'.  ;-)

$30.61 for....
5lbs. of meat
1.5 lbs. of veggies
2lbs. of fruit
2lbs. of butter
6lbs. of cheese
100 oz. of laundry detergent
5 cans of dog food



Last Chance to Enter my Coupon Binder Giveaway! NOW CLOSED

***The Giveaway is now CLOSED!***
Winner will be announced this evening.

My Giveaway for the MEAD 5 STAR ZIPPERED BINDER ends Sunday April 18th!
This is your Last Chance to enter it HERE.

Good Luck to All!