Wednesday, November 30, 2016

2016 Food & Toiletries Spending.....November Update

* Posting this a day early as I am finished spending on food for November.*

Onward to November's food spending report.......

Here are my FOOD BUDGET spending totals for NOVEMBER 2016.

I have posted November's totals on the Total Grocery Savings for 2016 Page located HERE and have updated the Yearly Totals there.  I am listing subtotals for each store I purchased from in November.  If you aren't interested in that much detail, just skip to the bottom for the Totals Sum.  My spending includes Food, Toiletries/HBA, Cleaning Products, Paper Goods & tax where applicable. We are a family of 5(4-5 at home this month). No kids under 20.


OOP  $3.00
Value  $5.00
Savings   40%

OOP  $0.00
Value  $8.94
Savings  100%

OOP  $0.00
Qs/Ads/PPs  $522.04
Value  $522.04
Savings  100%

OOP  $188.71
Qs/Ads $99.80
Value  $288.51
Savings  34.59%

OOP  $330.38
Qs/Ads  $477.68
Value  $808.06
Savings  59.11%

My best 3 Store Savings Totals were Rite-Aid at 100%, Dollar Tree at 100% and Weis at 59.11%.  My WORST savings rate was Shursave Market at 34.59%.
I shopped at 5 different stores this past month.

TOTAL Out of Pocket..........$522.09
TOTAL Coupons & Store Sales Savings...$1,110.51
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased............$1,632.60
TOTAL Savings of ..................................68.02%
TOTAL Savings w/o Rite-Aid of ..............52.99%

This closes out the November food/toiletries spending.

THOUGHTS & COMMENTS for this month.....
I went into November wanting to do a $400 food budget for the month.
I actually spent $522.09 which was $122.09 over my limit.

The monthly food spending savings percentage went up by 12.62% in November to 68.02% compared to October's 55.40% savings average.
A killer savings rate  brought about by a lot of free items at Rite-Aid during the month.  Even without all the freebies at R-A the month ended overall with a 52.99% savings rate which is not too shabby either.

With 11 months accounted for, I have spent a total of $4,696.81 on food/toiletries so far in 2016 which averages out to $426.98 per month spent.  This is $9.51 MORE per month than October's average.  My savings rate for the year is holding now at 61.92%.

LOOKING AHEAD To December 2016........

I have implimented a plan to spend only grocery and Visa gift cards and cash rebates received and not spent so far this year, to pay for all the groceries in December.  If I can succeed at this that means my 2016 total spent on food & toiletries will remain at November'syear to-date total of $4,696.81.
Add in that I stocked up on many items in Novemeber(to get a store reward)so some things I'd buy in December are already in the larders, including Holiday goodies and a big hunk of meat for Christmas dinner.

Stay tuned in December to see if my plan works or if I crash and burn the food budget. ;-)

If you have other ideas or guidelines you follow please leave a comment and share yours with us all.

*  How much did you spend on food/toiletries in November?
*  Do you track your yearly food spending?
*  What was your savings percentage buying on sale and/or with coupons vs. buying at regular retail price last month, if you track that sort of thing?
*  What are your methods for keeping your food spending in check?

Is anyone out there up for tracking expenditures and trying to spend less but still eat well?


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

My Frugal "Me" Day

This post is subtitled "My Day with Brad Pitt", because, well, why not?  ;-)

Monday was a rare "Me" Day at Chez Sluggy.
The weather was good so I hit the road to the town South of here for a bit of fun.  Hubs was back to work and Daughter back to school but she would be home by noon so I got a reprieve from watching the dog.

First off was a movie at the actual movie cinema.  I used that movie ticket I got free for buying M&M's at Rite-Aid back in October.  Post about that Deal is HERE.

I saw "Allied", a little touted release this month about spies during WWII.  It was pretty good and even if it wasn't, Brad Pitt is easy on the eyes.  ;-)

You can save yourself $12 on a movie ticket and just watch this trailer and you'll have seen the best moments of this flick.

It was a rare 10:30 am showing, I guess because the local public schools were still not in session due to the Thanksgiving break.
That being said this is not the kind of movie kids would want to see(history? Ewwww!)so I had the entire movie theater to myself.
Loving that!!!

Then there was a quick stop at Aldi to see what mushrooms were going for there this week, as I needed them for Stroganoff making this week. $1.97 for an 8 oz. package?!?  Egads, and no thanks!

But while in Aldi I perused the German Christmas treats.  Being a German company, they always have a nice selection of German made goodies at the Holidays and at a decent price.
I just had to pick this one up.....

Cherry Stollen for $4.99
A yummy splurge.

Then it was over to Bonanza to use the last Free Lunch/Dinner Buffet certificate we won at the Church Auction in October before it expired on the 30th.
Ok, I had to pay for my iced tea drink but  leisurely lunch for $2.43?  I'll take it.

Between eating I had brought a piece of paper and pen and started writing up our Christmas card list.  Yes, I am one of those people who still send cards in the mail. 8-)

Feeling quite stuffed(but not too stuffed)I stopped at a local grocery store to see what deals I could find before heading home.
Since I've closed out November's food spending anything I bought on Monday goes on December's tally.

I found 1 lb. packages of bacon with $2 off stickers making them $1.97 each!  If I had had more room in the freezer at home I would have bought them all(there were at least 15).  I had to settle for 4 packages coming home with me. 8-)
I found mushrooms for $2.50 per 12 oz. box so picked those up for the Stroganoff.

Another find were these packages of mint chocolate chip cookies marked down to $1 each due to quickly approaching sell by dates.  These will go into the freezer to be baked off once Christmas is near and the cookie making commences.

And I even picked up 2 stocking stuffers for College Boy for free after coupons......

Then I headed home and did some Cyber Monday shopping for myself--
A Vera Bradley purse for 50% off and free shipping and some Bath & Body Works candles for cheap.
There may have also been Christmas presents purchased as well. ;-)

All in all a nice relaxing "me" day and it didn't break the bank.


Monday, November 28, 2016

This Week On the Dining Table

The "College Boy Came Home" Edition--

For the first tine I didn't have to go pick-up College Boy from school for Thanksgiving Break.  His sister did it for me after I agreed to pay for the gas for the trip and lunch.
That worked for me! lolz
And I think in the 4 days he was home he ate his weight in pie......

Moving on......

Onward to the meal planning!

Here's what was planned last week--

1. Sunday--Tacos(using leftover beef I had cooked up)
2. Monday--Fish, Cauliflower, leftover Mac & Cheese
3. Tuesday--Kielbasa, Sauted Cabbage
4. Wednesday--Leftover Buffet
5. Thursday--Turkey Dinner
6. Friday--T'giving Leftovers
7. Saturday--maybe Take-Out? or Homemade Pizza

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Tacos(using leftover beef I had cooked up)
2. Monday--Fish, Cauliflower, leftover Mac & Cheese
3. Tuesday--Kielbasa
4. Wednesday--Leftover Buffet
5. Thursday--Turkey Dinner
6. Friday--T'giving Leftovers
7. Saturday--

5 meals cooked at home, 2 of them a night of leftovers, and 0 nights of Take-Out. 

As for the grocery spending.....2 trips to Weis and 1 trips to the Shursave market to use my $10 Reward chit brought my weekly spending to $19.95 and my November food spending Grand Total to $522.09 as I am done grocery shopping until Thursday.
I did use a $20 gift card at Weis last week(instead of waiting until December to spend it)too.

With using a free gift card and getting a free turkey my savings percentages this week was 85.13% and the monthly savings rate stands at 52.99%.
That's a goodly percentage even for me!  I just wish I could do that all year long.  ;-)

Leftovers going into this week.......meatballs, sausage, taco beef, mac and cheese, kielbasa, assorted Turkey day dinner foods.

Here is this week's "food plan".
1. Sunday--Subway using a gift card
2. Monday--Leftover Kielbasa, Pierogies or Leftover Spaghetti
3. Tuesday--Beef Stroganoff, Rice, Green Beans
4. Wednesday--Chicken Parm, Salad, Fried Mac/Cheese Balls
5. Thursday--Leftover Thanksgiving Dinner 2.0
6. Friday--Meatloaf, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes
7. Saturday--Leftovers

This week will see 4 new meals cooked and 1 nights of Take-Out and 2 nights of Leftovers.

What I need to buy for this menu?  Mushrooms and we are almost out of milk.

What is getting fixed and served at your house this week?

Was last week's plan successful, did you go off plan or did you not even plan what was going to be eaten last week?

Any great deals on food at your stores this week?


Sunday, November 27, 2016

All About Thanksgiving

Since the Daughter was working on Thanksgiving we planned dinner for later in the day than we usually eat.  This meant I didn't have to rise at the ass crack of dawn. Yay!
I could do all the prep and cooking at a more leisurely pace and even take an hour to go out to Rite-Aid to get a jump on the freebies there.

Here is the stuffing going into the large oval crock pot early in the a.m.
I pressed all 3 of my crock pots into service for the Turkey Day meal.  The black one in the background ended up being used for the mashed potatoes(both red and white)and the white small crock pot held and warmed the rutabaga.

Since there were 7 for dinner this year(me, Hubs, college boy, daughter, brother in-law, nephew and daughter's boyfriend)we had to add a card table onto our ersatz dining table(aka a camping/fold-up table)so everyone could sit down to eat together.
With so many for dinner I set up the food in the kitchen buffet style from which we served ourselves before taking our place at the dinner table.

Here are the mashed potatoes, carrots, stuffing(plus what was cooked inside the bird in a serving bowl)and extra rolls.....

The rutabaga on the counter behind Hubs and the platter of turkey on the island with the big bowl of gravy(you can't see in this picture).

Rolls, butter, salt/pepper and cranberry glop were table side.

Let me talk a little about the table.
Earlier this month blogging friend Kim over at Out My Window sent me a package......

I hadn't a CLUE why or what this could be!
Inside was a beautiful hand sewn tablecloth and matching cloth napkins Kim had made for me. 8-)
Also were 4 cute little birdies(quail maybe?)with a metallic copper finish.

With all the stuff going on in her life that she took the time to fashion all this for me was awesome.
She is one special lady is all I can say. ;-)

So I dug that box out of hiding and set my Thanksgiving table Thursday morning......

I had a couple of Autumn swags I intertwined and laid out straight in the middle of the table and put small tea light type candles and those little birdies randomly among the foliage.

Here are the matching napkins.

Well between the chaos of getting the meal on the table and the hungry heathens who couldn't wait to start eating I didn't get a shot of the whole table properly set for dinner.

Here is the crew that chowed down on the vittles here at Chez Sluggy for Thanksgiving(minus Yours Truly who was taking the photo).

I scaled back the side dishes this year(no sweet potatoes or green bean casserole)but still there was more than enough to keep this swarm of locusts busy.
I am sure three kinds of pie helped satiate them as well. ;-)

And we kept it civil and politically-free(though not alcohol-free). 8-)))

I hope you had the type of Holiday you enjoy.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Rest of the Rite-Aid Trips This Week...BF Madness!

I made another Pre-Black Friday trip to Rite-Aid on Wednesday evening.

First I bought 2 restaurant gift cards that gave $10 in Plenti points.  Money spent on these Xmas gifts doesn't come out of the food/toiletry funds(but instead out of the gift budget), so this purchase gave me $10 in "free" monies to spend on toiletries/HBA/OTC items(well I spent down my Plenti points on this transaction, but the next day those $10 in points went live in the account to "pay" for what I bought Wednesday evening).

In a separate transaction I bought this........

The Pantene shampoos were on clearance for $2.49 each, so those were $4.98.
I used a $4/2 Pantene ManuQ on those making that purchase cost .98.

The Colgate toothpaste was on sale for $3.
I used a $2.50/1 Colgate R-A FlyerQ and stacked a .75¢/1 IPQ,  making this purchase a .25¢ moneymaker.

The MidNite sleep aid was B1G2Free so $10.99 for all 3.
I used a $1/1 IPQ I've had for awhile making this purchase cost $9.99.

Total OOP for all with tax of .06¢ was $9.78.
I paid with Plenti points.
After the $10 in gift card puts went live the following morning this transaction became a .22¢ moneymaker.

I had planned on a $1.22 moneymaker except that the Checkout51 $1 cash rebate on Pantene shampoo were all claimed by Wednesday evening for that week. bleh.  Still a good trip.

On Thursday, since we were eating late due to Daughter's work schedule, I had an hour in the early afternoon when I had no cooking chores to attend to so I ran up to Rite-Aid to start doing the Black Friday Deals.  Since there were so few freebies after Plenti points this year I was able to do them all in one day/one transaction on my Plenti card........

Everything was free(or better than free with coupons)after Plenti points they gave back, except that Huggies wipes(.49¢ each after sale/points/coupon)and the Dial hand soap(didn't give points/didn't have coupons, so sale price of .99¢ each).

The freebies I got were-
* Kleenex facial tissue
* Scunci hair elastics
* Rite-Aid gift tape
* Colgate toothbrushes

Better than free using coupons with the sale prices were-
* Listerine dental floss was $2.99 on sale and gave $2 in PPs, but with my $1/1 tearpadQs from the dentist's office these became a .01¢ moneymaker.
* GE light bulbs $2 moneymaker each with $2/1 Q
* Philips ear buds gave $6 in PPs but w/20% wellness discount cost $5.59 so a .41¢ moneymaker each
* Conair hairbrush gave $3 in PPs but w/20% wellness discount cost $2.63 so a .37¢ moneymaker.
* Colgate toothpaste suppose to be $4 a tube but this variety was clearanced to $1.19.  I had .50¢/1 IPQs plus these still gave back $4 in PPs so they were a $3.31 moneymaker. 8-)))  Had I been more aware, I could have also stacked the $2.50/1 R-A Flyer Colgate Q(as this variety of toothpaste also qualified for that Q) and made this a $5.81 moneymaker! ack!!!

As far as I know this variety may be clearance priced in most stores but it is not marked(and wasn't marked in my store).  It's the Enamel Health sensitive variety but do a price check before you have them ring it up to make sure.

This transaction cost me $47.91($1.79 of that tax)in Plenti Points but earned me back $54.00 in new Plenti Points.  No $ spent OOP and even with the not free after points Wipes and Hand Soap(and not realizing I could have made the toothpaste a larger moneymaker!) this was a $6.09 moneymaker.

On Black Friday proper I hit Rite-Aid again to do the Deals on Daughter's and Son's cards in two different transactions of course but photo is everything together........

R-A gift tape x 8
Colgate toothbrushes x 4
Colgate toothpaste x 4
Ge light bulbs x 4
Scunci/Conair x 4
Listerine floss x 4
Philips ear buds x 3(I ran out of PPs on one card so coudln't get 2 for free on that one)
Kleenex tissue x 4
Huggies wipes x 2(not free after PPs but .49¢ ea.)

In all this cost $77.04(including $2.94 tax)in PPs.
This all earned $100 back in new PPs(on two different cards)making these purchases a $22.96 moneymaker.

Total Black Friday Deal spending so far was $124.95 in PPs and $154.00 in new PPs earned so a $29.05 moneymaker all together.

I may go back up Saturday(today)for 1 more "better than free" ear bud and maybe do some deals that aren't free, like the 7-Up 12-packs($2 each after sale/points) or some DiGiorno pies($1.99 each after sale/points)and spend down some PPs.  I have so many!

And I also need to get some gift cards that give back PPs, both gift cards for Xmas presents(paid for out of the Xmas monies)and Home Improvement gift cards paid for out of the home maintenance budget.  The PPs I get back are just gravy really.  Hmm, gravy.... ;-)

And except for 1 small online purchase from Macy's which cost me ZERO OOP(I'll blog about that once the item arrives)that is ALL the Black Friday shopping that was done by yours truly this weekend.
Yes, my Black Friday is not so mad, is it?

I had some coupons that would have gotten me more free stuff on BF but I just don't like to go out in insane crowds alone and neither of my kids would go out shopping with me. *sniff, sniff*
I guess I have raised non-shoppers. 8-P

Free is awesome but going out alone in that shopping frenzy was not even enough to lure me into it! lolz

So what great deals did you get on Black Friday?


Friday, November 25, 2016

Eating Out Totals Updated

I finally got around to updating my Eating Out Page with totals spent in September and October.
Since the tab isn't visible at the top on my home page, you get see that page at the link HERE.

While the Regular Eating Out looks high in October, some of that was treating a visiting friend and family members for Breakfast.  As it wasn't "our" trip I put it under Regular Eating Out, though it was not really regular. 8-)


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Kermit and I just wanted to stop in quickly between cooking chores this morning and wish y'all a Happy Thanksgiving!

Before you dig into your "pants unzipping meal" today, take a moment to acknowledge everything in your world that you have been blessed with, whatever that may be.

Myself I'll be thankful for---
* my level of health given my medical issues and for the resources and medical folks who keep me going.
* my awesome kids though some are far from home today.
* my spouse who puts up with me and loves me.
* that we live below our means which means we can be a financial blessing to ourselves, our family, our friends and our country.
* this blogging platform and all you dear readers out there that has enriched my life.

Now make sure you hug everybody you see today......
Ok, maybe not that creepy guy in line at the grocery store if you have to run out for emergency supplies this morning. ;-)

Here's a nice tune I like to listen to on Thanksgiving......

And here is a funny video of Irish people trying an American Thanksgiving dinner........

So what's on the menu today at your Thanksgiving table?


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Rite-Aid Haul or 2 Pre-Black Friday

I was out for blood work Monday morning so I hit Rite-Aid down the street for some freebies.....

2 x Colgate toothpaste on sale $3 each=$6.00

I used-
1 x $1/2 Colgate toothpaste ManuQ=$1.00
2 x $2.50/1 Colgate select items Rite-Aid FlyerQ=$5.00
Coupon Total...$6.00

So Zero OOP.
No Plenti points used or earned.

Then I bought all this......

2 x Colgate Toothbrushes on sale $3 each=$6.00
1 x Crest Toothpaste on sale=$3.00
5 x Schwarzkopf Shampoos and Conditioners on clearanced 75% off $1.99 each=9.95

Coupons Used
1 x $1/2 Colgate Toothbrushes ManuQ=$1.00
2 x $2.50/1 Colgate select items Rite-Aid FlyerQ=$5.00
1 x $2/1 Crest Toothpaste ManuQ=$2.00
2 x $5/2 Schwarzkopf Ultime items IPQ=$10.00
Coupon Total.....$18.00

$18.95-$18=.95¢ + .12¢ tax=$1.07 OOP
I couldn't use Plenti Points to pay since the total was under $2 so I used my Rite-Aid gift card so still nothing out of pocket.

I was suppose to earn $1 in new Plenti Points for buying the Crest toothpaste......

But it said I earned $2.50 in points.

For some reason I earned $1.50 in PPs for buying one of the Colgate toothbrushes too.
A quick check on my Plenti account when I got home and I had activated a $1.50 in PPs household offer on there when I buy a Colgate toothbrush that I had forgotten about.

Look out for Ultime Schwarzkopf hair products 75% off at your Rite-Aid.
If you find some, go print the Schwarzkopf coupon on RedPlum dotcom(two prints available per computer)or if you were lucky enough to get this Q in your Sunday inserts use that.
You will have to buy 3 bottles at 75% off or have something else that cost at least $1.02 in your transaction to absorb the overage of the $5 off Q(if your store let's you have overage or doesn't adjust coupons down).  Buying 3 and using the $5/2 Q means you'll owe .95¢ + tax (if your state charges for hair items).

There are also 2 rebates on Schwarzkopf on Saving Star-1 for $2/1 and 1 for $5/2.  Since I activated those rebates and bought 5 I got $7 in cash rebates back for buying these.

Since I had to go back for an Rx on Tuesday I printed some more Qs and got some more freebies.....well almost freebies since I owed .25¢ on this lot(which I put on my R-A gift card)......

4 x Schwarzkopf items on clearance=$7.96
2 x Colgate toothpaste on sale=$6.00
2 x Colgate toothbrushes on sale=$6.00
3 x Dentex Flossers on sale B1G2F=$3.29

Coupons Used
2 x $5/2 Schwarzkopf IPQ=$10.00
2 x $.75/1 Colgate toothbrushes IPQ=$1.50
2 x $.75/1 Colgate toothpaste IPQ=$1.50
4 x $2.50/1 Colgate toothpaste or toothbrush R-A FlyerQ=$10.00
Ccoupon Total.....$23.00

$23.25-$23.00=.25¢ OOP put on gift card.
I earned $0 Plenti Points in this transaction.

The "overage" on the Schwarzkopf Qs($2.04) and the Colgate Qs($1) gave me $3.04 to apply toward the dental Flossers($3.29)so I have .25¢ owed on this transaction and got 3 packages of that on sale for .25¢.  8-)

Grand Total-
$0 OOP($1.32 put on gift card)
$2.50 new Plenti Points earned
$7 in cash rebates earned
An $8.18 moneymaker in all.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Using Thanksgiving Reward

I used one of my $10 Reward chits to finish getting Thanksgiving needs + another item yesterday.....

5.5 lbs. of Rutabagas=$4.29
2 lbs. of Carrots=$1.89
2 cans of Cranberry Glop=$1.76
1 box decaffeinated Tea Bags=$2.59

I paid .53¢ OOP after using my $10 reward.
$12.74 reg. retail value and a 95.84% savings rate.


I have another $10 Reward from the Baking Promo which I will use next week.


Got My Turkey + More Deals from Weis

So I cashed in my Reward Points at Weis(PMITA)Markets for my free turkey last week.
Only my turkey wasn't exactly free.
It cost me .58¢.

The free turkey deal was for a frozen Weis brand 20 lb. or less turkey for 50 Reward Points.
The only turkeys that met this criteria in my store were 15+/- lbs.
There was 1 turkey that was 20.50 lbs, thus over the weight limit for free.
So instead of getting the free 15 lb. one(and losing almost 5 lbs. of free turkey)I took the 20.50 lbs one and paid .58¢ for the price of the 1/2 a pound over 20 lbs.
Works for me. lolz

I also got.....

* Two Mrs. Smith's pies(apple and cherry)for $4.49 total.
They are on sale at Weis BOGO and I used two .50¢/1 coupons which doubled to $1 off each.
$6.49 x 2=$12.98-bogo=$6.49-$2Qs=$4.49, or $2.25 per pie.

* Four boxes of Chex cereal for $3.52 total.
They are on sale at Weis for $1.88 per box when you buy 4 and I used four .50¢/1 coupons which doubled to $1 off each.
$1.88 x 2=$7.52-$4Qs=$3.52 or .88¢ per box.

* Six cans of Furmano's tomatoes for $3.22 total.
They are on sale at Weis for .87¢ per can and I used two $1/3 coupons.
$.87 x 6=$5.22-$2Qs=$3.22 or .54¢ per can. (If you have this coupon wait until the 11/24 ad as Furmano's will be .67¢ a can.)

* Three bags of Birdseye frozen veggies for $1.61 total.
They are on sale at Weis for .87¢ a bag and I used a $1/3 coupon.
$.87 x 3=$2.61-$1Q=$1.61 or .54¢ per bag.

* Two rolls of Gwaltney sausage(for my stuffing)for $1.00 total.
I found 2 rolls clearanced to .50¢(discontinued item). 8-)

* Two 12 packs of Lipton Iced Tea for $3.99 total.
They were on sale(Friday only)half price($5.99 reg. price).
I also had a $2/2 Weis coupon book Q so $3.99 or $2 each.

Total was $19.67, value of $85.17 and savings of 76.90%.

The turkey, one of the pies and the sausage are for Thanksgiving.  The rest were good deals of foods/drinks we consume around here.


Monday, November 21, 2016

Giveaway Winner

75 valid entries and Random dotorg picked #42 so the winner is.........

Jenn in Indiana!

The truffles sound yummy! Jennifer

Congratulations Jenn!  You have 48 hours from when this information is posted to email me from the email address you supplied with your full name and mailing address. (My email addy is on my "About Me" page linked from my right side bar.)

Should Jenn not get back to me in time a new winner will be chosen.

Thanks to all my readers who played along.
Another December giveaway will be coming up next week so be on the lookout for that one!  8-))


This Week on the Dining Table

The "First Snow of the Season" Edition--

Almost 4 inches here on Saturday.  We got another 1-2 inches on Sunday.

A coating of fluffy white stuff.

Daughter's dog, born and raised in Louisiana finds out what snow is all about.  She still isn't sure if she likes it or not. lolz

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

Here's what was planned last week--
1. Sunday--Teriyaki Flank Steak, Stir-fry Veggies, Fried Rice
2. Monday--Macaroni and Cheese, Broccoli
3. Tuesday--Kielbasi, Pierogies, Sauted Cabbage
4. Wednesday--Fajitas, Refried Beans
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--Tacos
7. Saturday--Leftovers

And this is what actually happened--
1. Sunday--Teriyaki Flank Steak, Stir-fry Veggies, Fried Rice
2. Monday--Macaroni and Cheese, Broccoli
3. Tuesday--Fajitas
4. Wednesday--Beef Pie
5. Thursday--Leftovers Buffet
6. Friday--Beef Enchilasagna Casserole(Daughter's idea)
7. Saturday--Leftovers

5 meals cooked at home, 2 of them a night of leftovers, and 0 nights of Take-Out. Kielbasa moves to this week.

As for the grocery spending.....3 trips to Weis and 2 trips to the Shursave market brought my weekly spending to $180.09 and my November food spending total so far is $502.14.
Over budget again this month.

So far, so good in my savings percentages in November at this point however.  This week the savings rate average was 44.85% and the month-to-date stands at 48.57%.

Leftovers going into this week.......corn casserole, meatballs, sausage, stir-fry veggies, fried rice, fajita filling, mac and cheese, beef pie and beef enchilasagna.

Here is this week's "food plan".

1. Sunday--Tacos(using leftover beef I had cooked up)
2. Monday--Fish, Cauliflower, leftover Mac & Cheese
3. Tuesday--Kielbasa, Sauted Cabbage
4. Wednesday--Leftover Buffet
5. Thursday--Turkey Dinner
6. Friday--T'giving Leftovers
7. Saturday--maybe Take-Out? or Homemade Pizza

This week will see 3-4 new meals cooked and 1 nights of Take-Out(maybe) and 2 nights of Leftovers.

What I need to buy for this menu?  I still need carrots and rutabaga for Turkey day.  Will use my $10 reward at Shursave market to get them.

What is getting fixed and served at your house this week?

Was last week's plan successful, did you go off plan or did you not even plan what was going to be eaten last week?

Any great deals on food at your stores this week?


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Dollar General Gift Card Deal Update

So Hubs and I went out on Saturday and we hit up a Dollar General south of here to see what qualifying gift cards they had.
We found $10 Burger King cards but when we tried to purchase them, the cashier couldn't get them to activate.
So we picked up a couple of $20 Domino's cards there.

We hit another DG in the town south of us that we were going to for a late Lunch anyway.
They had $10 BK cards and variable amount Taco Bell cards too so we picked up 2 more Taco Bells(I got 2 earlier this week)and 4 Burger King cards.
$110 in gift cards for $70.

The $10 gift cards, at $10 off when you buy two means they are half price!

I noticed on the receipts this coupon too.....

Evidently this gift card deal is good through Dec. 10th.  Not sure if you need this coupon though to do the deal after today.


Friday, November 18, 2016

Update on November Spending/Rewards & December $ + Food Bank Donation

So I just added up this past week's spending on food and we are at $502.14 for the month of Novemeber.  Plus I need to spend a little bit more(under $10?) before the month is over.

The good news is I got my last two gift rewards at the Shursave Thanksgiving Reward and Baking Reward..........

Besides the Spend $X/Get $X Thanksgiving Reward there was a Spend $30/Get $10 Reward Baking Reward also going on and anything spend on Baking Reward stuff also counted in your total spending for the Thanksgiving Reward spending(double dipped).  I did the $10 Baking Spending Reward 3 times. 8-)

So I'll be using 1 of these early next week and save $10 on my shop.
The other $10 one expires 11/30/16 so I'll save that one to pick up a few needs the week after Thanksgiving.

I have also earned a few more cash rebates the past week or so--$2.75 more in Ibotta so I now can cash this one out as the total is over $20.

And I forgot I have a stash of $42 in cash from "post coupon" transactions(cashier forgot to do coupons or I forgot to hand them over until the transaction was finished at Rite-Aid, so I paid with Plenti Points and they gave me cash for the coupons afterwards)done during the course of 2016.

So here is where we stand with "free money" to pay for groceries going into December......

Assorted Gift Cards.....$84.36
Cash Rebates--
Rolled Coins...$87.50
Other Cash(post coupons)...$42.00


I'll probably earn about $13.90 more on SavingStar before December is out and a few more at both Checkout51 and Ibotta too so I am figuring $400 at least for food shopping money next month.

It will be awesome if I can keep food at $400 and not spend "income" money OOP for groceries next month.

I also got a few more items together for the food bank donation......

I also have 2 more jugs of laundry detergent to take in as well which I didn't photograph.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Deals I Did This Past Week

Here are a few of the best grocery deals I purchased this past week or so(besides moneymakers at Rite-Aid)......

3 x Soup on sale .77¢ each=$2.31
I had a $1.20/3 ManuQ, making them $1.11 total or .37¢ a can.

3 x Facial Tissue on sale .88¢ each=$2.64
I had a $1/3 IPQ, making them $1.64 or .55¢ a box.

9 x Spaghetti Sauce on clearance for $1 per jar.
Total OOP for these was $9.00 as I had no coupons for it.
I just happened to spy these two varieties at the store were being discontinued.

4 x Butter on sale $3 each=$12.00
I had 4 x .50¢/1 Land O' Lakes half sticks variety IPQ(which doubled to $1 off), making them $2.00 each or $8.00 for all 4.
The cheapest that butter had gotten this Season is $2.37 a lb. and that was 1 store for 1 week, weeks ago.
Using these coupons helped me get butter for $2 a lb.  The best price I can find around here.
Oops! Spoke too soon...Price Chopper had store brand for $1.88 until Saturday.

I also did a "Mix & Match 6/Get $3 Off" Dealat Weis.....

2 x Chicken Broth on sale $1.99 each=$3.98
4 x Chili on sale $1.49 each=$5.96
I had 2 x .50¢/1 IPQ(which doubled to $1)for the Broth plus another .50¢ Weis mailed Q(this doesn't double).
I had 2 x .55¢/2 IPQ(which doubled up to $1)for the Chili.

Total now became $5.44 after Qs and then another $3 off for doing the Deal, so $2.44 OOP for all 6 items or .41¢ per item.

I wish I had printed off more of these broth coupons while they were still available on coupons dotcom and then I could have gotten 4 broths and 2 chils and paid the same $2.44 OOP.  I'd rather have more of the broth than the chili but either way this works for us.

I also picked up 2 dozen eggs as they were .67¢ dzn.

But the best "score" I made this past week was this one......

Weis(PMITA)Markets had Fiora TP and Paper Towels half price on their last Fabulous Friday one day sale.
Reg. price of $6.99 so these were $3.49 each on sale.

I found Fiora IPQs on their Facebook page(.50¢/1 package, which doubled to $1 at Weis), so after coupons I paid $2.50 per package.
Then I jumped on Ibotta and claimed 2 x $1 cash rebates for each of these, making my OOP $1.50 for each.

Besides the grocery stuff I also went up to my local Dollar General to do the Gift Card Deal that blogger American Dreamer clued me into.

I wanted to get Burger King gift cards but my store doesn't carry those but they did have a Taco Bell ones that qualify for the $10 off wyb2.
I chose to make them worth $15 each so $30 of gift cards cost me $20 or 33% off.
College Boy loves him some Taco Bell so don't tell him these are going into his Christmas gift pile. ;-)
If Hubs and I go out this weekend and we pass any DGs I'll stop and see if I can locate the BK gift cards too.

I hope you've found some good deals when out shopping in your part of the world.
Feel free to brag about your scores in the comments.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Haters Gonna Hate

Ok folks, what follows below is the kind of dimwit commenting that anonymous persons try to get me to approve on my blog.

Yep, I am putting this particular comment front and center so everyone can see the sort of hateful, bullying garbage internet trolls post, when anyone disagrees with them or offers differing viewpoints on issues, especially during this election cycle.

Not only are supposed race baiting Trump supporters emboldened nowadays(as the left calls them)but as I see them, ultra liberal folks who have opened their minds so much that their brains are falling out are likewise taking shots.
Yes, I went there.

"Sluggy...proud of what exactly?? You should read the new book "Hillbilly Elegy"...written by a white guy (some refer to him as White Trash and he acknowledges this). He points out that to be working class in America and white these days means you: use drugs, have kids out of wedlock, are obese, don't work,are in poor health, collect food stamps and can barely speak/write English...Trump supporters ARE racist no doubt about it. Why not just own up to it and move on? In your case, and judging from the photos you post, this fits your family to a T...why not just admit you are your kind are racist, homophobic, indifferent to women's rights and hostile to immigrants? The fact that you refuse to post critical comments suggests you are fundamentally a coward who refuses to accept responsibility for the nonsense you publish."-Anonymous Commentor

First off you don't even "get" the gist of the book you reference nor the author's point in writing it. You are showing your special kind of stupid using this as an argument to condemn me and "my kind".  Everything you mention above can also be used in an equally hateful way to describe inner city poor, or black/any other ethnicity than white if you prefer those labels.  And I am not black/hispanic either.

Personally, I didn't vote for Trump(and wouldn't have)and in addition, I NEVER would have voted for Hillary either.  Not that that has anything to do with the gist of my post of yesterday.

My post was a plea for sanity and calm in our country in the days ahead and in addition, an attempt to clue folks in who are living in the "bubble" as to what other Americans who don't agree with them may be thinking.  I suppose since I don't live on the coasts or inside the Beltway and I talk to people in many socioeconomic classes in this country I may have an insight that the liberal elite types don't have.

So you think I am White Trash who is a racist, homophobic, indifferent to women's rights and hostile to immigrants?  You couldn't be more wrong.

I am a woman who identifies as a libertarian(small "l"), I graduated from a women's college(yes I am a college graduate)and I donate to Planned Parenthood, so tell me again how am I indifferent to women's rights?
And by the way, my Hubs has an advanced degree from Johns Hopkins University while we are at this(he was born into a poor Northern family and he and his sister where the first ones in their family to earn university degrees).

I had a serious relationship with and almost married a man from the Philippines.  Me have a problem with immigrants?  I doubt it.

I have an African American sister in-law.  Yep, I am a big old racist.

One of my best friends from college is an African American lesbian who converted to Judaism and adopted 2 children.  Racist, Homophobe, religiously intolerant.....that's me evidently.

I worked in theater in my younger days so I have many LGBTQ friends.  Just ask my gay friends how much of a homophobe I am.

When I was younger I was a foster parent to 4 kids....1 white, 1 latino and 2 biracial(black/white).
More racist actions on my part.

One of my own children is B on that LGBTQ spectrum.  Gotta hate my own flesh and blood it seems.

I have financial supported a charitable organization since 1988 which cares for orphaned children in various African countries(and brings some to the US and Canada for adoption when that is the better option).  Supporting foreign non-white children and encouraging foreign adoption/ evil can I get?!

And as for ".... fundamentally a coward who refuses to accept responsibility for the nonsense you publish."
I sign every post I write and identify myself, which is a lot more than I can say for your snide hate-filled diatribes personally attacking me.
You think it's nonsense, that's your right.  But I don't have to listen to you attack me from the shadows.

So "Anonymous" this is why sometimes you should STFU and get your facts straight before you attack someone you know nothing about.

And everyone can thank this "Anonymous excuse for humanity" for me no longer allowing anonymous comments of any kind(even after moderation)on my blog.
I know I am losing some very fine commentors by doing this but I just don't need to see the negativity I have to endure when I attempt to protect all my loyal readers from wickedness like this type of online troll.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Dear America

Dear America,

Please get your shit together.

It's been a week now since the election.
It's time to get it together and move on.

I know some of you still can't believe Mr. Trump won.  We could spend months on analyzing why....and I am sure those who don't want to acknowledge this fact will and we'll all have to hear about it ad nauseum.

Those of you who don't agree with who won the election....
You want to tell the world you feel "unsafe".
You want to protest.
That's fine.

But most of us out here need to take care of our families and earn our daily bread and get on with living.

If you just don't understand why Mr. Trump won I doubt you ever will.

But here are some clues for you....

It wasn't about his divisive language and personality traits during the campaign for those who voted for him who aren't likewise minded.

Like in Bill Clinton's campaign back in 1992, the catchphrase voiced by James Carville comes to mind--"The economy stupid."

In 1992 we were in the throes of a recession, much like the one we are still emerging from that came to a head in 2008.

People vote with their wallets.

Those of you who have jobs that are part of "global economy" just don't get that many Americans who aren't part of your bubble are suffering and sliding backwards economically into poverty.

And they don't want a handout from the government to keep them afloat.
They are a proud people and have always worked hard for what they have.
This is a trait in Americans that I hope I don't live to see disappear.

The citizenry has shown time and again that it can put up with ignorant and crash language from our leaders if they think he/she can changed their economic futures.  Heck, Lyndon Johnson had one of the dirtiest and racists mouths known to man.

Evidently enough people in enough states thought Trump would do a better job seeing to their personal financial needs than Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Johnson or Mrs. Stein.

Racism, misogyny, or hate of any other ilk never went away and is not making a comeback like some would have you think.
Hate has always been there.

But I have to believe that most Americans aren't haters.
It's just that many are frustrated and have been ignored for many years by the current administration.
And they chose to change it.

And like a Fellow Blogger raised in his post today, I also have to ask you protesters(just like I inquired with all those Occupy Wall Street folks back in 2011)--what is your point?

Fellow blogger said it more elegantly....
"What do you want? I'm all for protest. But there has to be a solution. Marching in the streets because you don't like something is not protest, it is a tantrum. There is no indication the election was fraudulent. Trump was elected. Is your endgame to overthrow a duly elected government Isn't that the best example of the very tyranny you are protesting against? Is your riot the ultimate blackmail -- elect my guy or I will break your stuff?"

Let's all show a bit more sanity out here.


Monday, November 14, 2016

This Week on the Dining Table

The "Super Moon" Edition--

I went outside about 9 pm and took this photograph of the Super Moon with our Thanksgiving flag also in the shot.  Can't say that the moon looked closer than it ususally is at this time of year but it certainly was significantly brighter.
I'll try another shot tonight.

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

Here's what was planned last week--

1. Sunday--Meatloaf, Broccoli, Au Gratin Taters
2. Monday--Chicken Parmesan, Corn Casserole
3. Tuesday--Leftovers
4. Wednesday--Spaghetti and Meatballs, Salad
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--Teriyaki Flank Steak with Stir-Fry Veggies(leftover taters for BF), Rice
7. Saturday--Leftovers

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Meatloaf, Broccoli, Au Gratin Taters
2. Monday--Chicken Parmesan, Corn Casserole
3. Tuesday--Leftovers
4. Wednesday--Hubs got Take-Out(I was sick.)
5. Thursday--Spaghetti w/Meatballs and Sausage, Garlic Bread(nobody was up for a salad too)
6. Friday--Fried Chicken(take-out), Mashed Taters, Macaroni Salad
7. Saturday--Spinach Salad and Leftovers

5 meals cooked at home, 2 of them a night of leftovers, and 2 nights of Take-Out.
I was fighting a cold/sinus thing all week so we got Take-Out twice and I used 2 premade meals from the freezer(meatloaf and meatballs)plus another dinner that was easy to prepare(chicken parm using breaded precooked patties).  I got a good deal on lovely spinach Friday at Weis so we had a big old Spinach Salad on Saturday and the Teriyaki Flank Steak meal moved to this coming week(I actually made that last night.).

As for the grocery spending.....3 trips to Weis and 1 trip to the Shursave market and free drinks at Kmart using a free gift card and $3 spent at Dollar Tree(18 ct. eggs for $1!)brought my weekly spending to $173.24 and my November food spending Total so far is $322.05.
I've got another $130+/- to spend next week and I am done spending actual $ on food in November.

So far, so good in my savings percentages in November at this point.  This week the savings rate average was 43.15% and the month-to-date stands at 50.44%.

Leftovers going into this week.......chicken thighs, salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, corn casserole, chicken parm, spaghetti, meatballs, sausage.  Leftover barbecue got put into the freezer.
Some of this will be eaten for lunches and some for dinner on Leftover Days.

Here is this week's "food plan".

1. Sunday--Teriyaki Flank Steak, Stir-fry Veggies, Fried Rice
2. Monday--Macaroni and Cheese, Broccoli
3. Tuesday--Kielbasi, Pierogies, Sauted Cabbage
4. Wednesday--Fajitas, Refried Beans
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--Tacos
7. Saturday--Leftovers

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

What I need to buy for this menu?  Not a thing.  I earned $20 in free food chits last week so I'll be buying items to fill out the Thanksgiving menu-cranberry glop, whipped cream, etc.

What is getting fixed and served at your house this week?

Was last week's plan successful, did you go off plan or did you not even plan what was going to be eaten last week?

Any great deals on food at your stores this week?


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Don't Forget

The Giveaway is still open.
Link on the right side bar.....take a look!
Don't forget to make your daily entry.

I am off into the garage today.  The weather is bright and warmish and I hope to get a lot accomplished.
Wish me luck! ha


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Epic Rite-Aid Shop...Paid $6.22 to Buy All This

After I sat down with my pencil, paper and calculator and figured out this deal fully, I just had to go to Rite-Aid and bring home some more freebies(after sale/coupons/points earned/cash rebates).
I had gotten a $10 off wyb $50 non-prescription items coupons printed on a receipt last week so it made this transaction a moneymaker. 8-)))

Here is what I got.....

1 x Caress Body Wash 20% Wellness disc.=$4.23
1 x Axe Shower Gel 20% Wellness disc.=$4.79
1 x Dove +Men's Body Wash 20% Wellness disc.=$5.03
2 x Dove Soap 6 pack on sale 2/$14=$14.00
2 x Suave Body Wash 20% Wellness disc.$2.31=$4.62
3 x Tresemme Shampoo on sale $4=$12.00
2 x Suave Profesionals Shampoo on sale 2/$6=$6.00
2 x Suave Gold Shampoo on sale 2/$6=$6.00
SubTotal........$56.67+$1.61 tax=$58.28

Coupons Used
1 x $10/$50 R-A receipt Q=$10.00
1 x $1/1 Caress ManuQ=$1.00
1 x $3/2 Dove BW or Soap ManuQ=$3.00
1 x BOGO Suave BWash IPQ=$3.00(scanned automatically for $3 off)
1 x $5/3 Tresemme ManuQ=$5.00
1 x $2/2 Suave Professionals ManuQ=$2.00
1 x $3/2 Suave gold ManuQ=$3.00
Coupon Total......$27.00

I used $31.28 in Plenti Points to pay.

Then I earned the following with this transaction........

* $9 in new Plenti Points($3 wyb $12 in Dove soap/body wash(men's didn't count for this), 2 x $3 wyb $10 Suave/Tresemme)
* $8 in my Checkout51 account($4 for buying the Caress/Axe and $4 for buying 1 Dove soap/Dove +Mens body wash).
* $9 in my Ibotta account($4 for buying the Caress/Axe and $5 for buying 1 Dove soap/Dove+ Men's body wash)
* $11.50 in my SavingStar account($1 Caress, $1 Dove soap, $1 Dove+Men's, $2/2 Suave body wash, $3/2 Tresemme, $2/2 Suave Gold, $1.50/2 Suave Professionals)

So in the end, I "spent down" my Plenti Points by $22.28($31.28-$9 in new points)and earned $28.50 in cash rebates, making this a $6.22 "moneymaker" purchase.

This Plenti card had over $102 in points on it so I can afford to lose some of my point tally on it, even with Black Friday coming, I still have $80 in Plenti Points to roll on the freebies for the BF sales.


Goings On Around Chez Sluggy Lately

Oh, where to start.

My drug regime shake up has had some positive results on me.....well, after my angioedema/hives episode happened.
First off I had ENERGY last week!  That's something I've had none of most of this year.
I am actually getting things accomplished that I've wanted to do for months.
Go me.

Last week I........
* Cleaned out my painting supplies(plus washed the tubs I keep these in).
* Cleaned out the pantry
* Cleaned out the cabinet to the left of the stove
* Did some reorganizing in the garage/stockpile
* Cleaned the bookcase next to my desk
* Got together a Food Bank Donation
* Got a Salvation Army Donation ready to go
* Went through some files and purged a bunch of paper
* Cleaned and vacuumed my car(This is something I NEVER do!)

All this was in addition to my usual routine of cooking/laundry/shopping/blogging/etc.

And all this moving around has had me losing weight too, 8 lbs. so far.  I suspect one of the meds I was on that I am now off of was hindering me dropping weight.  Has to be a combo on exercise and off the drug as my food type/intake has not changed at all.

And then Daughter got sick and shared her grunge with me.
This week has been spent in a brain fog and 1 activity.....just trying to be able to breath out of my nose. ;-)
I suspect if this thing doesn't loosen it's grasp on me by Monday I'll be sitting in the Urgent Care early next week.

Another thing I got done last week was to prepare a whole slew of Giveaway boxes......

The open box is for December's Giveaway and the stack contains goodies for 6 Giveaways for 2017.
As long as the blogging ad revenue continues to come in(in drips and drabs)and I can cover the postage to mail these boxes with that tiny income stream(and I get stuff for Free to use as prizes)the Giveaways will continue!

So barring catastrophes I am well ahead of the game for at least half of next year on this score.
I just need to figure out where to store these boxes in the house until needed. First world blogger problems, eh? lolz

Putting these boxes together came out of cleaning the dining room.  I had a large box of toiletries in there that needed to be moved out before Thanksgiving as we'll need that room then.  This box was overflow from the toiletries stash in tubs up in Hub's man cave room.  So instead of shoving them goodness knows where in the house and then trying to dig it all out to make up prize boxes for Giveaways I just "got 'er done" now and that potential job is off my plate.  I can just photograph the contents and write up each Giveaway post as needed next year.  I think I have room under the daybed that the dog spends her days napping on in the living room to tuck these away until needed.  This hiding place will be easy to access too.

Here is the Food Bank donation I gathered so far......

Assorted foodstuffs and 10 bottles of shampoo

I'll probably add to the food component before I take this all in next week, as I will be reorganizing the stockpile in the garage some more and will most probably find more "goodies".

And speaking of the garage, next week once I am feeling like myself again I need to concentrate on going through stuff in the garage to donate to charity.  Between the stockpile, Daughter and BF's stuff and all my old eBay selling days stuff out there it's just too, too much in there and I am ready to let go of more crap!

I want to do at least another 4 Salvation Army donations before the end of the year(not counting the one ready to go this weekend).  I've still got lots of new/unused toys and gift wear and this is the time of year that sort of stuff is highly sought after for gifting in the charity stores.
I'd rather donate and take the tax write-off(if we hit the threshold this year-last year we didn't)than spend lots of time and energy on eBay attempting to sell it.
There are a few items if I get the "umph" that I will try to sell....mostly items I know I can get a good price for(to make the hassle worthwhile).

Ok, I am off to breath and maybe get some more cleaning/organizing done today.
Oh, and a trip to Rite-Aid too if I can sustain some energy long enough to do that. 8-)))

What are y'all up to today?