Sunday, December 31, 2017

Food & Toiletries Spending.....December and YEAR END Update

* I am done food shopping for December so am posting this a day early.*

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

Here are my FOOD BUDGET spending totals for DECEMBER 2017.

I have posted December's totals on the Total Grocery Savings Page located HERE and have updated the Totals there.
I am listing subtotals for each store I purchased from in December.  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 3-5(3-5 at home this month). No kids under 21.


OOP  $13.00
Value  $57.38
Savings  77.34%

OOP  $10.94
Value  $18.00
Savings  39.23%

OOP  $85.93
Value  $153.13
Savings  43.89%

OOP  $0.00
Qs/Ads/PPs  $446.97
Value  $446.97
Savings  100%

OOP  $406.61
Qs/Ads  $551.51
Value  $958.12
Savings  57.56%

My best 3 Store Savings Totals were Rite-Aid at 100%, the Bread Outlet at 77.34% and Weis at 57.56%.  My WORST savings rate was at Dollar General at 39.23%.

I shopped at 4 different stores this past month.  

TOTAL Out of Pocket..........$516.48
TOTAL Cash Rebates(applied in Dec)...$343.96
TOTAL Out of Pocket for Dec.....$172.52
TOTAL Coupons/Store Sales/Rebate Savings...$942.36
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased............$1186.63
TOTAL Savings of ..................................85.46%

TOTAL Out of Pocket for Dec.....$172.52
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased w/Rite-Aid....$1633.60
TOTAL Coupons/Store Sales/Rebate Savings....$1461.08
TOTAL Savings with Rite-Aid items..........89.44%

This closes out the December food/toiletries spending.

THOUGHTS & COMMENTS for this month.....
I went into December wanting to spend $400 on food/toiletries but went over by $116.48.

But I also have the following rebates/post Qs(otherwise known as the "free money")to apply toward the food bill in December---
Other Rebates/Post Qs....$134.91
Rolled Coins....$71.50
Grand TOTAL...$343.96

So I have $343.96 in checks on their way/cash here to put into the checking account to offset that much of our income spending toward groceries, so I "spent" $172.52 of our regular income on food in December.
This brings my savings rate to 87.58% for the month.

The monthly food spending savings percentage went UP by 8.49% in December to 82.42% compared to November's 73.93% savings average.  Over a 82% savings rate is great no matter how you slice it. ;-)

With 12 months accounted for, I have spent a Grand Total of $4126.25 on food/toiletries in 2017 which is a 70.76% savings rate for the year and averages out to $343.85 spent per month in 2017.

Grand Total Grocery/Toiletries Savings 2107

2017 Yearly Total Value of Items  $14111.24
2017 Total Saved  $9984.99
2017 Yearly Total Spent  $4126.25
2017 Yearly Savings Total of   70.76%

Average Spending per Month-to-Date  $343.85

LOOKING AHEAD To 2018........
I need to sit down with Hubs and see what we want to set as a food budget for the year.  I'll do this in the next week or so.  Personally I'd love to keep the food spending at $4K for 2018.  But this means I have to be the primary food shopper for the year as no one else here wants to/or will try to get the best deal possible when food purchasing like I do.

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 December?
*  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?


Saturday, December 30, 2017

December 26th Festivities

Besides hitting up Rite-Aid and Weis on the Day after Christmas, I made an early dinner/late lunch.

I usually make a special dinner on New Year's Day but since eldest son was leaving on Dec. 27th I made it on Tuesday the 26th.

Eldest had been in a long term relationship until the end of Summer this year with a woman who is deathly allergic to shrimp.
One of Eldest son's most favorite foods is shrimp so he hasn't been able to have it in years(since he use to always eat with his ex-fiancée).
So I whipped up a huge plate of shrimp tempura and fries.

Later the day we went to a new brewpub.....

Benny Brewing Company

Cute logo glasses

It still feels weird that all my kids are now of legal drinking age and I drink with them. lol

By the time the giant pretzel got to the table I was loopy!

But I kept up with my beer guzzling family until I had that 10% ABV Bourbon barrel aged chocolate stout.
Oh my.......

The crab bisque was very good....spicy but good.

I don't want to even THINK about how high the bill would have been had we not gone during Happy Hours. lolz

Nice try at a selfie outside the pub.  Daughter purposely jumped out of the frame before I snapped the photo.  She is a big shit sometimes......

The next day around noon Eldest drove home..........

I guess 5 days with us was more than enough for him.  He had plans for New Year's(hot dates!)and also wanted some down time back at his place in VA.  He's a high school teacher and has to report back Jan 2nd.

That's the end of our 2017 holiday festivities at Chez Sluggy.
Now I am in clean up/clear out mode.

How about you?


Friday, December 29, 2017

Frugal Friday.....the December 29th Edition

Here are our frugal moves this last week of 2017......

*  When in Rite-Aid this week I found money!

Two pennies in the foyer and a dime sitting in one of the candy bar boxes by the register.
Free 12¢ is Free 12¢.

*  8 bags of coffee were procured at Weis(PMITA)Markets(in two separate transactions)this past week for a total OOP of $5.96 or .74¢+ per bag.

*  Now I can show some of the Xmas gifties I picked up cheap this year since Christmas is over.  I shop during the year and throw items into my gift box when I can get something for little cash.

These Red Hot Chili Peppers CDs for College Boy were found for $1 each at a thrift store in IL.

These items for College Boy were also bought this past Summer on our road trip--a RHCP shirt for $5, a bag of specialty coffee for $1, a pack of candy cigarettes for .50¢.  Also the large bag of M&Ms for $1 at a grocery outlet in MO.  The bottles are vape juice I picked up for $5 each in Pierre, SC at a convenience store.  The company that makes the juice changed it's name in 2017 and the "old" label bottles were on clearance for $5, regularly $15.  That was an awesome score I didn't know was so awesome until later. lolz

My brother smokes cigars.  We stopped at a tobacco shop on the Nez Pierce Reservation in Idaho and I picked him up some stogies for cheap plus no sales tax.

Daughter got an "Abraham Drinkin'" shirt, specialty coffee, candy cigarettes and a pack of cute socks from Shopko in ID.  I signed up for a Q and got these items plus CB's shirt/coffee/cigs above for less than $15 after that Q.  The Jackalope t-shirt was bought in Rapid City, SC in Walmart there since they had a souvenir section because they are so close to Mt. Rushmore.
The lip gloss balls were $1 at a thrift store in IL.  Two small bottles of vape juice gotten at the Nez Pierce Rez tobacco store too for $5(smaller bottles so not as good as the other vape juice deal).

I also got my brother's wife some Bath and Body Works eucalyptus aromatherapy body wash during a sale last Spring for cheap for her Xmas gift.  Eucalyptus is her favorite scent.

* I saved money on Christmas dinner too.  While I got a free smoked ham(10+ lbs.)at Weis with Points I earned on my card we didn't use it for Xmas dinner.
Instead we used this 7.37 lb. whole eye roast.  I bought two of these roasts November 2016 when it was a Fantastic Friday Weis deal then.  We used one of the roasts last Christmas but I super wrapped the second one and tucked it into the depths of my little chest freezer.  Took it out and it was just as good as when I bought it in 2016(the ham would have been the backup meat for dinner if this had gotten freezer burned).  Why pay $9 or more a lb. for a roast at Christmas when I had this $2.50 lb. eye round bought on a great sale?

* I refilled all my prescriptions I could before December ended.  January 1st means a new year and having to satisfy a $3K deductible(including Rxs)before we see a healthcare benefit.  Some of these Rxs I don't use every day/month so I will be ahead of the game in co-pays for 2018.

* On Dec. 18th I sold an expensive item on eBay and shipped it out the next day.  A 15 year old Star Wars lego set.  I bought it on clearance at Walmart after Xmas in 2002 and meant to resell it on eBay but soon after purchasing it I stopped selling on eBay so it has sat unused/unopened in the garage since.
I wanted to wait until the legos arrived and the buyer was happy(and wasn't going to back out of the sale and/or return it)to mention this sale.
I can safely add this to my side money total for 2017 now.  After fees, extra shipping insurance and what I paid I have $323.85 in extra income to report to the IRS.
$323.85 in my pocket instead of something sitting in the garage still.  ;-)

* I've got a 70 cents discount at Weis(PMITA)Markets gas station.  We'll take all 3 cars here up and get 20 gallons of gas between all 3 cars before the discount expires Sat. evening.

So what frugal wins have you had recently?
Here's to a frugal 2018!


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Dec. 26th Rite-Aid & Weis Spending

Ok, first the Rite-Aid shopping........

I got an Oral-B toothbrush that was on sale for $3 and was suppose to give back $2 in Plenti Points.
Well I had two different Load2Card Qs on this account(one for $1 off, one for $2 off)an Oral-B toothbrush.
Both coupons came off making it free! lolz
And I received no Plenti Points for the purchase as you may be able to see on the receipt.
Not sure whether I'll call Corporate to protest not getting my PPs or not since if the $1 L2CQ had come off AND I had received my PPs it would be free and it was free after both Qs came off anyway.   I may just call this one all good.   8-)))

Then I went to Weis to get more inexpensive coffee and found some meat instant sticker discount deals too............

4 x 8 O'Clock coffee BOGO=$10.98
Used $6 in stacked Qs + one of my MM OJ $2 Catalinas on those and paid $2.98 OOP for all 4 bags.
2 x packages of brats(1 buffalo chicken flavor, 1 spinach and feta flavor)on sale for $4 each had $2 off stickers on them, so $2 per package.
2 x sliced boneless chicken breast(will use for enchilada filling)had $3 off stickers on it so $1.94 and $2.39 per package for almost 2.07 lbs. total or $2.09 per lb.
3 x packages of boneless pork chops, regular price totaled $24.51, on sale for $13.60-3 x $2 instant stickers($6 off)=$7.60 for 4.34 lbs. of pork or $1.75 per lb.

4 more bags of 8 O'Clock coffee that Hubs picked out, using the last of my stacked coupons meant I paid $4.98 for this lot of coffee.  I also got a $2 Ibotta rebate on the Infusions type bag so $2.98 OOP for these 4 bags.  Nice.

This will most probably be the last $ I spend in 2017 on food things so I'll get my December food spending totals done this weekend and posted a bit early.


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas Time at Chez Sluggy

Eldest rolled into town last Thursday evening.  It was so nice to have him home again for Christmas!
College Boy had to work Friday afternoon/evening so he didn't come with us on Friday for Daughter's Birthday lunch out at her favorite Mexican restaurant.

 I got enchiladas in a mole sauce.

 Both Hubs and Daughter got what they called a Mayan Burrito.

Eldest son got some kind of ultimate Nachos and of course had to Snapchat a photo of it before eating. lolz

The tree was up and filled out nicely with presents.........

Here's a look around at some of the ornaments on our tree this year..........

 From the Alligator park in LA on our last trip down there in 2016.

My Easy-Bake Oven's even the same color of mine from 1966.

This photo is from December day 1966.  I am in our kitchen, watching something cook in my Easy-Bake Oven while my oldest brother waits patiently with a plate for his treat. Notice I am wearing a cowgirl outfit.  lolz

Back to the tree..........

A souvenir ornament from our Summer Road Trip from Virginia City, MT.

 One of my Daughter's ornies from her maternal grandfather.

A souvenir ornie from our Spring trip in 2016 to Cherokee, NC.

Eldest son's Percy the train ornie.

Another Souvenir ornie from our Road Trip last Summer from Wall Drug in Wall, SD.

 One of the handmade ornies I have that my mother made when I was a child.

And one of the ornies I made for my oldest brother when I was a teen.  Now that he's passed away I took those ornaments and put one on our tree every year to remember him by.

Saturday saw some cookie making, along with a lot of drinking........

There was also the traditional Bourbon Nut Fudge making too.......

This is always a popular item at Christmas around these parts.  ;-)

Christmas eve saw us having our traditional dinner out at the local Chinese restaurant.

Love their crab rangoons but only ever have them on Xmas eve anymore....

4 of the 7 in our party decided that hot sake was in order due to the holidays....ouch!

Then it was back to the house for coffee/tea and cookies........

We made 3 kinds of cookies this year--Cranberry and white chocolate, frosted eggnog, and salted butterscotch and cashews.

A photo of the extended family-Hubs, all 3 of my kids, brother in-law and nephew.

On Christmas day it was just us 5 home together.

The doggies were laying under my desk waiting for my kids to get up.  Gone are the days of 5 am rising on Xmas morning, now it's we're lucky if they get up by noon.

Finally they all roused and we went into the living room to find Santa had filled the stockings.

We took turns opening presents.........

College Boy got some new flannel shirts.

"Santa" got me a bag of caramel popcorn and Cinnamon wanted to help me open it. lolz

New smelly stuff for eldest son. (Notice the bow on his head.)

 Hubs played Santa and handed out the presents.

New New Balance sneakers I got Daughter with some Kohl's cash and hid from her since March cuz I'm sneaky that way.  They shipped the shoes with a store security thing through the lace holes....ugh....that was a PITA to cut through!

College Boy has gotten one present wrapped in Power Rangers paper since he was small, due to he had a big crush on the pink Power Ranger when he was little.  This year saw the last of that roll of wrapping paper.  *sniff*

Daughter's BF's parents sent her a bottle of aromatherapy body wash from LA.

Hubs' much pined for coffee grinder I paid $14.76 OOP for.  Score one for me!lolz

Some pine scented body lotion from Eldest son. Chester wanted a peek in that bag. ;-)

Chester got a new bed from Santa........

And went right to work rolling in it smelling it up.

Cinnamon got a squirrel for Xmas from me and Hubs.  Cinnamon hates squirrels.  If you yell "Squirrel!" in the house, she'll jump up and run to the back door and bark her head off trying to get at it.  I don't think she could figure out what it was as she's never seen one up close before and it wasn't running away. lolz

Chester of course had to check the squirrel out too.

A quick late breakfast/brunch of meats and homemade cinnamon rolls(with extra cinnamon!)and then it was stocking time...........

 Cinnamon got a stocking full of rawhide chews(her favorite!).

 But mommy kept taking photos/videos of Cinnamon and her stocking to show her "daddy" in LA instead of letting her have a chewy.

She finally got one and Chester tried to steal it.  Poor baby.....

College Boy got his fill of junk food, a Chipotle gift card and socks.

I always try to find Daughter a strange t-shirt.  Last year was this one..............

She said I topped myself with this year's shirt............

Yep, a cat in a taco.

A couple of hours later it was dinner time.........

I kept it simple this year-roast beef, mac and cheese, Harvard beets and rolls.  I roasted the beets and cooked the pasta the day before, made up the cheese roux sauce and put the mac in the oven about halfway through when the roast was suppose to be done.  After the roast came out and while it rested, the rolls went into the oven and I made up the sauce and heated the beets through.  It had to have been the easiest, no pressure Holiday meal I've ever made.

I snapped a photo at the table before we all dug into the chow.
After dinner a few naps may have happened........

Eldest caught me the first time but after he got comfy on the sofa I got this shot off......

Chester followed Eldest's example......

And Cinnamon tried to nap but her mommy kept messing with her trying to get cuddles......

Hubs got all the Christmas cards we received hung up in the kitchen window so I'll have that to look at and enjoy for a couple more weeks.

Otherwise we just hung out around the house and took naps and the kids had fun hanging out with each other for the evening.

What was your Christmas like?