* Posting my grocery totals a day early as I am done food spending for February. If for some reason I shop again today, this amount will go onto March's spending.*
Onward to February's food spending report.......
Here are my FOOD BUDGET spending totals for FEBRUARY 2017.
I have posted February'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 February. 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 3-4(3 at home this month). No kids under 20.
My best 3 Store Savings Totals were Rite-Aid at 100%, the Bread Outlet at 72.48% and the Shursave Market at 61.38%. My WORST savings rate was Maine Source at 36.55%.
The bulk of my money was spent at Weis Markets in February and I had a 51.50% savings rate there.
I shopped at 5 different stores this past month.
TOTAL Out of Pocket..........$293.95
TOTAL Coupons & Store Sales Savings...$647.42
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased............$941.37
TOTAL Savings of ..................................68.77%
TOTAL Savings w/o Rite-Aid of ..............51.79%
This closes out the February food/toiletries spending.
THOUGHTS & COMMENTS for this month.....
I went into February wanting to spend $300 on food and toiletries.
I came in $6.05 under even with stocking up on a few things this month.
The monthly food spending savings percentage went DOWN by 4.48% in February to 68.77% compared to January's 73.25% savings average.
With 2 months accounted for, I have spent a Grand Total of $845.22 on food/toiletries in 2017 which averages out to $422.61 per month spent in 2017. 8-)
LOOKING AHEAD To March........ College Boy will be home for 1 of the 4 weeks in March. I want to try for another $300 grocery spending month anyway. We've got lots in the pantry/freezer/stockpile heading into March.
If I can't keep under $300 I should be able to stay close.
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 February?
* 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?
We had some strange weather for February last week. Three days in the 60's and we hit 74F on Friday. Then this rain and hail storm and a tornado touched down in a town north of here Saturday. On Sunday the temperature dropped to 27F.
The UP side of this is I loved having the heat off for 5 days basically last week and my electric bill will be much lower for February that it usually is(Feb. bill is sent to us and paid in March). This bill with the coldest temps of the year here is our highest bill annually but it won't be so bad this year thanks to Mother Nature. Moving on......
7 meals cooked at home(though technically I didn't make the tv dinners), 1 of them a night of leftovers or Fend For Yourself, and 0 night of eating-out. The Daughter made Patty Melts instead of Burgers and I didn't do the Salmon or Ravioli last week. Instead, I got a killer deal on tv dinners($1.87 each for the good kind and I got a cooking break)and I cut up and pounded that pork tenderloin I got for $3 last week into pieces for sandwiches another night.
As for the grocery spending.....1 trip to Weis and 1 trip to the Bread Outlet brought the food spending last week to $72.64 and brought my February food spending total to $293.95 for the month. There is 1 day left in the month but I am finished food shopping until March.
I actually stayed under $300 for February. 8-)
My savings percentages last week was 48%.
Leftovers going into this week.......Lasagna, 2 small Baked Potatoes, Corn Casserole and Macaroni Salad. I'll cut up/mash up the leftover taters with onions and make Hubs hash browns for breakfast one morning.
Here is this week's "food plan"....
* Denotes "complicated" meals
So it hit a record busting 74 degrees F yesterday in NE PA. We've shattered record highs for February most of the last two weeks here.
Last night was a "LOW" of 61 degrees.
In late February people!
A high in the mid 30's in February is talked about as a HEAT WAVE most years here. lolz
Here is the granddog when I put her out early this afternoon.
Then we heard thunder in the distance....
Clouds were rolling in and then we got some sprinkles of rain. It's still in the 60's at this point.
About 15 minutes after I brought the dog inside a racket broke out outside.
I ran to the front porch in time to see moderately sized hail stones coming down.....
The rain starting pouring down in sheets after another few seconds.
Can you make out the gutter pipe to the right on the edge of the porch is so inundated with water that it's gushing out through a seam and soaking the porch.
That little water spout is where the buried gutter spout pipe, that leads rain away from the foundation of the house comes up to the surface. The water is rushing so fast that it's bubbling up from the pipe.
The rain picked up and the hail picked up and their was a stream rushing down our street....
Look at all that hail!
Here are two short videos I took of the storm.....
And later on......
It's 55F now and suppose to go down to 27F tonight.
Not much to report this week really in the frugal arena.
* I was out running errands on Wednesday and I used a Subway gift card to get myself a sub for lunch, so no $ spent.
* Getting back in my car I spied this on the ground.....
A quarter somebody dropped in the parking lot.
Yay for found money, no matter the amount! 8-)
* I shared my free and cheap foods I got in yesterday's post.
* I sent College Boy a box of stuff since it was his birthday. I didn't go out and buy anything for it, but used items I had already-a card, 2 boxes of facial tissue(he's been sick and had used all I'd given him to bring back after break), some mail for him that came here and lots of snacks(things I've gotten for free or cheap recently at the stores). He loved it all. The only cost was for shipping. 8-)
* I stopped myself while at Weis yesterday from buying pre-made macaroni salad. I LOVE their mac salad but it was $6 a container! When did potato and mac salads from the grocery stores get soooo expensive?!!
Anyway, I couldn't bring myself to spend the money for it so I bought an orange bell pepper on sale for $1 instead and using ingredients I already have at home I'll make my own and try to get the sauce to taste like the store's dish.
* I received a stack of catalogs in the mail this week(touting all the Spring styles). I didn't even open them and dumped them into the trash can. I don't need new/more clothes. If I feel I do, I have stacks of fabric already here and I can make my own outfits.
* I added more dumplings to my homemade chicken and dumplings leftovers and Hubs and I had that for lunch instead of going out for a sandwich. I've still got two bowls of it left so 1 lunch this weekend is covered.
* Even though today is Fantastic Friday at the grocery store there is nothing I need that is on awseom discount so I am staying home and not grocery shopping today.
Otherwise there is not much frugal to talk about this week.
What did you do this week to keep money in your own pocket?
I hit Rite-Aid this Week.
I still had a $5 off $20 of Rite-Aid branded products eCoupon on my son's Wellness card so I bought....
8 x Big Win case of water(on sale-Rite Aid product)=$20 *not pictured*
Since this item was also a Blizzard Points qualifying item I now had $20 toward $30 spent to qualify for $10 in Plenti points back so I also bought.....
2 x Garnier Fructis shampoo on sale=$7.00
1 x Garnier Styling product on sale=$3.50
1 x $5 wyb $20 R-A items Load2CardQ=$5.00
2 x $2/1 Garnier IPQ=$4.00
1 x $2/1 Garnier styler Load2CardQ=$2.00
$30.50-$11.00=$19.50 = .27¢tax=$19.77
I used one of my $15 R-A free Visa Debit Cards + $4.77 worth of Plenti points on that card to pay.
I received $10 in new Plenti points back.
Nothing spent OOP.
I also received a $2 cash rebate in SavingStar for buying the Garnier styler so this comes out to $2.77 spent "down" in Plenti points in the end.
Onward to my Weis(PMITA)Markets trip from Wednesday.
Here are the best deals I found........
4 x Progresso soups on sale $1=$4.00 used $2/4 Q=$2.00 or .50¢ a can
1 x A&H laundry detergent on sale=$1.97 used $1/1 Q=.97¢
1 x pork tenderloin w/$3 off instant sticker discount=$3.09($1.96 lb)
1 x steelhead trout w/$3 off instant sticker discount=$4.67($4.86 lb)
I also had a $2/4 Progresso rebate in savingstar so the soup will be free once that goes through.
Now I am off to do something outside since it's 60F here right now.
Here it is.....another Giveaway!
Since I didn't get a Giveaway up in January, let's do TWO in February....unless some one out there has a problem with that. ;-)
This is the second Sluggy's Boring Blog Box Giveaway for the year.
This time it's all about Girly Girls.....Make-Up and Chocolate!
Here is what you can win if your entry is picked.......
1 x Crest toothpaste
1 x Oral-B toothbrush(medium softness)
1 x Aveeno lotion sample bottle
1 x Tag men's deodorant
1 x Pantene shampoo(w/bonus sample)
1 x Centrum Vitamints vitamins
1 x Max Freezer topical pain relief
2 x Nivea hand cream tins
1 x Nivea tinted lip balm(strawberry)
1 x Revlon lipstick(rosy nude)
1 x Wet n' Wild lipstick(dark pink frost)
1 x L'Oreal Infallible lip liner pencil(mauve)
2 x Cover Girl eye shadow(1 turquoise tempest, 1 purple pop)
5 x Sinful Colors nail polish(stormy, forget now, dream on, sugar sugar, let's talk)
1 x Rite-Aid brand tweezers
1 x Fiber Choice sample
1 x Revlon nail clippers
2 x Make-up remover packs
10 x Assorted Chocolate squares(Ghirardeli & Hershey's)
Closeup shots of the goodies up for grabs......
I'll leave this giveaway open until Tuesday, February 28th, at 11:59pm Eastern Time, so that gives everyone a full week to enter this one. On March 1st I'll mark all the valid entries and use Random dotorg to pick a number and that corresponding person's entry wins.
You may get ONE ENTRY EVERY DAY by leaving a comment on this blog post every day until the Giveaway ends. Tell me in your comment, what here is the thing you most like to win, what the weather has been like by you, your favorite brand and type of chocolate, your best frugal tip to share with our readers, your favorite brand and type of shampoo, if you consider yourself a "girly girl", your best tip for getting and staying out of debt, the name/link to a favorite blog you'd like to share, if you are better off now or 5 years ago and why, or anything else you'd like to share with everyone. You can also get 3 BONUS ENTRIES by posting this Giveaway on your own Blog OR if you are a Follower of this blog. Please leave 3 separate entries for these bonus entries with either a link to your blog post where you talk about the giveaway OR the name/ID you follow under so I can verify you follow the blog for these entries.
Disclaimer--This giveaway is open to those with mailing addresses within the US only.
As the cost of postage to foreign countries has gotten to high I can no longer afford to mail boxes outside the US, sorry. These giveaways are not sponsored by any companies, I pay for it all out of my own pocket.
Please make sure there is a way for me to contact you in your comment.
If you're not a registered Blogger User with your contact information on your User page, please put your email addy in your comment or email me your email addy privately when you leave a comment so I can get ahold of you if you win. If your Blogger associated user profile is a GOOGLE one with those Google Circles nonsense I CAN NOT CONTACT YOU as Google Circles doesn't show your contact info.
I again had to disqualify some entrants in the last giveaway because their profile is linked through Google and not Blogger. Please check your profile! And if you ARE entering through a Blogger profile PLEASE have contact info(email addy)in that profile. If I can't access your email addy I can't contact you so email me your email addy privately or add your email address to your User Profile. If you have sent me your email addy privately for a previous giveaway I still have it on file so no need to resend it for this giveaway.
If I can't contact you then you can't win. I have had to disqualify more readers than I care to due to this issue and I sure don't want it to happen again. Thanks!
What a difference a week+ makes. Yesterday Hubs and I went out to run errands and it was 56 degrees when we got home. The day before on Saturday it hit 63F, 1 degree short of the record for that date. It's suppose to "dip" into the 40s this week and hit into the 50's again next weekend. This a big time CRAZY hot for February here!! We'll all be sick by March I suspect. Moving on......
Onward to the meal planning!
Here's what was planned last week--
1. Sunday--Breakfast for Dinner
2. Monday--Kielbasa on Rolls, leftover Halushki
3. Tuesday--Salmon, Asparagus, Rice of some kind
4. Wednesday--Leftover Mushroom/Rice Soup or Chicken & Dumplings
5. Thursday--Shrimp Scampi w/Linguine, Caesar Salad *
Some things got served as planned, some things didn't happen or didn't get bought(like fresh spinach for Spinach Salad).
6 meals cooked at home, 2 of them a night of leftovers or Fend For Yourself, and 1 night of eating-out.
As for the grocery spending.....1 trip to Weis brought the food spending last week to $28.68 and brought my February food spending total to $221.31 for the month. There are 8 days left in the month.
I will most likely stay under $300 for groceries in February.
My savings percentages last week was 62%.
Leftovers going into this week.......Mushroom soup, Chicken and Dumplings. Not much in the way of leftovers and these will probably get used up for lunches.
The Shrimp Scampi w/Linguine & Pork Tenderloin moves to this week.
Here is this week's "food plan"....
* Denotes "complicated" meals
I have known since I was a small child that my maternal side, my mother's families, have deep roots in Virginian soil.
At least the last 5 generations had been born and raised in Virginia. That was a fact passed down orally in the family.
Seems nobody in my mother's families nor her cousins had the genealogy bug. Sure, there were "stories" that got passed down but nobody had any proof of anything, nor seemed interested in proving the stories were fact.
But little did I know beyond those generations how deep my maternal family trees had been planted in American soil until I began this genealogy quest in earnest.
I quickly was able to dive back into history 200 hundred+ years.
Progress slowed once I got back into the 18th century however.
By year three of digging I had compiled a list of my immigrant ancestral lines that all arrived in the 17th century(pre-1700). Jamestown was founded in 1607 so all these ancestors arrived within the first 100 years of the English occupation of the New World.
These are my earliest ancestor lines in my direct descent for each surname with the date of, or at least an approximation if records haven't pinpointed, their entry year to America.
Now these are only those ancestral surnames that arrived in Virginia. I do have some other early arrivals(pre-1700) in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts too. I also have a handful of 18th century arrivals too.
ALLEN-1635 to Virginia Colony
ASTON-1628 to Jamestown/Virginia Colony *
BANNISTER-1635 to Jamestown
BATHURST-1680 to Virginia Colony
BOWMAN-1666 to Virginia Colony
BURTON-1624 to Jamestown
CHAPPELL-1635 to Jamestown
CLEIBORNE-1635 to Virginia Colony
CRIPPS-1664 to Virginia colony
DICKSON/DIXON-bef. 1688 to Virginia Colony
DUDLEY-1637 to Virginia Colony
DUKE-1638 to Virginia Colony
FLIPPEN-bef. 1699 to Virginia
FOSTER-bef. 1675 to Virginia Colony
FOSTER or FORESTER-1648 to Virginia Colony
GARNETT-1610 to Jamestown *
GAYNEY-1622 to Jamestown/Virginia Colony
GREVILLE-1620 to Jamestown *
HARRISON-1632 to Jamestown/Virginia Colony *
HAYES-1637 to Jamestown
HOLLOWAY-bef. 1635 to Jamestown
HOSKINS-1624 to Jamestown *
HUDSON-1635 to Jamestown
HUNT-1635 to Jamestown/Virginia Colony
MASON-1613 to Jamestown/Virginia Colony *
MATHEWS-1622 to Jamestown *
MEADOR-bef. 1635 to Virginia Colony
MERIWETHER-1652 to Virginia Colony *
MILLS or MYHILL-bef. 1647 to Virginia Colony
MOULSON-1663 to Virginia Colony
PUCKETT-1665 to Virginia Colony
RAGSDALE-bef. 1644 to Virginia Colony
RUDD-1698 to Virginia Colony
SEWELL or SEAWELL-1637 to Virginia Colony *
SHEPPY/SHIPPY-bef. 1633 to Virginia Colony *
SNEAD-1635 to Jamestown
STITH-1656 to Virginia Colony *
STRINGER-Before 1644 to Virginia Colony
TAVERNER-1618 to Jamestown
VASSER-1635 to Jamestown/Virginia Colony
WADE/WAAD-1655 to Virginia Colony *
WHITE-1651 to Virginia Colony
WOMACK-before 1655, no port listed but settled in Henrico County(Richmond area)
The Jamestowne Society(a private genealogical society for people with ancestors who were early settlers to Virginia)has a list of criteria it uses to see whether your direct ancestor qualifies you for membership in this "club".
As far as my list above goes all the surnames with astericks are currently qualifying ancestors. Ten ancestors, whom, if I wanted to spent the time and money on gathering records for, would gain me membership in that club.
Though I've got lots of direct ancestors who came to Virginia very early on in it's settlement by the English I had yet to find one of the original 105 settlers who made the voyage on the first fleet of three ships in 1607 to the shores of the new world.
Meet my 3rd Cousin, 13 x removed, George Percy.
George's 2 x Great Grandfather was Richard Neville, 2nd Baron of Latimer.
Richard was also my 15 x Great Grandfather, so our common ancestor.
Born the youngest son to Henry Percy, 8th Earl of Northumberland and Lady Catherine Neville he had to make his own way in life due to primogeniture inheritance laws in England.
A graduate of Oxford he made the military his vocation. He served in Ireland and fought in the Dutch struggle for independence from Spain in the early 1600's.
He was also interested in the world of exploration as it was an exciting time as England tried to play catch up in this arena in the first decade of the 17th century.
He bought shares in the Virginia Company and signed on to venture to the New World in 1607, embarking onto the flagship, Susan Constant, piloted by Christopher Newport.
George Percy was there during the infamous "Starving Time" in the Winter of 1609-1610 and survived. He kept journals of his experiences during his time in Jamestown which were published.
You can read excerpts from his journals HERE .
George Percy left Jamestown 22 April 1612 to return the England due to ill health and I suspect the tenuousness of life in the colony then.
He sold his Virginia Company shares in 1620 and went back into military service serving for the Dutch forces in their war against Spain. There is debate on where he died and when, those most seen to think he died around 1627 somewhere in the Netherlands area.
He did marry while in Jamestown to Anne Floyd, and they had a daughter, Anne Percy, who married John West, a subsequent Governor of Jamestown.
Incidentally, John West is also my 6th cousin 13 x removed, through our common ancestor of Richard de Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick.
You will notice that in the portrait of George Percy he is missing part of his middle finger on his left hand. The story goes that he lost it during one of the battles in the Low Countries against the Spanish.
So the digging continues and I hope to unearth more ancestral connections to explore.
Here are some things I did this week that were frugal......
* I didn't buy into the marketing of Valentine's Day and spend money on "stuff". Heck I didn't even go out the day after and get 50% VD stuff to use next year. We have never been a big fan around here of made up holidays(not that ALL holiday aren't made up really). Ok, call them "Hallmark Holidays" then. ;-) Hubs used to buy flowers for me but I told him to save the money years ago. At that time we were struggling financially with three small children and it was an unnecessary added expense we didn't need. We got out of the habit of spending cash on that one and a few others. We do show our love to each other in other ways that don't cost of cash.
* I had bought this at the end of December at Rite-Aid(using Plenti points, not cash).....
It was $11.23 in PPs and I had a Try Me Free Rebate for it that was sent away for.
Last week, I received a check for $11.23......
And the pay to the order of name is wrong! Well the last name is correct but my bank knows me so it's all good. ;-)
* I did all our laundry during the off peaks hours of 5 pm to 7 am this week, or on the weekends which is also off peak hours 24/7.
* I went to Rite-Aid and brought all this home for no money.......
Not only was this all free but I'll get paid cash to buy it when the rebates come in. 8-)
* Speaking of rebates--I sent for two mail away rebates totaling $14.62 and claimed 4 SavingStar and Checkout51 rebates on products I bought this past week, netting me another $7.50. (The $7.50 in rebates have already been received into those accounts too. The mail aways will take longer.)
* My Kohl's Visa Debit Reward came in the mail finally....
This was for 5 rebates on items bought at Kohl's around Black Friday last November. I made sure to keep the boxes and cut off the UPCs, save the packing slips(bought online, not in the store so no receipts), and print off the rebate form, and then document everything before mailing the paperwork off at the end of December.
The card is for $60. While this isn't free money I won't be spending it on wants or physicall things I'd like to have. It will go toward my grocery budget in the coming months instead of using paycheck income.
* I only made 1 trip to the grocery store(so far)this week and spent $28.68. I usually hover around $100 in spending for groceries per week. I've been trying to eat down some of our stockpile and frozen assets instead.
* This item isn't something I gained this past week exactly, but I am putting them into play now.....
Back in December Weis(PMITA)Markets put gift cards on Raise dotcom. Usually the only Weis cards that show up on that gift card exchange site are from customers unloading gift cards they don't want for cash and they are usually for very small amounts, under $100(usually the balance of a card someone has used already but doesn't want to finish). As such very few Weis gift cards are even offered up there.
But I found pages of listings for high value gift card being offered back in December. Although it raised my credit card spending in December(and how WANTS to spend more at the Holidays on their credit card? lol)I went ahead and bought two cards worth $160 for $144 each. Just doing that means I will save 10% off the top on the groceries I purchase with these cards. Add in that I almost always buy items only when they are on sale and if I can pair that item with a coupon I will. The savings exponentially grow doing this(discounted gift card compounded with sale prices and coupon savings).
So I dug out these Weis gift cards and now have them in my coupon pouch and am ready to use them. As I have already paid for these anything bought with them will not 'cost' me anything going forward.
* I basically stayed at home other than the Rite-Aid trip and the Weis Markets trip this week. Hubs and I ate leftovers for lunches.
And here are the Frugal Fails of the Week....
* We found someone to plow our driveway last weekend after our 8+ inch snowstorm. He did a decent job and it cost us $40. I hate to spend money on this chore but it's a necessity for us at our age and with Hubs out of commission for shoveling.
* Hubs talked me into going out to eat on Wednesday(the day after VD). He wanted to get out of the house plus I wanted to break from cooking. We went to our local Bob Evans. The food is decent there and not highly priced(plus do I have to mention that I had a coupon? lolz)and the service is good.
Ok, so I did make this meal out sorta frugal by using a coupon and bringing half my dinner home to eat for lunch the next day.
I guess I just can't help myself! 8-)))
What did you accomplish this week that was frugal?