Thursday, November 30, 2017

It's Worse Than He Thought

So I've gotten a report back from Hubs on the road about his rescue mission.

I tried to tell Hubs it was going to be bad(Hey!, I've seen many episodes of the TV show "Hoarders")but he didn't believe me....or maybe didn't want to believe me.
Anyway, it was as bad as I thought.  Dust, dirt and filth everywhere.  Trash all over the floor and you couldn't help but walk on piles and/or open doors fully for all the junk.  I am kicking myself that I didn't insist he take face masks.
He said it was hard to breath in the house and he had to keep going outside to catch his breath.

She had 15 large Rubbermaid type plastic tubs packed and sitting on the front porch when he arrived that morning from the motel, all marked with a piece of paper that said, "S.A. #1", "S.A. #2", etc to #15.
He couldn't figure out what S.A. stood for.   Not "K" for kitchen stuff or "B.R" for bed room stuff, etc.

The priority of things to bring with her across the country was 15 tubs of stuffed animals.
Not dishes.
Not flatware.
Not bed linens.
Not clothes.
Stuffed Animals.

15 tubs of those S.A. weren't going to fit in the cargo van along with 2 dressers, 2 bookcases, a cedar chest and 2 large wooden chairs plus a box of papers, clothes and whatever else was going.  So choices had to be made and only 7 tubs worth of S.A.s made the cut.  I doubt if her brother who is taking her in will let that many actually come into his trailer home.

When asked where she was going to put all those plush toys once she got to where they were going she said in her bedroom so they could "keep her company".  Her bedroom is a secondary bedroom in a single wide trailer to give you an idea of how small it is.  I don't think besides a bed, those 2 dressers, 2 bookcases and 2 chairs, much of anything else will fit in that bedroom.

Hubs had to keep redirecting her to stay on task and focus and she would wander off in the house and he'd have to go find her.  She was suppose to have everything she was taking packed but throughout the day she'd suddenly mention that "this or that" had to be gone through of packed up to go with her.

A neighbor came over for a brief chat and suggested to Hubs when the sister wasn't within earshot that the sister needs help(as in mental help).  When the neighbor left Hubs remarked that that it was nice of the neighbor to stop by and visit and the sister insisted that this neighbor is evil, a liar and tried to poison her dogs with weedkiller last Summer, etc.
Hubs mother, before we got her to a dr. and diagnosed officially had similar delusions and cognitive issues when she came down with Alzheimer's.  I hope to gosh it's not that but.......
The cognitive issues may help explain why she has been unable to get a job for the last 1.5 years(plus the age issue as she is one month away from being 61 but nobody will tell you you didn't get the job because you are old as that's against the law-even though it happens all the time).

Once Hubs drops her off she becomes his oldest brother's problem to deal with since none of his siblings(these two plus the other brother)could be bothered to help out for the last 7 years of her life that we dealt with their mother and her slow decline into dementia.  None of them couldn't even be bothered to visit her let alone handle any of the financial or day to day stuff.

So I sit here and pray Hubs gets through this and gets home I watch our credit card bill climb(currently at $1200+/-)with all the charges we are footing the bill for to deliver her across the country to somewhere she'll not be homeless.

This is what can happen when you make a lot of bad life choices.  She didn't get here overnight.  It started with no financial discipline over 40+ years.  Then making bad choices about who to associate with.  She continues to expect things "her way"(like insisting that the brother taking her in buy her a full sized bed which HE is paying for when she didn't need one that big nor will it fit in the bedroom)and refusing to apply for X job because that company doesn't meet her high moral standards.  People who are destitute and about to be homeless can't afford to have high moral standards really.

Not everyone can be a shining light for others to follow their example.  Some folks have to be the warning of what can happen if you aren't careful and prudent in life.
If you are a praying person, please say some for her.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Food & Toiletries Spending 2017.....November Update

* I am done food shopping for November so am posting this a couple of days early.*

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

Here are my FOOD BUDGET spending totals for NOVEMBER 2017.

I have posted November'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 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 3-4(3-4 at home this month). No kids under 21.

OOP  $11.56
Value  $20.50
Savings  43.61%

OOP  $8.00
Value  $31.33
Savings 74.47%

OOP  $22.18
Value  $39.39
Savings  43.69%

OOP  $79.19
Value  $150.03
Savings  47.22%

OOP  $28.35
Value  $55.27
Savings  48.71%

OOP  $0.00
Qs/Ads/PPs  $722.79
Value  $722.79
Savings  100%

OOP  $72.17
Qs/Ads  $53.02
Value  $125.19
Savings  42.35%

OOP  $160.27
Qs/Ads  $159.36
Value  $319.63
Savings  49.86%

My best 3 Store Savings Totals were Rite-Aid at 100%, the Bread Outlet at 74.47% and Weis at 49.86%.  My WORST savings rate was at Shursave Market at 42.35%.

I shopped at 8 different stores this past month.  

TOTAL Out of Pocket..........$381.72
TOTAL Coupons & Store Sales Savings...$359.62
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased............$741.34
TOTAL Savings of ..................................48.51%
Total Value of Items Purchased w/Rite-Aid....$1464.13
TOTAL Savings with Rite-Aid items..........73.93%

This closes out the November food/toiletries spending.

THOUGHTS & COMMENTS for this month.....
I went into November wanting to spend $300 on food/toiletries but went over by $81.72.

The monthly food spending savings percentage went UP by 10.58% in November to 73.93% compared to October's 63.35% savings average.  Over a 70% savings rate is only because of all the freebies from Rite-Aid in November.  It's a anomaly which will disappear next month.  8-)

With 11 months accounted for, I have spent a Grand Total of $3953.73 on food/toiletries in 2017 which is a 68.31% savings rate for the year to-date and averages out to $359.43 spent per month so far in 2017.

LOOKING AHEAD To December........
I need to use up any store script/gift cards I have accumulated to keep cash spending down in December.  I will put some of my side cash(rebate/refund/post coupon/etc.)into play in December as well.  As all my kids will be home(Daughter the whole month, CB for 2+ weeks and Eldest son for 2 weeks as well)they may blow up my budget but I don't mind as I haven't had them all home together for at least 3 years.   I am going to try to keep the food budget at $400 but if it goes over, I won't mind.  ;-)

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 28, 2017

This Week's 4 Day Sale at Rite-Aid

There is a 4 Day Sale Ad(that starts Wednesday)besides the regular weekly Ad this week at Rite-Aid.
Though nothing is free after Plenti Points earned, pair some coupons with sale prices and Plenti points earned back and some of the stuff will be free or very cheap.
Wait until Saturday when the 30% regular price "Friends & Family" event kicks in and some of these items might be cheaper than the sale price.  I don't know for sure as I haven't checked yet.

Here are the good deals I saw............

* Huggies baby wipes are $1.99 and give back $1 in PPs.  Pair this with various .50¢/1 or 2/$1 wipes Qs and they are .49¢ after sale/Qs/PPs.

* Edge and Skintimate shave gel is $2.99 on sale and give back $2 in PPs so .99¢ after sale price/PPs.

* Carmex lip products are 2/$3 on sale and give back $2 in PPs for every 2 you buy, so $1 for 2 items.

* CeraVe cleanser and lotion are on sale $7.99 and give back $2 in PPs.  Pair this with a $5/1 ManuQ in the inserts a couple of weeks ago and you pay .99¢ per bottle after sale price/Q/PPs.

* Tummy Zen and Hydralyte products are on sale $5.99 and give back $5 in Plenti Points so .99¢ each.  These are part of the same Deal so a combination of 2 total for that price.  There is a Hydralyte Q for $2/1 online  HERE so if you get 2 of those products and pair the Q with the sale price and PPs earned back it's a $2.02 moneymaker(before sales tax).

* Almay may be cheap if the "Complete Look" and "Age Essentials" items are included in the $5.99 sale price.  There are $10 off 2 Load2Card Qs for these particular Almay items and buying 2 at a time gets you $2 back in Plenti Points, so if they are included, that's .02¢ moneymaker or almost free after sales tax cosmetics.

* Reese's and KitKat candy singles are 3 for $2 and generate $1 back in PPs for every 3 you buy, making 3 bars $1 total OOP after PPs.  That's some cheap stocking candy stuffers. ;-)

* Single cans of Red Bull are 2 for $4 and generate $2 in PPs for every 2 cans you buy so $1 per can after sale/PPs if this is something you can use.

If anybody sees any other good deals in this 4 Day Sale ad give us a holler!


Monday, November 27, 2017

Anybody Out There Do Retail Arbitrage? I Gots A Question....

Ok, I'm in the midst of listing some items on eBay and I have a large item that needs to ship Fedex.
eBay wants me to choose a shipping category called "Fedex Smart Post" instead.

I don't quite understand something so if anyone out there sells on eBay, Amazon or some other platform and you have used this hybrid shipping option, please email me so I can ask you something.

I know it's basically a Fedex service but Fedex hands it off to the US post office for final delivery.
Do I need to find a Fedex retailer to drop it off at or what?  And will the Fedex retail location accept this eBay generated paid for shipping label?



This Week on the Dining Table

The "WTF?" Edition--

Last Spring, before College Boy came home from college I found these in his room when I was digging out the garbage........

A couple of miniature lunch boxes I put a couple of his Xmas presents in a couple of Christmas' ago.
What I found inside was another story..........

They were filled with homemade cookies a friend of his made for him Christmas of 2015!, no! lolz
They looked good except for being 1.5 years old8-P

Moving On....

Onward to the meal planning!

Here's what was planned last week--

1. Sunday--Leftover Chicken Enchiladas
2. Monday--Tuna Subs
3. Tuesday--Pizza
4. Wednesday--Chinese Take-Out
5. Thursday--Turkey Dinner w/all the bells and whistles
6. Friday--Turkey Dinner leftovers
7. Saturday--?

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Leftover Chicken Enchiladas
2. Monday--Tuna Subs
3. Tuesday--Teriyaki Chicken Thighs, Cornbread, Cabbage
4. Wednesday--Chinese Take-out
5. Thursday--Turkey Dinner w/all the bells and whistles
6. Friday--Turkey Dinner leftovers
7. Saturday--Ditto

College Boy came home Tuesday afternoon rather than Wednesday morning so I dug some chicken thighs out of the freeze and made a proper dinner instead of getting pizza that night.

Last week saw 3 nights of home cooked dinners, 3 nights of leftovers/fend for yourself and 1 nights of take-out. 

Last week's grocery spending included Weis, Shursave Market, the Bread Outlet and Maines Restaurant Supply and came to $101.21.  That brings November's food spending to $381.72.  There are 3 more days in my shopping month but I don't know if I'll do any more food shopping this month.
I wanted to stay under $300 for November so I have blown my budget already for the month. sigh.

My savings percentages last week was 51.77% and the monthly savings so far ends up at 48.51%(without Rite-Aid trips added in).

Leftovers going into this week.......Thanksgiving side dishes(Green Bean Casserole, Mashed Taters, Stuffing, Rolls, Carrots), Chicken Thighs and Cornbread.  I also had 3 containers of fresh mushrooms that didn't go into the stuffing to use.

Here is this week's "food plan".....

1. Sunday--Beef/Broccoli/Mushroom Stir-Fry, Jasmine Rice
2. Monday--Leftover Chicken Thighs, leftover Thanksgiving sides, Stuffed Mushrooms
3. Tuesday--French Bread Pizza, Salad
4. Wednesday--Chinese Take-out
5. Thursday--?
6. Friday--?
7. Saturday--?

This week will see 2 new meals cooked, 1 nights of leftovers, 1 night of Take-out and 3 nights of ?.  Hubs is off circumnavigating the country this week so meals will be mostly fend for yourself or leftovers or take-outsince it's just Daughter and myself for meals.  We are traveling this weekend to go see College Boy's recital so no clue on what meals will consist of the end of the week.

The only thing I need to buy to make these meals is some salad greens.

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 26, 2017

Thanksgiving & The "Fun" Week Ahead

Another Thanksgiving is done and in the books as they say.

I arose at the ass crack of dawn to shove the bird into the oven. 

Then it was off to Rite-Aid for all this......and I got Plenti Points back and more for it so free!

Then back home to punch down the dough and forms the rolls to proof, switch on the crock pots of stuffing and rutabaga, bake the potatoes for mashed taters, get the carrots ready and put together the green bean casserole.  I was going to nuke green beans and add almonds but College Boy was practically in tears at the thought of no GB what the hell!

The company arrived and we ate.
We watched some parade in the morning and then some dog show between dinner and pie......and then the company went home.

The only photo I managed to squeeze off was this one......since somebody was a tad busy cooking. ;-)

This was after dinner and pie time.  My tipsy daughter on the den floor letting Chester chew on her.  The dog got a hold of her hair at one point and then it wasn't so fun, was it? lolz

I didn't even get a group shot so here's last year's Thanksgiving photo.  Just put your thumb over Daughter's BF's face as he wasn't here this year.  Other than that it's the same crew and table(though College Boy's beard is more into the ZZ Top territory now).

Black Friday was cleaning the house mostly, dragging down tubs of Christmas stuff and eating leftovers.  I did manage to squeeze in a trip to Rite-Aid for more freebies and some gift cards.
Plus I picked up these to go toward a food bank donation.............

The Rite-Aid brand of toothbrushes were Buy 1/Get 2 Free so $1 for each set of 3 toothbrushes or .33¢ each.  I used $2 in Plenti Points to pay.
I hope to get a few more things together and have a good sized donation to take up before Christmas gets here.

Saturday Hubs took College Boy back to school......

He came home with a raging sinus infection and cold.  He spent the whole 5 days snorting and hacking up stuff.  By Saturday he was sounding less on death's door and we were 5 rolls of tp and 3 boxes of facial tissue lighter.  ;-)

Today I had to run Hubs up to U-Haul so he could pick up a cargo van and you know there is a story behind that, don't ya?

This coming week Hubs is driving out to IL to load his sister and her stuff into said van and driving her across country to SC so she can live with their oldest brother.
Said sister has made a series of bad decisions in her life(not living within her means ever, a car repo, an ill-considered marriage to a alcoholic felon a few years back, a bankruptcy, a divorce from said felon, quitting a good job, another car repo)and now is one step away from being homeless and destitute.  I feel bad for her and her situation but we saw it coming down the pike years ago.  I am not happy that we are having to shell out thousands of $$s to "rescue" her but Hubs feels he should do this as none of his other siblings are in a position to(either financially or physically or both).
I hope things turn around for her(but as she continues to not make the best decisions it's doubtful). 
We are shelling out for the van rental, the gas, the 2,200 in mileage, meals, hotels, tolls and the wear and tear on Hubs and his time.

While the money will put a crimp in our stash, we can spare it.....but this is IT from here on out.
We have enough on our plates and our own family to prop up.  Grown ass adults need to take care of themselves and not expect others to bail them out of their messes especially when they didn't lift a finger to help Hubs take care of their mother the last 7 years of her life when she suffered from Alzheimer's. 
Sorry if I sound pissy about all this, but at the moment, I am. ;-)

So I get to hold down the fort here for this week and take care of all the normal stuff.  I am looking forward to the quiet of having the house to myself while Daughter is in classes, except I have a energetic puppy to potty train by myself, chores, errands and appointments.  And I really need to get more stuff up on eBay before it's too late. ugh.

We all have our crosses to bear, don't we?

The day after Hubs returns we get to drive to see College Boy's senior recital, which will be nice even if it means more driving.  Two weeks after that we rent another cargo van and move College Boy home from school. 
I will be glad when the first half of December is over and we are all home with no expectations put upon us by others.

I don't know how much time I'll have to blog in the coming days so if I am MIA it's just that I'm super busy with life right now.
I am warm, well fed, solvent and trying to stay positive. 8-)


Friday, November 24, 2017

Frugal Friday......the November 24th Edition

Let's see what frugal wins we had this past week.

* Hubs wanted to go out to lunch earlier this week when we had to go run errands so we went to the newish Chinese buffet at the mall but I used a coupon so it wasn't as expensive as it might have been.

* I sold some more items on eBay, netting another $15.44 after fees.  I sold a pair of tubes of shampoo and conditioner I got at Rite-Aid for Plenti Points so some free money after fees.  Who knew someone would pay $18 + shipping for 2 tubes of shampoo/conditioner?

* Since I got to 50 points at Weis I got a free turkey for Thanksgiving.  The closest to 20 lb. turkey I could find was 21.16 lbs.  I had to pay for the 1.16 lbs. over 20 lbs., so it cost me $1.17.  I send for a .25¢ rebate on Checkout51 so my turkey was .92¢ when all is said and done.

* I also did a Catalina Deal at Weis this week a few times by buying 2 cartons of stock/broth, 4 cans of Campbell's cream soup and a bag of Pepperidge Farms stuffing cubes for $10.08 total.  I used $2 in Qs each time and received an instant $2 off for spending $10 on select items so each set of 7 items cost me $6.08 OOP.

* Of course I hit Rite-Aid for all the Black Friday freebies..........

This is the plunder I brought home using three different Wellness/Plenti cards/accounts.  I didn't max out the Max Freeze, the earbuds or the Planters nut packs.  I used coupons that I could gather on toothpaste/tooth brushes/max freeze/nuts/dental floss. Buying 4 candy bars on one card made a Catalina for $1/wyb6 bars print out, so I got 6 bars the last round instead of 4 as the Catalina also made all 6 free after sale/Cat/PPs.  I also had a $5/wyspend $50 Cat that spit out earlier in the week when I bought some rxs so I did better than free on one order using that CatQ.  The Nuts weren't free put with the $5 Cat and the other Qs I used, even with having to pay tax I came out $8+ under free=$8.74 moneymaker for all.
Total Plenti Points used....$179.26
Total Plenti Points earned back....$188.00

*Had to amend this as I just received a $2 cash rebate on one of the light bulb purchases(had to be an LED bulb)in my Ibotta account. I can now cash out that account next month as I have over $20 in there. ;-)

I'll go back today for some water cases, tp and paper towels(not free but I'll use PPs to pay)plus some gift card deals.  I pay full price for the gift cards-using monies from other categories(eating out/home maintenance/etc.) but generate Plenti Points on the Wellness cards/accounts,  which I can use to cover items I buy at Rite-Aid.

* I don't otherwise "do" Black Friday, as in brave the hoard of shoppers in the stores.  I'll be picking up a few items from my computer today-Monday and I am done Holiday shopping.  I do need to go to the PO today to mail the giveaway box and buy stamps but otherwise I'll be cleaning up Thanksgiving doings and dragging out Christmas paraphernalia.

If you "do" Black Friday, feel free to tell us all about what you got!


Thursday, November 23, 2017

A Little History With Your Bird-Happy Thanksgiving!

*Here's a rerun of a post I did 7 years ago(7 YEARS?!?!).  It's a little history to have with your turkey and pie(or whatever your food of choice).
Enjoy and go get that turkey in the oven! ;-)

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers,


A Short History of Thanksgiving in the New World....

Every school child learns at a young age that the Pilgrims held the 1st Thanksgiving Meal that we celebrate to this day.
But actually, the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony were NOT the first European settlers in the New World to hold a Thanksgiving.

There were FOUR earlier Thanksgiving celebrations on this new was held in what was to become North Carolina and three in what was to become Virginia.

#1 Took place in 1586 on Roanoke Island, NC. near present day Manteo.   This was the contingency brought to the New World by Sir Walter Raleigh to found a settlement.  These 100 men lasted about a year and after holding their meal of Thanksgiving they folded up shop and sailed home.

#2  Took place in 1609, at Jamestown, Virginia at the Jamestown Settlement.  This is the First Thanksgiving held by European immigrants at the 1st permanent settlement in the New World.  (Since the Roanoke Colony was abandoned, that earlier celebration is often discounted.)  This Thanksgiving was held after a year of near starvation.  They were thankful that they had survived the lack of food and disease and that a relief supply ship was soon to arrive.

#3  The same Jamestown Settlement held another document-able celebration in 1612, when the Colony's Governor returned with a shipload of women destined to be wives for many lucky settlers. 

#4  Another document-able Thanksgiving dinner was held in 1619 at nearby Berkley Plantation, also along the James River near Jamestown in VA.

#5  The Thanksgiving celebration at Plimouth Plantation wasn't until 1621, a full 35 yrs. after Roanoke Colony's and 12 yrs after the first Jamestown celebration.

And then there is the contingent that sees the 1st American Thanksgiving as being celebrated in St. Augustine Florida in 1565 by the Spanish explorers, long before the Pilgrims or Sir Walter Raleigh's crew or the Jamestown Colony gang.

I often think that historians pegged the Massachusetts Thanksgiving as the genesis of the Holiday due to the fact that the colony was founded by Europeans fleeing religious persecution.  And once they got here the Pilgrims began exhibiting discrimination toward anyone who wanted to practice different religious beliefs from theirs, but that's another lesson in intolerance for another time. ;-)

The VA Colony founders were farmers and merchants who took part in settling the New World for economic freedom and opportunities.   The religion stuff was not the issue for them.

Having grown up in the South, I often felt that the earlier VA based Thanksgivings were not given their due.  The way it comes off, since none of those school books I ever read as a child mentioned any of the other earlier Thanksgiving celebrations, is that only people who are religiously oppressed are worthy of being considered the 1st to give thanks.


Having grown up and sought knowledge beyond those inaccurate textbooks I have learned a more accurate history of the Holiday.

And that's without getting into the whole "There were indigenous people here long before the Europeans arrived" issue, so yah, the Holiday is way older than whatever anyone claims!

But I can safely say that the cutest first Thanksgiving celebration was this one from my youth....

No matter which date you observe as the "first" Thanksgiving Day, here's hoping your day to Give Thanks is peaceful, you have people around you that you truly care about and who care about you, and you are aware of the many awesome blessings you have and something good to eat.

I'm off to count by one.
Then some more food prep and to check on my proofing roll dough.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Giveaway Winner!

All the valid entries(86 of them)were numbered in the order they were received and Random dotorg  selected comment/entry #66.

So this Giveaway's winner is.............


I love the pumpkin flavored everything.

Congratulations mgaltier.  Please email me(my address is on the right side bar)from the email address you supplied within the next 48 hours from when this post goes live with your complete name and mailing address and I'll get this prize box mailed out to you asap.

Thanks as always to everyone who plays along with these giveaways and thanks for reading the blog.
There may be another giveaway coming up in a week or so.  Keep watching for it!


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Last Chance for the Giveaway!

Today is the last day to enter the giveaway so get that last entry in before 11:59pm ET tonight, November 21st.
The link is HERE.

I'll pick a winner tomorrow.
Good luck!

Now I am off to thaw a turkey and make cornbread to put into the stuffing.


Monday, November 20, 2017

This Week on the Dining Table

The "What the ??" Edition--

When de-cluttering you never know what you'll find sometimes.  I found a shoe box full of S&H Green Stamps tucked into the cabinet over the refrigerator last week.  These came with us 17 years ago when we moved into this house.  My grocery store at the old house in the 1990's gave these out and evidently I had diligently collected them and pasted them into books.  I vaguely remember pulling them out a couple of years after we moved(as I was still unpacking moving boxes)and saw that you could turn these in to a website where there were now digital Green Stamps(called Green Points)which you can collect to earn things and gift cards.  But I guess I never sent them in and just tucked them away somewhere.
I also see that some folks buy old Green Stamps on eBay too.  Who knew? ;-)
This time I'll be getting rid of the Green Stamps one way or another.

Moving On....

Onward to the meal planning!

Here's what was planned last week--

1. Sunday--Chicken Enchiladas, Spanish rice and beans
2. Monday--Italian Sausage Patties w/Onions, Sauteed Cabbage
3. Tuesday--Beef Stew, Rolls
4. Wednesday--Leftover Rigatoni w/Sauce, Salad
5. Thursday--Fish, Cole Slaw, Sweet Potato Fries
6. Friday--?
7. Saturday--?

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Chicken Enchiladas, Spanish rice and beans
2. Monday--Italian Sausage Patties w/Onions, Sauteed Cabbage
3. Tuesday--Beef Stew, Rolls
4. Wednesday--Grilled London Broil, Garden Salad, Garlic Bread
5. Thursday--Leftover Chicken Enchiladas
6. Friday--Leftovers
7. Saturday--Fried Fish, Roasted Potatoes, Cole Slaw

Last week saw 5 nights of home cooked dinners, 2 nights of leftovers/fend for yourself and 0 nights of take-out. 

Last week's grocery spending included the Bread Outlet and Weis(where I spent $50+ to get a free turkey)and came to $70.16.  That brings November's food spending to $280.51.  There are 10 more days in my shopping month.

My savings percentages last week was 45.65% and the monthly savings so far ends up at 47.22%(without Rite-Aid trips added in).

Leftovers going into this week.......beef stew, chicken enchiladas.

Here is this week's "food plan".....

1. Sunday--Leftover Chicken Enchiladas
2. Monday--Tuna Subs
3. Tuesday--Pizza
4. Wednesday--Chinese Take-Out
5. Thursday--Turkey Dinner w/all the bells and whistles
6. Friday--Turkey Dinner leftovers
7. Saturday--?

This week will see 3-4 new meals cooked, 2 nights of leftovers and 1 night of Take-out.
Leftover stew carried forward into this week will be lunches for Hubs.  Not much interesting in the meal plan this week as I'm concentrating on turkey day.

The only thing I need to buy to make these meals is maybe some 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?


Saturday, November 18, 2017

End of Year Food Spending Chatter

Every year, during the last quarter of the year,  I stop and ponder what I've spent on food for my family for the year so far.

In 2016 I spent a grand total of $4696.81 on food/toiletries/HBA/paper goods.  You may recall that Daughter and her BF moved in with us halfway through that year.
Up until June we were on track to do a $3809.30 food spending for 2016(Jan-Jun spending was $1904.65).  We spent $887.51 over what the food was tracking at once Daughter and BF moved here.  Had they been here the entire year we could have topped $6K in food spending!

Then the BF moved back to Louisiana at the end of Jan. 2017 and over the next 4 months our food spending tracked at under $300 per month.  Hmmm.
I guess this is accurate as I was A--Cooking more food each night when he was living here, as there were more mouths to feed, B-- more food got thrown out as Daughter and BF didn't cotton to eating leftovers and  C--I was buying foods I don't usually buy as the BF had particular eating habits(or should that be peculiar?lol).  He had a preference for convenience foods and we all know that those cost more than what I call "basic" foods.

Anyway, with the BF no longer eating here the food spending has returned to a level I am more comfortable with.  We are currently at $3852.18 with 1.5 months to go.

Let's take a look at monies(other than regular income)I have to apply to the food budget for the rest of 2017.  I generally cash everything in(the cash rebates/cash refunds from the stores/post coupons/rolled coins saved)and apply it to December's food bill.

Rebate Apps--
* SavingStar  $27.55
* Checkout51  $79.00
* Ibotta  $19.25(though I can't cash out until I hit $20, but I'm close now)
* Walmart Savings Catcher  $4.23

Rebates & "Post Coupon" Refunds/Unexpected Cash
* Liquor  $15.00
* Schwarzkopf hair products  $9.62
* Right Guard Deo  $7.29
* Can't figure out what I wrote lol  $5.35
* Rite-Aid Post Coupon  $14.00
* Weis Refund  $4.00
* Rolled Coins  $55.00
* Nielsen  $1(they tucked into a "come back" letter)
* Cash for selling free TRU gift cards $42.00
* Carry over from 2016 that didn't get spent  $9.15

Food Store Gift Cards/Store Script
* Giant  $25.00
* Target  $77.68
*  Catalinas-Minute Maid  $4.00

All the above comes to $379.12 of "free" money to grocery shop.

If needed I also have the cash I have from selling stuff here like excess toiletries/diapers and unwanted items around the house......

Cash Sales
* Selling Toiletries  $89.00
* Selling Items around the house  $20.00
* eBay Sales  $81.44(net after fees/cost of goods sold)

So basically I am in good shape to not have to spend a penny of our regular income on food/toiletries in December and theoretically I could stay at or under $4K in food/toiletries/paper goods spending for 2017.  I'd love to be able to be under what was spent in 2016.

How about you?
Do you track your food spending for the year?
Do you apply any cash rebates/catalinas/rebates toward your food budget?


Friday, November 17, 2017

Frugal Friday......November 17th Edition

Let's see what actions of note we preformed to stay frugal this past week other than the usual..........

*  We finally decided on "the" buffet for the dining room.  I like this one as it's "me" style wise(yes, I am such a style icon lolz), it doesn't overwhelm the room and if in our retirement house we don't have a dining room per se the we can use it in a living room or other spot in the home.  It's a great storage piece.
I bought it online so it was cheaper and within the budget I set.  I also found a coupon code and went through a cash back site so got a few dollars in kickback money.

* The payment for selling those free to me TRU gift cards arrived and I cashed it in and added this to my money stash.

* I received some Weis(PMITA)Markets coupons in the mail.  Inside the cover was an offer for 10% off when you buy a $50 or $100 Visa/Mastercard Debit Gift Card.
So, depending on the purchase fee on these(and there is ALWAYS a purchase fee on these unlike a store branded gift card), if I buy a $100 Gift Card it ends up being a 7% or 5% offer.
If fee is $4.95 I pay $94.95 for a $100 card and if the fee is $2.95 I pay $92.95 for a $100 card.
So $5 or $7 free if I spend it all before they access a monthly $3 fee after 30 days.  No problem spending $100 in 1 month between groceries and prescriptions.

* I sold 6 of 8 items I listed on eBay last week.  That's $150 in my pocket before all those Paypal/eBay/shipping fees. 8-(

*  I bought a pint of "high protein/less sugar" ice cream called Enlightened this week.  It was $4.99 but after receiving a $4 Ibotta rebate and using a $1/1 Q from the Fall/Winter Weis Coupon book I got paid .01¢ to bring it home.  I'll let you know if it's as tasty as regular ice cream. 8-)))

*  I finally was able to exchange some of the size 5 diapers I got in Oct. as part of that Huggies/TRU gift card deal so I can sell them.  (Size 5s don't sell easily like the smaller sizes do.)  With that TRU deal in October all the Rite-Aids ran out of every size but 5's and have been slow to restock so it's taking time to get the right sizes.  I just keep receipts and a bag of diapers in my car and anytime I have to go in I just check if they have gotten any diapers in. lolz
I will probably just put the exchanged diapers out in the garage until the Holidays are over and get around to selling them on the local tag sale site in the Spring.  I don't "need" the cash now but a garage full of diapers is as good as money in the bank. lolz

Here's hoping y'all had some frugal wins this past week!
Tell us about any really good ones.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Turkey Dilemna

Ok not really a dilemna of an important scale or anything but I can't decide where to get my Thanksgiving turkey from, either the Shursave Market or Weis(PMITA)Markets.

Here's the deal......

Shursave(which I didn't spend enough to get a reward certificate this year for Thanksgiving-they don't do free turkeys there)has a spend $25 this week on anything in the store and then you are allowed to purchase up to a 22 lb. frozen turkey for .49¢ a lb.

I have a $20 Shursave gift card(so it's money already "spent")so for another $5+ I could get the turkey there for as much as $10.78.
So I'd have to spent up to another $15.78+ besides using the gift card to get the turkey.

The deal at Weis is to get a free frozen turkey, again, up to 22 lbs., I need 50 points to cash in.  Points are earned in increments of 10 per each transaction over $50 during a certain time frame.  I currently have 40 points, which means I have to spend another $50+ in one transaction to have enough points to turn in for a free turkey. (Weis also have other turkeys(fresh, organic, brand names)for various "deals" with your 50 points but each of those require you to spend additional amounts along with your points, so they are not "free" like the basic frozen Weis brand turkey would be.

So I need to spend $15.78 at one store or $50 at the other store to end up with a turkey.

Now I don't necessarily need any great amount of food for the Turkey Day meal but if I spent $50+ now it's $50+ I don't need to spend in Dec., right?

Ok, I am off to do some real getting stuff up on eBay to sell or changing out my closet to Winter clothing or cleaning a bathroom.
Fun time I tell ya! 8-P


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Rite-Aid, Produce Run, Buffet & Clean Garage

I had to take Hubs to the eye doc last Friday so I hit a few stores where the doc's office is located.  Oh goody another Rite-Aid to plunder! lol

They had Dr. Pepper flavored lip gloss at this store so I did the Lip Smackers/Jesse's Girl/Julie G deal on Daughter's card.  I hadto get a vanilla since they only had 3 DPs.
.75¢ OOP, in Plenti Points, no cash and 4 more lip gloss to add to my stash.
There won't be any more Rite-Aid pillaging for me until the Black Friday sale.

Then it was next door to the Big Lots just to look around..........

Anybody need a flamingo in a Santa hat?
How about a squirrel similarly attired?

I did get a few items off their food clearance rack-2 big bags of Chips Ahoy! and a jumbo box of peanut butter cracker sandwiches.  The box was about 6 times the size of the one pictured below.

I hit Maines restaurant supply too while I was out as they had some good produce deals I wanted to partake of........

I have a homemade "root cellar" I keep in my garage.  It's basically a 10 gal. plastic storage tub with newspaper for added insulation.  I keep all my root veggies and onions in it.

Maines had a variety of 10 lb. bags of veggies on sale for $2.88 last week-carrots, onions, red and white potatoes and beets.  I picked up 2 x onions(20 lbs.), a red taters and beet bag.  Thinking back I should have gotten the carrots too.  I also bought sweet potatoes and rutabagas as both were .58¢ and .68¢ a lb. respectively.
With the taters and onions and 1 lone sweet potato I already had in my root cellar there was not room enough for another 40 lbs. of veg in there!

Luckily I commandeered one of my 18 gallon Rubbermaid tubs to put all that overflow of product into.  I had an empty tub because of this.........

I bought a dining room buffet cabinet last week.

A few years back I donated my oak country-style dining room table, chairs, buffet and hutch to Salvation Army.  When I did that I had to pack up all my "good" dishware and store it in tubs in the garage(what I didn't also get rid of when the furniture went).
Now that the new floors are in, the walls fixed and painted and the trim done it was time to fill that room again.

I didn't want a massive dining room set as it's a smaller space really.  Hubs and I looked at local furniture stores and looked some more and could find nothing that was acceptable in all three criteria-size, price and style.  I didn't want a buffet with a hutch sitting on top as those would just dwarf this room. I found this one on Overstock dotcom and loved it.  So I went online found a coupon to get it cheaper and bought it.  Even with the tax added it still came out $32 cheaper than their regular price. Plus I went through a cash back rebate site and got 1% back in cash.  ;-)

After it arrived early last week, amidst much cursing and gnashing of teeth Hubs but this mother of tinker toy kit together(with help from me as I am good at reading drawings and diagrams).  By Friday evening I was dragging out tubs of dishware from the garage.

Hubs was in charge of washing everything.

More odds and ends I need to find a home for.  Disregard the eBay

I found stuff in some of the tubs that I had forgotten I had!

While I was dragging out and cleaning stuff we did a little clutter purging too......

And I am still filling the thing with dishware, flatware and linens.  And now the room will look a bit more "together" come Thanksgiving.  We are still using my collapsible table and dragging chairs from the kitchen to eat in there though for Turkey Day.

Some items the Daughter wants or are hers(inherited from her grandmothers)so I filled one of the newly emptied tubs with her stuff, marked it and it's going back in the garage soon.

And speaking of garages...........

I spent a good part of Sunday in the cold out in the garage organizing and tidying the stockpile.  Kim you will notice almost ALL the cans are now off the floor....woohoo!
And I have another almost full load of "stuff" for Salvation Army and a load of toiletries and laundry detergent for the Food Bank. 

And this blurry shot has all the shelving neat and orderly finally and the floor swept out.
The other side of the garage is still a bit of a hot mess after dragging out tubs....things need to be put back, rearranged and tidied there still.

So that's what I was up to over the weekend.
Now I am in eBay hell as my auctions ended yesterday.
Plus I have lots of errands to run, Rite-Aid, PO, grocery stores.

What have you been up to?


Monday, November 13, 2017

This Week on the Dining Table

The "Making Progress" Edition--

This weekend was all about going through stuff and reorganizing the dining room and the garage.  I am sore from all the physical activity and bending and toting.  Today will be a low key sit on my butt kind of day......well as much sitting on my butt as I can do with a puppy underfoot. '-)

Moving On....

Onward to the meal planning!

Here's what was planned last week--

1. Sunday--Fend for Yourself
2. Monday--Asian Chicken Salad
3. Tuesday--Olive Garden Gnocchi Chicken Soup
4. Wednesday--Rigatoni w/Meat and Mushroom Sauce, Salad
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--Calzone or Stromboli(homemade)
7. Saturday--maybe Eggplant Parm in the freezer?

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Fend for Yourself(Don't recall what I had)
2. Monday--Eggplant Parm
3. Tuesday--BK Hamburgers, Fries
4. Wednesday--Tortellini Soup(sort of)
5. Thursday--Calzone and Stromboli(homemade)
6. Friday--Rigatoni w/Mushroom Sauce, Meatballs
7. Saturday--Leftovers(I had soup)

Last week saw 4 nights of home cooked dinners, 2 nights of leftovers/fend for yourself and  1 night of take-out.  I discovered I was out of gnocchi too late to thaw anything else so the Whoppers happened on Tues instead.  I found tortellini on sale on Wednesday so I changed the soup up and substituted that for the gnocchi and left out the leftover roast chicken too as the tortellini had meat in it and it was very good, different but good!  We got 2 lumps of pizza dough out of the freezer on Thursday and I helped Hubs make the calzone/stromboli.  We also used up that opened ricotta from last week when Hubs made lasagna in the calzone/stromboli so it's a win/win.

Last week's grocery spending was large as I hit quite a few stores but surprisingly I stayed out of Weis(PMITA)Markets! lol  I hit the Shursave Markets, Big Lots, Dollar Tree, Ollies and Maines Restaurant Supply and everything came to a whopping $154.94.  That brings November's food spending to $210.35.  There are 17 more days in my shopping month.

My savings percentages last week was 47.64% and the monthly savings so far ends up at 47.73%(without Rite-Aid trips added in).

Leftovers going into this week.......roast chicken, calzone, tortellini soup, rigatoni and sauce.

Here is this week's "food plan".....

1. Sunday--Chicken Enchiladas, Spanish rice and beans
2. Monday--Italian Sausage Patties w/Onions, Sauteed Cabbage
3. Tuesday--Beef Stew, Rolls
4. Wednesday--Leftover Rigatoni w/Sauce, Salad
5. Thursday--Fish, Cole Slaw, Sweet Potato Fries
6. Friday--?
7. Saturday--?

This week will see 4 new meals cooked, 1 night of leftovers and 2 nights of "I haven't got a clue".
Leftovers carried forward into this week will be lunches for Hubs except the roast chicken and the rigatoni.

The only thing I need to buy to make these meals is salad greens.  And we need milk too.

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 11, 2017

November Giveaway......Come Win Some Stuff!

This is the eighth Sluggy's Boring Blog Box Giveaway for the year.
Fall is definitely here now(we had snow even the other day!!)and Winter is right around the corner.
The Holidays are bearing down on us so take a few minutes to do something for yourself by entering this giveaway!
Come on and enter.
Somebody has to win and it might just be YOU!

Here is what you can win if your entry is picked.  Some "girly girl" type stuff, some guy stuff and chocolate......

2 x Neutrogena facial soap bars
1 x Jergens Wet Skin lotion
1 x Schwarzkopf shampoo-Repair & Moisture(it's from before the restyling of the packaging)
1 x Dove dry spray deodorant
1 x Edge shave gel
1 x Neosporin lotion
1 x Sally Hansen nail color(Retro Grey)
1 x Scotch tape dispenser(because everybody needs tape at the Holidays!)
1 x Glide dental floss
1 x Oral-B toothbrush
1 x Gillette Mach3 disposable razors 3 pack
1 x Colgate Optic White toothpaste
1 x Revlon emery boards
1 x Physician's Formula eye shadow palette(green/hazel eyes colors)
16 x Lindt chocolate truffles(assorted flavors including pumpkin spice)

Over $80 in regular retail of goodies.

Closeup shots of the goodies up for grabs......

I'll leave this giveaway open until Tuesday, November 21st, at 11:59pm Eastern Time, so that gives everyone 11 days to enter this one.  On November 21st  I'll mark all the valid entries and use Random dotorg to pick a number and that corresponding person's entry wins.

*Please note the rules*
I'll post the name/Id of the winner on this blog and that person has 48 hours from then to contact me privately via email(my email addy is listed on my "About Me" page).
If I am not contacted via email I'll attempt to contact the winner via the email they supply with their entry and if that email is not responded to within another 48 hours I'll pick another winner.

There are three ways to enter--1 Daily and 2 One-Time Only........
1. Leave a comment every day.
2. Be a follower of this Blog(Hit the "Follow" button on the right hand side bar.) Let me know if your comment for this entry the name you follow under to verify.  You can do this entry once.
3. Post on your own blog(or on your Facebook page)about the Giveaway and leave a link in your comment/entry to where I can find it.  You can do this entry once.
In your Daily Entry tell me in your comment......something like what here is the thing in the box you most would like to win, what food is a MUST to have on Thanksgiving, how you feel about the explosion of pumpkin flavored everything in the Fall(yeah or nay) and/or how big your thanksgiving gathering is if you have one.

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 am sorry to say I can no longer afford to mail boxes outside the US.  These giveaways are not sponsored by any companies, I pay for it all(cost of items given away and the postage to mail 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 a hold of you. 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.

If I can't contact you then you can't win.  I am still having to disqualify entries due to this issue and I sure don't like doing that.  Thanks!

So let's get this started!