Monday, April 30, 2018

Last Minute Rite-Aid on Saturday

I needed to spend down/roll some Plenti Points still on my son's Wellness card/account so I bought this on Saturday in 2 transactions(trying to stay under 5 Qs per transaction).............

8 x Edge/Skintimate shaving gel/cream 20% Wellness disc.($2.79 but 2 were $2.87)=$22.48

I used 8 x $1.50/1 Skintimate/Edge IPQs=$12.00

$22.48-$12.00=$10.48 + .64¢ tax=$11.12.
I paid with $11.12 in PPs.
I earned back $8 in Bonus Cash.

8 cans of shaving cream is a bit much but.......Summer is coming so there will be the need to shave those legs more.  Plus this is also something I can tuck into a giveaway box, right?
And else can you get 8 cans of shave cream for $3.12(which is what I "paid" after converting PPs to BC)?! 8-)))

I went in to Rite-Aid on Sunday to get the free Arm and Hammer toothpaste(there is a Q in this week's ad and it states that toothpaste is FREE after card and doesn't state a limit but if it requires your card it's probably a limit of 1 or 2 per card).

My store had none of this toothpaste on the shelf nor a place for it on the toothpaste aisle.

So I got a rain check.  Don't know if they are getting this product in just for this sale or what but I'll check back on Friday when the truck comes in to my store.
If this isn't a product they usually stock maybe I can get them to give me a different Arm and Hammer type in it's place when I cash in that rain check.


This Week on the Dining Table

The "All Seasons in One Week" Edition--

This morning my little forsythia bush is in full bloom.
We had all 4 seasons within the span of 7 days this past week.
Torrential rain with thunder, temps in the 30's with snowflakes, up to high 70Fs and then the 50's.
I'd much rather the seasons play out over the course of a year not a week! lolz

Moving On....

Onward to the meal planning!

This is what was planned--

1. Sunday--leftover BBQ made into a Taco Ring thing
2. Monday--Take-out(getting it at Lunch prices, reheating for dinner)
3. Tuesday--Baked Rigatoni(using leftover pasta), Salad
4. Wednesday--Tacos(using leftover meatloaf)
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--Leftovers
7. Saturday--Fish, Coleslaw, Mystery Veg(because I don't know what it is yet)

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--leftover BBQ made into a Taco Ring thing
2. Monday--Take-out(getting it at Lunch prices, reheating for dinner)
3. Tuesday--Baked Rigatoni(using leftover pasta), Caesar Salad
4. Wednesday--Pot Roast, Carrots, Au Gratin Taters
5. Thursday--Tacos(using leftover meatloaf)
6. Friday--Leftovers
7. Saturday--Leftovers or FFY

Last week saw  nights of home cooked dinners, 2 nights of leftovers/fend for yourself, 1 nights of Take-Out or Eating Out.  The fish wasn't needed as we had so many leftovers(plus a small beef roast I found for cheap that I decided to go ahead and cook)so that protein moves to this week.

2 grocery trips to Weis brought the shopping to $87.28 for the week and brought April's food spending total to $360.70.   

I've got $39.30 left in the food budget for April and 0 days left in my shopping month. Rah.

My savings percentages last week was 57.06 and April's monthly savings total came in at 58.10% or 74.42% with Rite-Aid shopping included.

Leftovers going into this week....... some chicken thighs, baked rigatoni dish, taco filling, a couple of slices of meatloaf and pot roast.

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

1. Sunday--Breakfast for Dinner
2. Monday--Pot Roast Sandwiches, Spinach Soufflé
3. Tuesday--Leftovers or FFY(Hubs and I have date lunch out)
4. Wednesday--Chicken Enchiladas, rice, beans
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--Fish, Onion rings, Cole slaw, Green beans
7. Saturday--?

The pot roast sandwiches are to use up the leftover pot roast from last week.
If nobody eats the leftover chicken thighs I'll add that meat into the enchilada filling on Wednesday.  If nobody eats the taco filling I'll make up some beef enchiladas on Wednesday too to put into the freezer or I might add to it and make a big pot of chili(always a favorite with my family though not with me).
Hubs will most probably eat all the baked rigatoni dish for lunches this week(What can I say?....He is a pasta hound!)
No clue about next Saturdays menu yet.

This week will see 4 new meals cooked, 2 nights of leftovers/FFY and 1 nights of ?.

What needs buying for this menu?  Cabbage for cole slaw and cheese(seriously low except Cooper sharp).

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, April 29, 2018

And the Winner is.........

I put all valid entries down and numbered them and then had Random dotorg generate a random number to pick the winner of the April Giveaway box.

And the winner is............


Gray and rainy today in NJ, maybe the last time before spring really starts.?

Congratulations SMS!  Please email me your complete mailing address and name so I can get this box of goodies out to you.  I need to hear from you within 48 hours of this post going live or I'll have to pick another winner.

Thanks to everyone who entered this giveaway and look for a another Giveaway box contest to go up in a couple of weeks.


Saturday, April 28, 2018

Finding Ancestral Connections Among Your Friends

***  Just a reminder that today is the last day to enter the current Giveaway for April.  Be sure and go to the proper post and leave an entry.
Also, look at your entries on that post and if I have left a comment that I don't have your contact information PLEASE go either post your email on a comment on the post OR email me your email info at arcure(at)ptdprolog(dot)net.  If I don't have your email info your entry is NOT valid and you can't win.
Thank you.

It amazes me how once you start digging into your family's past you find links to others. In particular that my ancestor knew or has a connection to the ancestor of someone I know now.

"Rivulet" over at $12 a Day blog is one such person.
She has a prominent direct ancestor named John Bidwell.  Bidwell was a soldier and pioneer and one of the first leaders, along with partner Capt. John Bartleson, of emigrant parties along the California Trail to settle the West.

He was also a founder of the town of Chico, CA.  You may remember that Rivulet obtained some seeds for the Bidwell casaba melon, which originated in Chico, CA and this fruit variety is named for her ancestor, and Rivulet grew them to "fruition" last Summer. ;-)

Among the Bidwell-Bartleson party of 1841 that John Bidwell helped lead to CA was a man named Grove C. Cook.
The "Find A Grave memorial" for Cook's gravesite is HERE.

Grove C Cook was born in Kentucky around 1800. He headed West to California with the Bidwell-Bartleson Party in 1841.
Between arriving in California and purchasing land with a quicksilver mine on it in 1845 he worked for John Sutter in what is now Sacramento at his agricultural colony of New Helvetia(also known as Sutter's Fort).
While James Marshall, a carpenter who worked for John Sutter, was building him a water-powered sawmill on the American River near the Fort, Grove Cook was also working for John Sutter distilling whiskey on the New Helvetia property.
And then James Marshall found gold and word got out, amateur prospectors flocked to the area and overran Sutter's colony, destroying his dream.

But before all that Grove Cook was living in Callaway County Missouri where he met a woman named Sophronia Sublette sometime before 1825.

Sophronia married Grove Cook, described as a "wild youth" on 31 March 1825 in Callaway County Missouri.  Three years later their daughter Theresa Cook was born in 1828.

By 1837 Sophronia and Grove's marriage was on it's last legs, as Sophronia and their daughter Theresa were living in St. Louis with Sophronia's brother, William Lewis Sublette.  She repaid William by keeping his house and Theresa was attending school in St. Louis, the cost of which Uncle William was footing the bill.

On 29 Mar 1841 William supported his sister as she brought suit in St. Louis Chancery Court for divorce from Grove Cook.
Sophronia said that Mr. Cook, "....had been guilty of  gross and wanton ill treatment toward (her)....and (had) offered such indignities to said complainant, as to render her condition intolerable.....said Grove had, for more than two years past been guilty of an addicted to habitual drunkenness: That he had abandoned (her)....and refused to support (her)".
when Grove failed to appear at the July session of court to answer the charges, the judge decreed that if Grove didn't appear at the succeeding court session the divorce would be granted to his wife in his absence.  In October of that year, Sophronia was granted that divorce and she lived in her brother William's house after that time.

In May of 1841 Grove C. Cook was among the Bidwell-Bartleson Party that left for California and far, far away from St. Louis, Sophronia and Theresa. Cook was a last minute addition to this group of travelers to the West.  By the time the St. Louis judge granted Sophronia a divorce from Grove Cook he was somewhere traveling through the Pequop Mts. in North Eastern Nevada and far away from civilization.

From reading various memoirs of people who knew Cook personally once he got out West to California, it seems he was not what you'd call an upstanding citizen at times.  It seems he did continue to have a friendly/familial relationship with his ex-wife's brothers, Andrew and Solomon.  There is even an account that states that Grove Cook nursed Andrew back to health when he fell ill in California working in the gold fields.

There is one report concerning Grove Cook that goes...."a man of wit and generosity that went far to counterbalance some less desirable qualities".  I'd

Grove killed the son of a Walla Walla chief because he didn't care for the way the youth was bragging about stealing some horses.  This almost caused an international incident between the US federal government, Mexico and the Walla Walla Indian nation.

He also married again to Rebecca Josephine Kelsey on 28 December 1854 at Sutter's Fort.

Rebecca was born in St. Louis and was the sister of Benjamin Kelsey. Benjamin and his wife, Nancy Kelsey, had been members of the Bartleson-Bidwell party as well, along with Grove Cook.

Rebecca had come West in 1843 with her parents, David and Sarah Jane(Crozzart)Kelsey.  This group of the B-B party had branched off and gone to Oregon instead of California, first going to Oregon where Rebecca married William Henry Fowler in 1843.  Shortly after Rebecca, her Kelsey clan and William Fowler(among others)decided to go to California from Oregon and Rebecca sought to seek a divorce from Fowler upon arrival at Sutter's Fort in 1844.

At some point at the Fort, Rebecca caught Grove Cook's eye.
There are conflicting reports on whether Rebecca was granted that divorce(as the area was still part of Mexico so US laws had no juisdiction-Thomas Larkin had been appointed American consul to the area but he legally wasn't able to grant divorces on Mexican soil).
One source says Rebecca was denied so she went ahead and married Grove Cook anyway.....another saying she obtained the divorce from Fowler.  Bigamist or not a bigamist? Just pick whom you want to believe.  ;-)

Rebecca Kelsey married Grove Cook at Sutter's Fort.
After working for John Sutter  Grove settled in the Santa Clara Valley and became part owner of the historic New Almaden quicksilver mine.  Grove Cook it is said, fought during the Mexican war and was involved bringing US statehood to California.  He found and lost a few fortunes along the way, finally dying while visiting Santa Cruz in February of 1852.
Rebecca went on to marry Dr. Christopher Grattan before dying in 1871.

So what does this Grove C Cook character have to do with my family?

Sophronia Fullen Sublette is my 1st cousin 6 x removed.  Sophronia's Great Grandfather, Lewis Sublett, and my 6th Great Grandfather, William Allen Sublett were brothers.  Their father, Pierre Louis Soblet, who emigrated to the Virginia Colony with his parents in 1700 onbroad the Mary and Ann sailing ship, is our common ancestor.

Sophronia's grandfather, Littleberry Sublett, was a branch of my Soblet/Sublett family that moved away from Eastern Virginia into Kentucky and their descendants onward into Missouri and some onto points further West in America.  At some point this branch of Subletts began spelling the surname with an extra "e" at the end, Sublette.  But whether you go by Soblet, Sublett or Sublette it is all the same line.

Sophronia's plaque on the Sublette memorial--photo by BJ Sublette

Sophronia died on 20 April 1843 and is buried in the Sublette family plot along with some of her brothers and sisters at the Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis Missouri.  Seems she didn't live too much longer after divorcing Grove Cook.  She lived out her days keeping house for her brother William in St. Louis.

Grove Cook is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Santa Cruz, California.  I think being planted halfway across the country from each other seems right.

That my cousin was married to a guy who was on first name basis(at least as long as they were traveling overland to CA)with one of Rivulet's ancestors is so very interesting to me and shows how you just never know what connections we all have as human beings with one another in today's world


Friday, April 27, 2018

Frugal Friday....the April 27th Edition

Let's see what frugal wins we had here at Chez Sluggy this past week.......

*  Assorted Deals and discounted meats at Weis(PMITA)Markets this week.....

I spent $87.28 at Weis this week and earned back $3.15 in cash rebates this week.

*   4 transactions at Rite-Aid bringing home items we can use(and/or can be put into the giveaway boxes).

 Spending down Plenti Points, earning Bonus Cash..............

All the while trying to make heads or tails of the transition from the old reward system to the new one.

*  I found more money laying on the ground again...........

A lowly Tom Jefferson coin but hey!.....found money adds up!

*  I used up leftovers from last week, incorporating them into new dishes this week.........
--The leftover rigatoni I cooked up for a pasta and fresh sauce dinner a week ago Sunday got baked with cheese and sauce and served on Tuesday with a Caesar Salad. I also put about 4 Tablespoons of pizza sauce leftover from when I made pizzas into the sauce I made for the baked pasta dish.
--This past Sunday I took some leftover pork 'cue, 2 tubes of crescent rolls dough, some cheddar and a bit of bbq sauce and made a BBQ ring(like a taco ring).  Used up a leftover and some rolls tubes that needed to get used.
--On Thursday, Hubs took most of the extra meatloaf I made last week and turned it into taco filling.

*  I got this flyer in the mail from an online store I buy clothing from on occasion........
I have a $10 reward for them I earned this past Winter that expires in May.  I'll make up a list of items worth picking up/that are needed and be sure to use my reward and do some shopping during this sale.  Maybe I'll get lucky and find a free shipping code to boot!  And I'll be sure to go to the site via a cash back savings portal too.  8-))

*  On Monday we had a hankering for Chinese Take-Out so I got everyone's order that morning and I went to the restaurant before 3 pm and got 3 dinners for us.  Before 3 pm you can get the Lunch prices/amounts which cost $2 less per entreé.  Hubs went ahead and ate his early but the rest of us heated up our entreés at dinner time.  I find that the reg. dinner time quantities are too much(I can generally get 3 meals out of my single entreé).  Nobody here likes the same thing so sharing an entreé between us isn't going to happen.

*  I am so glad I picked up a 5 lb. log of Cooper sharp cheese a couple of weeks ago.  It is saving me scads of money buying it this way!

This product runs $7.99-$8.99 per lb. at deli counters in the grocery stores here and sometimes I can find it on sale for $5.99-$6.99 per lb.
The restaurant supply store has it sliced, prepackaged(in plastic wrap on a styrofoam tray)for $4.99 sometimes but I hate buying that because of all the packaging waste and because they wrap it so tightly that the slices get stuck together and you can't get them out singly for a sandwich.

So I invested in a good cheese slicer awhile back and now I slice about a lb. at a time and store the slices in a ziploc bag(which is washed and reused).  I just have to make sure to wrap whatever is left of the cheese log well so it doesn't dry out.  Buying a block of cheese costs me $17.99 for 5 lbs.(unless I find it on sale for $15.99)so it's costing me $3.60 lb. when I do the slicing myself(or $3.20 lb. if I find it on sale).

And those pesky bits and pieces of slices that come off the bottom end of the log when slicing?

I use them along with a heel of a loaf of bread(which nobody eats)and make myself a cheese toast breakfast after slicing!  Add in the turkey sausage patty I cooked up and you have a filling meal.

Or if I slice cheese and it's not meal time, I put the bits in a baggie because someone around here is likely to have nachos, tacos, a salad, etc. where they want shreds/bits of cheese on/with it. ;-)

*  I didn't get the Weis Friday Freebie last week because it wasn't something we'd eat/use.  It was a reusable grocery bag in homage to Earth Day rolling around this year.  I really don't need MORE reusable grocery bags so I didn't get one.  Just because something is free, if you can't/won't use it/have enough, you don't have to take it.

*  Monday saw me back at the dentist's for a filling replacement................

I got a few toothpaste Qs($1/1 Colgate)and asked for more sample size freebies.  Two more tubes of Sensodyne for Hubs and 2 bottles of Listerine.  Always ask for dental freebies because you never know if they have them if you don't ask!

*  But the best frugal buy this week was this.........

5 lbs. of matzoh for a quarter.

A good week of frugal wins about you!
How has frugality helped your personal economy this week?


Thursday, April 26, 2018

More Rite-Aid Shopping This Week

While I was in the town NW of mine scooping up some discounted meat deals at Weis I hit a different Rite-Aid.
I had 4 $3/1 Rimmel face item Qs and wanted to see if this store carried any of these items as my R-A doesn't.

I also needed to buy 1 more Visine to reach the $75 mark to earn a $20 Allergy BC Reward on my card.  I also had $2.41 tracking toward a second $6 Rimmel BC.

1 x Visine allergy 20% Wellness discount=$4.63
1 x Rimmel sculpting face kit BOGO50%=$6.49
1 x Rimmel insta flawless skin BOGO50%=$3.24

Coupons Used
1 x $2.50/1 Visine CatalinaQ=$2.50
1 x $2/1 Visine In-Ad R-AQ=$2.00
2 x $3/1 Rimmel face item IPQ=$6.00
Coupon Total......$10.50

$14.36 + .26¢ tax=$14.62-$10.50=$4.12

$4.12 in Plenti Points was used to pay the OOP.
I earned back $26 in BC($6 wyb $12 Rimmel, $20 wyb $75 allergy items).
This receipt shows I earned the $26 in BC and I have $25.72 available in BC Reward.
The receipt also shows I now have $17.92 in Plenti Points left on this card.

I have to tell you that this transaction did NOT go off without a hitch.

The cashier insisted on scanning my Wellness card first, then scanned the 3 items, then scanned the 4 coupons(1 Visine, 1 Visine in-adQ, 2 Rimmel Qs).  Before she got to the last Rimmel Q($3)my total showed $1.92.  She then said I had a choice of either A-not using that $3Q or B-she would "adjust" it down to $1.92.
Some days I should never leave the house and interact with the human race as I nearly let slip from my lips, "What planet where YOU raised on?!?" ;-)

I kept that little gem internally and said to her, "It's illegal to adjust a Q price so no you're not doing that and why would I buy this item if I can't use a Q on it....that makes no sense.".

So I told her to take my Wellness card off the transaction, use the last $3 Q and then we'd scan my card again.
Did all that and my total ended up being $4.12 which the Plenti Points attached to this card absorbed.
I earned $26 in new BC for this transaction($6 for the Rimmel, $20 Allergy Reward as my tracking hit $75 on this transaction).

You'll notice that on the receipt were it says "Available BonusCash Reward" I have $25.72.
That's actually correct as I have 2 x $5, $6 from Rimmel purchase on Monday,  2 x $4 from Burt Bees purchase on Monday and the $1.72 leftover on Monday when the computer took $2 in PPs and used .28¢of it and 'converted' the balance of the $2 to BC.
Add all that up and it's $25.72.
The next time I used this Wellness card/account my receipt should show I have $51.72 in Available BC Rewards.  We'll see if that holds up.

Then since I still had 2 Rimmel $3/1 Qs I bought this on my son's card...........

1 x Rimmel palette BOGO50%=$6.49
1 x Rimmel instant flawless skin=$3.24
1 x Rimmel stay matte finish 20% Wellness disc.=$3.99
1 x R-A flonase on sale=$13.99

Coupons Used
2 x $3/1 Rimmel face product IPQ=$6.00


2 x $5 BC came off and I was left with a balance of $11.71 + 30¢ tax=$12.01.

Then I had her scan my card after ringing up everything and applying the Qs again.
The $12.01 was absorbed by $12.01 in Plenti Points.
I earned back $10 in new BC($6 wyb $12 Rimmel, $4 wyb R-A flonase).

This receipt shows I earned the $10 in BC and I have $2 available in BC Reward(from the $2 I earned on candy bars last week-the 2 x $5 I used don't show as they were earned before last week when all your BC started going into a "wallet" whatever that is. lol).
The receipt also shows I now have $54.75 in Plenti Points left on this card.
The next time I use this Wellness card/account my receipt should show I have $12 in Available BC Rewards.

But again, this part of my receipt is incorrrect.  It shows I was awarded BC for the purchase of Rimmel(yes)AND I was awarded BC for the purchase of Allergy medicine(no).
Yes, I earned tracking toward the Allergy Reward but didn't earn a "reward" yet.

It is SO misleading by NOT HAVING THE AMOUNT OF BC YOU HAVE BEEN AWARDED FOR EACH  ITEM ON THE BOTTOM OF THE RECEIPT!  Someone who wasn't "with it" would look at this and think Hey! I've got an extra $20 in BC on this card because the receipt SAYS I do!  But they'd find out the next time they bought something that no, they don't have an extra $20 in BC.

Rite-Aid needs to go back to including the $ amount of the BC Award earned on this blurb on the receipt, especially until the Transitional phase from PPs to full on BC is over with!
Mike drop.

Your customers are really, really TRYING to stay with you Rite-Aid but you are making it very, very difficult!


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

This Week's Weis(PMITA)Markets Trip(s)

So I went on Tuesday to do my shopping at Weis this week, on Senior Citizens Day.  When Hubs turned 60 a few weeks ago we both went up to the grocery store so they could attach the Senior Discount onto our loyalty card.  I had visions of lots of good buys in my head due to the touted 10% discount for the old folks if you shopped on Tuesday.  Turns out I was mislead.....the 10% off is only on Weis branded products.  You know....the stuff that there is never a coupon for. lolz
Oh well.....

There wasn't much I planned to pick up this week, a few odds and ends.
Once I got in the store I found a few deals..........

They had fryer chickens packaged up in half sections and these had $1 off instant discount stickers on them, which made them cheaper than buying a whole chicken(.63¢ lb. vs. .98¢ on sale)so I bought 2 halves and I'll scotch tape my bird together. lolz

Weis also has advertised that this coming 3 Day Deal includes leftover St. Pat's day stock of Corned Beef briskets for $2 lb. but they had the briskets out and marked down already on Tuesday so I went ahead and got three.

I had to really hunt among the packages to find a few that weren't mostly juices.  I was not about to pay $2 lb. for juice!

I found this container of 16 mini croissants on the 50% Bakery rack for $3.

And I but this Mix and Match Deal together on the fly in the store.
I had 2 x Coffeemate Qs(which doubled to $1.50 each).
I got 2 bags of salad mix, 2 Coffeemate creamers and 2 jars of Kraft mayo.  After sale, Qs and $3 Mix and Match discount all 6 items came to $11.94 or $1.99 per item.  I also got $1.70 Ibotta for the mayo so $10.24 for all 6 items.
I also bought some Weis brand chili(extra .15¢ off a can for buying it on Tuesday)to try to see if Hubs likes it.  Hormel gets pricey if it's not on sale/don't have Qs for it and College Boy has been nocturnally eating all the chili in the house.  I told Hubs he needs to start putting notes of foods he wants to consume like I do so the kids don't take it first. ;-)

I also picked up 2 bags of 8 o'clock coffee as it's BOGOF at Weis until Wednesday night and I had 2 x $1/1 IPQs, making it $1.74 a bag after sale/Qs.

But here's my best find on Tuesday..........

Weis was getting rid of all the leftover Passover foods and I snagged this 5 lb. box of matzos(imported from Jerusalem...Ooo!)for a quarter.  Who do you think I am that I'd leave this on the shelf for a quarter?!? lololz
Regularly it goes for $9.99.

Besides grinding them up to make Matzoh balls for chicken soup I've got to get creative finding a way to use these up but Google is my friend and I've already found a few ways to incorporate matozh into some dishes.  8-)))
Let me know if you have any good uses for matzoh.
There is always PBJ on matzoh......I'd be more than happy to use them up that way as a good PBJ cracker every now and again hits the spot. ;-)

All totaled I spent $56.02 on Tuesday at Weis with the additions of the Gatorades I got CB, some lunch meat, 2 cans of chili a bottle of mustard and a bag of grapes.

So I saw a $1.50/1 Q for 8 o'clock coffee up on Coupons dotcom this morning and printed it off x 6 times(2 x via 3 different computers here)before the prints run out. 
I wanted to hit a different Rite-Aid this week to use the Rimmel face item Qs I have(my Rite-Aid doesn't carry any face products, just the eye products)so I hiked up to the town NW of us to hit the Weis too(as they have a wider variety of 8 o'clock coffee than my Weis does and they are always out of College Boy's favorite variety.

Here's the small shop I did this morning.........

I found assorted meats with discount stickers on them--the top Cab Round Roast was $7.81($2.88 lb), the Jimmy Dean hot sausage was $2.50, the Bob Evans links was $2, the Jimmy Dean turkey sausage was $2.50 and the Coleman uncured bacon was $1.50 after $2 off sticker stacked with a $1.50/1 IPQ I had(woot!).  I picked up the OJ to make sure we didn't run out before I got around to doing a bigger shop(or a name brand went on a good sale)and I used all 6 8 o'clock coffee Qs and got 6 more bags of College Boy's preferred variety and those cost me $1.24 a bag after sale and Qs.  Sweet.
A pack of 50% bakery muffins rounded out this shop for $31.26.

I believe I am done food shopping for the month now and I do believe I stayed under $400 for April(with $30 or so to spare).  I 'll get around to posting the end of the month grocery tally sometime this weekend.


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A Little Rite-Aid As They Transition

Since Rite-Aid has come out as it where with the news of discontinuing the Plenti Points Program(say that 10 times quickly)and I even got an email from Rite-Aid yesterday informing me of the demise of Plenti on 10 July, I thought I'd go in and "buy" a few things.

But first here is my R-A "cheat sheet" with all my PPs, Bonus Cash and Allergy Rewards tracking totals.......
On D's card I have 5 x $5 and a $3 BC.  That card also has $27.09 in Plenti Points and $56.92 tracking toward an Allergy Reward.

So here is what was bought on that was two transactions but I photographed it all together.........

First Transactions was--
3 x Visine $4.63 w/20% Wellness discount=$13.89
2 x Rimmel mascara BOGO50% sale($5.79/$2.89)=$8.68
2 x Rimmel eyebrow/eye shadow BOGO50% sale($3.89/$1.84)=$5.73
1 x Burt's Bees lip shimmer stick 20% Wellness discount=$4.39
2 x Burt's Bees lip tint 20% Wellness discount($3.99)=$7.98

Coupons Used
3  $2/1 Visine R-A ad Q=$6.00
1 x $2/1 Visine CatalinaQ=$2.00
2 x $1.50/1 Visine IPQ=$3.00
4 x Rimmel $3/1 eye product IPQ=$12.00
3 x Burt's Bees $1.50/1 lip color product IPQ=$4.50
Coupon Total.......$27.50

$40.67-$27.50=$13.17 +.11¢ tax=$13.28

$13 in BC came off(2 x $5, $3)leaving .28¢ left on my bill.

It seems that even though I have $20+ in PPs left on that card AND that my total owes was under $2 the register still applied my .28¢ owed to my PPs total.........

Of course this transaction was fraught with problems(as is usual at R-A).
The register took off all 3 of the R-A add Qs, one of the $1.50 Visine IPQs and then started beeping and not scanning the rest of the Qs(even the other $1.50/1 Visine IPQ which was strange because it took the first one no problem).
Qs the register scanned are listed with the item applied to on the receipt(don't know if you can see that)........

But Qs that have to be manually put through appear on the bottom of the receipt after all items are rung up.........

The manager mentioned something about the registers now won't take/scan more than 4 or 5 Qs before refusing and Corporate doesn't want the stores manually putting Qs through....even though the Qs are valid and match the item being bought. Ugh.
So now in order to not have to have Qs manually put through we need to start breaking up transactions so that we don't use more than 4 or so Qs at a clip.  What. A. Hassle.
I offered at that point to cancel this transaction and break this transaction into 2 or 3 smaller ones to comply with this policy but the manager said no, just get it done and move on. ;-)

So after manually putting the other $1.50 Visine Q through(with the manager standing there watching)the cashier tried scanning one of the Burt's Bees Qs again and it went through....huh?
We got all 3 of the $1.50/1 Burts Bees Qs scanned but the register still wouldn't scan any of the $3/1 Rimmel Qs or the $2/1 Visine Catalina Q.

So after those were put through manually, 2 x $5 and 1 x $3 Bonus Cash came off and .28¢ was applied to my Plenti Points total.
Here's the strange tally now where my Rewards are shown on the receipt.............

Where it says "Available BonusCash Rewards is the $1.72 balance of the $2 in PPs that came off my PPs total to cover the .28¢.  And notice my PPs total is now $2 less than before the transaction(Was $27.09/Now $25.09).

So according to this receipt I "only" have $1.72 in BC and earned $10 in new BC($6 for the Rimmel items and $4 for the Burt's Bees items).

But actually I went into this transaction with $28 in BC, used $13 in BC/earned $10 in BC so I now have $25 in BC + $1.72 in BC(converted from PPs)so $26.72 in BC.
Got that? lololz

I then bought 3 more of the Burt's Bees(I wanted to see if the Q would work on a color product besides the $9 one before I bought all 6 Qs worth that I had....and it did)...........

1 x Burt's Bees lip shimmer stick 20% Wellness discount=$4.39
2 x Burt's Bees lip tint 20% Wellness discount($3.99)=$7.98

I used 3 x $1.50/1 Burts Bees lip color product IPQs so $4.50 off making my total $7.87 +.18¢ tax=$8.05.

A $5 BC came off so $3.05 was due and the register used $3.05 of my Plenti Points total to cover it.

Now this receipt shows I have $22.04 left in PPs, the new $4 in BC I earned on the Burt's Bees items and I have $1.72 Available Bonus Cash(which was from the last transaction).

The word on the street was that as of last week you could choose what to use to cover your total-Bonus Cash and/or Plenti Points.  But at my store, after you Wellness card is scanned you get a screen that says "Do you want to use your Reward Savings" today? and you hit the yes or no button.
No mention of Plenti Points OR Bonus Cash.
I remember I looked at the cashier and said, "What the hell is a Rewards Savings?".  She shrugged and said, "Beats me.". lololz

So what I am concluding here is that the R-A system is Firstly applying Bonus Cash to your total, then if you have PPs and a balance, your PPs get applied BUT, if your total owed is less than $2, the system takes at least $2 off your PPs balance and converts any leftover PPs not used on that transaction to BC.

Got that? 8-))

So now I have on this card..........
$25.72 in Bonus Cash(the leftover $10 from before today, the $1.72 converted from PPs, the $14 total earned in BC today)
I have $22.04 left in Plenti Points.
I have $70.81 tracking toward the Allergy Reward(didn't update that one before I took the photo).....

Also notice at the bottom of the receipt that where it tells you you earned a BonusCash reward it no longer tells the amount you earned.

And another thing, see this coupon in the ad?........

The Q is worth $2 off 1 Visine item(which you can stack with a ManuQ/IPQ).  Fine, but you can also earn a $10 BC if you purchase $40 in Visine items this week.  I don't know about you but that is a BUTT LOAD of Visine and my store doesn't even have enough bottles of Visine on the shelf every week for you to find $40 worth to purchase. lolz
After my 20% Wellness discount I'd have to buy 9 bottles of Visine to reach $40(using the lowest priced Visine products here).  Sure, it would be a .33¢ moneymaker deal after earning $10 in BC and IF I could find 6 more $1.50/1 Visine IPQs AND 6 more bottles on the shelves. 
But seriously?  Who needs 9 bottles of Visine in one fell swoop? ;-)

When all was said and done I spent down $5.31 total in assorted points/rewards on these 13 products I bought.

I don't know about you but I will be so GLAD when Rite-Aid finishes transitioning from Plenti to this BonusCash system fully!


Monday, April 23, 2018

This Week on the Dining Table

The "Can We Talk About the Weather Again?!?" Edition--

 Last Tuesday I woke up and put Chester out to do his "business" and saw this on the deck furniture/grill.....
Evidence that it had snowed overnight lightly.
Then it proceeded to snow all. day. long.  On April 17th!  And it happened again on April 19th and some of it stuck to the ground too.
Then this weekend we had two days in the high 50's and this week looks like no 30's or 40's weather(at least during the day)and we may hit 60F. Woohoo!
This Winter weather just hasn't wanted to let us out of it's grasp this year.

Moving On....

Onward to the meal planning!

This is what was planned--

1. Sunday--Rigatoni and Mushroom Ragu
2. Monday--Fish, Squash Sauté, Corn Casserole
3. Tuesday--Homemade Pizza, Salad
4. Wednesday--Meatloaf, Baked Sweet Potato Fries, Brussels Sprouts
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--?
7. Saturday--?

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Rigatoni and Mushroom Ragu
2. Monday--Fish, Squash Sauté, Corn Casserole
3. Tuesday--Homemade Pizza
4. Wednesday--Hamburgers, leftover Squash Sauté
5. Thursday--Meatloaf, Baked Sweet Potato Fries, Sugar Snap Peas
6. Friday--Leftovers(I had a BLT)
7. Saturday--Chicken Thighs, Stuffing, Carrots

Last week saw 6 nights of home cooked dinners, 1 night of leftovers/fend for yourself, 0 nights of Take-Out or Eating Out.

4 small grocery trips(2 x Weis and Bread Outlet plus items I bought at Big Lots during the 20% off sale I forgot to add that week)brought the shopping to $80.52 for the week and brought April's food spending total to $273.42.   The "regular" shopping was $50 and the Big Lots forgotten foods were $30.

I've got $126.58 left in the food budget for April and 8 days left in my shopping month.

My savings percentages last week was 53.95% and April's monthly savings total so far is at 58.42%.

Leftovers going into this week....... chicken thighs(I made an XL batch so we had leftovers for this week), stuffing, sugar snap peas, a lot of meatloaf, a lot of rigatoni and a little sauce.

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

1. Sunday--leftover BBQ made into a Taco Ring thing
2. Monday--Take-out(getting it at Lunch prices, reheating for dinner)
3. Tuesday--Baked Rigatoni(using leftover pasta), Salad
4. Wednesday--Tacos(using leftover meatloaf)
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--Leftovers
7. Saturday--Fish, Coleslaw, Mystery Veg(because I don't know what it is yet)

This week will see 4 new meals cooked, 2 nights of leftovers/FFY and 1 nights of Take-out/Eat-Out.
I am using 3 food items of leftovers from previous weeks to make new recipes this week.

What needs buying for this menu?  Salad Greens and Cheese.  We are getting a tad low on cheddar and mozz.  We also haven't had salads for awhile due to the romaine e-coli scare around here....the lettuce shelves have been a bit bare.  I also need to pick up some cabbage to make coleslaw and the produce drawer is getting quite empty(aside from tomatoes and sweet potatoes).

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, April 21, 2018

I Don't Fit In with my Non-Frugal Family....Eating Out Edition

The fact that I am much more frugal than my Hubs and kids is always brought home to me when we go out to eat.

I remember when we first moved to this area in 2000.  It was a game changer for us....we finally lived near civilization(stores, doctors, etc.)and had many choices for eating out(old house there was a pizza joint and a Chinese take-out) and that was also about the time Hubs got a big promotion and raise at his work so we had more discretionary income at this point AND more ways to spend it.

One of those ways was to eat out.
One of our favorite places to go for something other than fast food type stuff was Lone Star Steakhouse.  We like a good they had a kids' menu so we didn't have to spend a lot on them when they were younger(and wanted chicken strips anyway over steak).

As soon as the waitress/waiter came to the table the four of them would each order a soda or iced tea.
That's when I'd give each of them the "mom look" look=that look that says "Oh no you didn't!" without opening my mouth.
Hubs would give me a look right back that said "let them order a drink and lay off"!
BTW, I always ordered water(sometimes with a lemon wedge)for my drink.

Then I'd start a discussion at the table about the value of money and the cost of things.  Kids being kids have no clue what things cost unless you talk to them about it.  And even then, they really don't care or have any concept about "money" unless you make it real for them.

Back then a soda ordered at this restaurant was $1.69.
4 x that amount was $6.78 and if I had also ordered a drink other than water that's $8.45 before we even got any food!  The cost of a soda or iced tea at most places here is now $2.69 so over $13 for a family of 5 to order a drink each!!!

That's a whole honking lot of $ for a drink without alcohol and to me, just not frugal, even with free refills because really, who needs to drink 4 or 5 glasses of soda at a time.

You're there to eat a good meal not fill up on sugar water I'd say and then go on to give them the facts about the costs of this meal.
And how this spending would keep us from paying for other birthday money, toys at Christmas(nobody believed in the Santa myth at this point), or their beloved Summer camp weeks.
Yeah I was a real killjoy......lolz

They eventually got the idea that they didn't NEED a soda at every meal out.

But really, when we went out for College Boy's Birthday meal you'd have thought I never tried drilling frugality into them for all those years!
That or they just don't care since we were footing the bill.  ;-)

All 3 of them ordered alcohol!
This is something I NEVER do(unless someone else is paying for it or that's the main point of the night out-drinking)....order alcoholic drinks out.  Alcohol out is just the opposite of frugal!!
And Daughter....not only did she order a drink, she freaking ordered a PUNCH BOWL of alcohol!


And then, after the drinks came, each of them ordered a big ass appetizer....a special roll costing between $8.95 and $11.95 each.
We were up to $50 of spending on just drinks and appetizers and we hadn't even ordered our entreé yet!!!

By the time you had consumed all this alcoholic drinks and appetizers who is really still hungry!?!?

Now Hubs after 40 years of being together knows this sort of thing irks me to no end and when we are out alone I can "control" him somewhat.
But he just hid in the crowd that day and let his spending fly!

With tip the birthday meal was $107.60.

So I told them all, "this is why I  don't want to go out to dinner/lunch with any of you if I/Hubs are footing the bill!".
It's like they can't control themselves, any of them.

Here's an adventure we had the end of March.....
I got Hubs a 50% voucher for a new brewery in a tiny town South of us.
The deal was I paid $10 for a voucher worth $20 spending at this brewery.
It's really a tasting room since there is no food available.

We offered to take the two kids too and Daughter went.

We were there for about 1.5 hours.
I had 3 drinks-a reg. sized drink and then 2 tasting size(5 oz.)drinks.  I did drink a bit more than I usually would in this situation but it was by no means excessive.
The cost for my drinks?  $12.50

The cost of Hubs and daughter's bill?  $49.00
And then there was a nice tip to add to our total.

See what I mean?
My family has no self-control. 8-)


Friday, April 20, 2018

Frugal Friday....April 20th Edition

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

* I did a $40 shop at Weis this week.  Here are the best deals I got.........

 VO5 products were .77¢.  I used 2 x .50¢/2 Qs that doubled to $1 and bought 4 bottles.  OOP cost was .22¢ per bottle.  I don't use this brand on my hair(I get moreexpensive shampoos for free at Rite-Aid)so I'll use these watered down to refill hand soap container.  I should be able to get 2 refills from each bottle so 8 refills total.  8 bottles of hand soap even at the Dollar Tree cost $8.  I'll take $1.76 spent OOP over $8 any day.

 These ready-to-use pasta bags were on sale $1.50 each. I used 2 x $1/1 Qs plus a digital e-coupon came off my loyalty card so I paid $0.00 for both.

4 x Hormel quick wraps have been a monthly deal at Weis when you buy 4 they are $1.25 each so $5 for 4.
I used 4 x .50¢/1 IPQs that doubled to $1 each so $5-$4Qs=$1.00 for all 4 packages so .25¢ each.
College Boy has been eating these as they are a quick to grab meal when he is rushing off to the music studio.

* Last Week's Freebie at Weis(PMITA)Markets.....

A box of popcorn.  Again, Customer Service had no CLUE this was Friday Freebie freebie.  Good thing I sent Hubs because he's got a knack of getting them to give him the freebie without a hassle(maybe because he's a man?lol).
This will get used and saved me from spending money on it so it's a win!

*  I tried a new side dish last week-Zucchini with Anchovies and Capers.  Recipe HERE.
I don't usually keep anchovies in our pantry so had to buy them to make this dish.  Luckily the anchovies were on sale at least.  ;-)

Afterwards I was left with 1/2 a tin of salty fish to use up.
So I decided to put homemade pizza on the menu this past week to use them up.

I got out about 6 bags of partially used shredded cheese(why don't these people here use up a bag before opening a new bag?!?), 2 cans of pizza sauce I picked up at the grocery outlet last Summer, a small bag of pepperoni from the freezer, a can of olives and an onion in the pantry and that half tin of anchovies.  I made enough dough for 3 pies(one XL)--a pepperoni and onion, an anchovy and olive and onion, and a pepperoni and olive pie.  I forgot to take a photo of the anchovy pizza and this is all that is left after the meal(and College Boy hitting the leftovers for two late night meals. 8-)

*  I found a penny in the Weis parking lot.

Hey!  It's a small win but picking  random change that gets abandoned in a parking lot adds up.
I also found someone's key in a different parking lot with nobody around to ask if they lost it, and turned it in to the store.

*  I sold this on eBay last Friday..........

"Would you believe?" It's a complete dvd set of the 1960's series Get Smart(see what I did there?lol).
Hubs dearly loved this tv show as a kid so when they came out with this boxed set of the series I got it for him for Xmas about 10 years ago.  I think he watched 3 episodes and put it away. He said the show didn't "age" well and wasn't so fun to watch now.  I bit my tongue about saying how some PEOPLE don't age well either. hehehe

I took a lower offer on it just to get it out of the house and I am trying not to think about the sunk costs and instead about how this dvd set will make someone else happy.  Considering what I paid for it I lost money here but it's gone and I've got $44.30 after fees back in my pocket.

* And there was a small trip to Rite-Aid this week......

I should have been able to use $2 in BC or PPs on this(as my total should have been $2 after Qs)but 2 of the toothpastes were less than $3.50 with the 20% Wellness discount($3.43)so my total was at $1.86 instead of $2(A rookie mistake but even I am not at the top of my game some days.)
So I put the $1.86 on my R-A gift card.

*  Cheap Mouse for the Win!
My computer mouse went KAPUT! about 10 days ago so I went and got a new wireless mouse.....

It was a choice between this or a purple one with geometric shapes on it.  This one was a bit less expensive of the two on Amazon(an unpopular design they were clearancing out?).  It was free shipping with Prime, cost me $11.61 w/tax which was less than any brick and mortar wanted to just a plain boring black or blue name brand wireless mouse.

*  The federal tax refund hit our bank account.  After $381.03 in fees(for tax software and monies we had to pay the states of PA and LA and mailing costs for 1 state return we banked $5362.97.  Likely the fed. refund was so high due to Hubs working 50% of the year and having such high withholding in his checks so that when we dropped down to the retirement income level we had a large credit of withholding.  That doesn't sound quite right but I can't figure out how to say it right now. lolz
Anyway, we didn't go blow that check on a down payment on a car(people do that with tax refunds, use it to get a car but it only covers a down payment and then they are saddled with a new recurring car paymentbill), or spend it on something else that was a want.  If we had debt we'd have thrown it onto that bill but we don't thankfully at this point in our lives.
So we will transfer it to our online account(which will earn a tad more than at a brick and mortar bank)and just let it sit for now until we make a plan for that money.

*  While Hubs was out running an errand I had him hit the Bread Outlet since he was going right by there.........

I gave him a list with options.  He picked up 3 3/$3 items and 3 3/$4 items. (A package hamburger rolls is missing because we used them that evening before I thought to take a photo.)  He spent $7 on bread products that would cost $24.14 at the grocery store(not on sale, but even on sale it would have been at least $12+).
That blue labeled bread is Organic and goes for $5.99 a loaf!!
With that 5 lb. log of Cooper Cheese I bought College Boy is eating a LOT more grilled cheese sandwiches(he will eat 3-4 at a sitting!)so the bread was very low so I am glad we got restocked.

So tell us what Frugal wins you had this past week?