Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Food & Toiletries Spending.....the December Edition & Yearly Totals

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

Here are my FOOD BUDGET spending totals for DECEMBER 2018.

I have posted December's totals on the Total Grocery Savings Page located HERE and have updated the Totals there.
I am listing subtotals for each store I purchased from in December.  If you aren't interested in that much detail, just skip to the bottom for the Totals Sum.  My spending includes Food, Toiletries/HBA, Cleaning Products, Paper Goods & tax where applicable. We are a family of 4-5(4 at home this month). No "kids" under 22.


OOP  $24.35
Value  $41.61
Savings  41.48%

OOP  $4.39
Value  $9.29
Savings  52.74%

OOP  $10.16
Value  $53.78
Savings  81.10%

OOP  $68.80
Value  $184.29
Savings  62.67%

OOP  $2.32
Value  $6.56
Savings  64.63%

OOP  $0.00
Qs/Ads/BC  $793.69
Value  $793.69
Savings  100%

OOP  $1.98
Value  $3.98
Savings  50.25 %

OOP  $252.82
Qs/Ads  $1134.88
Value  $1387.70
Savings  81.78%

My best 3 Store Savings Totals were Rite-Aid at 100%, Weis at 81.78% and the Bread Outlet at 81.10%.  My worst savings rate was at Aldi at 41.48%.
Over 40% being the worst is a-ok with me! ;-)

I shopped at 8 different stores this past month.  

TOTAL Out of Pocket for December..........$364.82
TOTAL Coupons/Store Sales............$528.70
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased.........$893.52
TOTAL Savings of ................................59.17%

TOTAL Out of Pocket for December.....$364.82
TOTAL Coupons/Store Sales....$1322.39
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased w/Rite-Aid.....$1687.21
TOTAL Savings with Rite-Aid items........78.38%

This closes out the December food/toiletries spending.

THOUGHTS & COMMENTS for this month.....
I wanted to stay as far under my $400 budget in December as possible.  Under $300 was what I shot for but it wasn't to be(not with the deals I saw and took advantage of). ;-)  But we were still $35+/- under $400 so I'm happy with that.

The monthly food spending savings percentage went up by 1.82% in December 2018 to 78.38% compared to November's 80.20% savings average.

With 12 months accounted for, I have spent a Grand Total of $5111.85 on food/toiletries in 2018.

Add in the Rebates/Refunds Kitty of $754.76 to offset my food budget and my Grand Total for the Year goes down to $4357.09 spent on all food and toiletries in 2018.

2018 Yearly Total Spent...................$4357.09
2018 Yearly Total Value of Items...$20339.95
2018 Total Saved.............................$15982.88
2018 Yearly Savings Total of.............78.58%

The average per month amount spent is $363.09 in 2018.  It's under an average of $400 per month which thrills me to no end.  8-)))

LOOKING AHEAD To 2019.......

We'll be taking advantage of all the shopping strategies we do every year.  Midway through 2019 my daughter will be moving out after finishing her college degree so the food bill should go down some.  We'll see at that point how low we can get our food spending with only 3 adults living in the house.
Stay tuned to this Bat Channel to see how 2019 unfolds.....

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

*  How much did you spend on food/toiletries in December?

*  Do you track your yearly food spending?

*  What was your savings percentage buying on sale and/or with coupons vs. buying at regular retail price last month, if you track that sort of thing?

*  What are your methods for keeping your food spending in check?

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


This Week on the Dining Table

The "Holidays and the Year are Coming to a Close" Edition.........

I didn't get many photos snapped this Holiday Season, including no photos of our Xmas dinner.  There were only 3 of us for Xmas eve dinner out(ECB had to work so we got him a To Go order of his fav. dish.).

Moving On....

Onward to the meal planning!

This is what was planned--

1. Sunday--Spinach Salad, Chicken Strips
2. Monday--Xmas eve dinner out
3. Tuesday--Ham, Radicchio/Brussels Sprouts Slaw, Mac and Cheese, Rolls, Deviled Eggs
4. Wednesday--Leftovers
5. Thursday--Pizza
6. Friday--?
7. Saturday--?

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Spinach Salad, Chicken Strips
2. Monday--Xmas eve dinner out
3. Tuesday--Ham, Radicchio/Brussels Sprouts Slaw, Mac and Cheese, Rolls, Deviled Eggs
4. Wednesday--Friendly's
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--Fend for Yourself
7. Saturday--Hamburgers on rolls, Broccoli

Last week saw 3 nights of home cooked dinners, 2 nights of leftovers/fend for yourself, 2 nights of Eating Out/Take-Out.  Wasn't sure how last week would pan out since I didn't know how long company would stay. Daughter cooked for Xmas and that was appreciated.  Hubs handled Sat. dinner too.  I don't feel like I was living in the kitchen this year at the Holidays, which was nice. 8-)

 A couple of grocery trips.....a small and a biggish trip to Weis($8.99/$37.91)plus a trip earlier in the month to Weis I somehow forgot to record($41.18)brought the weekly food spending to $88.08 and brought the December monthly total to $364.82.

I have 0 days left in my shopping month for December and my December totals plus Year End food shopping totals will be posted later today.

My savings percentage last week was 56.77%(without Rite-Aid trips)and December's monthly savings total comes to 59.17%(w/out R-A).  

Leftovers going into this week....a couple of dinner rolls from Xmas dinner, a little bit of ham.  Daughter did well in gauging how much she prepared for Xmas dinner.

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

1. Sunday--Barbecue on Rolls, Cole Slaw
2. Monday--Apps and Finger Foods for NYE
3. Tuesday--Teriyaki Pork, Asian Veggie Medley, Rice
4. Wednesday--Country Fried Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Veggie TBD(I'll have Taters and Veggie only)
5. Thursday--Pasta of some kind, Salad
6. Friday--Seafood Buffet(catfish, salmon, shrimp, clams), Veggie TBD
7. Saturday--?

Saturday is a ? so far as I haven't dug around in the freezer yet. ;-)

This week will see 6 new meals cooked, 0 nights of leftovers/FFY, 0 nights of Take-Out/Eating Out and 1 night of ?.
If we have enough leftovers for a meal, 1 of the dinners will be moved to next week.

What needs buying for this menu?  Just some salad greens and the ubiquitous milk.

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

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

Any great deals on food at your stores this week? 


Sunday, December 30, 2018

Last Rite-Aid Shop of 2018

I had almost "spent" enough at Rite-Aid on allergy products to get a second $20 Bonus Cash for the year on Daughter's card so I went up to buy a couple items........

1 x Nasacort spray on sale=$19.19(20% Wellness disc. better than sale price)
1 x R-A Flonase spray on sale=$15.99

I used a $3/1 Nasacort L2CQ so $32.18 was my total, paid for with Bonus Cash.
I earned back $21 in new BC($1Nasacort, $20 wyspend $75 on select allergy items).

If you are almost to the Allergy Reward be sure and pick up some meds before the year ends(Monday night)to get your $20 Bonus Cash reward.


Small Finances....2018 Year End

This is my End of Year Small Finances money post for 2018.

I went through the various small pots of monies and here is where it all stands as of  December 21st.
I save up all my rebates/spare change/refunds to apply toward the food bill in December.
(I don't however put monies from things I sell during the year into this kitty.)

Here are my totals........

*  Rolled Coins--$49.50 to put toward the food budget.  This is mainly change we throw into a change cup throughout the year.

*  Here are the current cash rebate app totals for 2018 to this point in December........

   Ibotta  $382.11
   Checkout 51  $12.50 *Can't cash this out until it hits $20*
   Savingstar  $88.65
Rebate apps Total....$470.79(w/out Checkout51)

*   My Weis Refund/mailed Rebates envelope has $48.80 in it.

*   My Rite-Aid Post Q/Refund envelope has $182.21 in it.

*   My found change envelope has $3.49 in it.

Altogether I have a Grand Total of $754.76 in funds to put back into the food budget in December.

2018 was a great year for small finances at Chez Sluggy.  The added cost of having a smartphone was balanced by being able to do a lot more in cash rebates w/phone apps.

Do you keep track of small streams of cash you receive?
Do you ear mark any of it for something special?


Saturday, December 29, 2018

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

My week is a bit bolloxed up this week what with Christmas and company and not posting for a bit while they were here so forgive my Late Edition of Frugal Friday please.

Frugal wins this week?  You tell me if I had any. lolz

* I got the Weis Freebie last Friday........

A jar of gravy.

*  Last Friday I also got all this at Weis on their Fantastic Friday sales.......

A bag of shredded cheese which was on sale last ad for $2.  I had a .75¢/1 Q Weis mailed me plus a digital Weis Q for $1/1 came off as well so I paid .25¢ for an 8 oz. bag of cheese.
Go me!

These unusual cereals were $1.49.  Multiple digital Qs came off(no clue how or why!)so I ended up paying .49¢ box.  I was very curious to try the banana pudding one.  Could be horrid, could be yummy.

I also had printed off 6 Ragu Qs at Coupons dotcom for $1/2 jars of Ragu.  The Ragu, including the Ragu Simply(no added sugar), was $1 a jar on sale so these cost me $6 total or .50¢ per jar after sale/Q.
I gave BIL 4 jars of it in his Xmas box and we'll use the other 8 jars at Chez Sluggy.

*  Eldest brought his GF here for Christmas.  Because I have a stockpile of goodies I didn't have to go out and spend additional cash on putting together some gifts for her.  I don't know her tastes and other than the 1 suggestion Eldest could come up with for a gift(a book in a series someone wrote about the different Disney movies and what would have happened if the dark side had taken's Disney related so I just couldn't bring myself to purchase this, being the anti-Disney person I am lolz)I didn't have the time or inclination to go out last minute to fend off the hoards in the stores to shop.  So I culled a box of chocolates, a restaurant gift card and some stocking stuffers from my stash and I let her raid my Rite-Aid freebies box of make-up too. 8-)

*  I got paid to take a tube of toothpaste outta Weis on another trip.........

I don't usually go down the toiletries aisles at Weis since well, Rite-Aid gives me all that sort of thing for free 8-).
I just happened to spot this brand/type of toothpaste that was on clearance for half price, $1.47.  I knew I had a $2/1 Crest digital Q attached to my Weis card so I stuck it into my order.  The overage between the price paid and the value of the Q(.53¢)went toward all the other items in my cart that I actually had to pay money for. lolz  It was an unexpected bonus of savings and a freebie.

*  We didn't go to the brew pub after Friendly's on Wednesday  night due to the pub being full up.  Came home, drank beer at home and played games on the tv, thereby saving about $100 we would have spent on that outing.

As always, stay frugal my friends!

What frugal wins did y'all have last week?


Friday, December 28, 2018

Scenes of the Holiday Season

Hubs and I got out a few times during the Holiday Season this year among the crowds.

Once was to Walmart to replace some broken outdoor lights.

While Hubs shopped I looked around the store............

I found this weiner dog stuffed plush decorated for Hanukkah in blue with a menorah strapped to his torso. lolz

At first this reindeer looked like a llama to me but as I got closer I saw it was a reindeer.  I never did take a look at the price tag on it....and where for heaven's sake would you store it in the off season?!?!

Another day we went to a Tuesday Morning that opened this Summer near us..........


This was the most bizarre thing I saw in that store.  It's a tiny electric fan that looks like a cricket.

This pillow was funny in a good way, not like that cricket fan.

I threatened to buy this for Hubs...............

I also saw this at Rite-Aid and thought about getting it for Daughter's dog.......

The dog has a stuffed poop squeaky toy she carried around and thinks it's her baby.  I didn't buy this dancing and singing Xmas poop because the dog is so scared of everything, it would have traumatized her. lolz

I did buy this for Daughter to put on the tree though........

A poop Xmas ornament for Cinnamon.  I'll inscribe it with her name and the year before they take it to LA this Spring.

And the poop got a place of honor on the tree, right between Daughter's "special" reindeer craft for 2nd grade and SpongeBob Square Pants ornie.  lolz

We also hit The Christmas Tree Shop finally in December.  It was right by the music shop we had to hit for guitar strings and picks for Ex-College Boy.

I couldn't believe some of the junk they sell.  I guess some men are really, really hard to buy for....

I warned Hubs I needed to put this into his stocking, a "Snore Stopper".  It's a plastic fist on a stick and you whack the snorer with it.....lolz  But at $5 it wasn't worth that much of a laugh.

Last Friday,  I went out to run a couple of errands and recorded this little video.....

The next day it was 30F......a 35 degree drop in temp but luckily no tornadoes this time. ;-)

On Christmas eve it snowed a bit............

Here's Cinnamon went I let her in after a trip out to potty.....little snowball like flakes.  The dog is part Husky so she doesn't even feel it her fur is so thick.  This dog lays out in the yard in the snow, rain, wind, you name it, in the dark and cold.  She'd stay out there by herself if you didn't haul her in.
She is going to hate Louisiana when she goes back........

Christmas was the traditional dinner out at our local Chinese Restaurant.  Just Hubs, I and Daughter this year as Ex-College Boy had to work until 8 pm, so we got him a to-go order.

Christmas Eve day was also spent lobbing in a phone call to Sonya Ann to gab for an hour or four.  They aren't really "doing" Christmas there this year but she has her kids with her for the Holiday which was nice.  We discussed many deep philosophical things and had a few good belly laughs over things.  She is in a much better place( both physically and mentally)this Christmas.  Her life with the asshole is finally done and she is free to craft the life she wants for herself.  I am so thrilled for her!

And here is a gratuitous pic of Chester..........

He got a bath for Christmas and I've let his hair grow long for the Winter.  He loved all the commotion and people in the house for Christmas.

We didn't get everyone up on Xmas morning until around 10am.  It's so nice the kids are young adults now and we aren't up until 2 am putting together toys and then roused out of bed at 5 am.  Ah, the good old days..Not! lolz

We opened gifts are a good breakfast..........

Ex-College Boy teased Chester with wrapping paper.

Chester was decked out in his "Santa's Little Helper" shirt. lolz

 Hubs with his high end bag of coffee.

 Daughter opening a gift wrapped in the Harry Potter paper I found at Dollar Tree(she was a HP fan).

Chester opening one of his gifts....a Licky Mat.  I think he liked the gift wrap better than that gift. lolz

 Cinnamon taking her jumbo rawhide bone candy cane.....notice Chester at the bottom of the picture.

 And Cinnamon running away from Chester trying to take that rawhide bone from her.  She carried it upstairs to her bed where she could chew on it in peace. ;-)

Here I am with a garden stone in the shape of a snail.  Hubs and I saw this at Christmas Tree Shops and I wanted it so I pretended I didn't know he bought it for me until I unwrapped it Xmas morning.
It was on final clearance and cost $2 so a win/win!

 Daughter got a cool crosbody purse from her BF.  The smile said she liked it!

 Kim sent Chester a little toy which he took to right away.  He's been carrying it around for 3 days now in between trying to shake it to death and chew it up. lolz

Here is Hubs and Chester on Xmas.  Chester got a new plastic pig toy(actually he got 2-one in pink and one in orange)and he is waiting patiently for daddy to take the tags of it so he can play with "Piggy".

Kim's box of goodies arrived on Christmas eve.  Lots of cookies, a fruitcake, plus caramels and a book for Hubs, a luggage tag and sarcastic fridge magnet for me and that toy for Chester.

There was also this box for me........
Inside was a big, heavy decorated sugar cookie sitting on top of an inch thick bed of crumbs.  But not cookie crumbs.....they looked like corn flake or Chinese noodle crumbs.  We passed the box around and tried to figure out WTF?!? it was.
I finally realized there had "probably been those delicate Scandinavian rosette cookies you make on an iron rod, dipping into the batter and then deep frying them, cooling and coating with powdered sugar(I could see the 10X sugar residue on the sides of the box)in this box.

Either that or Kim had lost her mind somewhere in the last couple of weeks and had shipped me crushed up fried crunchy batter and cocaine in a box. lolz

No one here believed me about the cookies since other than way distant ancestry we aren't of Viking stock so we've never had these cookies before.

A call to Kim to see how her Christmas turned out(though she's not done celebrating the Holiday yet)confirmed that my hunch was right and they had been, at one time Rosette cookies.  I will relish eating those crumbs now Kim.
But really......what voice in your head told you when you packed those cookies to make the journey from ID to PA that you should fill up that empty space at the top of the box with a substantial(and comparatively HEAVY)sugar cookie? LOLOLZ  It just served as a battering ram in the box once the postal service got ahold of it and finished the pulverizing job. heheheh

Eldest and his GF arrived around noon on Christmas day as well as the Brother in-law and Nephew.

Daughter cooked most of the meal for me which was a nice change for me.  I did still do the pies, cookies, deviled eggs(which we forgot until almost the end of dinner)and a new Brussels Sprouts and Radicchio Slaw dish(which everyone seemed to love).  She did the ham, the potato rolls, mac and cheese and a pan of roasted veggies so the majority of the work.

We sat down to eat around 2pm and like the deviled eggs I almost forgot to take a picture of the whole dinner gang............

We opened a few more gifts, did the Secret Santa exchange then after BIL and nephew left and Hubs went to bed the kids and I played a few games on JackBox and the more they drank the more inappropriate the answers got.
I got to bed around 1am.

On Boxing Day we slept in(well, most of us did), we hung out and chilled until dinner time(though I did take a plate of cookies up to the Rite-Aid), then we headed off to Friendly's for one of the worst dinners out EVAH!, followed by a drive to the brew pub for drinks and bingo, however the brew pub was SRO so we just went home, drank there and played more JackBox(this time with Hubs too).

Eldest and his GF left early Thursday morning as she had work on Friday.  At least I remembered to get a photo of them before they left.  Wish they could have stayed longer but such is life.......

So that's been my holiday so far.  Thursday was spent cleaning up, doing laundry and napping.

I hope everyone had some fun and made some memories this Christmas like we did. ;-)


Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas!

       The Christmas Card collection for 2018, so far.

I just wanted to take the opportunity to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Lo Saturnalia!, Merry Yule, Happy Solstice, Happy Festivus or whatever Winter season holiday you observe.
  I cherish all of you, the ones who have reached out and have become my friends as well as all you lurkers out there.  ;-)

It still amazes me that y'all come here online to my little blog, form a community of sorts and we can share our collective lives' journeys.

Feel free to take this opportunity to leave a comment of any kind you wish......a holiday greeting to your fellow readers here, a question you have, an insight about life or frugality, a wish about what direction you'd like to see the blog take in 2019, or ???  It's your turn to have your say at "Don't Read This; It's Boring!".

As is my tradition, let me close with a little video I like to share at Christmas. ;-)

I'd like to dedicate the song this year to my cousin Sonya Ann.  It's been a hell of a ride in 2018 and here's to better and brighter things for us all.  8-)))


Monday, December 24, 2018

This Week on the Dining Table

The "Fresh Bread" Edition.........

I made bread on Thursday to go with the Beef Stew that was served.  I usually follow a recipe from my Vincent Price cookbook for French Bread to make bread.  Although a recipe that produces an excellent bread it just makes too, too much(and halving it doesn't work well). 
So I tried a different bread recipe I found online.  This recipe yielded a nice couple of rustic loaves with a very good crust.  Give it a won't be disappointed. ;-)

Moving On....

Onward to the meal planning!

This is what was planned--

1. Sunday--Bourbon Sweet Potato Ravioli w/Bechamel Sauce, Tossed Salad
2. Monday--Roasted Chicken w/Veggies
3. Tuesday--BLT Sandwiches
4. Wednesday--Italian Sausage Sandwiches, Potato Salad or ?
5. Thursday--Beef Stew, fresh Bread
6. Friday--Chicken Pot Pie
7. Saturday--Homemade Pizza

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Bourbon Sweet Potato Ravioli w/Bechamel Sauce, Tossed Salad
2. Monday--Roasted Chicken w/Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts
3. Tuesday--BLT Sandwiches
4. Wednesday--Birthday Dinner out for daughter
5. Thursday--Beef Stew, fresh Bread
6. Friday--Chicken Pot Pie(using leftover roast chicken)
7. Saturday--Pizza take-out

Last week saw 5 nights of home cooked dinners, 0 nights of leftovers/fend for yourself, 2 nights of Eating Out/Take-Out. 
I forgot about the Daughter's birthday dinner out on Wed. so the Sausage sandwiches didn't happen.  I also got take-out pizza instead of making it myself on Saturday as I hurt my leg Friday and was trying not to be on it that much at the end of the week.

 A couple of grocery trips.....3 small trips to Weis($19.46/$7.23/$10.42), a trip to Aldi's($24.35)and a couple of things at Boyer's($4.39)brought the weekly food spending to $65.85 and brought the December monthly total to $276.74 so far.

I have 7 days left in my shopping month for December.  I hope at this point to keep it under $300 until we hit the new month/new year.  We'll definitely stay under $400. 8-)

My savings percentage last week was 58.92%(without Rite-Aid trips)and December's monthly savings total comes to 59.88%(w/out R-A)so far.  Getting a free spiral ham with my Weis points went a long way toward keeping our savings rate high last week.

Leftovers going into this week....not much.....3/4 of a chicken pot pie and about half of the bread I made.

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

1. Sunday--Spinach Salad, Chicken Strips
2. Monday--Xmas eve dinner out
3. Tuesday--Ham, Radicchio/Brussels Sprouts Salad, Mac and Cheese, Rolls, Deviled Eggs
4. Wednesday--Leftovers
5. Thursday--Pizza
6. Friday--?
7. Saturday--?

End of the week is ?s because I don't know how long company is staying and if they want to eat out or what.  I do have plenty of stuff in the freezer and pantry so we don't HAVE TO go out but again, Hubs might want to go out and he's watching me like a hawk so I don't overdo and the leg doesn't heal.

This week will see 3 new meals cooked, 1-? nights of leftovers/FFY, ? nights of Take-Out/Eating Out.
We'll see how this menu turns out come next Monday.

What needs buying for this menu? All I need at this point is some radicchio and fresh Brussels Sprouts plus more milk for daughter's mac and cheese.

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, December 23, 2018

Around Our Christmas Tree This Year

I finally got some snapshots of the ornaments on our Christmas tree this year.
I enjoy looking at what others put on their trees so I thought some of y'all might like to see what's hanging around Sluggy's tree.

The last two years we've only put our 4 ft. tabletop tree up because of the doggies that live with us.  A full sized tree would be too too tempting to reek havoc on. lolz
So only a few select ornaments out of the vast numbers of ornies we have made the cut in 2018.

I have a few of these tiny plastic nativity ornies.  They were a prize from 2nd grade for selling $X amount of stuff for a school fundraiser.  My mom had kept these in her boxes of Xmas ornies and I found them after she died and my brother gave me all that stuff.

This snail Precious Moments ornie I picked up on a Hallmark store going out of business sale for 90% off....I think it cost me $1?
It's a slug(with a shell)so I had to have it.  The year 1997 really doesn't have a profound significance in my life....Ex-College Boy was born in 1996, so close but no cigar. lolz

I picked this one up on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park in Maine on the road trip with Kim and company.

While vacationing with my brother and his wife down OBX in October we went to the Christmas shop(I've been there many times over the years).  I found this doggy ornie that looked an awful lot like my Chester.  I painted his name on it. 8-)))

  You probably can't see this one too well.  It's a crab pot with 2 little plastic crabs inside.  A swap partner put this in a swap box for me.  She lived in Maryland at the time.  Little did she know I spent my childhood crabbing in the river across from our house growing up in Virginia.  This one is special to me.

This ornie was procured during our 2017 Road Trip out West.  We had to do the tourist thing and stop at Wall Drug in South Dakota.

This one also takes me back to my childhood.  It's a replica of my Easy-Bake Oven I got for Christmas in 1967(or was it 1966?).  I had the turquoise model.  Loved that toy!

I have always had a soft spot for anything Maxine.  As I have aged I am turning into Maxine! lolz

This is Hubs Whisky barrel he got on our visit to the George Dickel distillery in Tennessee in 2014.
A Xmas tree isn't complete without a barrel of whisky(or a Charmander Pokemon for that matter).

This ornament always makes the cut for getting on our tree.  It's an ornie I gave my oldest brother years ago(1980's maybe?)to put on his Xmas tree.  Oldest brother was a beach guy....flip flops and shorts year round and had the Beach 'Tude about life.  He also was a Merchant Marine for many years so he had an affinity for the ocean.  This is how I honor his memory every Holiday Season.

Back when I was in grade school my mother made felt Xmas ornaments for a school fundraiser Craft Show.  This Santa is one of the ornies she created and was leftover so she used them on our tree.
Mom had a creative streak.....couldn't paint or draw for the life of her but she  knitted, sewed, crocheted and did all sorts of crafts.

This is a traditional Southern ornie.....a watermelon on your tree.  It's a 3/4 of a melon on a  string with the cut 1/4 on the other end of the string, which you drape and balance on a branch.
Note that my 3/4 melon has been chewed on down to the raw wood underneath.  Our beagle, Peanut, did that many years ago, which makes this ornie unique to me. ;-)

One of the ornies I picked up on vacation to Maine a few years back.  You can't have a wicked good Christmas tree without a wicked good ornament.

This ornament is a goose or duck egg that was blown out, decorated with a decal and crystals, decoupaged and tiny bells hung from the bottom.
Back when I made and sold items at Craft Shows in NJ and PA this was what another vendor was selling.  Her work was lovely and even though she was charging a lot for me at that time I took some of my profits and bought one for me and Hubs' tree and one for my mom's tree.  This is the one I gave my mom, which was in her box of Xmas tree I inherited years ago.  Sadly I can't find the one I kept.  It most probably got broken at some point when my kids were little and I just don't recall. sigh.

And finally, this is a glass blown Charming Tails ornie called "Sidney's Special Gift".  I had a friend back in the 1990's, one of the Beanie Baby group I belonged to.  She was Canadian and she came to visit and I went to Canada to visit her.  She was a bigtime eBay seller back then and one year she brought me a box of 6 of these ornies as a present, because, well, it's appropriate to give me slugs and snails. lolz  We are no longer in contact but this makes me think of her fondly.

So that's a trip around our 2018 Christmas Tree.

What special or favorite ornaments do you have?