Saturday, August 31, 2019

2019 Food & Toiletries Spending......the August Edition

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

Here are my FOOD BUDGET spending totals for AUGUST 2019.

I have posted August'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 August.  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 5(3 at home this month). No "kids" under 23.

OOP  $14.00
Value  $51.49
Savings  72.81%

OOP  $75.39
Value  $157.36
Savings  52.09%

OOP  $16.77
Value  $29.14
Savings  42.45%

OOP  $5.17
Value  $10.47
Savings  50.62%

OOP  $0.00
Qs/Ads/BC  $331.67
Value  $331.67
Savings  100%

OOP  $26.54
Qs/Ads $25.25
Value  $51.79
Savings  48.75%

OOP  $19.57
Value  $36.50
Savings  46.38%

OOP  $146.72
Qs/Ads  $152.26
Value  $298.98
Savings  50.93%

My best 3 Store Savings Totals were Rite-Aid at 100%, the Bread Outlet at 72.81% and Malacari's at 52.09%.  My worst savings rate was at Ocean State Job Lot with 42.45%.  Having a worst rate of over 40% is still awesome. 8-)))

I shopped at 8 different stores this past month.  

TOTAL Out of Pocket for August.........$304.16
TOTAL Coupons/Store Sales.................$331.57
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased.........$635.73
TOTAL Savings of ................................52.16%

TOTAL Out of Pocket for August w/R-A.............$304.16
TOTAL Coupons/Store Sales w/R-A...................$663.24
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased w/Rite-Aid....$967.40
TOTAL Savings with Rite-Aid items.....................68.56%

This closes out the August food/toiletries spending.

THOUGHTS & COMMENTS for this month.....
We spent well UNDER my $400 budgeted amount for food/toiletries in August(almost $100 less!).  I put fewer things into the freezer in August and I spent less money.

The monthly food spending savings percentage went UP by 4.11% in August 2019 to 68.56% compared to the July 64.45% savings average.

With 8 months accounted for, I have spent a Year-To-Date Total of $3,051.44 on food/toiletries in 2018.

2019 Yearly Total Spent To Date....................$3,051.44
2019 Yearly Total Value of Items To Date....$12,136.40
2019 Total Saved To Date...............................$9,084.96
2019 Yearly Savings Total To Date of............74.86%

The average per month amount spent so far is $381.43 in 2019 which went down $11.04+ per month due to less spending in August.
The yearly rate went down .54% from July's percentage for the year-to-date mainly due to "buying" less items at Rite-Aid in August compared to July's haul.
May was a lower than usual savings percentage and it's been slowly rising every month since that.

LOOKING AHEAD To September 2019.......
No trips, no company coming so a usual food/cooking month.  I have a $15 prepaid debit card earned at R-A but I'll put it toward food spending in September.
I might venture into Target at some point in September which will mean lower OOP spending on food as I'll use discounted gift cards.

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 August?

*  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?


Friday, August 30, 2019

Frugal Friday.....the August 30th Edition

Let's take a peek into Sluggy's World and see what frugal things happened this past week--

* Weis gas points were expiring so I filled up my car's gas tank plus Hubs' gas can for the lawnmower..........

$2.94 saved.  Not earth shattering but it all adds up, right?

* I earned $7 at Rite-Aid and .25¢ at Weis from Ibotta since last Friday.  I bought a corned beef at Weis put got credited the .25¢ rebate for ground beef? lolz  I guess they are both beef so what the heck!

* I received a coupon in the mail...........

A free dog treat?  Chester and Dixie say, "Yes, please!".

*  We had an Anniversary meal out on Wednesday at Outback.  I didn't have any Qs or a gift card to use but I got the Walkabout Wednesday Deal....a 6 oz. sirloin with fries and a drink for $10.99.  Hubs' 9 oz. steak, baked potato, salad and iced tea cost DOUBLE what my meal cost! Geez

*  I found money!

Another dime at Rite-Aid last Friday under the cane display in the pharmacy area.

And a dime in Weis(PMITA)Markets near the battery display on Wednesday.
August must be the "Month of Dropped Dimes" because this is my third dime I've found this month....lolz

*  I got some deals..........

Green chiles for .75¢ a can.

And free candy bars at Weis.

*  I picked more produce out of the garden...........

All these tomatoes plus 1 cucumber weighed in at 9.71 lbs.
I also picked 26.6 ounces of broccoli that I didn't get a photo of before I cooked and we ate it on Tuesday. ;-)

That will do it from here in PA.

What frugal wins happened in your world this past week?
Let us know!


Thursday, August 29, 2019

Grocery Shopping This Week

Not much shopping this week.

I did hit the Shursave market though as they had some deals...........

They had a couple of Mix and Match Deal on General Mills products.  One of them included Old El Paso green chiles.  You bought 10 you got $2.50 off your total.
The chiles were on sale for $1 a can so I paid .75¢ per can after the additional $2.50 discount.
I was low on green chiles and go through these fairly quickly here with all the Tex-Me meals I make plus my white dipping sauce for tortilla chips calls for these as well.

I also picked up a couple of cans of beets and sauerkraut(for Hubs)there, some chips on sale and large eggs for .88¢ per dozen(I got 2 dozen.).  Total was $16.42 for everything.

I used my second "Spend $25/Get $5 off" Q from Weis(PMITA)Markets on Wednesday as it was expiring that day.

These are the best deals I found there.......

The large cans of Hanover brand Southern style green beans were 50% on clearance.  After discount they were .83¢ a can.
I found a bunch of corned beef briskets in the meat bins with $3 off instant discount stickers and got 1.  Mine was 3.22 lbs. and originally was marked 19.29 so $5.99 lb.  It had been marked down to $3.99 a lb. so $12.85-$3 off=$9.85 so $3.06 per lb.
I also found these pepper and onion sausages for $4.57 with a $2 off sticker so $2.57 for 1.31 lb. of sausage(6 pieces)so $1.96 per lb. after discount.

I also picked up a hunk of Canadian salmon on sale for $8.09. It was .90 of a lb.
Day old bakery muffins were $1 for 4(after 50% off and a $1/1 pk Weis Q and a small sheet cake(1/8th sheet)was 50% off or $6.50.  The cake was for our anniversary. ;-)
I also picked up 2 heads of lettuce and almond milk.

And I got these candy bars for free...........

On sale for BOGO Free($1 for 2)and I paired with .50¢/2 IPQs for Nestle candy bars which doubled to $1/2 so free.
Now what to do with all these.....Hmmmmm. lolz

I also hit the Bread Outlet on Wednesday and spent $10 on bread products.  Besides the deals there since I spent $10 I got a free pack of chocolate Entemann's donuts and gave it to Hubs for an anniversary present as he loves their donuts.

I think I'm pretty much done grocery shopping for the week/month.  The Weis ad is a 2 weeker so other than finding marked down meats I am not interested in anything else there until 9/6 when the new ad starts.
We may go to the farm and pick tomatoes and peppers tomorrow(and get other produce that looks good)and that will finish off my August spending.

If I hit Rite-Aid this week it will be on Friday or Saturday(there's a 30% off sale coupon for those days)as I have $14.53 left in BC to spend down on 3 cards. I used the .52 on the fourth card to help pay for an Rx Hubs picked up earlier in the week.

$56.32 spent on groceries/toiletries this week.

Anybody finding anything good at your food outlets?


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Couponers Giveaway Winners

Ok, so I have TWO sets of the pencil case, scissors and calculator so I drew two names to win this Giveaway. (The second case is dark blue and the scissors are lime green.)

The first winner is.........

Kim N.

I love to win perhaps to motivate me back into using coupons. I used to be an avid couponer - now, not so much. I know it can save a lot $$$ - and now that I am retired, I certainly have more time . . . but for some reason, for the most part it has gotten away from me.

And the second name drawn was..........

Sue L.

I think this might help me to get into couponing. It is very intimidating to me, but when I see how much you and other people save, it is certainly worth the effort!!!

Now, one question, if I win, does it come with a tutorial from you, lol :)

Sue L.

Congratulations Kim N. and Sue L.!!!
The both of you please email me your full name and mailing address within 48 hours of this post going live so I can get these prizes out to you asap.

Thanks to everyone for playing along this month.  

September Giveaway will be going up in a couple of weeks. 


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Stuff Lately

* I haven't left the house much lately.  I've been enjoying the cooler temps around here since last Friday though and not having the a/c running.  I need to pick tomatoes again today if the rain holds off too.

My hermit time will end tonight when  I go to Weis, use the $5 off Q, and get gas with my points(they expire Labor Day I think).

* We spent the weekend putting Hubs' room back together mostly(plus I've been working in the garage too).  He's dragging his ass a bit stopping to do other things so not everything is back where it needs to be and out of the way and still in my room or our bedroom.
I hope to have everything in the upstairs relocated and where it needs to be before this coming weekend is over.  Then I can share photos of it all.
Really, it's not that great of a change or a beautiful makeover or anything.  But I just want it done so I can move on to other issues.

* Tomorrow I go to the Chronic Pain Clinic.
Oh joy!

I need to stay out of ERs.  This last time was quite pricey, even with insurance because they ran a bunch of tests I didn't need.  I knew what was wrong with me but they had to rule out stuff in their minds because not being my doctor they don't know my history personally and gawd forbid they miss something, I die and they get sued. ;-)

I got two bills, the first one totaled $13,987.35 before insurance.

I added the second bill and it all came to $15,513.35 before insurance.
And I had to pay just under $750 in co-pays. ick

And they didn't actually "do" anything to help me at the ER other than give me a valium(and the ER doc wouldn't write me a script for it either, just for a drug that didn't help and he KNEW it didn't worthless).

So let's hope the CPC(Chronic Pain Clinic)is a little more helpful.  I suspect it will be A LOT less expensive than the ER. lolz

* I've almost gotten the garage cleaned up enough to hold a stockpile sale in September(depending on the weather).  I have filled the living room up with toiletries and a few yard sale type items.

Then after that happens I'll relist my diaper stash on the local tag sale site and start listing stuff on eBay for the Holiday season buying time.

*  I went and joined a Dave Ramsey group on Facebook.  Stupidest thing I ever did in hindsight!  I thought I could help some folks there with questions/issues about money and debt.  But really some of these folks are clueless and nothing but a good ass kicking will get them to see the light. lolz
This group is a bunch of prodigious posters and I have to scroll through so many posts to see anything not this group related.  As a wise woman once remarked......

* We have decided to drive to LA for Daughter's wedding instead of flying.  We ran the numbers and renting a car, gas, motels, food for the trip, extra days to kennel the dogs vs flying is cheaper than plane tickets and cabs/Uber to and from airports, etc.  The only problem may be weather in early January on our end(and would also be a problem if we fly out of and into PA).  It will be a mad dash halfway across the country and then back in the middle of Winter.
Oh fun.

* Our wedding anniversary is tomorrow, Wednesday.  37 years married.....where does the time go? ;-)

Hubs actually had HAIR back then and I had a very very bad perm. lolz


Monday, August 26, 2019

This Week on the Dining Table

The "Where's Breakfast Mommy?!?" Edition................

A shot of the canine gang this morning.  Just getting them both to hold still is a challenge, especially when they want breakfast. lolz

Moving On....

Onward to the meal planning!

This is what was planned--
1. Sunday--Tacos and/or Taco Salad
2. Monday--Garlic Pork Loin, Mac and Cheese, Cabbage
3. Tuesday--Baked Catfish, French Fries, Mixed Veg
4. Wednesday--Chicken/Turkey Enchiladas, Rice, Beans
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--Pizza(maybe), Salad
7. Saturday--Leftovers
Plus we will have sliced tomatoes and cukes to fill in if we are a low on a dish or someone doesn't want something served(me usually).

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Tacos and/or Taco Salad
2. Monday--Garlic Pork Loin, Corn on Cob
3. Tuesday--Baked Catfish and Salmon, Cabbage, Roasted Sweet Potato cubes
4. Wednesday--Turkey Enchiladas(I had beans)
5. Thursday--Hot Dogs, Squash and Onions
6. Friday--Leftovers
7. Saturday--Rigatoni and Meatballs, Salad

Last week saw 5 nights of home cooked dinners, 1 nights of leftovers/ffy, and 0 nights of Eating Out/Take-Out.
The pork loin was done in the crockpot as Monday was still hot/muggy.
Wednesday I was able to use leftovers-turkey already cooked from the freezer.  I cooked Wednesday's dinner on Tuesday as I was running the oven then.  The Enchiladas just needed reheating on Wednesday. The sweet potatoes were long in the tooth and needed using so I was glad to get those cooked/served.
I did sauce and 2 packs of those meatballs in the crockpot on Saturday.  We had Rigatoni/Salad with them Sat. and there is enough for another meal or two lunches this week.  I'm not planning on meatballs again for a dinner since, well, Hubs. lolz

What got put into the freezer last week.....
* 10 lbs. of meatballs
* 3 lbs. of nitrite-free bacon

What got taken out of the freezer and used last week.....
* Cooked Turkey Breast slices
* a Pork Loin
* medium Catfish fillet
* small Salmon portion
* 8 hot dogs

Two trips to Malacari's produce($57.27)-and 12 lbs. of meatballs later-brought the weekly spending to $57.27 and my August total to $238.43.
I shot for $60 in food spending last week and I kept to it. go me. lol

My savings percentage last week was 56.35%(without Rite-Aid trips)and August's monthly savings total comes in at 49.13%(w/out R-A). 

I have 5 more food shopping/spending days in August and $161.57 left in my $400 food budget for this month.  I guess I will stay under budget this month on food

Leftovers going into this week......Pork Loin slices, 2
Enchiladas, Mixed Veg, Cabbage, 2 Corn on Cob, Rigatoni and Meatballs.
I'll strip the kernels off the corn and either freeze them or put them in the pot pie I am making tonight.  Hot weather rolls back in Tueday so no more running the oven for awhile and back to stove top/grill/crockpot meals for awhile longer.

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

1. Sunday--Chinese Take-Out
2. Monday--Chicken Pot Pie
3. Tuesday--Kielbasa on Rolls, Sauerkraut(optional), Harvard Beets
4. Wednesday--Dinner Out(Anniversary)
5. Thursday--Breakfast for Dinner
6. Friday--Shrimp Scampi w/Linguine
7. Saturday--Steak, Salad, Corn Casserole

This week will see 5 new meals cooked, 0 night of leftovers/FFY, and 2 nights of Take-Out/Eating Out.

What needs buying for this menu? We need milk and I want a watermelon this week.  I'll go to Weis before Thursday to use that $5 off $25 Q.

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, August 24, 2019

August Giveaway Winner Revealed

There were 82 valid entries and Random dotorg helped me select the winner.

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


hope i win!, august is not my favorite month, school is back soon
marthicafer @

Congratulations marthicafer! Please email me your full name and mailing address within 48 hours of this post going live so I can get this box of goodies out to you asap.

Thanks to everyone for playing this month.  
Don't forget to enter the Couponers Giveaway which ends on Aug. 27th(Tuesday)too.

Another Sluggy's Boring Blog Box Giveaway will work it's way down the pipeline some time in September so be watching for it. ;-)


Friday, August 23, 2019

Spent Down the Last Card at Rite-Aid

The Bulldog Ibotta rebate was back on my gallery Friday morning so I bought this on the son's card.........

1 x Bulldog face scrub 20% Wellness disc.=$6.07
2 x Nature's Truth turmeric BOGOFree=$15.49

I used a $3/1 Bulldog item L2CQ so the total was $18.56 +.18¢ tax=$18.74 paid for this Bonus Cash.
I now have .52¢ in BC left on that card.

I submitted and have already received $7 in cash rebates on Ibotta($3 Bulldog, 2 x $2 Nature's Truth)for this transaction
I now only have $15.05 in BC left between 4 Wellness cards.

But I also have a $15 P&G prepaid card to use by the end of September that I received for free at Rite-Aid spending BC.

The Bulldog will make an appearance in a family member's stocking this Xmas and the Turmeric is something I take daily.  These 2 bottles will keep me in Turmeric for 2 months.


Frugal Friday....the August 23rd Edition


Here's the frugal goodness we experienced here this past week.............

*  I found money!

A penny at Rite-Aid.

*  I brought all this home(plus 4 x 12-packs of soda)from Rite-Aid for free.......

* I earned $6.20 in Ibotta rebates from Rite-Aid purchases.  Not only did the stuff bought at Rite-Aid cost me nothing OOP but I got another $6.20 in cash rebates for taking it home.

*  I hit Malacari's produce this past week and found some deals...........

Minute Maid OJ in shelf stable boxes for .99¢.  Not a "stock up for a year price" because they were short dated, but a good deal nonetheless.

They also have these 3 lb. packs of nitrite-free bacon for $5.99.  They are a Canadian made brand and it's divided into 2-1.5 lb. packs and have a sell by date in late Oct.
That makes this $2 lb. for bacon which is a rock bottom/stock the freezer price!  But I only bought one.....for now.  Explanation after showing the next item.

I got 2 packs of these fancy pants meatballs.  Each pack is 1 lb.(12 balls).  This brand runs $4.99 a package at Walmart and even higher at my Weis(PMITA)Markets.

They were 2 packs for $3 at the produce market so $1.50 each.
I can't even buy ground beef for $1.50 a lb. so these were an awesome find!!!

Having made some room in the chest freezer the last few weeks, when Hubs and I were nearby running other errands on Wednesday we picked up more...........

10 more packages! lolz
I've removed all the meatballs from this bulky packaging and snuggled them into freezer Ziploc bags now(except for 2 packs I am using in the next few days).  They have refilled the room made in the freezer.

I will go back in a couple of weeks for more of that $2 lb. bacon once I've made more room in the freezer.  I figured the meatballs would go quickly at that price(and considering how many packages of meatballs they had)but the bacon will be around for awhile, especially since they also have 1 lb. packs of Hatfield bacon for $2.99 there.  Folks(mostly older shoppers)are more apt to go for the Hatfield 1 lb. packs rather than the 3 lb. Canadian "strange" brand(even if that's the better deal).

So it's our secret.....shhhhh....don't tell anyone about the bacon deal there until I can go back and get more bacon.  ;-)

*  Last week it was a movie and this week's splurge is that Hubs' and I went out for Lunch to Bob Evans on Wednesday.  I used a $5 off $25 Q from the Sunday Q inserts. 8-)

*  As part of cleaning Hubs' man cave room out he found these among his crap..........

3 gift cards he didn't finish using the balance of that I had given him when he made the "Rescue Mission Trip" in Nov. 2017 to move his sister.
Those 2 pictured haven't been used at all.  I let him keep the Dunkin' Donuts one for coffee emergencies. lolz
That's $30 in fast food script I thought was gone/used.  It was a nice surprise to have it back in the box o' gift cards. ;-)

That's about it for Chez Sluggy this week.

What frugal wins did y'all experience this past week?
Tell us all about it!


Thursday, August 22, 2019

Rite-Aid This Week.....Rolling & Using Up BC

I am using up Bonus Cash as fast as I can at Rite-Aid.  I need to use or roll it ALL by the end of August or lose it.

I bought this.............

1 x Bulldog face wash 20% Wellness disc.=$6.07
2 x Colgate toothpaste on sale but 20% WD less=$6.38

Coupons Used
1 x $3/1 Bulldog item L2CQ=$3.00
1 x $1/2 Colgate toothpaste ManuQ=$1.00
2 x $3/1 Colgate In-Ad RA Q=$6.00
Coupon Total.......$10.00

$12.45-$10.00=$2.45+.18¢ tax=$2.63 paid for with Bonus Cash.
No BC earned back but I received $3.10 in Ibotta rebates($3 Bulldog, .10¢ for buying any item at R-A).

On Wednesday the Bulldog rebate came back so I did this on my card..........

1 x Bulldog face wash 20% Wellness disc.=$6.07
1 x Kokie make-up brush 20% Wellness disc.=$5.99

Coupons Used
1 x $3/1 Bulldog item L2CQ=$3.00
1 x $2.50/1 Kokie brushes CRTQ=$2.50
1 x $4/1 Kokie item IPQ=$4.00
Coupon Total........$9.50

$12.06-$9.50=$2.56 +.15¢ tax=$2.71 paid for with BC.

And I received another $3.10 in Ibotta-$3 for the Bulldog item and .10¢ for buying anything at R-A.

If the Bulldog rebate comes back on my Ibotta list I'll do that deal a third time, this one on my son's card as he has a $3/1 Bulldog L2CQ too.

I bought 4 x 12 packs of soda on Hubs' card with tax came to $15.80. *no photo* 
I used all the BC on that card to pay plus .90¢ on an old R-A gift card to cover it all.  I earned back $3 in BC on that card.

I now only have $3 on Hubs' card, $5 on my card, $6.53 on daughter's card.

Next week the goal is to spend down the $19.26 in  BC on son's card before it expires.


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

A Little Quickie Giveaway for Couponers

Anybody up for a small giveaway?

Here is what's on offer.......
 A coupon starter kit!

A calculator, a small pair of blunt end scissors for clipping your coupons and a pencil case for storing calculator, scissors and coupons in for toting to the grocery store.
You can add in your own pen too.  ;-)

These are my necessary tools when food shopping.

Even if you don't use coupons(or just digital attached to a loyalty card e-coupons)a calculator in hand at the grocery store is invaluable!  Sometimes shelf tags are there to refer to to figure out the best deal for your money.  Sometimes you have to/need to keep to a certain total and you can't keep an accurate running tab in your head.  A calculator is your best friend when food shopping.

So if you need to replace couponing tools or you are new to couponing and want to do this the easy way come enter this giveaway.

You can post one entry a day.  Just tell me why you want to win this stuff......What tools you use when food shopping......How long you've been couponing or why you want to start..........stuff like that.

The giveaway closes August 27th, Tuesday, at 11:59 pm EDST.  I'll pick a winner at random

*Please note these rules*
I'll post the name/ID of the winner on this blog on August 28th and that person has 48 hours from the time stamp on that post to contact me privately via email(my email addy is listed on my "About Me" page, as well as on my side bar).

If I am not contacted via email, I'll attempt to contact the winner via the email they supplied with their entry(or gave me to add to the Giveaway Data Base)and if that email is not responded to within another 48 hours I'll pick another winner.

Disclaimer--This giveaway is open to those with mailing addresses within the US only.  As the cost of postage to foreign countries has gotten too 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(the 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 make sure your email info is linked to your profile.

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!


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

A Quick Trip to Virginia.....May 2017

**Here's a small trip I made back in Spring of 2017 I started but never finished writing up.  I finally got it done so here it is. **

My brother's mother in-law lives with him and his wife.  Unfortunately she has medical issues that make it so she can't be left alone for any length of time.  She is "non-compliant" and tries to do too much and thinks she can walk better than she can sometimes and has issues with falling. as well as falling out of bed in the dead of the night.

This means that for the last 5 years she has lived there, my brother and his wife haven't taken vacations together.  Someone has to be around and the sister in-law really can't afford overnight nursing care for her.

So being the selfless wonderful sister I am(ha!)I volunteered to go down to their house and "mother in-law" sit so they could take a resort vacation in the Dominican Republic if they paid for my gas and tolls to get down there.

Now my brother is a tad to the right of frugal.  Ok, he can be miserly when it comes to spending his money.  I am sure he got the "Deal of the Century" on this trip to entice him to part with the cash to pay for it.
That and the swim up bar and the all inclusive(including alcohol)feature of the resort got him to spend it.  ;-)

This trip also gave me a change of scenery and a respite from dealing with Daughter's dog and my usual chores at home, including meal planning and cooking(both of which have become a real pain recently).

So I left home on Sunday, Mother's Day.  The ride down was awesome.  The weather was good(no rain or snow), though it was 42 Degrees F here and foggy as all get out when I left.  The traffic through Philly was marginal, it being a Sunday.  I guess everyone was still in bed or at church at that hour.

Once I got down to MD I made a quick stop at a Walmart right off of the highway I have to travel on.
The greeter was handing out these small cards to all the women as they came in.

This and the card I quickly tore out of the envelope from Hubs before flying out of the house at 7 am was the extent of my Mother's Day tokens from any family.

I stopped at Walmart for two things-sunscreen and a whistle.
The sunscreen because once I got past Philly the sun was brightly shining and my left arm was getting too much sun on it. (I burn just thinking about being out in the sun....oh! the struggles of the whitest white woman on Earth!)  The other need, the whistle was to give to the mother in-law to wear and use at night so that if she did need me during sleeping hours.  I am a very heavy sleeper so I needed something she could rouse me with.  If she just called out from her bedroom I'd never hear her.

I stopped for a sandwich at lunchtime somewhere in lower DE or MD at an Arby's for a quick food break.  Seeing as we don't have an Arby's nearby at home I stopped there.  That and I wanted to try a Pork Belly sandwich they were promoting at that time.
Don't waste your money on that Pork Belly sandwich unless you like eating a FAT SANDWICH.  It's hardly pork belly....bleck!

So I got off the bridge tunnel around 3:45 pm.  And then I sat in gridlocked traffic for 30 minutes!  Finally inching along I finally got to my brother's house 45 minutes later so it took me 1.25 hours to get from the bridge tunnel exit to the house!  It's only a 20 minute ride usually.
I guess everyone was on the road down there taking their moms home from a dinner out.

I arrived a half hour before my sister in-law had planned to have a Mother's Day dinner on the table.
And the temperature when I got in there at 5 pm?
84F degrees.
Ick.  Not a "bad" temp but going from 42F degrees that morning at home to that?
No thanks.
Especially since my brother is mighty tight with using the a/c.

So we all had dinner.  It was only me, my brother, sis in-law, her mom and some older gentleman my sis in-law knows(who also drives Uber).  5 people for dinner.  The sis in-law served-TWO hams, cornbread, potato salad, cabbage and something else I can't recall now.
Two hams for 5 people.
Needless to say there was a TON of food leftover which turned out to be a good thing for me.  The mom in-law loves leftovers so she ate for a week on that meal and I didn't have to cook a lick for days! 8-)))

So brother and sis in-law left in the wee hours of the next morning.....not before waking everyone else in the house getting out the door though.
And not before my brother gave me all the directions on taking care of the cats from hell.
Oh yes, they have four cats........

Two "free range" indoor cats.
Baby Socks......

There is an outdoor feral cat, the one that belonged to my oldest brother who passed.
This one is named KitKat.....

She's wild but she lets my brother handle her and bathe her on occasion.  I only saw her from a distance mostly while I was there.
(KitKat passed away a few months after I left.  She was quite old.)

And number four cat is the anti-social one that never leaves my brother's bedroom.....

Lilli the psycho-bitch cat.  She's the most evil cat I've ever been around.  Even after cleaning up hairballs, her turds and feeding and watering her for 2 weeks she still tried to scratch and sink her fangs into me.
Nice kitty my ass......

Turns out these four were more work and bother than the mother in-law ever could have been!
And no, I don't like cats to begin with so there is that too.

So what did I do for two weeks while I was down there?
Not much it turns out.
Which was awesome! 8-)

I did a little shopping for discounted food and unusual stuff I can't find here.
A little Rite-Aid shopping.
Some wine and beer shopping for Hubs and the kids.

I took a childhood friend out to lunch.
I got a Sonic slushie on one really hot day.
I bought the mother in-law and myself a fish dinner on one Friday and a bucket of KFC another day.
I did a boatload of cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming rugs and cleaning up cat puke.

My son and his now ex-fiancee came down after work on Friday to stay over until Sunday morning.

They went to Trader Joe's on their trip down to the oceanfront and I gave them $$ to pick me up a case of their 2 Buck Chuck wine(ok, it was $2.39 Buck Chuck).  I use it for cooking.
And I took them out for an early dinner which cost way too much for what it was(burgers).

After dinner we talked and the now ex-fiancee said some things that made me sad and it became clear to me that their relationship was going to fail(and it did 3 months later).
They left early Sunday morning.

But other than all that and watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy with my brother's mother in-law I hung out and read books for 10 days.  I think I read 3 whole books......"The Revenant", "Ragtime", a Fannie Flagg novel I can't recall the name of right now, and started the one about the Hatfields and McCoys(which I finished up in June 2017).

The biggest PITA was the cat Slingshot.  A few days before my brother came home I was putting trash bags of cat poop/used litter into the garage before the city came to pick up the garbage.

Here's a shot of what their 2 car garage looked like then.............

I was leaving the bags of poop on the stairs until the garbage pick-up and I could put it into the cans on the side of the house(before moving them to the street).
Slingshot, true to his name, shot past me into that mess and wouldn't come back into the house.
If I had tried to catch him amidst all this my dead body may not have been found until after my brother returned. It was a bit what you can imagine the "Collier Brothers" house looked like. (Google them.)

So I just closed the door and figured Slingshot would get tired/bored/hungry and eventually come to the door and want to leave.

I checked on him a few times and once he was perched on the top of a refrigerator in the back left side of this photo.  How he ever got up there I have no clue!
The next morning Slingshot was at the door meowing and ready to come out.

My brother has hoarding tendencies like our oldest brother who passed away.  He never throws anything out.
This is the room that was his office when he was still working..........

Now this was 2017 but if I had to hazard a guess, the room has more crap in it now. lolz

It's a shame because this is a half a million dollar home with 3 bedrooms, a month in-law suite, a 2 car garage and a loft apartment with a bath over the garage.

This is what the apartment looked like back then.  At least the bedroom loft above this main floor was usable although either the heat or a/c didn't work(I can't remember now which.)

And since land is so valuable down there, the lots are super small and the neighbors are super close together.  These expensive huge houses don't belong on such tiny postage stamp sized lots!

While I was mom in-law sitting the idiots behind this fence decided to throw a party and I had to listen to loud rap music for 2 days--the first day rap music and loud power equipment while they fixed shit up and all day the second day and well into the night(about 1 am?) while the party was going on.

You would think with the houses being so close together that a considerate neighbor would knock on your door and let you know, "Hey! We're throwing a party so you know and we'll be done by 11pm(or whatever).  I hope that's ok."


Oh and here's a shot of my brother's front porch.........

Half of it is piled with junk.  I spent a lot of time on that lawn furniture reading.

Then Kit Kat the outdoor feral cat left me a present on the back deck. lolz

After my brother and the sister in-law returned we went out to my old favorite bbq joint for lunch.......

Jake's closed up earlier this year.
I will miss it that meat......sniff...........

And then it was time to hit the road and come home after an overnight stop at eldest son's place along the way.
My brother had to check my car before I left.....because he's a car guy and that's how he shows love.

We did a selfie before I took off for Fredericksburg.

Nothing much happened at my son's apartment....we had dinner, we talked and I went to sleep.
5 hours after leaving the next morning I was back home.

And 5 minutes after getting home and  Daughter's dog let me know how glad she was that I was home, this is what my pants looked like..........

Husky Hair pants anyone? lolz

And thankfully mother in-law didn't need that whistle the whole time and we got along well.
The cats are another story but it was overall a good adventure.