Thursday, April 30, 2020

Food Spending Report........the April Edition

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

Here are my FOOD BUDGET spending totals for APRIL 2020.

I have posted April'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 April.  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(3 at home this month). No "kids" under 24.

OOP  $100.79
Value  $153.30
Savings   34.25%

OOP  $73.64
Value  $113.70
Savings 35.23%

OOP  $33.63%
Value  $49.09
Savings  31.49%

OOP $30.70
Value  $74.02
Savings  58.52% 

OOP  $0.00
Qs/Ads/BC/GCard  $105.94
Value  $105.94
Savings  100%

OOP  $47.48
Qs/Ads  $25.38
Value  $72.86
Savings  34.83%

My best 3 Store Savings Totals were Rite-Aid at 100%, P and R Discounts at 58.52% and Malacari's at 35.23%.   My worst savings rate was at OSJL with 31.49%.
I shopped at 6 different stores in April.

TOTAL Spent........................................$297.45
TOTAL Coupons/Store Sales................$194.95
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased........$492.40
TOTAL Savings of ................................39.59%

TOTAL Out of Pocket for April w/R-A........$297.45
TOTAL Coupons/Store Sales w/R-A....................$300.89
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased w/Rite-Aid....$598.34
TOTAL Savings with Rite-Aid items.....................50.29%

This closes out the April food/toiletries spending.

THOUGHTS & COMMENTS for this month.....
I went into April not knowing what to expect on the food/toiletries spending front.  Having to send Hubs to Weis(PMITA)Markets and the lack of sales there in April I knew we'd spend more on items and we did. I went to smaller stores(the produce market and restaurant supply store)and saved about what I usually save buying items there(which is better than I can do on those items at grocery stores.
By using some stockpile items instead of relying on the stores I was still able to stay way under budget($102.55 under)but the stockpile has taken a hit.  Regular grocery store prices(from my look around on Wednesday-my first foray out into one in 5 weeks)seem to have risen significantly for me to notice.  Is this the new normal in pricing and for how long?
This unknown means we all need to watch closely what we spend on food, budget better where we can and to make sure we eat our leftovers and not throw food away!

The monthly food spending savings percentage went DOWN by 19.17% in April 2020 to 50.29% compared to the March 2019 rate of 69.46% savings average.

With 4 months accounted for, I have spent a Year-To-Date Total of $1209.62 on food/toiletries in 2019.

2019 Yearly Grand Total Spent....................$1209.62
2019 Yearly Grand Total Value of Items.....$3756.74
2019 Grand Total Saved...............................$2547.12
2019 Yearly Savings Total............67.80%

The average per month amount spent is $302.41 in 2020 which went down a couple of dollars.

LOOKING AHEAD To May 2020.............
Who the F&*k knows!
The stockpile/pantry is looking a tad ragged and thin after April.

I don't even want to hazard a you? lolz

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 April?

*  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?


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

I Went to Rite-Aid Today!

So I have been working on a $15 when you spend $75 Allegra rebate on SavingStar so I went to Rite-Aid today and finished it when I went in to pick-up Rxs.

I haven't step foot in Rite-Aid in almost 2 weeks.

I got 2 x Allegra-D(the ones behind the pharmacy counter).
Reg. price of $15.99 cost me $12.79 with 20% Wellness discount so $25.58 subtotal

I used one of the $5 wyspend $25 RA in-ad Qs which brought it down to $20.58.
Then I used a $5/1 ManuQ on one and a $4/1 IPQ(Allegra website)on the other so another $9 off making my total $11.58 which I paid for in Bonus Cash earned in March on those Bonus Challenges.

When I got home I submitted to Ibotta for $6 in rebates(2 x $3 Allegra)and am waiting on the $15 SavingStar rebate since this purchase put me over $75 "spent".

So nice to get back money to bring stuff home from Rite-Aid still, even though I am finding less to bring home for free nowadays.
I think I "spent" just over $105 at Rite-Aid in all of April.
Other than months when I take a break purposely and don't shop there this has got to be a new low record for purchases there.  8-(

After converting this $11.58 in BC to real cash(plus a bit more in cash rebates)I have $7.92 left on this Wellness card.  Having 60 days again to spend BC is nice even if it's during a pandemic.


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Giveaway Winner Revealed

Sorry for the late post today announcing who won the Giveaway.
I didn't sleep well last night and just got up from a nap......*sshhhh, don't tell*......

Anyway on to the important business.
There were 82 valid entries, I numbered and used Random dotorg to draw the winning number.
And the winner is #66...........


We plan to grow more vegetables this year. Still cannot find hand sanitizer in grocery stores.


Congratulations "bluebells"! She is on my email list so she has 48 hours from the time stamp on when this post goes live to email me her full name and mailing address to claim her prize.

Thanks for playing everyone.
I can't believe the 345 days of April are almost over! lolz

I'll be putting together another giveaway in a few days and after I get all the usual suspect posts(Grocery Spending, Income and Spending, To-Do List for April posts)out of the way we'll launch right into the May Giveaway.


Monday, April 27, 2020

This Week on the Dining Table

* Last day to enter the Giveaway!*

The "Didn't Buy Much This Week" Edition................

This is a photo of all the grocery shopping we did this past week.  A package of Romaine hearts and the towel holds a head of Iceberg lettuce.  After spending over $130 the previous week I didn't feel the need to buy much this week.

Moving On....
Onward to the meal planning-

This is what was planned for last week.......
1. Sunday--Steak, Baked Potatoes, leftover assorted Veg
2. Monday--Chicken Fajitas
3. Tuesday--Pierogies, Sautéd Cabbage
4. Wednesday--Broiled Flounder, Au Gratin Potatoes, leftover Veg or Tossed Salad
5. Thursday--Leftovers or FFY
6. Friday--Meatloaf, Yellow Squash Casserole
7. Saturday--Leftovers or FFY

And this is what actually happened--
1. Sunday--Steak, Baked Potatoes, leftover assorted Veg
2. Monday--Chicken Fajitas
3. Tuesday--Meatloaf, Squash Casserole
4. Wednesday--Pierogies, Sautéd Cabbage
5. Thursday--Broiled Flounder, Au Gratin Potatoes, Cauliflower
6. Friday--Take-Out Pizza, Salad
7. Saturday--Leftovers or FFY(I had a BLT sammich)

Last week saw 5 nights of home cooked dinners,  1 night of leftovers/FFY, and 1 night of Take-Out(pizza).
Pretty much what was planned was served(except take-out pizza subbed for 1 of the leftover/FFY nights).
It was quite the standard meal plan for us(except for the pierogies-as I don't care for those so I don't serve them except I had some in the freezer from a deal).  I didn't experiment on anything unusual for us either.  Hubs cooked the fish and cauliflower on Thurs. but I had to make the au gratin potatoes from scratch.  Other than putting too much seafood seasoning on the fish(which could be scraped off)he did a decent job.  I tell ya, when I die he's eating spaghetti with peas the rest of his life(or eating out). lolz

What got put into the freezer last week....
* 4 quart bags of scallions

What got taken out of the freezer and used.....
* Precooked Chicken Strips(not breaded)
* Red/Yellow Bell Pepper chunks
* 1 bag of Flounder Fillets
* 2 bags of Pierogies
* 1 bag frozen homegrown cauliflower

1 trip to Weis(PMITA)Markets by Hubs for salad greens had me spending $4.49 this past week and brings my April Total spending on food so far to $223.98.

I am still at $6.20 earned  in Ibotta rebates in April.  Nothing earned this week on Ibotta or SavingStar.

My savings percentage last week was 13%(without Rite-Aid trips)and April's monthly savings total comes in at 38.68% so far(w/out R-A).  

I have 3 more food shopping/spending days in April.

Leftovers going into this week...Rice, 1 helping of Fajitas filling, 2 small baked taters, squash casserole, pierogies, au gratin potatoes, cauliflower and 1 piece of meatloaf.

Here is this week's "food plan".....
1. Sunday--Chicken Parm, Salad
2. Monday--BBQ Sandwiches, Cole Slaw
3. Tuesday--Shrimp Scampi, Salad
4. Wednesday--Tuna Noodle Casserole
5. Thursday--Beef Pie
6. Friday--FFY or Take-Out
7. Saturday--Leftovers or FFY

What needs buying for this menu?
Nothing at all.  We will need fruit however later in the week(still some grapes, watermelon and 2 apples left).
I might go to Malacari's produce or the restaurant supply store this week for produce so veggies or whole meals might change from what is planned.

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 26, 2020

I Got Nothing

Yesterday Hubs and began the Spring Cleaning of the house and today I am sore as hell.
Today it's raining and raw cold and my hands are killing me(as is my bad knee).
Which makes this the day to "stay in your jammies" and park your butt in the recliner and read or watch stuff on the telly.

Friday and Saturday I watched "My Life on the Pink Carpet" and "Sordid Lives". I just finished Craig Ferguson's "Hobo Fabulous Tour" series and now I'm onto "Vanity Fair" on Amazon Prime. 
I thought "The Romanoffs" was great too(watched it before the pandemic set in).
Plus I've watched a few movies on Roku but I can't recall which ones right now.

Ok, that's my half-assed entry for Sunday.
Back to cuddling the doggies and the recliner.

What are y'all up to today?


Saturday, April 25, 2020

Musical Interlude for a Saturday

How about a little music for a Saturday?
Here's one of my all time favorite songs by one of my favorite groups.......


Friday, April 24, 2020

Frugal Friday.....The April 24th Edition

A quick look around and here's all I can come up with that's frugal this week...........

* No grocery shopping so far this week.

* No trips to Rite-Aid(not that I spend $$ there or anything lol).

* No take-out so far this week.

* I used a few "old dogs" hanging around the pantry.  I am tired of cooking.  Who's with me? ;-)

* No Weis freebies until who the hell knows when!

* No rebates completed(Ibotta/SavingStar/Checkout51/etc.).

* I did find money though!

A quarter laying in the dryer when I did some laundry so in accordance with our House Rules, it's mine now!

Found Money This Week...... 25¢
Found Money This Year so far....$44.91

* The water bill is down since we don't do as much laundry nowadays.

* Ditto the gas bill since we don't drive anywhere.

* No food waste and everything consumed was cooked at home.  Not even a lunch take-out that I recall.

* What's today again??  Seems like there are 435 days in April.

Any wins in your frugal category?
Tell us about it/them.


Thursday, April 23, 2020

In the Kitchen with Sluggy

I've been trying to use/use up stuff around the house here when making meals as most of us are having to do during this "Stay Home" time.
And only going to the grocery store or having Hubs go for me to the big stores once a week or less has led to some other challenges.

Hubs went to Weis(PMITA)Markets 2 weeks ago now and he decided to get himself some bananas to put on his cereal in the morning.  So he brought home a bunch of about 28 bananas.
He has/had no clue that these will not all get eaten before they go bad. A ripe banana(and he didn't buy green unripe ones)will last up to 1 week in most circumstances.
Now I am not a big fan of banana bread so the thought of having to make 40 loaves of that(and use XX lbs. of flour I didn't want to use too)to use up what he didn't eat wasn't going to fly.  And putting them all into the freezer for smoothies would work if A-I had that much room in the freezer and B-if anyone here liked/drank that was out.

I went into the pantry and found 2 boxes of banana creme pudding mix and a box of Nilla wafers(except the Nillas were lemon flavored).  The cookies weren't lemony enough to not use them to make Banana Pudding(but I had Danish Butter Cookies in a tin I could sub if needed)so that's what happened here late last week.  I sacrificed 4 cups of milk to the dish and voila!, Banana Pudding.....

Going to the Restaurant Supply store meant I had to buy this many scallions instead of a small bunch at a grocery store(which didn't have any).......

That was 2.5 POUNDS of scallions! Plus they were quite large to begin with.  So I've been chopping them up as my hands allow me to and putting them into quart sized baggies and throwing those into the freezer..........

And I've been subbing scallions in for some dishes I usually put yellow onions in because my body is not liking yellow onions very much these days.  I can tolerate scallions better than reg. onions so far.

After seeing how much we were spending on take-out Chinese I decided to try my hand at one dish I've never made before-Sweet and Sour Chicken.
We have a deep fryer that daughter left here and I have a killer recipe for tempura batter(1 Cup of Flour to 1 Tablespoon Corn Starch plus salt/pepper and add Seltzer water until it's a slightly runny batter).

Then I found a very good recipe for Sweet and Sour Sauce online HERE.

1 Cup Pineapple Juice
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar *You can use low sugar substitutes here-see recipe online.
1/3 Cup Rice Vinegar
3 TB Ketchup
2 TB Soy Sauce
1.5 TB Cornstarch in 1 TB water to make a slurry

Add, mix and boil the first 5 ingredients, then add the slurry slowly, wisking the whole time so it doesn't clump up.
Boil a bit longer until the sauce thickens up.
You can add some red food coloring if you want it the atomic red color from the restaurants(just a couple of drops though).

This Sauce recipe can be doubled, tripled, etc.  It lasts for about 2 weeks in the fridge(if you don't eat it all before then lol).
It really does taste just like what you get at the Chinese restaurant but I like that you can control what does in it(and there are no preservatives).  Plus it's not hard to make.

So I made Sweet and Sour Chicken.  Sorry I forgot to take a photo of that.
And this Sweet and Sour Sauce is also a vital ingredient in the Sizzling Rice Soup I make so I made extra sauce and made a pot of this soup too.

Since we had leftover tempura Chicken I also made myself this for lunch one day.............

It's Chicken in Plum Sauce.
There use to be a restaurant near where my mother and brother lived we'd frequent before Hubs and I had kids.  We'd go there and they had this dish on the menu.  I have never seen it at another Chinese restaurant since.
It's just the Tempura Chicken pieces like in a Sweet and Sour Chicken dish but instead of SandS sauce you pour over a Plum Sauce(which I just happened to have in my stockpile), add scallions(I gots LOADS of those now!lol)and Walnut pieces.  You could serve over rice, add veggies like  broccoli too if you want.
It's so good. ;-)

I've been making a dent in the list of meals I had the ingredients for of a few weeks ago...............

Now here's what's left.....

I added 4 more meals too and quite a few are scratched off.
I've still got 17 dinners to get through on this list which will put us well into May.

My mom grew up in rural Southern Virginia.  She grew up eating all sorts of dishes y'all modern folks, even y'all Southern modern folks don't/won't eat nowadays.  Things like tomato pudding, eggs with calves brains, tom thumb(an Eastern NC sausage), spoon bread, chitlins, pickled pig's feet, salt on your watermelon and cantaloupe, and a dessert that was essentially a leaf of iceberg lettuce with a pineapple ring sitting on top upon which was placed a slice of processed(from a wrapper)American cheese and a big dollop of mayo.  Good eats, right?
And as a kid I ate all these strange old timey concoctions she served.

But there is one Southern dish I had never eaten or heard of until last week......
A Georgia Cracker Salad.

Paula Deen is doing a series of Quarantine Cooking videos on YouTube.  I'm not sure why she calls this Quarantine Cooking other than it's cooking at home when you can't go anywhere. lol  Maybe it's recipes using stuff you have in your house?.....I don't know.

Anyway I watched this video and now I can't wait until I can get a homegrown tomato to try this(which will be around August here!).
It sounds nasty to me, and a waste of a good tomato you could make into a lovely tomato sandwich but what the heck!  If I've got saltines, mayo and a tomato I'll give anything a try at least once.

Any interesting food adventures at your house lately?
Have you had or would you try the Georgia Cracker Salad?


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

My Kind of Tutorial

Making face masks seems to be all the rage right now, if not necessary.

Here is the best YouTube Tutorial.  Make sure you watch to the end too!

Some days this is me too.......
I texted this to Kim's Sissie because it reminded me of her.  She hasn't responded so I don't know if I offended her or what.
But it's funny as hell.


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Our January Trip to Louisiana....Part 6(The End)

Part 1 of our trip is HERE.
Part 2 of our trip is HERE.
Part 3 of our trip is HERE.
Part 4 of our trip is HERE.
Part 5 of our trip is HERE.

So Hubs and I had planned to stay in Shreveport the day after the wedding but really there was nothing we wanted to see(touristy type stuff)as we have been here many, many times before and daughter and her now hubby had plans(to stay at the Casino/Hotel next door to the Aquarium and just relax *wink wink nudge nudge* for the day in their room).
So we decided not to stay the extra day and to head back to PA on Sunday which in hindsight turned out to be the right move. ;-)

Before we left Louisiana and hit the road we met daughter and son in-law at their hotel and treated them to the casino/hotel Champagne Brunch.
Very expensive(what isn't to me?lol)but nice to sit down with just the two of them.
And I had 3 glasses of Mimosas which put me in a fine mood...hey, I wasn't driving! ;-)

After the brunch we said our goodbyes and headed East.
I slept in the car(Hubs says SNORED!)until we hit the state line into Mississippi.

We stopped to potty at the rest area.

Can you see the dead tree trunks in front of the rest area building that have been carved into native birds of the area?  I thought that was quite interesting!
Then it was back in the car through MS into AL only stopping for coffee(for Hubs)or gas(for the car).

We knew we couldn't make the drive home comfortably in two days so I had made arrangements to stop overnight somewhere in Alabama after the first leg of the drive home.  Anne in the Kitchen had offered us lodging at her house for the night so it was a good excuse to see her again, so I said YES!
Since we got a late start that day(between noon and 1pm)we rolled into Anne's house a bit later than planned but still within the window of dinner time. Yay!

Anne pulled out all the stops for dinner and don't let her tell you she didn't!  There was chicken, greens, green beans, pickled something or other, cheese, bread, and probably 4 more dishes for dinner.  Then there were two desserts! My brain was mush by this time in the trip(and after 3 Mimosas for breakfast that day)so forgive me if I can't remember what we ate.  It was a lovely though. 8-)

Then we sat for hours in the den/living room and gabbed like we hadn't seen each other for years(and actually it had been years-since May 2017 to be exact when we first met Anne in person).

We headed upstairs for bed in one of the many guest rooms Anne's house has.  Let me tell you her house is deceptively modest looking from the street but inside is a just goes on and on, room after room and we didn't even get to see the whole thing!  Plus next time I'll be visiting during the hot weather and bringing my swimsuit to use the in-ground pool out back and scare the little children in the neighborhood with that sight. *wink wink*

I was sound asleep in no time and before long it was time to wake, dress, grab a bite for breakfst and head back out on the road.  And I was so out of it by this time I forgot to take any photos until we were almost out of Anne's front door.

Here we are with Anne's Greeter/Butler, Senor Wences?

No, that's not right but all I can think of is the Ernie Kovacs'"Nairobi Trio" routine otherwise.............

I'm sure Anne will pop in and tell me the monkey's name again. lolz
So a quick goodbye and we were off down the road again.

We had an 8 hour drive to our motel stop that evening in Roanoke Virginia.
We got in around 7 pm and after checking in and throwing the luggage in the room we changed and made a mad dash to the indoor pool there before they closed it for the evening.  We had a nice swim and didn't even go get dinner, just ate some snacks we had brought on the trip in our room and watched a little tv.

I don't think there were more than 5 other people staying in that motel that night.
The reason being is that a big snowstorm was heading in sometime late the next morning and moving east across the Eastern seaboard states.
So we went to sleep early so we could be up at dark thirty to leave and try to beat the storm.

But I took a shower first.  See the cute toiletries holder they made out of one of the washclothes?

And this was sitting on the edge of the bathtub on top of a bar of soap and a bath towel........

So we left a wake-up call for 5:30 am, got up, dressed and packed the car up.  Then we tried to get something from the free motel breakfast but the employee was still setting up and she wouldn't let us in the breakfast room.  So I explained to her how far we had to go and we were trying to beat this storm and couldn't wait and she relented and let us take from whatever she had put out already.
We made a couple of sandwiches on biscuits, took a banana or two and drinks, then jumped into the car(which we had gassed up the night before near the motel)and took off up I-81.

We kept an eye on the weather on our phone and stopped once for gas, coffee(for Hubs)and cruised on NorthEast ahead of the snow.
We got within 2 hours of home, around Carlyle PA when I noticed that one of the tires on the rental car was loosing air.  I showed Hubs and we stopped at a gas station right off the interstate to fill it back up.
Another 5 miles down the road it started loosing air again and at a faster rate.
There was a fair amount of yelling and panicking as I tried to find a tire place before the tire went flat.  There was another stop to put more air in the tire at a Sheetz and as we got to the tire place I noticed an Enterprise Car rental business right across the street from the tire place.
So Hubs turned in there and went in.

Now you would think that since we had a rental from Enterprise they'd just exchange our car for a working one there and we'd be on our way.
Hubs comes back out and said they told him to find a tire place that had a relationship with Enterprise, have it changed and have the tire place bill Enterprise.

That's the rental car we started with with the going flat back tire.  You can see the tire place we tired behind the car and trees, in the distance.

So we go across the street to the tire place and no they are backed up and can't get to our tire for hours(meaning we'll be stuck in this snowstorm)plus they don't even have a relationship with Enterprise).

I was so angry(with Hubs and Enterprise)I told him to drive back across the street and demand they give us another rental NOW, considering the weather and we were under a deadline!
I know he just went in there the first time and of course they weren't going to offer a new rental unless he asked and I just know he didn't ask. ugh.

The only available car they had was a minivan and here is my view of the Enterprise entrance from inside that car...which means Hubs got them to give us a new car to finish the last 2 hours of our halfway across the country trip and I didn't have to go in and go all "Sluggy on a rampage" on them.

So we took off after being delayed almost 2 hours between 3 stops to refill the tire and the driving back and forth to get a working vehicle again.  By the time we left Enterprise I looked and the old rental car's tire was totally flat.

We got within 45 minutes of home and felt safe enough ahead of the bad weather to stop at an Arby's off the interstate to grab a sandwich and drink each and eat it in the parking lot sitting in the minivan since we hadn't eaten since 6 am.
More gas off the interstate there and then back on the highway to home.

We got in around 3 pm, our 6 hour drive took 8.5 hours.  After unpacking the rental minivan we took a nap.
I woke up 2 hours later to find an 1+ of snow on the ground so we got home in the nick of time, missing the storm.
By the next day the storm was past so we could drop the rental back at Enterprise and go pick-up the doggies from the kennel and take them home.

This last day was the only aggravating and anxiety filled part of this otherwise lovely trip.  It would have been nice to not have to travel in January up North through various mountain chains but it's over with now and I'm only going to remember the good times of this trip going forward.  8-)))



Monday, April 20, 2020

This Week on the Dining Table

The "How Not to Wear a Mask" Edition................

With this Pandemic there was a strict protocol when Hubs went to get his eye shot.  He got this nifty face mask to wear.  Here he is demonstrating how NOT to wear your mask. lolz

Moving On....
Onward to the meal planning-

This is what was planned for last week.......
1. Sunday--Cheese Lasagna, Salad, Garlic Bread
2. Monday--single serve Devour frozen dinners or Potatoes au Gratin and Roasted Carrots
3. Tuesday--Cheeseburgers on buns, sweet potato fries
4. Wednesday--Sweet and Sour Chicken w/Broccoli
5. Thursday--Leftovers or FFY
6. Friday--Fajitas
7. Saturday--Leftovers or FFY

And this is what actually happened--
1. Sunday--Cheese Lasagna, Salad, Garlic Bread
2. Monday--single serve Devour frozen dinners
3. Tuesday--Cheeseburgers on buns, sweet potato fries
4. Wednesday--Leftovers(I had strawberries, we got subs for lunch)
5. Thursday--Homemade Sweet and Sour Chicken w/ Broccoli, Rice
6. Friday--Corn on the Cob and whatever leftovers you wanted(I just had corn)
7. Saturday--Take-Out Chinese(I got Mu Shu Chicken)

Last week saw 4-5 nights of home cooked dinners(1 was tv dinners tho),  1-2 nights of leftovers/FFY, and 1 night of Take-Out(plus 1 Take-Out for lunch).

What got put into the freezer last week....
* Scallions(I chopped and froze a restaurant sized bag)
* 4 lbs. Shredded Mozzarella
* 4 lb. bag Oriental Blend Veg
* large bag of Peach Slices
* 2 lb. bag of Shrimp
* a piece of the Lasagna I made

What got taken out of the freezer and used.....
* 1 pack of chicken breast
* 4 hamburger patties
* 3 frozen dinners
* 1 bag of mozzarella
* 1 box of garlic bread
* 1 bag of broccoli
* 1 partial pack of sea legs
* 1 lb. shrimp

1 trip each to P and R Discount Outlet and Maines restaurant supply had me spending $131.49 this past week and brings my April Total spending on food so far to $219.49.
Being a restaurant supply I knew I'd be able to find some things there I couldn't have Hubs get at Weis(flour, cheese, some veggies)but also being a restaurant supply I spent more because the containers were larger(10 lb. flour, 5 lb. cheese, etc.).  This just means I won't be needing some items for quite awhile.  I didn't overbuy but in the back of my head was the thought "get it now and get a lot so you don't have to go to the store for a longer time".
I hit P and R first and what was cheaper there I got there before hitting Maines.   I also got some deals at P and 3 of Ex-CB's fav coffee, a box of Panko, 2 boxes of off brand Twinkies(a yellow one and chocolate one)since you never know when Hubs or Ex-CB will have a Twinkie emergency(I don't eat that stuff)and a bottle of yellow mustard because we were on our last one and I just realized it.....eek!

This having Hubs shop for me at Weis is not working out very well.  My list and instructions have to be so detailed and he just doesn't have the "shopping intuition" or ability to think on his feet if A is out, get B.
If I wrote EVERYTHING/EVERY POSSIBLE SCENARIO out for for him it would take me days to make a list. And god forbid he actually CALL or TEXT me on his phone if there is a problem......

Thank god that when I die he'll be happy just eating pasta and jarred sauce every single day plus nuking a bag of frozen peas to throw into the mess.
I am thankful that he did end up getting the correct free ham at Weis though.  I had my doubts he would but that worked out ok.

I don't worry so much about going to the small stores I've been to during this as they aren't as crowded as a major grocery chain like Weis and I wear a mask, a glove and my container of Lysol wipes to wipe down any surface I come in contact with.

I am still at $6.20 earned  in Ibotta rebates in April.  Nothing earned this week on Ibotta since Maines and P and R don't qualify as stores they recognize. 8-(

My savings percentage last week was 42.16%(without Rite-Aid trips)and April's monthly savings total comes in at 39.04% so far(w/out R-A).  

I have 10 more food shopping/spending days in April.

Leftovers going into this week.....Rice, 1 helping of Pork Salt Lick Teriyaki Stir-Fry, Green Beans, Chicken Marsala(1 helping), 2 ears of Corn, Lasagna, Sweet and Sour Chicken, more Rice, Leftover Chinese Take-Out, Sizzling Rice Soup(I made not take-out).
The rest of the Lasagna will get thrown into the freezer and the rest will be lunch fodder

Here is this week's "food plan".....
1. Sunday--Steak, Baked Potatoes, leftover assorted Veg
2. Monday--Chicken Fajitas
3. Tuesday--Pierogies, Sautéd Cabbage
4. Wednesday--Broiled Flounder, Au Gratin Potatoes, leftover Veg or Tossed Salad
5. Thursday--Leftovers or FFY
6. Friday--Meatloaf, Yellow Squash Casserole
7. Saturday--Leftovers or FFY

What needs buying for this menu?
I'm feeling the need for salad greens so that needs to be procured but otherwise nothing pressing.
The Weis(PMITA)Markets sales ad is two whole pages long this week.  There is nothing on sale really so not worth bothering unless we run out of something that's crucial(which we won't except maybe 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, April 19, 2020

April's Giveaway...Come Enter!

Time for the Sixth  Sluggy's Boring Blog Giveaway for 2020!

April is blooming(well most places despite the snow)so let's do another Giveaway.

Here is what is in the April box o' goodies..............

1 x Olay Face Wash
1 x Nivea Body Lotion
1 x Tresemmé Shampoo
1 x Arm and Hammer laundry detergent pods
1 x Schick Razor 4 pack
1 x Colgate Optic White Toothpaste
1 x Werther's Original bag of caramel candy
1 x Russell Stover sugar-free Mint Patties
2 x Spic n' Span Cleaning Cloths(1 microfiber/1 not)

Close up shots of these goodies..........

Depending on where you shop the winnings have a reg. retail value of approximately $50.00.
Stuff to get yourself and your home cleaned up and ready to go back out into the world(maybe). ;-)

From all the VALID entries I receive I'll pick a winner at random.

* This Giveaway Box of goodies is open to all readers!

There is a limit of ONE ENTRY PER PERSON PER DAY for this Giveaway.  Come back every day and enter though!

In your entries I'd like to hear about if you plan to put a garden in this year(since a lot of folks who don't usually garden seem to want to this year)and what you want to grow.  Or what item(s)you still can't find at your grocery stores, and stuff like that.

If you are on my Giveaway emails list just leave a comment and your name to enter. If you aren't on the Giveaway emails list make sure you leave your email in your comment OR email me your email privately after you leave a comment(my email is in the side bar area under "About Me").

I'll leave this giveaway open until Monday, April 27th  at 11:59 pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time. On April 28th Tuesday, I'll draw the winning entry and post who won.

*Please note these rules*
I'll post the name/ID of the winner on this blog on  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).

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!

So let's get this Giveaway started. Good luck to everyone!!!


Saturday, April 18, 2020

Our January Trip to Louisiana.....Part 5

Part 1 of our trip is HERE.
Part 2 of our trip is HERE.
Part 3 of our trip is HERE.
Part 4 of our trip is HERE.

The wedding was set for 7 pm on the 4th so we had some time to kill before evening.
After a very nice breakfast buffet at the hotel in town we drove over to the Fiancé's parents house late morning where Fiancé and our Daughter were living.
I brought a bag of dog treats for Cinnamon, daughter's dog.
We hadn't seen Cinnamon since last May when daughter packed up after graduating and moved back to Louisiana and I didn't know if Cinnamon would remember us.
I figured she's growl at Hubs since that's what she always did at first whenever we hadn't seen her in awhile.
But Doog(her nickname) remembered me right away and ran over to me for pets.

But after 15 seconds she was done............

But then she saw the bag of Beggin' Strips in my hand and she got even happier. lolz

After I finished giving her treats and she said hello to Hubs she wandered off.  We call her our special grand dog because if she was a human she'd be on the spectrum.  I had a few minutes with Daughter as they were busy with last minute stuff and I gave her her grandmother's pearls which mom wanted her to have once she married and I had a pin the put into daughter's bouquet.
The bouquet was artificial tulips tied at the stems with pearls woven through and we couldn't get the pin fastened into the stems since they were plastic.

The pin was my idea to use.  It was my mom's.  It is her first name's initial with a small angel sitting on it.  Mom and daughter had a special connection and she died when daughter was 7.5 years old.  I know mom would have wanted to be at her wedding in person but at least she would be there in spirit.

So I wore the pin on my dress for the wedding, over my heart.

There was so much to take to the wedding venue that we were enlisted to carry  boxes of flowers and vases and other things in our car to set-up at the venue later that evening.

We left and stopped at a Walmart near were the trailer we used to own is and walked around to kill some time.  There was still Xmas clearance so I found a few things on 75% clearance to cart home there along with some Blue Plate mayo. 
A Xmas cat blazer and matching tie, anyone? lolz

Back to the hotel to lay down for a bit and then get dressed and go to the wedding venue.

They got married in the local aquarium.

It was a very small wedding and reception.  Just family(3 from our side and 4 from the groom's side)and 3 longtime friends of the groom.  My brother was suppose to fly out but he damaged his foot back in October, delayed getting it looked at and developed 4 blood clots in his leg so he had surgery in December and couldn't fly due to the blood clots and undergoing physical therapy at that time.  I know he was disappointed that he couldn't go.  And none of Hubs' siblings or the nephew expressed any interest in going but I won't go into a screed over that here. ;-)
The officiant was a cousin of the groom's mother too so including her there were 11 people besides the bride and groom.

They put us in the touch tank room at the aquarium which was filled with skates and some other fish I don't remember what type.

You can see the chafing dishes in the first photo on the other side of the fish tank.

This little guy kept coming up out of the water trying to get my attention. lolz

Every thing got set up around that tank which dominated the center of the room.  There was a glass lined tunnel which led off into another room and that is where they set up the bridal arch they stood under to exchange their vows.  

Being the mother of the bride it fell to me to get daughter ready so we went off into what turned out to be a storage area and the aquarium staff's break room to prepare her for her walk down the aisle/fish tank.  Mostly daughter did her own make-up(which she had FINALLY learned how to do in the last 6 months-she had always been a nerdy tomboy and not into girlie things).

Daughter's future mother in-law helped with the hair......and yes, Daughter dyed it purple. 8-)

Then it was time to get all those wedding garments on.........

And that's where I came in handy, though those four bazillion hook and eyes were a challenge. lolz

Then we were off to the races after a quick photo of the bride with her soon to be mother in-law.........

We all scurried to our places so the ceremony can begin.  But one quick shot of the radiant bride first.

The groom and officiant waiting expectantly........

And the bride enters the room to music from "The Princess Bride"(McVal will love that! lol).........
I tried to video the ceremony but it was too noisy in there to hear anything because well, the fish tanks need oxygen and it's not quiet machinery.

The ceremony beings........

They exchange rings and vows........

And the kiss to seal the deal.........

And it's done.......

 No take backsies........

A photo of the happy couple with his parents...

A photo of the happy couple with her parents(plus her older brother)...

Let's see what's under that bridal gown......

A purple petticoat and purple Converse sneakers. lol

And the bride's brother caught the bouquet.
(There were no unmarried women at the wedding. lol)

Artistic wedding photos of rings, the bouquet and crossed hands.......

 The "kids" table........

And the "parents" table.....

The decor inside this room of the aquarium was very outdoorsy Louisiana.  The drink station set up in the little bait shack in the room.

Yes, I can now tease my daughter that she got married next to a Bait Shack.......

There was various tables set up too.....a place to sign the guest book with a photo of J proposing to H(the one on the left).  He proposed in Gatlinburg and you'll notice their dog is there too. lol

There was a gift table.....

The cake table..........

 With the wedding cake..........

Notice the gaming cake topper.  It says, "Achievement Unlocked-Got Married". lolz

And instead of a Groom's cake there were Groom's cookies.  As you can tell he is a BIG soccer fan, Liverpool FC to be exact..........

Cutting the cake...........

Smashing cake Putting cake into each other's mouths..........

And since their  dog wasn't allowed in the building there were special napkins for her.......

Then the marriage license had to be signed.....

and witnessed. J's mom and I acted as witnesses and I got a photo of her signing the certificate.

And it's official now.

There was a table for everyone to make up a goody bag of candy too...........

Most candies were fish themed; gummy fish, sour fish and some other things plus Jordan Almonds(daughter's favorite).

They also had two party favors-- Bomboniere, which are the Italian sugared almonds that are wrapped in tulle and given as a gift at weddings to recognize the Bride's Italian heritage and Stroopwafel cookies in a baggie to recognize the Groom's Dutch heritage.

I made Ex-College Boy a bag of candy to bring home to him since he wasn't able to come with us.

I love these photos J's mom and I got of them in the glass tunnel with a shark above them.........

And of course there were also other fish that couldn't care less about what was going on.......

Lazy sharks and

But my favorite photo I got that day was this one..........

My daughter playing in the touch tank as things wound down.  As a child she was all about animals and every trip to her grandmother's in Virginia had to include a visit to the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.
And she was always a tactile child which is a nice way of saying she had to touch EVERYTHING(and sometimes she had to also put them in her mouth). lolz
She's always been my inquisitive, science-y child.  I guess that's why she ended up with a degree in Chemistry. ;-)

But this photo I got is a classic.........."What have I done?!?" lolz

And to end this episode I have to tell y'all that I found a penny at the wedding........

Right in front of the Bait Shack when I went to get a drink! lol

As I waited outside for Hubs to get the car to go back to the hotel I noticed the lights on the fountain by the Aquarium were purple.

Now that's got to be a good sign, right?