Friday, November 25, 2022

Frugal Friday.......the November 25th Edition

Welcome to Frugal Friday!  I hope everyone had a relaxing and festive Thanksgiving.  We did an intimate lowkey meal here with just daughter and son in-law though we heard from our two sons, my brother and the nephew via text and phone.

Please keep the folks and their families who were gunned down at the Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia in your prayers.  That's the Walmart near my brother's house which I have been shopping in many times when visiting there.


Here are a few frugal wins lately.......

*  Spent last Saturday with son in-law parents and extended family for a Turkey Day gathering.  So much food his mom put out and it was all yummy!  I brought a rather lackluster mac and cheese....it turned out too dry as I baked it the day before and I had to use a new to me brand of pasta....yeah, I am blaming that pasta. lolz


*  I am slow sometimes(shut up Anne, Kim and Sissie!).  Our dogs like a little wet food, specifically Bella brand,, in their kibble for meals.  I had been buying it at Walmart, the least expensive place in these parts to get it.  I finally had a lightbulb moment and checked online sources and found it cheaper at Amazon if I do a subscribe & save deal.  My first order arrived on Tuesday and it's enough to cover the puppies through the end of 2022.  Bonus points because I used Amazon credits to cover most of the purchase so 36 trays of food cost me $13.38 OOP

*  Daughter has decided she'll watch the puppies while we are on our cruise so we won't have a kennel boarding bill to pay afterwards.  We'll still have to pay to park our car at the Dallas airport for 2 weeks so that sort of negates any savings on the kennel but I'm not complaining.

*  Went to Kroger again to pick up $2.99 lb. butter(limit 5 with digital Q).  I'll head into 2023 with almost 15 lbs. in the freezer.

*  I found money this past week!     

 


Found a penny in Walmart on Saturday.



Went to a different Walmart on Sunday to pick up Rxs and found another penny on the way out the door.


Same trip I picked up Wendy's for lunch while doing laundry at my Daughter's house.  I found 2 quarters in the  Drive-thru.  Who throw away quarters?  Score!     

I also used an old gift card to pay at Wendy's so double win.


Then on Monday when I cleaning in what will be my sewing room I found a dime and a penny wedged under the baseboard trim in that room.  This house just keeps giving and giving. lol  I've found a total of .15¢ so far and Hubs found a nickel under the back porch when he was under there cleaning up trash.

Total Found in last Week.... .63¢
Total Found This Year.....$23.80    

          

*  Daughter got an Ibotta free turkey(boneless)and offered it up for our Thanksgiving dinner.  I'd never cooked a boneless one but I must say it was quite juicy and just the right amount of meat for 4 people(with a few leftovers).  It was us four and 3 dogs for Turkey day here.

*  Instead of going to the expense and effort to make dressing from scratch I used 2 Kroger brand "Stove Top" style boxes and dressed it up by adding sausage meat(kept it moist)and more sauteed onions and celery and herbs(all of which I had on hand).


*  I used a Walmart gift card bought with SwagBucks back in PA and used it at Walmart earlier in the week to cut down on my OOP spending there on Wednesday.

*  I found Salmon marked down at Kroger this past week when I went to pick up the butter.  The salmon was close to sell by date but plenty of time to use it once I cut into portions and put it the freezer.  Came out to $6.76 per lb. with discount.  Great price!

*  I used Kroger fuel points to gas up on Tuesday for a .20¢ discount per gallon.

*  One of the items I ditched in the move was my Dutch Oven as it was in rough shape.  I checked online this past week to see if anyone had them on BF special.  JCPenney's had one I liked and I happened to have an old gift card gotten at Rite-Aid for that store.  So I ordered one to ship to the local store and Hubs will pick it up for me(it's heavy)once it's in.  It only cost me the sales tax as the gift card was enough to cover the sale price.   Plus there is a rebate for a $20 Penney's gift card I can apply for once it gets in.  yay.


*  Will be sitting out Black Friday this year.  There is nothing worth the stress of crowds at any price....well, unless it was free, and the only place I got free was Rite-Aid ;-)  My shopping was done months ago, most of it wrapped and given to my 2 sons and their wife/significant other before we moved so I didn't have the big expense of shipping anything to them.  I picked up a couple of things after we got here for my daughter and son in-law and Hubs and I don't really exchange Xmas gifts anymore.

That's about all I've got for this past week.  

Any frugal wins in your neck of the woods?  Let's hear all about them!

Sluggy  

Monday, November 21, 2022

This Week on the Dining Table

The "Mixed Up Thanksgiving" Edition.....


We went over the son in-laws folks house on Saturday for Thanksgiving.  There were a ton of people there we didn't know(half brothers, wives, grandchildren, etc.)so that was different.  Just another change to what we are use to. 8-)
Daughter might want to do something on Thursday though that's just the 4 of us.  We'll see what happens.

Onward to the meal planning!
This is what was planned.......
1. Sunday--Chicken Fajitas, Spanish Rice
2. Monday--Fried Catfish, Asian Cole Slaw, Cornbread
3. Tuesday--Teriyaki Chicken Stir-fry w/Veggies, Rice
4. Wednesday--Beef Pie w/Veggies and Cornbread
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6.  Friday--Shrimp Scampi, Linguine, Veg TBD
7. Saturday--Thanksgiving Dinner w/family

And here's what actually happened........
1. Sunday--Chicken Fajitas
2. Monday--Fried Catfish, Asian Cole Slaw, Cornbread
3. Tuesday--Teriyaki Chicken Stir-fry w/Veggies, Rice
4. Wednesday--Leftovers
5. Thursday--Beef Stroganoff, Sweet Potato Fries
6.  Friday--Leftovers, Big Salad
7. Saturday--Thanksgiving Dinner w/family

I wasn't feeling well Sunday so Hubs had the Fajitas and I ate an apple.  I used the leftover rotisserie chicken I bought the week before and put it into the Fajita filling.

What got put into the freezer last week....
*  a 10+lb. turkey
*  5 more lbs. of Bacon
*  3 boxes of pie crust
*  2 bags of veggies
*  3 pies

What got taken out of the freezer and used...
*  some Catfish
*  a bag of Teriyaki Chicken
*  a bag of Stir-Fry Veggies
*  a bag of Sliced Beef
                                                   

I busted my budget and spent $237.79 last week. Just 2 Kroger and 2 Walmart trips to put stuff in the freezer and pantry to stock it as I found deals and a few necessities.
I figure since we won't be buying food in December(doing a sort of grocery fast and will be away too then)I can go over as what I buy will "last" for 2 months.
This brings our food/toiletries/paper goods Total to $770.46 for November so far.  

There are 9 shopping days left in November.

I've earned $160.56 on Ibotta in November.
I've earned $0.00 on Checkout51 in November.
I've earned $15.75 on Coupons dotcom in November.
I've earned 8,667 points from shopping on Fetch in November.
I earned 5,416 points from food shopping on Shop Kick in November.
I've earned 1,321 pts. from food shopping on Swag Bucks in November.

That's $176.31 in rebates(not counting the Shop Kick/Swag Bucks/Fetch)on $ in grocery spending so in reality it's $412.35 spent after the 3 rebate apps I count.

My savings percentage for the last week was 47.98% and the monthly savings total for November comes in at 39.25% so far.  Gone are the days of 70% savings rate with Rite-Aid. 8-((

Leftovers going into this week....Chicken Fajita filling, Teriyaki Chicken and Stir-Fry veggies

Here is this week's "food plan".....
1. Sunday--Leftovers
2. Monday--Salad, Leftovers
3. Tuesday--Chicken Strips, Mac and Cheese, Cabbage
4. Wednesday--Beef Pie w/Veggies and Cornbread
5. Thursday--Some Form of Turkey, Rutabaga, Mashed Taters, Stuffing, Cranberry, Pumpkin Pie
6.  Friday--Shrimp Scampi, Linguine, Veg TBD
7. Saturday--More Leftovers

Some meals not made last week just carry over into this week.  We're working on leftovers at the moment too. ;-)

What do I need to buy to fix everything on this menu?  Not sure.  If I have to get some form of turkey(the whole one's won't thaw in time to cook one but we don't want all those turkey leftovers right now)I'll spend a bit more for November.
No worries as we have the cash to cover all this food and nothing goes on a credit card that we don't pay off at month's end. 8-)

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 deals on food at your stores this week?  

Sluggy 

Friday, November 18, 2022

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

Welcome to Frugal Friday!
Here are a few frugal wins lately.......

*  I got another free turkey sort of by accident.........

Went to Kroger earlier this week to load up on the loss leaders/deals.  Got to the register and had almost $100 in spending which is the threshold for a free Kroger turkey.  Was debating on picking up some 6 packs of Coke Zero for later since they were on sale so went ahead and got them as this put me over $100 spent.  Hubs went back and selected a turkey to add to the order.  I would have bought the Cokes eventually so why not now, on sale, and with a bonus $18+ turkey?  Two turkeys in the freezer now?  Yes please!

*  Went to get our Louisiana driver's licenses on Thursday.........

Needed to do this soon as A-my PA license was expiring in Jan. and B-needed to register the cars in LA for insurance purposes as our current policy expired yesterday.
Instead of heading to the big city to either wait for hours since they had no appointments well into Dec.(and we wouldn't be here then)we drove North to a little town and got appointments right away.  When it came time to pay I used Cash instead of c/c or check as those methods tacked on a service charge to the cost.
BTW-It's not the DMV here it's the OMV. ;-)

*  I found money this past week!      

A dime in Kroger on the floor by the Customer Service desk.  

                     

We stopped at a new-to-me Walmart on the way back from getting our Louisiana Driver's Licenses and I found a penny by the CoinStar machine in the lobby.


Then I went into a Dollar General up yonder for a gift card purchase and found a penny at the checkout.


Total Found in last Week.... .12¢
Total Found This Year.....$23.17                       

*  While at that Walmart we picked up a doormat which was needed..........

It rang up half price!  And Chester approves...

*  While in Walmart I picked up an Ibotta freebie that had popped up earlier that day.......

A container of Bob Evans mashed taters.  Actually these were a .36¢ moneymaker as they were only priced at $3.64 and I got $4.00 back on my Ibotta account.

*  I went into that Dollar General to buy gift cards for someone.  When you bought 2 of select cards you got $6 off your total this week and  I bought 2 gift cards that qualified.

*  I used a Walmart gift card bought with SwagBucks and used it at Walmart earlier in the week to cut down on my OOP spending there on Wednesday.

That's about all I've got for this past week.  

Any frugal wins in your neck of the woods?  Let's hear all about them!

Sluggy  

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

The To-Do List....October Edition

Well in my zeal to do an October To-Do List and Update my side bar to November I electronically blew away my October list.  Thought I saved it in a draft before I zapped it out of existence on the side bar.  Nope. sigh.

Though I can't recall all the items on it, here are the highlights of what got done in October.
*  Paid all the bills(so so many bills.....)
*  Went on a Girls Trip to the Gulf(the highlight of October)
*  Cleaned out my coupon stash(not that I have much of a stash anymore since I haven't bought a paper since moving down here and my printer wasn't hooked up either)
*  Edited more photos(seems I am always editing photos but never get around to posting them on the blog)
*  I didn't post about any older trips, heck, I didn't post much at all! 8-)
*  Worked on Genealogy(connected with a cousin on mom's side and gave her some difficult info. on shared GGGgrandparents)
*  Buy a House
*  Get a Contract on PA House
*  Buy a Washer and Dryer(Did it in Oct., was suppose to be delivered Nov. 4th but then supply chain issues happened and now it's coming 2 days before Thanksgiving, supposedly.)
*  Survive the trials and tribulations of moving

That's the bullet points list of what got done.  More details on the house stuff in the fullness of time.....

Sluggy

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

The House Hunting Saga-Part 1

Not the house we bought. lolz

So Hubs and I were in no hurry to buy a house in Louisiana since we had an open ended invite to stay with daughter and son in-law at their house plus our house in Pennsylvania had just gone on the market and wasn't sold yet so no big pool of house money yet to put towards the new abode.

But I happened to be browsing on Zillow a couple of days after we arrived here and saw a house that met most if not all our criteria.  It was a well-maintained brick stick-built home of about 1800 sq. ft. on over an acre in a rural setting in East Texas.  From the photos you could tell it was an "estate" situation-someone had died who had lived there many years(the furnishings were circa 1970's)and the inheritors just wanted it sold for the $$$.  It was listed for $159,900 which was a great price for this house!

Zillow put me in touch with a licensed realtor in E. Texas and he attempted to contact the listing agent for a viewing.  While we waited for said agent to get back to us the realtor said he's take us to see some other houses(what the heck!  we had nothing else to do)in Texas.  We saw exactly 2 houses with he and his wife(also a realtor).  Both were overpriced for their condition(in the low 200's but had many condition issues we'd have to pay $$$ to fix and made the houses livable).  They were also more than an hour from daughter's place.  Later we found out that this area was one that was in demand due to the schools so houses there were going for over-inflated money even in poor condition.  We also did a drive by of a house we saw online but couldn't get a showing for that day and ruled that one out as well.  This realtor also kept pushing us to see a house well outside our price range(this one was $280K)and distance from LA.  I think he was the listing agent for it and the seller was desperate to sell and wanted ANY offer.  We declined to see it as it was too expensive and too big and two stories.  Then he said his daughter was an agent licensed in Louisiana(he was only licensed in TX)and offered to hook us up with her, which we said ok to.

Now let's back up and add that about a week after we left PA the housing market in that area basically crashed when the FED raised interest rates .75%(They have raised rates yet again as I type this.)  Even though there was a limited number of homes in our town in PA for sale and about 5 what you'd call comparables to our home, nothing was selling.  The "your house is going to sell quickly" spiel turned into "you should be prepared to drop your asking price soon" one. sigh.

Hubs and I had figured we'd wait until our house(which we were assured would sell quickly for close to asking price)sold and then begin the new house hunt in earnest with the check for the sale of our house tucked into our account so it could fund the new house purchase.  But with the market freezing up and us getting tired of sleeping on inflatable beds(yes troll, I can fit my massive body on an air mattress without blowing it out!)our plan soon changed.

So the new plan was to regroup, go through our finances and to see how much we could afford to spend without the PA house proceeds on a new abode in LA.

Our requirements were 3 bedrooms(so we could have some separate spaces for ourselves), one floor(because I have a bum knee and climbing stairs as you age isn't fun or practical at some point). 2 bathrooms(1 ensuite with the master bedroom and a guest bath), possibly 2 living areas(as we had 2 sofas), on at least an acre of land so we didn't have to be in close proximity to potentially bad neighbors.  A dining room was not a consideration.....had one of those in PA and barely used it except for Holidays so room in the kitchen for a table would suffice.  A garage would be nice as well but we knew many homes in this area only had a car port.  

So we figured out how much we could afford to yank out of various non-retirement accounts and then contacted the realtor in Louisiana to begin looking around for a new house.

More to follow.....

Sluggy


Monday, November 14, 2022

This Week on the Dining Table

The "My .20¢ Turkey" Edition.....



I bought enough to fulfill the rebate count to unlock the $14 off a Butterball turkey.  This little guy was $14.20 so I just paid the .20¢ and brought him home.  Sorry the photo is so blurry and you can't see the writing on the tag.

Onward to the meal planning!
This is what was planned.......
1. Sunday--Kielbasi on rolls, asparagus
2. Monday--Chicken Fajitas
3. Tuesday--Spaghetti and Meatballs, Salad
4. Wednesday--tv dinner
5. Thursday--leftovers
6.  Friday--no clue yet
7. Saturday--no clue yet

And here's what actually happened........
1. Sunday--Kielbasi on rolls, asparagus
2. Monday--TV Dinner
3. Tuesday--Steak, Greek Salad
4. Wednesday--Spaghetti and Meatballs
5. Thursday--Chicken Parmesan, Broccoli Cheese Rise Casserole
6.  Friday--Leftovers
7. Saturday--BBQ Chicken Thighs, Yellow Squash and Onions

What got put into the freezer last week....
*  a 12+lb. turkey
*  10 lb. Butter
*  2 T-Bone Steaks
*  3 On-Cor Chicken Parms
*  1 store made Sausage
*  1 box of Breakfast Sandwiches
*  1 package of Brats
*  3 bags of Chinese food(Chicken Teriyaki/Sweet n' Sour)
*  48 Meatballs
Lots of shopping and putting stuff in the freezer to stock it as I found deals.

What got taken out of the freezer and used...
*  2 TV dinners
*  12 Meatballs
*  2 Steaks
*  3 Kielbasi
*  1 box of Chicken Parm
*  2 Chicken Thighs
                                                   
I spent $259.86 on food/toiletries/HBA this last week at Kroger, Cash Saver, Shopper's Valu Foods, Ollie's and Walmart.
This brings our food/toiletries/paper goods Total to $532.68 for November so far.   If I can stay around $600 I'll be happy.

There are 16 shopping days left in November.

I've earned $107.33 on Ibotta in November.
I've earned $0.00 on Checkout51 in November.
I've earned $13.00 on Coupons dotcom in November.
I've earned 8,001 points from shopping on Fetch in November.
I earned 4,551 points from food shopping on Shop Kick in November.
I've earned 65 pts. from food shopping on Swag Bucks in November.

That's $120.33 in rebates(not counting the Shop Kick/Swag Bucks/Fetch)on $532.68 in grocery spending so in reality it's $412.35 spent after the 3 rebate apps I count.

My savings percentage for the last week was 37.70% and the monthly savings total for November comes in at 34.33% so far.  Gone are the days of 70% savings rate with Rite-Aid.

Leftovers going into this week....

Here is this week's "food plan".....
1. Sunday--Chicken Fajitas, Spanish Rice
2. Monday--Fried Catfish, Asian Cole Slaw, Cornbread
3. Tuesday--Teriyaki Chicken Stir-fry, Rice
4. Wednesday--Beef Pie w/Veggies and Cornbread
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6.  Friday--Shrimp Scampi, Linguine, Veg TBD
7. Saturday--Thanksgiving Dinner w/family

What do I need to buy to fix everything on this menu?  I believe I have everything I need.  I do need to stock up on a few seasonal days this week at Kroger-pie crusts, more bacon, ready made pies, canned veg. and one can of evaporated 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 deals on food at your stores this week?  

Sluggy 

Friday, November 11, 2022

Frugal Friday....the November 11th Edition

Here are a few frugal wins lately.  Not having much luck in the frugal department here yet......

*  Went to Texas to check out a few store.  Texas doesn't charge sales tax on food(unlike Louisiana). Over the course of a year this could add up if we can hold off on food purchases and make big shops in Texas(gas is a LOT cheaper here than in PA).  One store there had butter for $3.25-the cheapest in these parts by far so I bought 10 lbs. for the  freezer.

*  While in Texas we stopped at Walmart and found a clearance deal on clothes hangers(which we had dire need of)-a box of 50 for $5!  Now we are flush with hangers. lol

*  Hubs needed a nightstand so we went to a local furniture store to browse.  This store was so weird-a mix of new(factory seconds) furniture, used furniture as well as flea market used housewares, shoes, clothing, etc.  They also had antiques(in bad shape though)and new gift type items.

So true....hehehe
I found a fainting couch with my name written all over it........
Isn't it lovely? 8-)  It comes with a sofa and loveseat too.
Hubs got a used nightstand that matches well enough.  At this stage in my life I am far from house proud that my house has to be matchy-matchy.  Close/a decent price is good enough.

*  I went to Ollie's(Good Stuff Cheap!)and bought some items we needed(kitchen stuff, curtains, doormat, etc.).  I had a 15% coupon so that was wonderful!

*  Slowly building our pantry/freezer when I find a great deal on something.  Other than yesterday we haven't eaten out in a couple weeks.  Yesterday I used my next to last Applebee's gift card.

*  I found money this past week!                  


Hubs emptied out his suitcase on the bed and took his accumulated change out.  When I went to get into bed later I found .26¢ lying on my side of the bed.

While moving boxes around in what will become my sewing room I found .02¢. 2 paint stained pennies.

At the Kroger in Texas I found 2 pennies left in the coin return of the self check-out machine I used.

At the Cash Saver store where I got the cheap butter I found another 2 cents-one penny at the register and the other near the exit.

This penny was found at the cheap hanger Walmart by the lottery machine on my way out of the store.
On Wednesday I was out past lunch time so swung through Whataburger for a burger.  These 2 pennies were picked up in the drive-thru. There was more change(all pennies sadly)but these were the only ones I could reach.

This penny was found at a Walmart I checked out near the Ollie's.

We had to send papers to PA via the UPS store so we checked out the "Dirt Cheap" store since it was right there(even though Anne warned me not too!).  Betty Davis' character in "All About Eve" kept playing "What a dump!" in my head but it didn't distract me from finding these two pennies on the floor of an unused register aisle.
And this penny was found last weekend at Dollar General on the walkway outside.

Total Found Since We left PA 2 months ago until last week...$7.47
Total Found in last Week.... .39¢
Total Found This Year.....$23.05                       

*  I've been picking up needed food/household items and I hit the Free Turkey from Ibotta at the Walmart near the Ollie's.  I'll be going today to get that bird.  I also found a receipt in the parking lot at Walmart and got another $3.25 in rebates-$2.25 from drinks someone bought on that receipt and then another $1 for hitting my Weekly Bonus number of rebates.  Those 2 items put me at 2 bought toward the 4 items needed to unlock the sides offer.  I'll by the turkey and 1 more items when I go to Walmart, submit the receipt and put those items in my car.  Then I can go back inside and get my 3 free side items. 8-)))

*  I purchased a Walmart gift card with Shop Kick points and used it at Walmart to cut down on my OOP spending there on Wednesday.

That's about all I've got for this past week.  

Any frugal wins in your neck of the woods?  Let's hear all about them!

Sluggy  

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Income & Spending Report....the October Report

Now that we are living on an annuity, 401K$ withdrawals and social security payments, I am still going to keep track of our monthly spending and income, and hopefully we'll still be able to live BELOW our means and I'll have some leftover monies each month to tuck aside.

I am trying to be as transparent as I can with how much is coming in and how much is going out.  8-)


On to the October report---

I had 2 goals for October.......
The 1st is to actually finish the month in the black and not the red.
The 2nd is to try to have a little cash leftover at the end of the previous month to tuck back into a slush fund.  This slush fun may be to apply toward unforeseen bills that are coming due in subsequent months, to spend on "extras/wants" during the year or to just sit there and grow until the end of 2022.
This month I also had a goal to survive the move and have a little fun.  So far, so good.;-)

I can report that we finished up October in the black.
The amount we ended the month of October with?...$23,094.84

Income or Funds We Can Access

The "income" in October---

*  Monthly annuity payment of $3,235.81(after tax withholding)
*  Interest earned on non-retirement accounts of $110.83
*  Quarterly stock dividend check of $18.48
*  A Quarterly 401K withdrawal=$5,200.51
*  A big 401K withdrawal to cover moving expenses=$20,000.51
*  SS of $3,570.00
*  Garbage service refund from PA $30.00
*  C.C credits on m/c statement of $37.75
*  C/C credits on visa staatement of $5.76
Total "Income" for October....$32,209.27

Expenses in October---
* Irregular bills in October were $170.00
* Variable Expenses in October came to $6,718.30
* Health insurance premiums totaling $2,226.13
Total Expenses....$9,114.43

$32,209.27-$9,114.43=$23,094.84

Slush into October of $47,240.13 in that Fund, add October's overage of $23,094.84 and we get $70,334.97 going into October's 2022's Slush Fund.
The Slush Fund on it's Page(tab at the top of the blog)shows an addition of $23,094.84.

Outgo
As for the variable expenses this October here are the good and the bad side of things....

HERE are the GOOD THINGS

*  The cell phone, WAM,  storage bill, as well as the Health Insurance premium were all the same as last month.
*  There was no internet bill in October.  We used Daughter's service gratis. 8-)
*  We got a small refund from our garbage service in PA as we paid in full for all of 2022.

HERE are the BAD THINGS(so many bad things...)

*  The Mastercard was $3,306.18 higher in October(gee I wonder why?  Oh yeah, moving...).
*  My Amazon c/c was $290.71 higher last month(again, moving).
*  Hubs Amazon c/c bill was $142.59 in October.
*  The September gas card bill that didn't get forwarded got paid this month.

*  We had an irregular bills due in October too--
  *  We had to pay a deposit to turn on water at the LA house.

The Food Budget costs for October are in another post HERE.  Food costs are included in the credit card payment(mainly but sometimes our WAM cash too).

FINAL THOUGHTS on October 2022---
October was a very expensive month.  Lots of bills from the move came due and were paid.  While our PA house is still under contract we have utilities to pay there.  This is the last month I'll pay the storage bill in PA.  We had our quarterly 401K withdrawal in October but instead of reporting 1/3 of that each month I am just going to report the whole thing in October.  We also made a one time withdrawal from the 401K to help with moving and setting up a new household costs.  I am ok with yanking that much out of the 401K since it is larger than I thought it would be at this point in our retirement as we didn't tap into it for years when we first retired as Hubs had planned/wanted to. We had a large overage due to that which will be whittled down in the next few months as we purchase items for the new house(blinds, curtains, bathroom hardware, kitchen utensils, furniture, fenced in yard, a riding mower, etc. )

THOUGHTS going forward into November 2022--I am optimistic that costs will settle down going forward.  While expenditures still need to be made we'll be spacing them out and prioritizing them.  The PA house costs will be going away(utilities, storage fee).  Plus we'll be getting refunds on some house items we prepaid for the year(house insurance, property and school taxes)which will be a nice little chunk of cash back into our bank account.  And the profits from the check we get once the house is sold will replenish all those pots of funds that aren't 401K monies that I pillaged to purchase this LA house before the old PA house sold.

So how was your October financially? 
Did you spend less than the income you had in September?
Did you stay within your budget or not?
What did you do with any money leftover at the end of the month?
Did you pay off any debts or put extra toward your mortgage principle or into savings, in an emergency fund or a retirement account?
Or did you blow it on a want?

If you posted your financial progress on your own blog, leave a link in the comments so we can go check out your progress too and celebrate or commiserate with you!


Sluggy  

Monday, November 7, 2022

This Week on the Dining Table

The "We're Moved" Edition.....




This is a picture of part of daughter and son in-law's front yard I took last week as November rolled around.  Can't see any neighboring houses from this vantage point as it's a 4+ acre lot. Their lot has lots of huge oak trees and very few evergreens thus lots of leaves falling.  But since it's deep South many trees are still green or have slowly turning leaves still on the trees so there isn't the vibrant colors of Fall like in PA.  It's still in the lower 80F here.  Back in PA it's in the 50's for a high.

We moved out entirely on Friday of last week.  It's been unpacking, lifting and toting since then.  Trying to cook with not all the kitchen equipment found and unboxed yet.  Missing spices too. sigh.  I'm trying.

Onward to the meal planning!

And here's what actually happened........
1. Sunday--Pizza Hut
2. Monday--something Daughter made
3. Tuesday--can't remember, some meal from her box kit
4. Wednesday--ditto
5. Thursday--left to our own devices, I had a PBJ.
6.  Friday--TV Dinners
7. Saturday--Roast Chicken, Caesar Salad

What got put into the freezer last week....
*  3 bags of frozen veggies
*  4 lbs. of bacon
*  7.61 lbs. of ground beef
*  4 lbs. of catfish fillets
*  5 lbs. of gulf shrimp
*  4 TV dinners
Lots of shopping and putting stuff in the freezer to stock it as I found deals
At Kroger I found Smithfield bacon for $3.99 lb. and some clearance Waygu ground beef for $4.59(cheaper than their reg. ground beef!).  At Super 1 Foods there was a 4lb. box of catfish for $14.97 and 5lb. bag of gulf shrimp for $19.85.  I also picked up various tv dinners for $2.47 each wyb4 there since I am still gearing up to cooking meals.  I also hit up Super 1 on Tues. or Thurs. as they have a 5% Senior discount on everything in the store those days.  Ya got to save the money were you can. ;-)

What got taken out of the freezer and used...
*  2 TV dinners
                                                   
I spent $272.82 on food/toiletries/HBA this last week at Kroger, Super 1 Foods and Walmart.
This brings our food/toiletries/paper goods Total to $272.82 for November so far. 

There are 23 shopping days left in November.

I've earned $31.77 on Ibotta in November.
I've earned $0.00 on Checkout51 in November.
I've earned $4.00 on Coupons dotcom in November.
I've earned 2,957 points from shopping on Fetch in November.
I earned 800 points from food shopping on Shop Kick in November.
I've earned $6.30 from food shopping on Swag Bucks in November.

That's $35.77 in rebates(not counting the Shop Kick/Swag Bucks/Fetch)on $272.82 in grocery spending so in reality it's $237.05 spent after the 3 rebate apps I count.

My savings percentage for the last week was 30.77% and the monthly savings total for November comes in at 30.77% so far.  

Leftovers going into this week....roast chicken.

Here is this week's "food plan".....
1. Sunday--Kielbasi on rolls, asparagus
2. Monday--Chicken Fajitas
3. Tuesday--Spaghetti and Meatballs, Salad
4. Wednesday--tv dinner
5. Thursday--leftovers
6.  Friday--no clue yet
7. Saturday--no clue yet

What do I need to buy to fix everything on this menu?  I have everything except mushrooms, and I haven't found my jar of minced garlic yet so might have to buy more.  I also need other staples still like rice and potatoes so meals are a bit limited still.
I am not giving myself a food budget this month as I am still restocking and like someone said, it's a good time to be stocking with the holiday deals coming up.  Unless I desperately need an ingredient I am waiting on deals to turn up.  Staying under $500 would be nice though.

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 deals on food at your stores this week?  

Sluggy