Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The Great Moving Adventure....Day Two

Day Two dawned early.  The motel didn't have a proper breakfast so we packed and left.  This day was to have it's own obstacles like Day One.

We left Marion VA headed toward Tuscaloosa Alabama.  But first a pitstop at Mickey D's for breakfast on the run before we hit the interstate.

We headed southwest down I-81 into Tennessee.  Hubs dreaded traveling through Knoxville but I wasn't looking forward to going through Chattanooga.  Too much traffic in both but at least it wasn't tourist season.  We got through TN and passed into the Northwest corner of Georgia briefly.   We got off the road for gas and to hit Mickey's for lunch, to take to the first rest stop in Alabama ahead to eat and let the dogs potty and walkabout.  Hubs was so sleep deprived and rattled he paid for his meal and then drove right past the pick-up window without picking up his food.  I'm sure the employees there had a few laughs over their ditzy customer.  Luckily I had gotten 2 sandwiches(BOGO 1¢ Deal on my app)so once we got to the Alabama welcome center I shared with Hubs.

Then it was back on the road toward Gadsden and then Birmingham.  Oh Birmingham.  A word of advice about driving around B'ham....be very defensive!  Evidently not all Birmingham residents are aware that cars now come with blinkers(aka turn signals).  And driving at 80 MPH is the norm and weaving in and out(and on the shoulders too)at high rates of speed are everyday practices.  Somebody needs to tell Governor Meemaw a PSA is needed. *snort*  Just craziness on the Interstate there.

So we got clear of B'ham headed for Tuscaloosa and made good time.  Got to the motel and Hubs went inside to check-in.  And I waited......and waited....and waited in the car.  So I went to the lobby window and Hubs was on his phone and I gave him the "WTF?!?" look.  He gives me a "wait" signal so I wait some more.  Hubs comes outside a bit later to tell me what was going on.

Seems Priceline, whom we booked through, took our money and made our reservation but neglected to inform the motel we had a reservation!  So it was an hour of having to get in touch with them and luckily the motel manager was still there even though it was after 5pm.  We couldn't hand the phone over to the manager but Priceline had to contact the manager through their system to give the confirmation code and the motel's system timed out since they were taking so long to respond. ugh.

We finally got the room keys and hauled the dogs and their and our stuff into the room.  Again, no dinner for us but thankful to be out of the car after 9 hours and in the bed.

Day Three coming up.


Monday, September 19, 2022

The Great Moving Adventure.....Well Maybe Not So Great? Day One

 So when last we saw our intrepid travelers they were packing up their lives and stowing it in a POD and the overflow into 1.5 storage units.  FYI-those PODS don't hold as much as they say/you think.  And doing all this on very little sleep in the span of two days after sleeping on air mattresses or aa mattress on the floor before stuffing two cars full of more crap and two dogs.

On Monday they headed out but not at the butt crack of dawn(after carrying the single mattress into the POD and shoving the air mattress into the trunk of one of the cars).  The plan was to leave at 9ish am but when Sluggy went to start her car it was dead.  So they wanted on the towing place to send a guy to jump the battery.  In reality they left the house at 11am along with a $55 bill they weren't expecting. rah.

Making stops for food was tricky since they had two dogs(one in each car).  They had to time food procurement with rest areas so the dogs could potty and/or eat too with their humans as dogs can't be left in a car while they dined in style inside a restaurant(fast food or dive).  This took a lot of planning timing it all.

Not my car but you get the gist of what it all was like.

They stopped for gas outside of Hershey PA and then hit a rest stop with an enclosed dog park for the pooches.  Dog Parks with trucks whizzing by are not conducive to doggies doing their business is all I'm going to say.  They then stopped outside of Harrisonburg VA for gas and Subway late lunch/dinner.  The subs were carried to the next rest stop along I-81.  They ate and fed and potty-ed the pups and then continued on their way.  The driving alone, without stops, to the motel in Marion VA was 7.5 hours long.  Having left so late due to Sluggy's car issue meant they got in after dark which was not optimal as your slug doesn't see well driving in the dark anymore.  Plus slug had to drive the lead car in the little convoy.   Slug noticed once at the motel that her cell phone was down to 5% charge.  For some reason though the phone was plugged into her car, it wasn't recharging.  This became a worry they didn't need.

Finally got into the motel around 10pm, brought in what was needed for the night for the weary travelers and the dogs and hit the beds for some shut eye.  Slugs' eyes closed before her head hit the pillow.

Day Two to come.


Thursday, September 15, 2022

We're Here


Well 1,341+ miles and we are here!  This trip was one of the circles of hell but it's done and we are still alive....for now.

I'm so tired.  My hands are cramped up like I am still gripping a steering wheel.

More later,


Sunday, September 11, 2022

It's Almost Done....

 One last post before my computer is put away and we finish and hit the road.

It's drizzling and we have to figure out how to get the mattress in the POD without it getting wet.


The POD is full after the mattresses and we have more to throw into storage now.

I  won't be posting from the road but if you want to leave comments I can read and approve them from my phone.  I'd like to hear about your experiences moving house.

Til Later,


Friday, September 9, 2022

Frugal Friday....the September 9th Edition

* I've had this decal of Queen Elizabeth on my car for a few years now.

Just last week a Rite-Aid customer saw her and wanted to know how I got a photo of his grandmother on my car! lolz  

So sorry to hear of Elizabeth II's passing away yesterday.  With her being a very distant cousin it saddens me greatly to loose another leaf on my extended family tree.  She seems to have been the heart and soul of the UK and her constant graceful and dignified presence will be missed by the whole world. Godspeed to you mum and long live King Charles III.

Here's what went on this past week at Chez Sluggy........

*  Another 3 loads went to Salvation Army this week.

*  I used all my Bonus Cash up.  I even bought one of the employees some stuff to use the BC up since I didn't want to bring 1 more thing home to pack and move. Plus he's a good kid(21 so not a kid!)and hard to gift anything to so potato chips it was. lol

*  Another HUGE load went to the food bank this morning(as well as one the previous week).

*  I gave away another bunch of stuff to my friends at Rite-Aid this week.

*  Been packing up what we are taking with us in this move.  Dear Lord, so much packing!!

*  Went to my last dermatology appointment in Hershey.  The closest dr. who treats HS will be 3 hours away in Dallas once we move.  Ugh!

*  I found money this past week!                  

 I found two pennies at Rite-Aid on one of my trips in to say goodbye to everyone.  One penny by the feminine products aisle and the other in the foyer on my way out.

My kids had a massive tub of Legos they left here when they grew up/moved out.  I had to sift through it all to remove crap mixed in with the Legos before I could donate it all to Salvation Army.  Bits of crayon, pencil, pens, paper clips, little plastic army men, candy wrappers, dog hair, etc. were weeded out before I got tired of that chore and just threw out 1/3 of the Legos.  I did find these two pennies in my sifting-one US and one Canadian(which they don't make anymore).

Then I found a nickel in my car on Wednesday when I was cleaning it out getting ready to pack it.  No clue who left it there.

Total Found in last Week.... .09¢
Total Found This Year.....$15.19

*  The large dumpster got carted off yesterday late morning.  It was totally full!

Goodbye old friend.  Now we await the massive packing POD this afternoon and the boys arrive on Saturday to move everything into it.

It had better be massive as we still have tons of shit to move(and still some packing needs doing).

*  We've been eating up leftovers and random stuff in the pantry which has made for some strange meals.  Wednesday we stopped at Bob Evans for an early dinner on the way back from my last dr. appointment at Hershey.  Last night, tiring of leftovers, we got Chinese takeout.  Tonight will be leftover Chinese and Saturday will be Domino's pizza and salad for the crew, using gift cards.  Sunday night will probably Subway using a gift card.  I haven't been to the grocery store since last week when I spent a whole $1.99.

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!

This is my last post for the foreseeable future.  I'll be MIA until whenever I get down to Louisiana and set up(and rested).  Wish us luck on the actual move journey!


Tuesday, September 6, 2022

You Know You Are A Southerner........

I found a newspaper clipping when going through my mom's recipe box that she had saved.

I'm sharing it here as it's sort of funny.

You Know You Are A Southerner.....

* Your wife's hairdo has ever been ruined by a ceiling fan.

* You think potted meat on a saltine is an hors d'oeuvre.

* The diploma in your den includes the words "Trucking Institute".

* Your mother keeps a spit cup on the ironing board.

* You've ever been too drunk to fish.

* You have a rag for a gas cap.

* You had a toothpick in your mouth when your wedding pictures were taken.

* A grit is something edible, not something you're made of.

* You know that spoon bread isn't eaten with a spoon.

* The sound of cicadas means that Summer has truly begun.

* You can't visit friends or family without taking something to them(preserves, tomatoes/zucchini from your garden, etc.)and you're not allowed to leave without being given something to take home.

* You have at least one houseplant that is a descendant of one given to you by a great-grandmother.  Extra points if it's a Christmas cactus.

* Soup is not soup without okra.

* Christmas isn't Christmas without someone saying, "Christmas gift!" and hearing the only appropriate response: "Han Itcheer."

* It must be Christmas morning if there's oyster stew on the breakfast table.

* You know that difference between a "chopped" or "pulled" barbecue sandwich.

* You get dressed up to go visit friends and neighbors at the grocery store.

* The family dog is named for a deceased loved one.

Have you got any pearls of Southern wisdom to add?


Monday, September 5, 2022

This Week on the Dining Table

The "OMG!  Panic Time" Edition....

My brain is in overload mode.  So much to pack still.  Can I just wake up tomorrow and be gone?  If only....
This will be my last Dining Table post for the foreseeable future. 8-(

Onward to the meal planning!

Here's what was planned.....
1. Sunday--Pork Teriyaki stir-fry, Rice
2. Monday--Salmon, Collards
3. Tuesday--Mac and Cheese and Veggie TBD
4. Wednesday--BBQ sandwiches, Cole Slaw
5. Thursday--Hot Dogs and whatever else I find in the freezer
6.  Friday--Beef Stroganoff, some leftover Veggie
7. Saturday--Pecan Chicken and whatever else I can scrounge together

And here's what actually happened........
1. Sunday--Pork Teriyaki stir-fry, Rice
2. Monday--Salmon, Collards
3. Tuesday--Greek Salad
4. Wednesday--BBQ sandwiches, Cole Slaw
5. Thursday--Leftovers(Rigatoni and Meatballs)
6.  Friday--Scallops, Broccoli, Fries
7. Saturday--Fend for Yourself

What got put into the freezer last week....
*  Nothing

What got taken out of the freezer and used...
*  1 Pork Loin
*  1 bag Stir-fry Veggies
*  2 bags of Collards
*  2 packs of Salmon
*  2 bags of BBQ pork
*  a bag of Meatballs
*  a bag of Scallops
*  a bag of Broccoli
*  1/2 a bag of French Fries
I spent $1.99 on food/toiletries/HBA this last week at the Shursave Market on a bag of slaw mix.
This brings our food/toiletries/paper goods Grand Total to $1.99 for September so far. 

There are 25 shopping days left in September.

I've earned $0 on Ibotta in September(mostly at R-A).
I've earned $0 on Checkout51 in September.
I've earned $0 on Coupons dotcom in September.
I've earned 105 points from shopping on Fetch in September.
I earned 0 points from food shopping on Shop Kick in September.
I've earned $0 from food shopping on Swag Bucks in September.

That's $0 in rebates(not counting the Shop Kick/Swag Bucks/Fetch)on $1.99 in grocery spending so in reality it's $1.99 spent after the 3 rebate apps I count.

My savings percentage for the last week(Sept.) was 0%(without "regular" Rite-Aid trips)and the monthly savings total for September comes in at 0% so far(w/out R-A).  

Leftovers going into this week....what don't we have leftover is the real question! lol  rigatoni and sauce, pork stir-fry, salmon, a few scallops, collards.

Here is this week's "food plan".....
1. Sunday--Beef Stroganoff, Rice, Veggie
2. Monday--Whatever is left in the freezer
3. Tuesday--Leftovers
4. Wednesday--Lunch out in Hershey
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6.  Friday--Leftovers
7. Saturday--Take-out Pizza

What do I need to buy to fix everything on this menu?  As far as I know nothing as I am not cooking really past Sunday, just eating leftovers or whatever out of a can and then eating out/take-out.  Packing and moving is stressful enough without having to plan and prepare meals!

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?  I have barely been IN a grocery store in weeks and I haven't even looked at an ad in that long either. 8-)


Saturday, September 3, 2022

Income & Spending Report.....the August Edition

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 August report---

I had 2 goals for August.......
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.

I can report that we finished up August in the Black.
The amount we ended the month of August with?...$3,752.90

Income or Funds We Can Access

The "income" in August---

* Monthly annuity payment of $3,235.81(after tax withholding)
* Interest earned on non-retirement accounts of $156.86
* 1/3 of Quarterly 401K withdrawal=$1,733.38
*  SS of $3,570.00
Total "Income" for August...$8,696.05

Expenses in August---

* Irregular bills in August were $607.00
* Variable Expenses in August came to $2,110.02
* Health insurance premiums totaling $2,226.13
Total Expenses....$4,943.15


Slush into August of $45,133.11 in that Fund, add $3,752.90 and we get $48,886.01 going into September's 2022's Slush Fund.
The Slush Fund on it's Page(tab at the top of the blog)shows an addition of $

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


*  The Internet, cell phone, WAM,  storage bill, as well as the Health Insurance premium were all the same as last month.
*  The electric bill was $7.03 lower than in July as we had a few days where we didn't need he a/c.
*  The Amazon c/c bill was $174.30 lower than last month as we didn't put as much on the c/c.


*  The water bill went up by $1.31 compared to last month.
*  The gas bill was $77.58 higher last month.
*  The Mastercard bill was $254.75  higher in July.

*  We had 1 irregular bills due in July--
  *  The yearly house insurance premium was due.

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

FINAL THOUGHTS on August 2022---Total of all bills was well under our income for the month.  Regular bills were a mixed bag of some higher, some lower.  It was a good month for the money. 8-)

THOUGHTS going forward into September 2022--This is moving month.  Lots of bills will happen due to the move(gas to drive to LA, the cost of the dumpster and the cost of the POD to move out stuff to LA) and the regular bills(utilities mostly will go down and then go away-only to be replaced with new bills once we are in LA).  Health insurance, cell phone, storage and WAM will remain the same for at least September.  We also have to pay the real estate taxes in September(we pay it in full to get the discount but if the house sells before next September(God willing!)we'll be getting a pro-rated refund.  We also contacted our garbage hauler(as we pay for the year in January)and will be getting a pro-rated refund on that bill as well.

So how was your August financially? 
Did you spend less than the income you had in August?
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!


Friday, September 2, 2022

Frugal Friday....the September 2nd Edition

Here's what went on this past week at Chez Sluggy........

*  Another 2 loads went to Salvation Army this week.

*  I used more Bonus Cash.  Finished using it on one card and am down to $10 or so on two more cards.

*  Another load went to the food bank.

*  I gave away a bunch of stuff to my friends at Rite-Aid this week.

*  Refilled all my Rxs for the last time before we leave for Louisiana.

*  Been packing up what we are taking with us in this move.

*  I found money this past week!                  

Found a penny and a dime last Friday at Weis(PMITA)Markets, one was under two different self-checkout machines.

This dime was found by the register at Rite-Aid on Wednesday evening.

Total Found in last Week.... .21¢
Total Found This Year.....$15.10

*  Been staying home(other than going to Rite-Aid or to pop into the grocery store)and going through stuff to give away, trash or move with us.
This monster has been parked in our front yard since Monday and we've been filling it out with detritis.
Sorry but my life is boring as far as frugality goes.

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!

And have a good Labor Day weekend!  And stay cool.


Thursday, September 1, 2022

Food Spending 2022....the August Report

Onward to August's Food Spending report......

Here are my FOOD BUDGET spending totals for AUGUST 2022.

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, Pet Food & tax where applicable. We are a family of 2(and 2 dogs).
OOP  $1.00
Value  $3.54
Savings  71.75%

OOP  $0.00
Qs/Ads/BC/Gift Cards  $453.01
Value  $453.01
Savings  100%

OOP  $1.99
Value  $1.99
Savings 00%

OOP  $18.93
Qs/free Gift Cards  $23.36
Value  $42.29
Savings 55.24%

OOP  $24.03
Qs/Sales  $3.11
Value  $27.14
Savings  11.46%

My best 3 Store Savings Totals were Rite-Aid at 100%,  Farm Stand at 71.75% and Walmart at 55.24%.
The worst rate was at Shursave at 00%.  
I shopped at 5 different stores in August

TOTAL Spent in August................$45.95
TOTAL Coupons/Sales/Gift Cards...$29.01
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased....$74.96
TOTAL Savings of .............................38.70%

TOTAL Out of Pocket for August w/R-A..............$45.95
TOTAL Coupons/Sales/Gift Cards w/................$482.02
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased w/Rite-Aid...$527.97
TOTAL Savings with Rite-Aid items....................91.30%

This closes out the August food/toiletries spending.

THOUGHTS & COMMENTS for this month.....I only bought items that were absolutely needed to make meals for things that I didn't have on hand.  That means not buying on sale price for most everything bought which means my savings rate went into the toilet in August.  It is what it is.  I am grateful that my well stocked pantry/freezer meant keeping my OOP spending to under $50 for the month.

The monthly food spending savings percentage went UP by 43.87% in August 2022 to 38.70% compared to the July's 82.57% savings average.  Thank goodness for all that free stuff I got from Rite-Aid to boost my monthly overall savings rate! 8-)

With 8 months accounted for, I have spent a Grand Total of $1,826.77 on food/toiletries in 2022.

2021 Yearly Grand Total Spent....................$1,826.77
2021 Yearly Grand Total Value of Items.....$9,964.60
2021 Grand Total Saved...............................$8,138.13
2021 Yearly Savings Total..............................81.67%

The average per month amount spent is $228.35 in 2022.

LOOKING AHEAD To September 2022.......We are here 11 more days then gone so the only food spending will be for the bare necessities.  There will increased eating out as a result, especially after we leave for Louisiana.  No clue where the spending will end up when September is over.

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?  It's really not that hard or time consuming; just have your receipts and either track it in a notebook or on a spreadsheet.

*  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?