Monday, April 8, 2024

This Week on the Dining Table.....the April 8th Edition

The "We Don't Need No Stinkin' Meal Plan" Edition.....

I've been to Iowa(and Indiana)and this is just a bit of an exaggeration when it comes to a pork tenderloin sandwich.
Dang, you could feed a family of 6 on that thing!  lolz

This is day 302 of the new "way of eating".  Down 59 lbs. since the cruise(not counting the 8 I gained on the cruise and then lost again, which would make it 67 lbs.).  
Won't be loosing any weight in the coming weeks but hope to maintain.

Onward to the meal planning!
This is what was planned for last week...........
1. Sunday--Roast Turkey w/Gravy, Stuffing, Asparagus, Deviled Eggs, Grilled Pineapple
2. Monday--Salad or Leftovers
3. Tuesday--Wild Rice Soup w/Mushrooms and Asparagus, Garlic Bread
4. Wednesday--Leftovers
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--Whatever needs using up
7. Saturday--No Clue

And here's what actually happened......
1. Sunday--Roast Turkey w/Gravy, Stuffing, Asparagus, Deviled Eggs, Grilled Pineapple
2. Monday--Salad or Leftovers
3. Tuesday--Steak, leftover Green Beans
4. Wednesday--Leftovers
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--More Leftovers
7. Saturday--Leftover Steak, Asparagus, Sweet Potato

What got taken out of the freezer last week...
*  1 Turkey

What got put into the freezer last week....
*  1 pack of Burritos(hub's)

Last week we spent $370.66 on grocery shopping for April. (Don't be hating, there were some super good deals last week!)

Total shopping comes to 370.66 for April.   
There are 22 shopping days left in April.

Rebate monies earned this month so far.....
I've earned $147.58 on Ibotta in April.
I've earned $20.50 on Shopmium in April.
I've earned $32.50 on Alexa app in April.
I've earned $8.50 on Kroger Cash Back in April.
I've earned $33.43 on TaDa in April.
I've earned $1.50 on Checkout51 in April.
I've earned $5.00 on Aisle, etc.
I've earned 23,382 points on Fetch from food shopping in April.
I've earned 7,336 points from food shopping on Shop Kick in April.($29.34)
I've earned 2,641 Points on My Points in April.($16.63)
I've earned 0 SB from food shopping on Swag Bucks in April.

That is $262.48 in rebates(not counting Shop Kick/Fetch)on $370.66 of grocery spending so in reality it's $108.18 in food spending after the rebate apps I count.  Some of what I spent was for Food Bank donations(I didn't start separating those items spent on from our personal use items yet.)

My savings percentage for the last week was 38.06% and the monthly savings total for April comes in at 38.06% spent so far. 

Leftovers going into this week...not a blessed thing.

Here is this week's "food plan".....
1. Sunday--Twisted Root Burger
2. Monday--No Clue
3. Tuesday--No Clue
4. Wednesday--No Clue
5. Thursday--No Clue
6. Friday--No Clue
7. Saturday--No Clue

No Clue this week except to say I'll be having many Coke Zeros, drinks with tiny umbrellas in them, bourbon and good, dark beer(hopefully).
As for meals, it's anybody's guess. ;-)

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?  


Sunday, April 7, 2024

Income & Spending......the March Edition

Now that we are living on an annuity, 401K$ withdrawals, personal savings 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.

We went into retirement in June of 2017 with no debt, no mortgage, nor a car payment.

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 March report--

I had 2 goals for March....
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 fund may be applied 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 2024. 
*  I do not include/report on our retirement accounts here, just the non-retirement ones.
I'm happy to report that we finished up March in the black.
The amount extra we ended the month of March with?....$3,069.80

Income or Funds We Can Access

The "income" in March---

*  Monthly annuity payment of $2,608.66
*  SS income of $3,828.70
*  Interest earned on non-retirement accounts of $983.98
*  Stock Dividend of $19.95
Total "Income" for March....$7,441.29

Expenses in March---
*  Irregular bills in March were $1,279.32
*  Variable Expenses in March came to $4,263.74
*  Medical Premiums in March were $698.02
Total Expenses....$4,371.49


Slush Fund coming into March of $52,235.59 and the addition of $3,069.80 in March, our end of March 2024 Slush fund comes to $55,305.39

The Slush Fund on it's own page(tab at the top of the blog)shows an addition of $3,069.80

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

*  The water bill, the cell phone bill and WAM were all the same as in February.
*  The electric bill went down in March by $149.03
*  Hubs Amazon c/c bill was $1,092.77 lower than last month.
*  My Amazon c/c bill was $0.
*  The Mastercard was $210.65 lower than in February.
*  The American Airlines c/c was $238.88 lower than last month.


*  We had 3 irregular bills in March--
*  The Kohl's c/c was $127.64(a one off).
*  The quarterly Long Term Care premiums of $784.55 were due.
*  Chester had a vet visit for $188.87.

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

FINAL THOUGHTS for MARCH 2024---This month turned out a bit better than expected, even with the high grocery spending.  Didn't go anywhere but doctors and grocery stores and didn't do anything that cost additional money.

THOUGHS GOING FORWARD INTO APRIL 2024--Well, we have to pay a couple thousand dollars of Federal Income Taxes this month. ick.  I'd rather do that than give the government an interest free loan of our money for a year though. ;-)
But on the other hand we have the quarterly 401K withdrawal this month which more than balances the taxes out.(State taxes are due in May, but even with that we are good.)  Food & toiletry spending will be much less this month.

Here's hoping 2024 treats us all even better financially! 8-))

So how was your March financially?
Did you spend less than the income you had in March?
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 down/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 all your excess monies after bills were paid 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!


Saturday, April 6, 2024

Cajuns in the Louisiana Swamps

 Here's another Peter Santenello Video from Louisiana, among the Cajun people.


Friday, April 5, 2024

Frugal Friday....the April 5th Edition Happy Birthday Hubs!!!

There are very few Frugal wins this week but here goes....

* I already posted about the rebating I did earlier this week but I did some more rebating on Thursday.........

Walmart Haul
4 x Fabuloso
3 x Palmolive
2 x Werther's Caramel Popcorn
1 x Swiffer Duster Kit
1 x Hellman's Mayo
1 x The Good Bean RTE
1 x Dove Deodorant
1 x 12 ct. Cesar dog food
4 x Mateo taco seasoning
1 x Gum dental picks
8 x Clorox Wipes
1 x Gillette razor 1 ct.
1 x pack of Burritos *not pictured*
Total after using a free $25 Gift Card and 1 x $3 Q=$57.28

Kroger Haul
4 x Annie's Mac Cheese clearance=$4.28
2 x Gatorlyte Hydration packets clearance=$7.52
1 x Bachan's Japanese bbq sauce=$8.99
2 x Gatorade Zero tablets clearance=$6.12
3 x Propel Zero tablets clearance=$9.18
4 x Verb Caffeinated bars=$3.75
3 x Cover Girl eyebrow pencils=$6.47
1 x One Touch test strips clearance=$15.48

Total Spent for all=$119.07
All Rebates gotten or pending(Alexa, KCB)=$125.75
If all the rebates come through this all is a $6.68 Moneymaker. 8-)

*  I also found some dog treats on clearance........

3 x Dentalife treats on clearance $4.00 each
1 x Ginormous Beggin' Strips on clearance $10.50

I also found a 30ct. Claritin in the clearance bin at Kroger for $8.50.  This is regularly $19.99 so I picked it up even though I had no coupons or rebates on it.  Allergy meds for less than half price?  Yes, please!

*  I waited until we had a full load for the dishwasher and the washing machine.  I hung out a few larger items(comforter, sheets, etc.)instead of putting them through the dryer.

*  I had purchased an 8 oz. bag of what I thought was Cashews at Kroger a few weeks ago(they were in the clearance bin).  When I opened them more than half the bag contained Almonds(turns out, though it was labeled "Cashew Crave Mix" the primary ingredient was Almonds, not Cashews).  Now I like Almonds but really, I thought this marketing/labeling was a tad deceptive.  So I found the company's email and told them I wasn't happy with this product, etc.(In a nice tone mind you.)  I got a response quickly and the CS person offered to send me any product they make for free because of my dissatisfaction with what I bought.  So I went on their website and found something else to try and they are sending it to me. The company is family run and located in Texas outside of San Antonio.  I'll let y'all know all about them once the new product arrives and I've tried it.  Hopefully I'll be a fan then.

*  I had some Rxs filled and since I am in the Medicare Part D "Catastrophic Phase"(don't ask if you aren't on Medicare lol)ALL my drugs are free and have been since early March.
(Let's not talk about how much the premium for my Part D is each month.) ;-)

*  We've been eating down the Easter dinner leftovers(plus a few other things).  Need to clear out the fridge before the cruise, so I haven't been buying any fresh produce this past week or any real groceries(maybe some rebating freebie here and there but it's either frozen or shelf stable).

*  The only eating out this week was yesterday to Observe Hubs Birthday.  We opted to do lunch on a Thursday instead of dinner on a Friday(tonight)to avoid all the weekend dining out folks.  While I didn't have any discounts or coupons to use for this Hubs enjoyed himself and I didn't even bitch that he had a beer at the restaurant(when he has plenty of beer at home). lol

A neon sign in Logan's.  I am so tired of "GO" being spelled in the French "GEAUX" everywhere down here. lolz  But the sign combining Geaux and Dos Equis beer was clever. ;-)

*  Oh, I lied.  We did get Whoppers on Whopper Wednesday at BK.  I had enough "crowns"(points)on my account to get a free Whopper and since it was WWed. there was a special of $3 for any Whopper so I used almost all of an old gift card to get Hubs one too.  Nothing spend OOP.

*  I bought Hubs 2 items at Dollar General last Saturday for his birthday(plus the greeting card)and used a $5 off $25 purchase digital Q(I bought some other things too that we needed to get to that $25.  I also purchased him 6 bottles of a wine he likes at Kroger.  The wine was on sale and if you buy at least 6 bottles you get an additional 10% off your purchase.  That's a win-win in my book! 8-)))

I also gave Hubs this Butler's Irish Whiskey Dark Chocolate bar I bought in Ireland last May.  I was hoarding saving it for myself but he is a Whiskey loving guy so I let it go.
His last gift arrived late in the day..........

*  I found money!

I went to our Bougie Dollar General on Saturday to pick up a few things.  I found 4 pennies in the parking lot behind my car.  Then I found another penny in the store on the floor.

I found a penny in the pocket of my coat on Sunday.

I was in our local Walmart on Monday.  I found two pennies in the course of walking around the store.

Then I found a penny by the clearance rack in Kroger.  Score! 8-)

Then I found another penny walking out of a different Kroger on Thursday.
Lately I've been finding pennies everywhere I go.  I think it's a sign from my mom....or people around here just not valuing pennies.  If that's the case, it's really says something about our society.....

Total Found in last Week.... .10¢

Grand Total Found this Year.......$2.79

That's all I got.  

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


Thursday, April 4, 2024

Some Ibotta Rebating This Week

I did some Ibotta shopping the beginning of this week.  First I hit the Walmart nearest to us on Monday....

All this cost $65.80 OOP.  I got back $30.50(Ibotta), $9(Shopmium), $11.55(TaDa)and $4.50(Alexa) and $7.04 from Fetch making it $55.55 back so making this all cost $3.21.  The body wash and Japanese bbq sauce were the things that made this cost so much. 8-(

On Tuesday I was over in the city across the river and hit a bigger Walmart there....

Total OOP was $76.70.  The best find was that small space Febreeze item for .75¢ that had a $2.30 Ibotta rebate.  Plus the Ibotta Glitches(where 2 rebates attached)on the Old Spice and the Olay body washes was pretty nice. ;-)
I got back $43.60(Ibotta with weekly Bonus hit), $5.00(Shopmium), $4.05(TaDa), $3.00(Alexa-but it's screwed up and I have to contact them as it should be $13.00), $14.64 worth of points(Shop Kick) and $3.04 worth of Fetch pts., making this $3.37(will be $6.63 moneymaker once it gets straightened out).

Then I hit the Kroger next door and the Dollar Tree nearby.......

Not pictured is a Free 2 liter of Coke Zero I got with a Best Customer Digital Coupon from Kroger(eat your heart out Kim hehehe).  I basically went in to use some Best Customer Coupons.  I also got the shell pasta for .60¢ with a BCQ, the Airwick was BOGO w/BCQ($3.25 ea.), the Crackers were $2.24 ea., the Dental Picks were $1.65 ea., the Powerade was on sale(last day of sale)for .88¢ ea., the freezer bags on sale for $1.99 and the Cesar dog food pack was $13.59 on sale.  I also picked up a clearance spiral honey ham for .97¢ per lb.)(but that and the dental picks, freezer bags and pasta weren't Ibotta or other rebate app deals).  Total for the Ibotta rebating items was $22.47(most of the cost was the dog food
I got back $3, $1 ea. from Ibotta, Shopmium and TaDa so $19.47 after rebates applied.

Tucked on the back left side are two Rock Star Drinks I picked up at Dollar and a Quarter Tree for $2.50.  I got back $5 for those from Aisle so that helped bring the cost of the Kroger lot down to $16.97. 8-)

And it's all stuff we can use/need or I can donate to the food bank we found here that is so very grateful for anything I give them.

That's it from Chez Sluggy this week.  What's everyone else up to?


Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Calgon, Take Me Away!

You know what I mean, right?  Just the jerks you are forced to deal with on a daily basis out in the real world.  But then there are the online unpleasant people who send you arrogant messages.  

I am a member of Find A Grave and manage virtual cemetery memorials on there, take photos for folks on there who request them and are not in the area to visit a graveyard themselves, etc.
I had someone message me on FAG, a rather unpleasant person with a non de plume for a name(so I don't even know who it really is)telling me I had someone in the wrong cemetery.  I had limited information/records to go on(this person in question has been dead since 1909)and there was no virtual cemetery set up in the proper place(which was an old homestead)so I put him somewhere else for the time being.  Said person was a jerk to me.  The next day someone else messaged me about the same issue but this person used their name and I know is directly connected to both the person in the wrong virtual cemetery AND me!  This person was much more pleasant and we are trying to get photos of the headstones(from her brother who owns the old homestead where three of the family are buried).

Yesterday in Walmart I purchased 4 Take Root Organic branded tomato products.

These all had ShopKick offers when I was in the store.  I did the in store scan kicks but by the time I got home and tried to submit for the Shop Kicks all 4 offers had disappeared from my account!  These offers had no expiration date on Shop Kick.  I heard ShopKick pulled 2 offers on Monday-one for State Fair corn dogs and the other for Hillshire Farms lunchmeat tubs.  Both were moneymaker deals if you scanned in the store and submitted when you got them home.

I can understand them pulling a moneymaker deal(where the kicks where more than the cost of the product in store)but those canned tomato products were NOT moneymaker deals.

I messaged them and of course I didn't think to take a screenshot of my account(never had to do that before)and they wanted one.  I sent photos of the products and my receipt as that is all I had and I inquired why this was happening?  How could they pull an offer if you had it in the store and an hour later it had disappeared so you couldn't get your full Kicks credited to your account?  Of course I got a "canned"(pun intented)response that, "This issue is a rare occurrence."  I call bull sh*t!  Other similar issues happen all the time to people who use Shop Kick!  All you shopkickers out there, let me know if you have had issues with this app.

To add to my aggravation, each can had a peelie coupon attached to the items.

These Qs expired 7/31/24 so they weren't out of date.  But the register refused to accept them.  I called for help and the person had to get her manager to come over and help with this.  The help person tried to tell me you had to buy the item pictured on the the verbage said ANY Take Root Product and why would the company put a coupon on an item that wasn't applicable to begin with?  Then she gave me the old "the coupon says one coupon per purchase" line saying I'd only be able to use 1 coupon total.  I wish these people who work with checkout registers would be schooled in coupons.  I know physical coupons are going away slowly to be replaced by digital ones, but while old school Qs are still a thing, why don't these employees understand them?

So the manager gave me a song and dance that they aren't allowed to accept Qs that don't scan on their machines.  The problem is the machines too.  And I get not taking a paper Q printed at home sometimes as it's not coded correctly but THESE COUPONS WHERE ON THE PRODUCTS IN THE STORE I WAS PURCHASING!  "Come on man!", as the POTUS would have said in this situation.

So I took photos of it all and wrote to Walmart Corporate with my complaint.  I received an email rather quickly(identifying info has been removed).....

"Hello xxxx,

Thanks for contacting Walmart Customer Relations. My name is Peter and I'll be more than happy to help you today. I understand that you had an unpleasant experience in store as they did not honor one of the coupons in the products you were purchasing as the manager came over but was unable to adj the price or enter the coupon. I completely get how it may be frustrating for you as the coupon was over the items you were just purchasing.

We take incidents like these very seriously, as we strive to provide excellent customer service. I want to assure you that your concerns have been forwarded to the store management team at the Walmart store located at xxxxxxxx, LA. They will review your comments and address the issue accordingly. Typically, you can expect a response within three business days.

We highly appreciate the feedback from our customers as it helps us maintain and improve our excellent customer service. You may receive a short survey via email regarding the service I provided, and I would be grateful for any feedback you can provide regarding my assistance.

Best regards,
Walmart Customer Care"

Now I don't know if this will actually get me satisfaction but we'll see.  And it's just so aggravating that it seems like every single interaction in a store(and the corporate entity behind it), with a medical professional, a tradesman, etc. is like pulling teeth!  Not leaving the house and dealing with anything sounds really good to me right now. 8-))


Monday, April 1, 2024

This Week on the Dining Table.....the April 1st Edition

The "Grilled Pineapple" Edition.....

This was the best part of our Easter dinner-grilled pineapple!  I cooked a turkey that had been living in the freezer, made stuffing(or dressing with mushrooms and sausage as it was not put in the bird to cook), grilled asparagus and we had gravy if someone wanted it.  Of course, I forgot the deviled eggs I had made early Sunday morning(we ate them later though)and didn't put any cranberry glop in the fridge to chill either(so we didn't have that).
I had bought 2 fresh whole pineapples on sale at Kroger on Friday so I hacked away at those and Hubs fired up the grill and cooked those chunks and semi-rings and we had it for dessert.  I am in love with grilled pineapple and would marry it if I wasn't already married. 8-))

This is day 295 of the new "way of eating".  Down 59 lbs. since the cruise(not counting the 8 I gained on the cruise and then lost again, which would make it 67 lbs.).  
Kicking the weight loss up again with intermittent fasting this week, but no movement of the scale yet(especially after Easter dinner).

Onward to the meal planning!
This is what was planned for last week...........
1. Sunday--Pizza, Salad
2. Monday--BBQ Pork Loin, Assorted Veggie Mix
3. Tuesday--TV Dinners
4. Wednesday--Garlic Shrimp/Veggie Skillet meal
5. Thursday--Chicken Parm, Sweet Potato Fries
6. Friday--Catfish, Cole Slaw, Green Beans
7. Saturday--Steak, Scalloped Potatoes, Veggie TBD

And here's what actually happened......
1. Sunday--Pizza, Salad
2. Monday--BBQ Pork Loin, Assorted Veggie Mix
3. Tuesday--Fried Shrimp, Caesar Salad
4. Wednesday--Cheeseburger(no bun), Sweet Potato Fries
5. Thursday--Chicken Parm, Teriyaki Green Beans
6. Friday--Catfish, Cole Slaw, Green Beans
7. Saturday--Steak, Scalloped Potatoes, Sauted Yellow Squash

The TV Dinners and Garlic Shrimp Skillet Meal didn't happen as I always catch a "deal" at Kroger(clearance type)so that changes up the menu a bit, but everything else was as planned.

What got taken out of the freezer last week...
*  1 Frozen Pizza
*  a bag of Shrimp
*  2 Hamburgers
*  Chicken Parmesan
*  2 Steaks

What got put into the freezer last week....
*  2 lb. Butter

Last week we spent $170.72 on grocery shopping for March.  

Total shopping comes to $914.87 for March.   
There are 0 shopping days left in March.

Rebate monies earned this month so far.....
I've earned $278.04 on Ibotta in March.
I've earned $84.50 on Shopmium in March.
I've earned $24.50 on Alexa app in March.
I've earned $37.25 on Kroger Cash Back in March.
I've earned $33.43 on TaDa in March.
I've earned $0.00 on Checkout51 in March.
I've earned $40.22 on Aisle, etc.
I've earned 35,311 points on Fetch from food shopping in March.
I've earned 6,859 points from food shopping on Shop Kick in March.
I've earned 0 SB from food shopping on Swag Bucks in March.
I've earned 1,074 Points on My Points in March.

That is $436.19 in rebates(not counting the Kroger Cash Back/Shop Kick/Fetch/Alexa)on $914.87 of grocery spending so in reality it's $478.68 in food spending after the 4 rebate apps I count(the ones that give me cash back, not the ones that I turn the points into gift cards, or Alexa that gives me Amazon credit, and I count when those points are cashed in).  Some of what I spent was for Food Bank donations(I'll start not counting those items in our personal grocery spending going forward into April.)

My savings percentage for the last week was 56.38% and the monthly savings total for March comes in at 45.65% spent so far. 

Leftovers going into this week....pork loin in bbq sauce, steak, scalloped potatoes, yellow squash, teriyaki green beans, chicken parmesan and cole slaw.  I also have a sweet potato I need to use before we leave town.

Here is this week's "food plan".....
1. Sunday--Roast Turkey w/Gravy, Stuffing, Asparagus, Deviled Eggs, Grilled Pineapple
2. Monday--Salad or Leftovers
3. Tuesday--Wild Rice Soup w/Mushrooms and Asparagus, Garlic Bread
4. Wednesday--Leftovers
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--Whatever needs using up
7. Saturday--No Clue

Trying to use some fresh produce up and trying not to buy any more as our trip is coming up soon.  Shopping from the freezer this week and for Easter dinner last Sunday.

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?  


Sunday, March 31, 2024

More Videos of Cajun Travel in Louisiana

I hope everyone has a nice Easter, celebrating it the way you want to.  We'll be home with our doggies and I'm cooking a turkey from the freezer with a few sides.  The highlight for me will be the grilled fresh pineapple we are making!

Here's another installment of Peter Santenello's videos in the Cajun Country of Louisiana.  I sure would enjoy living down there near the Gulf of Mexico(I grew up near the ocean)if it wasn't even hotter and more humid than here in the Summer(er, the Dry Season).
Perhaps Hubs and I will take a trip down that way between the Dry Season and the Rainy Season(Oct. or so).


Saturday, March 30, 2024

March Food Spending......2024

Onward to March's Food Spending Report.....

Here are my FOOD BUDGET spending totals for March 2024.

I have posted March'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 March.  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. We are a family of 2(and 2 dogs).
OOP  $7.74
Sales  $7.71
Value  $15.45
Savings  49.90%

OOP  $546.02
Qs/Gift Cards $546.23
Value $1,092.25
Savings  50.01%

OOP $14.00
Sales  $11.11
Value $25.11
Savings  44.25%

OOP  $347.11
Qs/Gift Cards $203.43
Value  $550.54
Savings  46.95%

My best Store Savings Total was at Kroger with a savings of 50.01%.  My worse rate was at Super 1 Foods with 44.25%.  Not a bad savings rate.

I shopped at 4 different stores in MARCH.

TOTAL Spent in March......$914.87
TOTAL Coupons/Sales/Gift Cards....$768.48
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased.....$1,683.35
TOTAL Savings of........45.65%

This closes out the MARCH food/toiletries/etc. spending.

THOUGHTS & COMMENTS for this month....What a mess March was financially as far as food spending goes!  Folks, it just keeps getting worse and worse.  If I remove all the stuff I bought to give to the food bank my spending would be much more reasonable.....but it would still be high.

The Monthly food spending savings percentage went DOWN by .34% in March to 49.07% compared to February's 49.41% savings average.  Not much of a change from last month so I'll take that, as it's still a high savings rate.
Since we have an adequate income and food should be a pleasure in life(no way am I going to eat unseasoned rice and beans for my remaining days like some people-because I don't have to). I will buy quality food and pay the price at the register.  I may not like the price but I will deal with it.

With 3 months accounted for, I have spent a Total of $2,227.39 on groceries/HBA/paper goods/etc. in 2024.

2024 Yearly Grand Total Spent....................$2,227.39
2024 Yearly Grand Total Value of Items.....$4,373.44
2024 Grand Total Saved...............................$2,146.05
2024 Yearly Savings Total..............................49.07%

The average per month amount spent is $742.46 in 2024 so far but that's before all the rebate monies are added in.

Remember that I withdraw all my cash rebate monies(Ibotta, Shopmium, TaDa, Checkout 51 and other miscellaneous rebates sent to my Paypal)at the end of the year and add it back into my food budget, so at the end of the year my food spending will go down.  The other savings apps like Fetch, Shop Kick, Kroger Cash Back that let us get free gift cards(or $ off your grocery total-Kroger), those are added back in when I cash those points in along the way.  Alexa app gives me Amazon credit onto my account but I don't buy food on Amazon(sometimes I buy dog food there)so I really don't know how to count that.

Who the hell knows where prices will be in a month!  I have no crystal ball and the government just keeps printing money willy-nilly which makes our dollars stretch even less further.  Case in point, the 1.2 Trillion $ spending bill the Congress just passed without vetting it.  Where do you think the $ to fund this is coming from?  Taxpayers and the government will just print money to cover what we don't cough up, thus our dollars are worth less.  Economics 101.  We need a line item veto!  And we need to decrease the debt-it's so out of control!  *Off my soapbox now.*
I'll keep an eye on what we spend, rebate and coupon like a mad woman when I have to step foot in a grocery store and shop from my pantry when I can.  I won't be food shopping for more than half of April so that will help with the spending. 8-)

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

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

*  Do you track your yearly food spending?  It's really not that hard or time consuming; just keep 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 versus buying at regular retail price last month, if you track that sort of thing?

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

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


Friday, March 29, 2024

Frugal Friday.....the March 29th Edition

There are a few Frugal wins this past week so here goes....

*  I successfully used up odds and ends and incorporated them into new meals and no food got thrown out. 8-)  Americans throw out an average of 30-40 percent of our food supply(between all sources-each family, stores ditching spoilt food, and the natural waste that happens along the course of going down the food supply chain).  If I can do our little part and not let veg and fruit, etc. rot shoved into the back of the fridge I am happy.  It means we are good stewards of our food resources. 8-)

*  Picked up 2 prescriptions and paid Zero OOP(well, I do pay premiums for a Part D plan). ;-)

*  I cashed out on Tada for a $25 gift card to use later this week.

*  There was no spending on eating out this week other than using a gift card to get a salad for lunch on Thursday at Zaxby's.  They also have an offer if you have their app until the end of March where you can get a small free order of fried shrimp if you spend $5 so I got that also for free.  It was "meh" and Zaxby's should stick to doing chicken imho.

*  I did a little more Ibotta rebating this past week as I was trying to hit a big $10 Bonus and a $5 Weekend Bonus.  I hit the $5 Bonus with this lot from Walmart on Thursday since I was in Walmart picking up prescriptions anyway.

All this was a $24.73 moneymaker, between Ibotta and the $5 Weekend Bonus, that Tada earned gift card mentioned above, Shopmium, Fetch, Tada, Alexa and Social Nature. 8-)))  Even without the gift card this all would have cost me only .27¢. The deodorant and shampoo willl go to the food bank, the tape I will need when I ramp up my eBay business in May, 2 items are gifts for family/friends and the rest we will use.

*  I received a $2 rebate check in the mail this week for a long ago submitted for Dreft stain remover(bought and submitted the rebate last year I think).  I had given up hope of ever receiving that $2 but it's tucked in the bank account now. ;-)

*  I found money!

Hubs and I went to a different Walmart, one a few miles down the road from one we frequent that is a small neighborhood Walmart as it was the only one in the area that carries a product that there was a manufacturer's full price rebate on that I could apply for.  We found a few other deals there(like clearance Kinder bars which made them free after rebate and a Made Good flavor of granola bites that was $1 after rebate and those Reese's ice cream cones that none of our regular Walmarts seemed to have two of in stock for weeks.
Anyway, while leaving I spied a penny on the floor and scooped it up.
Then when we got to the car I saw a whole cache of pennies strewn about the crosshatching of the handicapped parking area in front of where we were parked so I merrily set about picking them up and tucking them into my pants pocket to cart home and wash.  11¢ richer in the found change department for 2024 for that trip was a bonus!

Went to pick up my Rxs at the local Walmart on Thursday.  I found a penny in the crosswalk outside on the way inside and another penny next to the car when I went back out to leave.

Total Found in last Week.... .13¢

Grand Total Found this Year.......$2.69

That's all I got.  

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