Tuesday, April 19, 2016

(ʘ_ʘ) Sick ~ Tuesday 4/19/16

  • So you know how I splurged for the "good stuff" from the pharmacy last time to treat my sinus congestion? Yeah. Well, come to find out, the pseudo-ephedrine isn't really working for me.  I fell asleep at about 11 p.m. and was awake at about midnight and couldn't sleep until about 4:30 a.m. I was tossing and turning and on the cusp of having body chills. My nose was all congested despite taking the decongestant and my ears started hurting again.  So I took ibuprofen at 2:30 and another dose of decongestant at 3:30 a.m. When my alarm rang this morning, I wasn't feeling well, but I wanted to see my daughter off to school so I got up anyway. Being upright seemed to help me feel a little better. I think I'm about to have the flu. It doesn't feel like a cold and it's too much to be just allergies.  Ugh.

  • Guess what the Daily Poll on Swagbucks was today?  Would you have guessed my answer?  LOL?
There should have been a "All of the above" choice, really.

  • Single tasks accomplished today:
    • Reaching out to someone: no plans to contact anyone. Status: I texted my friend to reschedule lunch.
    • Household chore:  doing the dishes. Status: did most of the dishes. Still have to clean the darn pots and pans tomorrow.
    • Investing: maybe I'll read a little more of my Bogleheads' Guide to Investing book that I never finished? Status: didn't do.
    • General finances: paying a credit card online and balancing the checkbook. Status: didn't do. Instead, I recorded my receipts in my various spreadsheets.
    • Saving money:  shopping at Aldi. If I have enough energy I'm going to go but that'll be the only store I visit, I think.  Status: I did better than that, as I went to many stores, using coupons and gift cards to lower my OOP and get freebies.
    • Gardening: watering the flower seeds in the front lawn. Status: done.
    • Health:  resting, Status: didn't happen.
    • Cooking: I'm supposed to make tuna patties tonight but I might need to revise that plan. Status: asked Greg to cook dinner for me as I wasn't feeling good at all and didn't want to contaminate the food.
    • Indulging myself: maybe watching a little TV.  Status: I bought myself clothes at Goodwill and new Tshirts at Target. I also bought myself some chocolate candy and some accessories for my bike.

  • Greg worked from home today, saving us money on gas and tolls.

  • The kids took packed lunches to school.

  • I worked on Bing Rewards while I was up most of the night.

  • My lunch was a hard-boiled egg and 2 slices of buttered toast.

  • I defrosted a pork roast for the crockpot tomorrow and cooked baked beans in the crockpot today to go with the BBQ Pork sandwiches tomorrow.

  • I told Alison I was only going to go to Aldi today but then I looked at what I could get at other stores so I decided to see if I can make myself do my usual circuit.  I have been feeling better since getting up and not even all that tired.  I just took another dose of decongestant and packing some tissues.  I'm not coughing and I haven't sneezed yet today so I think there's a very low risk of me infecting anyone else.

  • So I left on my errands with my coupon organizer and a cup of water.  I had told Greg I would stop at 9 stores but I ended up stopping at 15.  Insane, no? Here is what I did (and yes, I was dragging by the time I got home 4.5 hours later...)
    • Stop #1: I went to RaceTrac and redeemed a survey reward code for a free lemon glazed coffee cake.

    • Stop #2: went to Save A Lot and got some more grapes for the kids and a jar of hazelnut spread (cheaper than at Aldi!).  OOP was $4.58and I paid with Amazon Visa (1% Rewards)
    • Stop #3: another RaceTrac station where I redeemed a survey reward code for a free blueberry muffin.

    • Stop #4: Goodwill.  I looked for shorts/capris for myself. I must have been in a daze because I looked through all the pants racks, lamenting that only people size 8-12 seemed to donate clothes... and then on my way out I realized that there was a "big woman" section.  Well darn it.  While I was looking for the pants on the first racks, I found a skirt that I liked, and since it had a yellow tag it was 50% off today. I looked for the women T-shirt racks but couldn't find them (duh, they were right by the front door!) but I did find a top that matched in the big woman section and since I'm... well, big, I grabbed it. I also found a pair of capris that I was hoping would be way too big for me (because there is no way I'm a size 20 now!) but there were just a tiny bit too big in the waist so I bought them too.  But with all that came the hard realization that I'm really too big for my own good and that (once April is over because I'm eating those free Panera bagels, darn it!), I need to get serious about my health once again.  Ugh.  My OOP at Goodwill ended up being $7.25.  Charged to Amex, 1% back in Rewards.
The T-shirt is actually pale green and the skirt is brown and pale green
    • Stop #5: the carwash!  I finally got my car washed. I swear that it had been probably 2 years.  I don't remember the last time I went. I vacuumed the inside, got a whole bunch of small oak leaves off the groove around the top of my trunk door, and paid my $5 for the basic car wash.  I had to get out of the car when it was gone to straighten out my side mirrors and realized that it either did a crappy job or all the pollen has encrusted itself in my paint.  I should wash it by hand and scrub it well.  I found a lot of change in one of my door pockets and also a few pennies on the ground around my car but they were probably mine to start with. I kept the change in the car so I haven't totalled it.

    • Stop #6: I went to Starbucks to buy a breakfast sandwich that would serve as my lunch. I paid with my app and realized that I had a coupon for a 25% discount on breakfast sandwiches, yay!  Also, this purchase automatically promoted me to the Gold Level for their new rewards program.  My bill was for $3.81 but it really was free to me since I still had some credits from the free gift cards I got from Ting a few months back.
Every "0" stars earned?!?!
    • Stop $7: Went to Target to get a gift card for Greg's daughter and her husband.  I checked the Cartwheel offers before going in and realized that the Mossimo V-neck boyfriend Tshirts (for women) had a 50% Cartwheel offer so I bought myself 4 of them.  There was a 15% Cartwheel offer for Grape Nuts so I was excited about that but they were completely out of it. Plus the price has increased to $3.22! I checked the clearance section and saw a container of the tomato bouillon for $1.25 that Laura had gotten excited about (waving at Laura!) but I didn't need it so I left it there.  Nothing else in the clearance section was of any interest to me.  The only Driscoll's berries they were carrying were the blackberries but I didn't have any Driscoll's coupons with me AND I'm going to be picking them at my neighbor's family farm anyway.  I had a $2 coupon for JustBARE Chicken but none of the packages were on clearance.  The 20 oz package of drumsticks is $2.99 but I already have drumsticks in my freezer.  I did see that their brisket was now priced at $2.99/lb and almost all the packages had $2 off stickers on them, but they were large packages that would have cost me well over $10 each so I left them too.  So my first transaction was the 4 Tshirts.  They cost me $17.66 after tax (so $4.41 a T-shirt) and I used the gift card that I had purchased at Christmas time (to get a 10% discount!) so they didn't cost me anything today since the money had been spent back in December.  My 2nd transaction was the $100 baby gc and a $50 Disney gc that I will give my oldest son as part of his graduation present.  I paid for those with my Target Mastercard so I got a 5% discount automatically (but only on the Disney gc?!?) and my OOP was $147.50

    • Stop #8: Went to Panera to redeem my free bagel every day in April reward. It was noon so I thought I'd be in line forever but the 2 people ahead of me hadn't decided what they wanted so I snuck in front of them and asked for an Asiago Cheese bagel. I'll have it with my Jalapeño soup tonight.  

    • Stop #9: Stopped by CVS. Got a bottle of Ajax dish detergent for just $0.49 + tax.  It ended up being free to me since I paid with the Visa gift card I received as a rebate from Staples.  In a 2nd transaction, I bought 2 gallons of whole milk (on sale @ $2.79 each) and a Snickers bar.  I redeemed a $0.55 coupon for the milk that was in the paper last weekend, and a free candy bar coupon for the Snickers that I had won in their IWG game last month.  My OOP was $5.12 but it was free to me since I paid with the CVS gift card that I earned from our American Express Rewards program.

    • Stop #10: I was on my way to Walmart when my daughter texted me that she needed underwear.  So I got her a 10 pack of Hanes undies ($13.47). I also bought a 2-pack of toilet tank blue cakes for $1.47. My OOP was $15.99 and I paid with Amex (1% Rewards).  On my way in, one of the Auntie Anne's employees was handing out free pretzel samples so I got to try the sweet almond pretzel.Tasty!
It was very yummy!
    • But since I'm getting free bakery items from RaceTrac through the end of May (and free bagels!), I didn't buy any pretzels today.  I did a 2nd transaction for groceries and I paid with the gift cards earned with Swagbucks so my $15.01 OOP turned into $0 for me :)  I bought: 2 boxes of Grapes Nuts ($2.92 each), 2 boxes of Special K ($2.97 each minus (2) $1.00/1 coupons from KFR), a 5-lb bag of Gold bread flour (priced at $3.48.  When I bought it last fall it was $2.52!), 2 bananas @ $0.47 because I knew I was getting $0.25 back from MobiSave and I thought I had a $0.25 rebate from Ibotta but all the Ibotta rebates I wanted to use today seemed to have expired overnight. Grrr. So I bought a loaf of bread for $0.98 thinking I'd get a $0.25 rebate but I didn't.  I also bought a loaf of Cuban bread off the bakery clearance rack for just 30 cents. However, I should have spent 50 cents instead and gotten the "French" bread because that is better.

    • Stop #11 was Murphy USA. I had a printable coupon for a free bottle of milk (single-serve) but my tiny Murphy USA station doesn't carry that brand. Poop!  However, I found an empty bottle of Sprite sitting on the grass, so I threw it in my car and collected the bottle cap for the MCR code once home.  Woohoo!

    • Stop #12 was Aldi, where I did the bulk of my shopping. Non-grocery items were toilet paper, cat litter (2), a water bottle for my bike and its holder ($4.99) and a bike computer ($6.99 to encourage myself to use the real bike for exercise and not just 2-mile rides!).  I had wanted to buy the ceramic-coated frying pans and sautée pan that were on sale this week but they had sold out of that. Darn.  I did buy quite a few snacks because I knew I'd be buying Ben & Jerry's on BOGO for Greg and our son (to celebrate our son's IT certification!) and that my daughter would whine about not having ice cream. So I got her a bag of churros (on special for $0.89) and also some generic cheetos ($0.99).  They were out of Greg's protein bars so I found energy bars but misread the sign altogether and they ended up being way more than I expected (see: Failures). I also got pretzel sticks because I want to try the Pretzel Pie from that Redneck baking cookbook I checked out from the library.  Anyhoo, my overall OOP (including everything) was $69.57 and I paid with Amex (woohoo! 3% back in rewards).

    • Stop #13 was Publix: I got a couple of Stayfree maxi pads (on BOGO for $3.45 and I had a $2.00/2 digital coupon), a bottle of Publix-brand mildew remover ($2.39 and I'll keep the bottle to refill it with bleach), a bottle of Bar Keeper's Soft Scrub for $2.59 (I redeemed a $2.00 printable coupon to get it for just $0.59 + tax) and finally I caved in to the pressure and bought FOUR Ben & Jerry's pints since I just knew that my daughter would complain about not having ice cream anyway (BOGO at $4.79 and I had just (1) $1.50/1 store coupon from an insert a couple of weekends ago. I really wish that I had 4 of them!).  So my OOP was $13.77 and since I still haven't received the Publix gc that I won, I paid with Amex (3% in Rewards).

    • Stop #14 was Walgreens. I should have bought everything last night when I went out to get my decongestant but I wasn't in the mood to shop then.  Today I bought the back of Snickers Crispers that were $3.00 and got me a $3 Register Rewards. I also bought (3) 128 oz bottles of Purex laundry detergent on sale for $5.99 each. They only had one on the shelf but the very nice manager went to check the back and came back with 2 more for me. I needed 3 to be able to use my $3.00/2 and $1.00/1 printable coupons and qualify for the $4.00 rebate from SavingStar. My OOP was $18.44 and I paid with my Amazon Visa card (2% Rewards).  I had uploaded an offer to get 5 times the Balance Reward points with a $10+ purchase so I earned a total of 1,800 points today, which took me to $5,310 points. So next time I shop there, I will be able to redeem 5,000 points for $5 off my bill!  Woohoo!

    • Stop #15 was my local library. I returned my "Quiet" book, dropped off 2 magazines in the donation pile and grabbed all the coupon inserts that I found there. I'm hoping that there will be some milk coupons in those inserts (I haven't checked yet).  

    • I also chatted with the librarian about my son's Dungeons and Dragons group. It's happening, she's already put it on the schedule. But she's only going to promote it as part of the summer reading program so it might be June before he gets any players.  I did have to tell her that he can't start this Thursday like he told her, since we have to be at his JNHS Induction Ceremony that evening. I tell you: boys never know what's going on even when it's THEIR schedule, everything is on their Google Calendar (because I've put it there!) and they can access it from their iPhones!  It's so frustrating, to me.

  • When I came home, Greg came out to help me carry everything in.  He knew that I had bought ice cream and really wanted to dig in but I'm mean and pretended that I hadn't bought any and then made him wait until I had photographed all my groceries.  So in the meantime he had a yogurt and is keeping his ice cream for after dinner.

  • My daughter came to chat with me while I photographed everything. She wanted to vent because she had had a bad day.  There's some drama with her FFA club but tonight they're voting for the new officers and she didn't run since she won't be able to (nor is interested in) participate next year. I saw how frustrated she was by all the drama that is affecting one of her very good friends, but I advised her to let the friend handle it since my daughter isn't affected by it and won't be in the club next year anyway. You can't fight everyone else's battles all the time! And since this drama involves the teacher who is the advisor, it would really behoove her to stay out of the fray.  Then, still frustrated with everything, she emailed her dad that she didn't want her stepmom to attend her oratorical competition on Saturday.  I was upset with her because she has a really good stepmom. They have their philosophical differences but the woman really has done right by my kids and treats them as her own. She's attended all the games and concerts and is genuinely proud of my daughter.  My daughter argued that she didn't want ANYBODY there but her dad since he's driving her, and that made me upset because I'm definitely planning on being there (and bringing her younger brother and seeing if Greg wants to come too but he probably won't want to). So then she got upset because she thought I was kidding when I said I would be there too and we argued whether I would be coming or not.  Well. she tried to argue because I don't care what she says, I WILL be there to see her compete. As I told her, oh look at the poor girl whose extended family dares to be proud of her and want to be there to support her! Those kids whose parents never show up for anything sure are lucky compared to her.  She really is to be pitied. Boohoo.  And I told her to get over it.   I wasn't feeling good, hadn't slept last night, had lots of dishes to be done when she should have been the one doing them over the past few days but I didn't nag her because she was studying for a big test and I don't like whining.  Honestly, I think all the drama from the FFA debacle got to her and she's in the middle of PMS'ing as well. But her speech is about inspiring others to do their best by modeling the best she can be, and I mentioned that she wasn't exemplifying what she was talking about very well.  Oh, I'm so annoyed at her. Her stepmom is going to be very hurt and that can't be good (I'm a stepmom, I know) and her dad is probably going to be pissed at her too which isn't going to be good since he's the one taking her to the competition and she's also spending the day with him on Friday touring UCF. Anyhoo, we'll see what happens but I'm going.  I want to go to Trader Joe's while I'm in Gainesville anyway and buy some Stilton cheese.  Have you noticed that I keep on talking about food when I said I needed to get serious about my health?  Oy. This is going to be very hard, isn't it?!  What does this whole paragraph have to do with frugal successes?  Nothing.  I just didn't want to stick it anywhere else.Update: later on tonight she texted me a picture of herself with me. I didn't understand why so she said she just thought it had been a nice picture. I told her I agreed and that I loved her and then she said she loved me too. I guess we're not bickering anymore. But I'm still going to see her compete.

  • So I photographed everything and put everything away.  Then I submitted my receipts for the tiny rebates that I qualified for: $0.25 on MobiSave for bananas, $0.25 on Ibotta for laundry detergent, $0.25 on Checkout 51 for apples, and then $4.00 on SavingStar for the Purex.  MobiSave, Ibotta and Checkout 51 credited my accounts immediately. It'll take a few days for SavingStar.

  • I also submitted  my Walmart receipts to the Savings Catcher and submitted my Walmart receipt for groceries to Kellogg's Family Rewards to get credited for my Special K purchase.

  • My youngest son came home from school and was all excited because he had printed his certification... certificate!  He is now a "Internet Business Associate", whatever that means, lol.  I will get a frame at Dollar Tree next week so he can display it near his computer. We are tickled pink that he is so excited and proud of this because he's a very laconic kid usually :)

  • My daughter went to her FFA meeting in the evening and I advised her to let the drama roll off her back like water off a duck's feathers.  I hope she takes this advice to heart.

  • I started getting body chills when I came home, and I'm still suffering from sinus congestion despite taking the decongestant.  Ugh. This is the stuff they use to make meth and it's so regulated that I thought it'd be better than the other stuff that's not regulated but it really doesn't seem to be working for me so well.  However, it seems to be giving me energy because I can't explain why I don't feel the usual fatigue from not having slept the night before. Also, my mouth and my lips are very dry even though I'd been sipping on water all day.  I have a feeling that I'll be up all night again, feeling thirsty and having to pee every 30 minutes, lol. Now who's whining, right?

  •  I asked Greg if he could take care of cooking dinner. Tuna patties are his specialty and, coincidentally, that's what's on the menu for tonight.  So he's cooking right now, yay!

  • I went to check the mail and Kohl's sent me a 20% discount. I do have the 30% code that someone had posted so I might go there next week to use my $20 in Kohl's cash courtesy of Discover and use the 30% code at the kiosk.  The purchases will be mailed to my house anyway.  We'll see. I'd like another pair of shorts... or to buy a new dress for my daughter.

  • I also received my used copy of Blue Ribbon Baking from a Redneck Kitchen from the Amazon reseller that I had picked. The copy is brand new, actually, so I'm glad I got this one and saved a couple of dollars compared to buying it from Amazon. I'll be returning my library's copy on Thursday when I have to return the Fargo DVDs.

  • I saw my nice neighbor as I was checking the mail and I told him I was planning on going to pick blackberries from his family's U Pick farm this weekend. However, he said that they weren't open yet. He will text me when they do open for business for the season.

  • I was a little annoyed to get an email from the painting studio telling us that tomorrow's class is cancelled since we were the only ones who had signed up.  They had already charged me for it.  They suggested we reschedule to another class but each class has a specific painting that they work on and my daughter and I really wanted to paint the koi in the style of Van Gogh!  We found another class in mid-May where we'll paint a tree, I believe, in an impressionist style.  Actually, it's a good thing that they did email me because I'm not feeling well anyway.  However, I had planned on getting an oil change for the family car while my daughter was at her college class right before the painting class so now I'll have to figure out when we're going to do this.

  • After dinner, Greg and I watched an episode of Fargo, Season 1. Since we had already seen it, I was fine just listening to the dialogue while I input all my receipts into my various spreadsheets.

  • I texted the friend with whom I was supposed to have lunch on Thursday, asking her if we could reschedule because I didn't want to make her sick. She said she had just made chicken soup and offered to drop some off tomorrow. How sweet!  Look, Bless, I have friends who bring me free food too!  LOL. I thanked her & told her I had the jalapeño soup (although it's not helping) so I was fine.

  • I really want to eat ice cream (my mouth is so dry) but dairy products aren't recommended when you're congested so I'm resisting. I usually don't care for ice cream so it's annoying that for once I want it and I have it, I can't eat it!

  • Greg found out that HBO is going to be showing all 4 seasons of "Mr Show" with David Cross. We love David Cross and we've been wanting to see that show so this will make our HBO Now subscription a little more frugal since we'll be watching other shows than Game of Thrones!

  • I checked the (3) Redplum coupon inserts that I picked up today and they each have a coupon for $0.55 off a gallon of DairyPure milk. Woohoo!  I'll use those at CVS or Walgreens.

  • Aldi was out of Greg's Millville protein bars (priced at $1.99 for 6 bars) so I bought a box of Fit & Active Peanut Butter Energy Bars. I don't know how it happened because I matched the shelf sticker to the box, or so I thought, and was expecting to pay $2.49 for the box, but when I got home I checked my receipt (I wasn't thinking straight today and forgot to check every single one of my receipts before I left the stores!) and Aldi charged me $4.69 for it!  That is so expensive!  I could have made peanut butter energy bars myself for a fraction of the price!  Greg wanted me to return them, but then he won't have any for the week and will be tempted to buy something from the vending machine, which will cost us more, so I figured it will be a "splurge".

  • I completely forgot to check my receipts before I left the stores today.  I always advise everyone to do this so I'm annoyed at myself that I forgot!

  • And because I assumed that the prices hadn't increased since last week, I spent $1.99 on one head of Boston lettuce!  Wow, it went up 60 cents since last week!  I love that lettuce but I could have gotten 3 heads of Romaine for about that price!

  • Looking through the coupon inserts that I picked up today, I realized that I had been missing a coupon inserts in my own paper this weekend and so had missed the $0.25 Ajax coupon that I could have used at CVS today.  Grrr.

  • Did a load of dishes
  • Set the breakfast table for the kids
  • Collected trash throughout the house and took the bin down for collection
  • Watered the flower seeds
  • Worked on my shopping list
  • Cooked baked beans in the crockpot
  • Went grocery shopping/running errands
  • Documented my trip and put everything away
  • Submitted receipts for rebates
  • Prepped Grocery Shopping post

Did you have any frugal successes or failures today? Please do tell!


  1. My goodness, Nathalie, you did all that while not feeling well?! What do you do when you do feel well?

    Glad to see that you too have friends who'll bring you food! :D

    I hope you sleep well tonight and feel much better, tomorrow. Take care and rest!

    1. I just read the list of side effects of pseudoephedrine and one of the lesser ones is insomnia. So that confirms my suspicion of why I couldn't sleep the night before, as I had just started taking it, and I think that's also what fueled my energy during the day. I didn't take another dose yesterday or last night because it really doesn't DO anything for me. My nose is just as congested as without it and now my mouth and lips are feel very dry and I'm thirsty all the time. I never take drugs so I think I might have had a little more of a reaction that someone who routinely uses that type of product.

      I was thinking that I'm glad I went shopping yesterday because I couldn't do it today, but then I realized that my selfishness in going out when I wasn't feeling well (actually, I was feeling fine, but I knew that I was sick) was probably a threat to those with compromised immune systems. Arrgh, I'm sorry, everyone! But I didn't take mass transit, didn't cough or sneeze, washed my hands with hand gel and only talked to the cashiers so I hope I didn't help spread anything. Next time I'll have to remember that my being sick affects more than me.

      Today is going to be a restful day, I don't plan on doing much of anything at all. Thanks for your thoughts, Bless. I hope you have a nice and restful day as well!

  2. I don't know know anyone has the patience for 15 stops! I can barely manage one and it exhausts me. I think I just don't like public places most of the time!

    1. I think it was the high of the pseudoephedrine. I never really feel like going shopping anymore but once I'm on a roll, it's not so bad, especially since most of the stores are pretty close to one another (like within a 2-mile radius), and none of them were really busy at all. I don't think I waited in line in any store so that helped.

    2. Oh you do make me laugh that's exactly what I think when one of my kids complain when I want to go and watch them in something. How hated done by they are for having caring loving parents! Ha ha.

      I'm so sorry to hear that you are feeling poorly, you really should be relaxing and taking it easy instead of shopping at FIFTEEN stores...

      You did get some bargains though my dear friend. I love the top and skirt.

      I hope your daughter took your advise and let everything go over her head, its difficult if you have a close friend involved in a difficult situation but I always say to mine on a scale of 1-10 how much is this going to effect your life and will you still be worrying about this in a years time if not try and let it go. Sometimes they listen sometimes they don't.

      I hope you feel better soon xxx

  3. I think that you were definitely drug induced because I totally understood just Aldi but you went crazy!!! I was exhausted reading about it. You did great with all your deals and good that it started off with a race trac sweet!! I really need to look into the bagel thing and get my panera card registered. I am exhausted and headed to bed...mostly brought on by the late hour but partly by the amount that you fit into a day. Hope that the meds are out of the system and you are getting rest. If you want to get it all out of your system, I totally recommend the Neil Med Sinus Rinse. I used to do it a lot to get stuff out of my system. I really need to go back to it because I am constantly congested.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation! I finally remembered that my dad and stepmom always made us use the Vick's sticks and I had loaded up on them when I went to France 3 years ago, but they sell them here too. It's a plastic sick with the menthol medicine in it, you put it at the entrance of your nose and take a deep breath. It works wonders for me and it worked again this time!


Anything you'd like to add? Share away!