Wednesday, August 24, 2016

My Kids Have Forbidden Me From Buying Any More Meat! ~ Wednesday 8/24/16

It's been a long day...  I'm too tired to post the grocery shopping post today so I'll do that tomorrow or Friday.

To Do List
  • Crafty/Creative:
    • Finish painting squirrel sign and assemble it
    • Make a lightbox to take better pictures
    • Melt down old candles and make into one or two new candles
    • Make "No Soliciting" sign for front door and another one for the other front door (we have two)
  • Cleaning/Decluttering:
    • Dust the bedrooms (including son's fan) - in progress
    • Declutter linen closet
    • Clean kitchen cabinets
    • Clean out the printer stand, including school paperwork folders
    • Declutter the top of the fridge
    • Mend items in mending basket (add Greg's hat)
    • Declutter exercise room (including storage bench)
    • Declutter coffee table
    • Spray bleach in shower stall
    • Make a car deodorant pad for my SUV
    • Sweep or vacuum my bedroom
    • Dust fan in exercise room
    • Clean the fridge
    • Fold the laundry
    • Put the laundry away 
    • Put out recycling - Done
  • Cooking/Baking/Preserving:
    • Dehydrate pineapples 
    • Bake a batch of Grape Nuts
    • Make Chicken Tetrazzini with chicken meat from fridge
  • Entertainment
    • Plan an outing to Leu Botanical gardens or Bok Tower Gardens
  • Errands:
    • Take items to the dump
  • Gardening/outdoors:
    • Transplant ferns into bare patch in front lawn to make shady planter
    • Research cone flowers and their care and plant them somewhere - Transplanted them in larger pot.
    • Scrub patio pavers with bleach to remove mildew (this might have to wait until the months when it's not quite so hot!)
    • Fertilize the raspberries - I'm thinking about pulling them and putting more roses in pots in their place.
    • Add mulch to the vegetable garden - I will do this once I have replaced the broken self-watering bins
    • Pull unwanted plants from center "planter" in the backyard, add soil, plant flowers, add edging around it (watch out for large roots that would be in the way). Make planter with other materials if edging doesn't work. (this will have to wait until Fall when it's not so hot and when I can plant wildflower seeds).
    • Divide and repot the aloe plant
    • Plant more okra
    • Trim grass behind the hedge
    • Trim weeds alongside the berm
    • Find fish emulsion and use on plants
    • Pull the rest of the dead tomato plants 
    • Plant passion flower vine seeds
    • Check on the seedlings and water as needed 
    • Add water to pepper bins
    • Refill green bird feeder
  • Health:
    • Call gyneco to make annual appointment
    • Use recumbent bike
    • Do 5 min of strength exercises
    • Log food into My Fitness Pal  - Done
    • Record exercise in Walgreens Balance Rewards (in September)
    • Weigh myself (Thursdays) - Done Today
  • Maintenance:
    • See if I still have mildew-resistant white paint for bathroom ceiling
    • Get Greg to replace the ceiling tile in the entry room
    • Test the batteries in all 3 smoke detectors and replace as needed
    • Vacuum fridge coils
    • Vacuum AC vent in kitchen
    • Greg to call plumber
    • Wash the bathroom ceiling with bleached water
    • Remind Greg to re-secure chicken wire to AC unit and also to block off opening under front of the house
    • Plan on taking car for oil change this week or next - Done
  • Technology/Paperwork:
    • Caption old pictures that have already been scanned
    • Scan more old pictures
    • Create spreadsheet to track IRA contributions using ALL our old tax returns - Started but need to do more research.
    • Figure out if we should contribute to regular  or Roth IRAs for 2016 and fund them - I guess I need to wait until tax time next year, actually. I'll have until April 15, 2017 to fund 2016 IRAs so I need to work on taxes way sooner than I did this year so I'd have time to fund the IRAs and THEN file my taxes.
    • Download all May-July photos to my external drive - in progress
    • Back up my external drive to my other external drive
    • File the remaining loose recipes that I organized already in appropriate recipe binders
    • Purge filing cabinet
    • File paperwork
    • Write new letter to great grand aunt
    • Look at sample ballot and research local candidates
    • Remove daughter's pc from her room and decide what to do with it
    • Shred the shredding pile
    • Sort coupons - Done
    • Work on shopping list - Done 

  • Brewed a pot of free coffee from Wawa.

  • My son packed a lunch to take to school.

  • He took the school bus again today.

  • Bing Rewards had tons of bonus offers to complete today so I earned 58 credits instead of the usual 28.  I guess they're going out in a blaze of glory since they're about to switch to Microsoft Rewards.

  • On the Swagbucks front, I'm trying to earn some before I go out shopping today, but my first daily goal is 132 SB so there is no way I'm reaching that today. On a happier note, I did reach the 14 days winning streak so I'll get an additional 100 SB bonus next month.

  • I reached my first weight loss mini goal way ahead of my very indulgent schedule (woohoo!) and updated the blog page with a free weight loss ticker from MyFitnessPal.

  • When I bought my new vacuum cleaner several months ago, I just couldn't get rid of the old one. It doesn't vacuum the carpets very well, but it does suck up dirt if you use the hose. Also it easily goes from an upright vacuum cleaner to a small canister vacuum cleaner. This morning I decided to move it upstairs since I need to vacuum there anyway and one of the reasons why I haven't done it yet is that I'm too lazy to carry the very heavy vacuum up the stairs, lol.  So I'll leave that one upstairs (got to find a spot for it somewhere) and hopefully vacuum more often thanks to that. Yet another reason not to declutter too fast, IMO.

  • I looked at the new online weekly ads for Save A Lot and Aldi and made a note of what I wanted to buy today.  I decided to skip CVS altogether since I was only going to get milk and milk is on sale at Aldi. Not free, like it would be for me at CVS, but it saves me a stop AND a confrontation with the cashier about their coupon policy (I'm not in the mood for it today!).  You all knew onions would go on sale the week after I had to buy them full price, right?  Sigh.
  • But I also added three stops to my trip today because:
    • Walmart: will be using Swagbucks gift card
    • Kohl's: to use up my free money
    • Target: strawberries are on sale and I'm hoping they're Driscoll's berries
    • Publix: free product coupon and sale on pasta sauce

  • I took 2 Driscoll's surveys and earned 4 coupons for $1.00/1 berries.  Crossing my fingers that the ones on sale at Target are Driscoll's!

  • So I went on my errands/shopping trip at 9:30 a.m.  I didn't get back until about 1 p.m. and only sat down to eat lunch at about 2:00 p.m.!  I'm exhausted.
    • I brought some herbal tea and a rice cake with me so I wouldn't be temped to buy a drink or a snack.
    • RaceTrac:  I redeemed a survey reward code for a free oatmeal raisin cookie that I saved for my son.  I asked if I could substitute something else for the frozen yogurt cone reward that is on my app since my station doesn't offer frozen yogurt cones but they said no :(

    • Save A Lot:  
      • I found boxes of powdered doughnuts on clearance. I only bought 2 boxes at $0.75 each, since I figured I would find more baked goods on clearance at Walmart.  
      • I walked the perimeter of the store, looking for other items on clearance and saw that two of the cheese pizzas' sell by date was yesterday but that they hadn't been marked down. A quick chat with the assistant manager secured the agreement that I could get them for 50% off at $2.50 each.
      • In the meat section, they still had plenty of chicken breasts on the bone for $0.99/lb (sale price from last week!) so I grabbed 2 packages without thinking of how I was going to freeze them.
      • In the produce section, I bought a small papaya at $0.99/lb, 3 ears of corn for $1.00, and some cabbage at $0.39/lb.
      • Lastly, I also grabbed 2 boxes of mac'n cheese at $0.39 each because that's an easy side dish when I'm uninspired to cook and my kids' favorite brand.
      • My OOP was $18.67 and I charged it to my USAA Visa (10% back in Rewards).

    • RaceTrac: I gassed up my SUV at the Clermont station for $2.20/gallon. Wow, the prices have gone up quite a bit since last week.  I earned 12 loyalty points and got a new receipt with which to get another freebie once I take the survey. I also charged the gas to my USAA Visa card for 10% in Rewards.  I also redeemed another survey reward code for a large chocolate chip cookie that I saved for my son.

    • Valvoline: I needed an oil change.  Those always cost a lot because I have a large SUV that requires extra quarts of oil and I use synthetic oil since I have over 100,000 miles on it.  But I had earned a $15 off coupon via Quikly, which I presented.  After they inspected my car, I was reminded that I had a burn-out light bulb over my license plate and that my windshield wipers needed to be changed, which I knew. My rear windshield wiper had been making a horrible racket for years (seriously, like 7 years) and it just recently dawned on me that it was probably because I needed to change the blade. I usually don't use it but with the electric problem that I'm having, only 2 "lines" of the rear defogger work, which is annoying.  I asked for the price of all of those and decided that even though I could maybe save a couple of bucks by buying the parts at Advance Auto Parts, it was yet something else to do so I had them take care of all that.  I love my Valvoline oil change place, the staff is awesome.  My attendant gave me a 15% discount off everything,which was worth about $23 so more than the coupon, which I kept for the next time I have to take Greg's truck for an oil change.  The OOP was about $143.00, charged to my USAA Visa for 10% back in Rewards, of course.  It was a really good thing that I had the windshield wipers changed since later on it started pouring!
      • However: their sticker that they put in my windshield indicate that I need a new oil change in 3,000 miles, while my vehicle's maintenance manual indicates that a change is only needed every 5,000 miles.

    • SuperTarget:
      • All I wanted was strawberries and only if they were Driscoll's since I had $1.00 off coupons.  They were so I got 2 boxes for $1.50 each after coupon.
      • I should have avoided the meat section, I wasn't thinking!  I found several packages of discounted Gold'n Plump chicken and I had (2) $1.50 coupons... arrgh, those discount stickers are like waving a red flag in front of a bull.  At first I was going to buy marinated chicken breasts ($8.29 with $4.00 off stickers) but then I saw whole seasoned chickens on sale ($5.99 with with $2.00 off stickers) so I bought 2 of them for $2.49 each after coupons.
      • The Market Pantry milk was on sale for $2.79 and there was a 5% Cartwheel offer on it.  I was also able to redeem that $1.00 coupon that had beeped at CVS and had been rejected. Funny how it didn't beep at Target!  So I got the gallon of whole milk for $1.65.
      • Lastly, I bought 2 containers of Market Pantry cream cheese spread with chives and onions since I needed them for the tetrazzini recipe and I was doubtful that Aldi carried that. (I was right, Aldi didn't have it).  They were $2.02 each but there was a 5% Cartwheel offer on them so I got them for $1.91 each.
      • I charged the $13.35 OOP to my USAA Visa instead of my REDcard since the Rewards are better than the discount right now.

    • Kohl's:
      • I had the $9.00 anniversary voucher and the $10 in Kohl's cash from Discover Deals to use up, as well as a 20% off discount code and I had no idea of what to get!  Luckily, after a few minutes in the store, I remembered that I had meant to buy myself a pair of comfortable slippers to wear at home because of my recurring plantar fasciitis problem.  So I found a pair of Isotoner memory foam slippers that was not on sale for $26 and I paid just under $6.00 for them, woohoo!

    • Walmart SuperCenter:
      • I had to take a quick picture of the produce area because they've remodeled it and it looks wayyyyyyyy nicer now!  Browsing it was actually pleasant today :)  I bought a 5-lb bag of apples. At first I had picked the Red Delicious apples at $5.42 a bag but after counting only 12 apples in it when my 3-lb bags of Aldi apples usually have 9 apples in them, I was feeling unsure about getting them.  Then I saw 5-lb bags of Gala apples for $4.50 and the apples were much tinier so there were many more than in the other bag, which is a much better deal because the bag will last longer :)  I also got bananas there and I'll redeem the 20% offer from SavingStar.
      • Oooh, they now carry Driscoll's berries too!  They're more expensive than at Target BUT: I redeem my Swagbucks for Walmart gift cards so that's actually a good thing because I see free berries in my dieting future!
      • Newsflash: there were NO discounted baked goods in the clearance section, apart from a couple of loaves of bread and some rolls. Whaaaaaaaaat?! I grabbed a loaf of Italian bread for 50 cents because I cannot resist good clearances even though my daughter and I are both on a diet!
      • They only had King Arthur whole wheat flour so I grabbed a bag of that (to make Greg's Grape Nuts).  I also got 2 jars of Better Than Bouillon soup base ($3.72 a jar), and a jar of red curry paste (since I realized that I only had green curry paste at home but the recipes I keep clipping all call for red curry paste!).
      • My OOP was $21.99 but it was all FREE to me since I paid with my Swagbucks gift cards!
Not only does it look better but it's much more accessible for people in wheelchairs so a win-win!
    • Aldi: A firefighter was wrapping some caution tape around the cement posts separating the store from the parking lot because obviously someone had hit it pretty hard and it was all broken up.  I did my usual shopping at Aldi. Nothing was on clearance :(  I grabbed some produce on sale this week (baby bella mushrooms, grapes, cucumbers), and stocked up on chipotle chicken sausages (I grabbed the last 3 packages), protein bars for Greg and also yogurt since I think the price will increase next week. I also bought other items that weren't on my list, initially.  So my OOP was higher than I had planned at $44.18 and I charged it to my USAA Visa card again for 10% off in Rewards.
This picture was taken for Laura: there was ONE bottle of light soy sauce!
However, I didn't take it since I had just gotten a bottle at Walmart.
But I thought of you!
    • Save A Lot: 
      • I stopped there again to get eggs since I had noticed that they were cheaper that at Aldi.
      • By curiosity, I walked by the bakery clearance table again and this time, there were 3 cherry pies and an angel food cake!  I didn't even have a cart so I scooped everything up in my arms and went to get the one dozen eggs that I had stopped to get, lol!
      • My OOP this time was $8.71, which I charged again to my USAA Visa card for 10% back.

    • Publix:
      • I got some cash at the ATM. They charge a $2.75 fee but USAA refunds us up to $15 in ATM fees per month so I'll get it back in a few weeks.
      • I had a digital coupon for a free Annie product so I grabbed a box of chocolate cereal.
      • I also bought 2 jars of Barilla pasta sauce on BOGO with coupons
      • So my OOP was $1.25 and I charged it to my USAA Visa (10% back).
      • Later on, I realized that I had forgotten to buy my daughter's favorite Ken's dressing that was also on BOGO today. Since she was passing Publix on her way to the high school (she had to drop off some paperwork), I asked her to go get the dressing. She charged the $3.53 OOP to my Discover card so we'll only get 2% back in Rewards on that.

  • On my way home, I called the library to see if my Law & Order: Criminal Intent DVDs that had been "in transit" since the 19th had finally arrived.  Last week, I had just come home from grocery shopping when they had emailed me that one was waiting for me!  They said that since they're short a courrier, they're only getting deliveries on Tuesdays and Thursdays for now. So hopefully it'll get there tomorrow and then I can get my son to pick it up for me when he goes to conduct his Dungeons and Dragons club meeting.

  • When I finally got home, my daughter was there (she only had classes in the morning today) so she helped me bring everything in. She's very helpful that way.  Then she berated me about buying so much meat on clearance and said "yeah, yeah, yeah" when I started panicking about not having any room in the freezers.  Later on, she had left to drop off the paperwork at school, and my son came back from school just as I was photographing everything and moaning about finding room for the meat so he said "Mom, you need to STOP buying meat on sale!".  They're right, darn it!  I am in deep trouble: I have the boiled chicken to cook in the tetrazzini recipe, I had defrosted ground turkey to make chili for tonight, and I now have 2 packages of chicken breasts in the fridge because I couldn't fit them in the freezer! And oh, did I mention that Greg isn't here and my daughter and I are watching our diet so no one is really eating leftovers?!  Arrgh.  On a happy note, I did find room in the upright freezer for the 2 chickens (I put them in the door as I was able to move what was in there to other places), and the sausages (which were easier to fit in small spots).

  • It had rained at home too while I was gone, woohoo. I don't think it lasted very long, though.

  • I finally had lunch: some leftover black bean soup that I had forgotten to eat yesterday, a chunk of Italian bread from Walmart, and a slice of angel food cake topped with plain yogurt and sliced strawberries.

  • I submitted my receipts for rebates to SavingStar and Checkout 51.  Checkout 51 credited my account immediately.

  • I submitted my Walmart receipt to the SavingsCatcher, just in case.

  • Staples texted me to be on the lookout for a "little treat coming (my) way tomorrow."  I wonder what it is!  Probably the ink rewards that I got in the mail today, actually...

  • I was able to take a 75 SB survey this afternoon so I met my 1st Daily Goal. Might make the 2nd one if I can keep running nGage videos tonight.  Update: I made it!
  • For dinner I baked one of the cheese pizzas that I bought today ($2.50) and made a side salad.  The kids just wanted their pizza plain.  I cut up 4 or 5 homegrown jalapeƱos on my slices, yum!

  • I paid extra for the Valvoline staff to replace my 3 wipers and the light bulb that had burned out. It might have been slightly cheaper at Advance Auto Parts but it would have meant yet another stop and I would have had to change the bulb myself.  

  • I gave my daughter a $25 check for her "senior dues". I don't understand why we have to pay dues for my daughter to be a student in a public school system, especially since she will NOT be attending classes there. Grrr.  However, my ex and I split those expenses 50/50 so he will refund me $12.50.

  • Had to throw away about 1/4 gallon of very sour milk that I never used up.

  • I had to compost 2 potatoes that had rotten in my pantry and rinse all the other ones. Pee-ew.

  • Ibotta has an offer valid at Publix for $0.25 any box of breakfast cereal but it said that the UPC on the box of Annie's cereal that I bought there was invalid. I emailed them, asking if I could submit the rebate via email instead. It'll probably take several days before they reply to me.

  • When I input the details of the maintenance done on my vehicle in my spreadsheet, I saw a note I had left that I didn't need an oil change until 5,000 miles had passed since my last one.  Well, I had forgotten about that!  All I knew was that my "oil change needed" warning had been on for quite a while so I finally got it done. However, it had only been 4,000 miles since my last one.  Sigh.

  • Made my bed
  • Took the recycling out to the curb
  • Got rid of the very sour milk in the back of the fridge!
  • Worked on my shopping list
  • Took consumer satisfaction surveys
  • Printed coupons
  • Sorted coupons
  • Ran errands
  • Documented my trip and put everything away
  • Submitted receipts for rebates
  • Cooked dinner
  • No need for me to do the dishes as my daughter is doing them this whole week

  • I couldn't wait another day and weighed myself: 222.8 on Greg's scale (-2.8 lbs) and the interval on my own scale shows that I have also lost 2.8 lbs although I weigh more on that darn scale (223.6 lbs).  I'm using Greg's :)  Anyhoo, woohoo!  I suspect a lot of it is due to my period having come and gone, but it's nice to see the numbers go down.

  • So I've reached my first mini goal way ahead of time since I wanted to lose 4 lbs by Christmas and updated it: I want to have lost and maintained a loss of at least 10 lbs by Christmas (so reach and maintain 217.2 lbs by Christmas).  I updated that on the home page of the blog in the sidebar so I can track my progress.

  • I didn't get to exercise today but as of 7 p.m., my phone has registered that I walked and is giving me a credit of 228 calories.

  • I entered my food intake into My Fitness Pal.

    • For a lower number on the scale!
    • For great deals today and freebies!
    • For being able to figure out
    • For a little bit of rain
    Did you have a good day?


    1. Woo hoo! Congratulations on your weight loss! Well before Christmas, too! Best wishes with the next weight loss goal.

      Yes, it sounds like you need to stop buying more meat and use up what's in the freezer for the next few weeks, if not months! I need to do the same, myself!

      1. Thanks and YES, you are absolutely correct, lol!

    2. I used My Fitness Pal for a food diary and it was quite enlightening. I knew I didn't eat enough protein, but seeing the numbers add up (or not add up) really put a perspective on it. If I eat more protein, I'm less hungry and less likely to go for the sweets. Keeping a food diary is always useful, I think.

      1. So have you changed your behavior in the long run and try to eat more protein now? Greg swears by protein but sometimes I just want marshmallows! Or chocolate... or bread. Sigh.

        I should look at the various nutrients. The last time that I had used My Fitness Pal seriously I was keeping a close eye on them, but I was feeling defeated by trying to remain under the sodium intake that I didn't want to go over, while still getting all the calcium and protein and especially potassium that I wanted. So this time around, I'm concentrating on trying not to go over my calorie allotment. So I'm allowing myself to eat "bad" stuff but in much smaller quantities and only if I have the calories left at the end of the day. I do try to reach for some sliced turkey or 5 or 6 almonds if I'm starving in the middle of the afternoon, instead of a banana. Also, I find that if I keep up with drinking enough and I keep busy, I'm less likely to feel hungry. The problem is... I can't read a book while I'm dieting because I associate the pleasure and relaxation of reading with eating and switching my usual snacks to carrots or celery sticks just isn't the same. So for now I read blogs and watch TV. Those activities don't "require" me to eat anything. It's just weird. Lastly, I get hungry late at night, so I really need to try to go back to falling asleep no later than 11 p.m. because that saves me a trip to the kitchen.

    3. Well. I wondered when it would finally happen....running out of freezer space altogether and your family revolting. And now that it has, I will bet you have learned NOTHING. You still managed to find a way to squeeze it all in there. Those bargains are just too good to pass up.

      You did very well at Kohl's, spending less than $6 on a pair of Isotoners. Nice.

      It's no small wonder that you were exhausted after that day of shopping. You were running back and forth between all those shops. You got lots of bargains and FREEBIES. Yeehaw. I'm happy to hear you got a little bit of rain. It rained here this morning. The sun is out now, and it is muggy. whew!

      1. Ha! You have been following me long enough to know that I always end up finding room. After all, during the week I DO use items from the freezer to cook my meals so usually it's a matter of rearranging a few things. But this time, I have almost 8 lbs of fresh chicken breasts in the fridge that I can absolutely NOT put in the freezer so that might be a problem. The chili recipe that I made tonight will feed us again tomorrow night. Then I have to make the chicken Tetrazzini with the chicken meat from the soup base cooking experiment, probably on Saturday. That might also yield dinner for 2 nights. In the meantime, nothing is coming out of the freezer so no room is being made for freezing leftovers! So my best estimate is that I'll be cooking those fresh chicken breasts at the earliest on Monday night and then I'll have to make chicken quesadillas, sandwiches and other things that should last us another 2-3 nights. So I absolutely cannot buy any things to be frozen next Wednesday at all. Maybe I should just limit myself to Publix next Wednesday to get fruit and milk. It's expensive but it would save me time AND I'd never buy meat from there because it's so pricey... yes, I might just have to do that!

        I hope it didn't remain muggy today and that you were able to get some more rearranging of your craft room!

    4. I have been meaning to ask you… Do you bring coolers with you since you do so many stops with all this fresh meat and sometimes frozen products?

      1. Hmm, someone asked me that very same question a couple of weeks ago and I think that was you? Yes, I have 2 Publix cooler bags that hold quite a lot. I put all the meat, dairy and frozen products in there. But for the longest time (as in 25 years in total!) I didn't have any so I didn't use them and no one ever died or got sick :)

      2. LOL it could have been me and I didn't check the notify button.

      3. So the good news is that you're not as forgetful as you thought you were!

    5. I keep seeing the low sodium soy sauce every time I visit Aldi, too! It's crazy because before I actually needed to buy it, I had never even seen our Aldi carry any soy sauce. Oh well. My BJs container will last me a long time, so I don't need to worry about availability at Aldi quite yet. :)

      1. LOL, isn't that always the case, though?! Your large container from BJs might end up being cheaper per oz anyway, and soy sauce doesn't go bad.

    6. I tend to buy stuff without thinking about being able to fit it all into my freezer. But you are right, there always seems to be a way.

      Congratulations on the weight loss! Now you've got me inspired.

      1. Ah, thanks, it's kind of you to say. Did you see that I even did the strength exercises for 5 minutes a couple of times this week while I was biking, like you recommended? I'm using 3-lb dumbbells. Maybe next week I'll try doing them for 6 minutes and increase my time as I go...

    7. I did notice - good for you! I'm trying to up my strength training a bit, but the machines at the gym can be so boring. I might switch to a different gym, one with classes and a knowledgeable instructor.

      1. Greg has a gym like that across from his office. When he exercises regularly, he likes going to a bunch of different classes. I'd prefer to do my own thing. When I had a membership at the old NTC in Clermont, I was able to have a 1:1 meeting with a trainer at the very beginning of my membership, who interviewed me and designed an exercise regiment for me using the machines there. The problem was when all the machines were taken!


    Anything you'd like to add? Share away!