OK, confession time first, once again: yes, I bought meat again. I probably also went over my grocery budget but I haven't added everything yet so I don't know. But probably. And I spent quite a bit of money on scented candles. Well, now that we got this out of the way...
The kitties were fed at 7:30 p.m. last night and then again at 10:25 p.m. But then they gave me a few hours to sleep so I was happy about that :)
An awesome but weird thing happened last night right after I had published my post... I got caught up on Feedly with all the blogs and feeds that I usually read and started seeing all those posts about freebies and samples. Oh my! I requested a bunch of stuff. I'm not posting the links because it's 24 hours later now so they're probably all depleted.
This morning I wanted to feed the kittens, get organized for my shopping trip and then leave. But we lost power at 7:50 a.m. and Duke Energy said that it wouldn't come back on until 11;30a.m. because something had malfunctioned. So I worked on my shopping list on my phone, which was a little harder but I was glad I could at least do that. Then I sorted all the coupons that I had clipped, clipped some more, and then my daughter and I both left at the same time, she for her college class and I for the shopping trip.
I was gone for about 2.5 hours but only because I didn't rush since the power wasn't going to be back on anyway. I decided to skip Walmart, Murphy USA and Kohl's. I visited Save A Lot, Aldi, Bath & Body Works, Publix, Ace Hardware, McDonald's and the library.
My daughter went to visit her BFF because it's her birthday today. She's having a party this weekend but my daughter wanted to give her her gifts today. Look at how she packaged them, she's so awesome:
Then she'll be spending the evening at Halloween Horror Nights' Cast Preview with her brother (Middle Son) and her stepsister who both work at Universal Studios. She's not too keen about going but her brother promised her that he won't force her to go through the very scary parts. The scariest part, for me, is that afterwards she'll be driving home by herself while being spooked. I hope she won't be jumpy, it's a long drive home.
My son will be going to attend the teen program at the library this afternoon, I'm still loving that he enjoys this so much so I haven't pressed him to join the FBLA at the high school, as I had wanted him to. It would look very good on his college application, but I'm hoping he'll join the NHS when he's eligible in 10th grade.
On to My To Do List!
- 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 - No, I've decided to just pitch them. I know it's not the frugal thing to do but I have a ton of candles to use up, still, and I really need to declutter the house. Update: I had second thoughts last night so for now they're sitting on top of my washing machine until I decide what to do with them!
- Make "No Soliciting" sign for front door and another one for the other front door (we have two)
- Dust the bedrooms (including son's fan) - in progress
- Declutter linen closet
- Clean kitchen cabinets - Partly done
- Declutter the top of the fridge
- Mend items in mending basket (add Greg's hat)
- Declutter shelves over printer stand
- Declutter storage bench
- Clean the fridge
- Declutter gardening supplies chest
Defrost the freezer- scrapped off the top of the ice layer. Will need to defrost the whole thing.
- Sweep breezeway
- Vacuum living room
- Vacuum exercise room
- Sweep/vacuum downstairs bathroom
- Vacuum master bedroom
- Vacuum upstairs hallway
- Vacuum main stairs
- Do the dishes (Wednesday)
Fold the laundry Put the laundry awayIn progress
- Need to preserve the eggplants
- Make Grape Nuts (Monday) - crap, I forgot again!
- Plan an outing to Leu Botanical gardens or Bok Tower Gardens
- Sign up for ranger hikes in local parks
- Take items to the dump
Buy new knobs for bathroom sink- Done
- Transplant ferns into bare patch in front lawn to make shady planter
- Scrub patio pavers with bleach to remove mildew (this might have to wait until the months when it's not quite so hot!)
- Pull the raspberries and add roses in pots in their place
- Add mulch to the vegetable garden 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
- Trim grass behind the hedge
- Trim weeds alongside the berm
- Pull the rest of the dead tomato plants
- Plant passion flower vine seeds
- Refill green bird feeder
- Pour weed killer on weeds on patio
- Harvest the peanuts
- Refill the hummingbird feeders
- Pull weeds from pots
- Turn the composting bin
- Call gyneco to make annual appointment - I'll do that once I'm more comfortable with my weight because I know they'll be nagging me about it anyway.
- Use recumbent bike Went shopping again
- Do 5 min of strength exercises
Log food into My Fitness Pal- Done Record weight in Walgreens Balance Rewards- Done Weigh myself (Wednesdays)- Done
Feed them every 4-6 hours- Done Weigh them (5 p.m.)- Done
- 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
- 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
- Scrub mildew off front of the house (porch, behind bushes, front stairs)
- Install white beadboard in laundry room (will need to measure and purchase)
- Install new stick-on tiles in laundry room (will need to remove ancient ones first)
- Paint laundry room cabinets
- Get Greg to fix/remove rotten wood on front porch
- Make a list of which outlets need to be replaced and call Duke Energy Homewire Protection to schedule appointment
- Ask electrician for estimate on installing outlet on front porch
- Ask Greg to make me new tiled table for electric roaster on front porch
- Get on flat roof, sweep it, and clean out the front gutter
- Ask Greg to install gutter screens on the front gutter
- Have Greg block the opening in the back fence
- Pour bleach into furnace drain pipe
- Check the AC furnace filters
- Pour some Drano down the kitchen sink
- Mend my fanny pack!
- 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 blog photos from June through August to my external drive
- 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 upstairs
- File paperwork
- Write new letter to great grand aunt (include kitten photos)
- Go through the genealogical material crate
- Scan what needs to be scanned (if anything)
- Work on photo album for daughter's graduation
- Return solar batteries to Amazon (printed label)
- Reply to my French BFF's email
Input receipts in spreadsheets- Done
- Pay credit cards
- Mail baby card
- Mail get well card
- Write Grocery Shopping post
Sort coupons and file them- Done Work on shopping list Submitted rebates- Done
- Last night, I was able to request the following free sample and free coupons:
|A coupon for a free Go Veggie cheese product|
|Coupons for 3 FREE Meow Mix products|
|I didn't have to request anything for this but I printed a Popeye's coupon so I can bring it to Pollo Tropical tomorrow (assuming that I do go!) and get a free chicken dinner.|
|Requested and printed a coupon for a free bag of PopChips|
|Requested free samples of Caffè Latte K-cup pods|
- This morning, my son packed a lunch to take to school.
- I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.
- I brewed myself a pot of half decaf coffee with the free decaf coffee that I had won from Wawa. Oh, that free cup of coffee from RaceTrac? See "Failures".
- We had a 3.5 hour power outage, which means that we didn't consume any electricity during that time!
- I used my phone to view the new ads for Aldi and Save A Lot and worked on my shopping list for today.
- I went to run my errands. I had some peanut butter crackers in my purse and some water in my car.
- Save A Lot:
- I didn't see any discounted bakery goods but once I was at the register, I noticed that a package of cheese danishes had been left by another customer on top of the gum display and its sell-by date was 9/11 so I asked the cashier if I could buy it for 50% off and she said yes. So it was only $0.99, woohoo!
- I bought 2 three pound bags of Red Delicious apples on sale for $1.99 each an.d some grapes on sale at $1.49/lb
- What can I say, I couldn't resist the $0.99/lb chicken breast sale so I bought 2 packages.
- My OOP was $14.66 and I paid with USAA Visa for 10% back in Rewards. I will get $0.10 back from MobiSave for the apples.
- I didn't need a ton of things but what I did need, I wanted to buy there. I ended up buying much more than what I had planned!
- Non groceries: I needed cat litter, toilet paper and kitchen trash bags.
- Groceries: I only got Romaine hearts, tomatoes on the vine (on sale) and a cucumber as far as fresh produce is concerned, because I still have the portobello caps and the Brussels' Sprouts from last week. As far as items that weren't on my list but made their way into my cart, I got the only package of chipotle chicken sausages that was still on the shelf (love those!), a bag of AP flour, 2 canisters of reduced fat Parmesan cheese, 2 small packs of German potato sticks (for the kids), some tortilla chips (for Greg), a can of baked beans and a large jar of unsweetened applesauce because baking season is upon us. I was going to buy a can of jellied cranberry sauce and another one of pineapple chunks but I put them back because I realized that I might already have some in the pantry.
- I wanted to avoid that condescending cashier from the last couple of weeks so I went to the other line. It was much slower, though, and it was the one that had all the yummy German bakery goods piled up in front of the belt. Arrgh. I spent my time averting my eyes and pretending that my stomach wasn't growling. And also I did buy meat today again, I didn't buy any delicious German goodies for me. I shall be strong!
- My OOP was $56.87 but that included all the non-grocery items. Once again I charged it to my USAA Visa card for 10% back in Rewards and I will get $0.30 back from MobiSave for the pretzels, tortilla chips, and bread.
- Bath & Body Works: as I had announced yesterday, I went there to splurge on scented candles. I have several of them already but they're for summer scents mostly, and that Apple Pumpkin Pancakes candle that I burned over the last couple of days had put me into the mood for Fall scents (and specifically that scent!) But that one has been discontinued. They have a whole line of pumpkin-scented candles that have food items in the names, and I joked with the saleslady that it was so unfair that their candles made me hungry! I decided on 4 candles because I had decided that I would "only" buy four, and although my OOP was high, they were on sale for $12.50 each. Plus the saleslady gave me 4 packets of matches, a coupon for a free item with a $10 purchase (and that one doesn't seem to preclude the candles so I might go back tomorrow to get another one!), and she added my phone number to my record because I mentioned that I never got any coupons in the mail anymore and she said it was because I hadn't given them my phone number. Well OK, but I got the coupons just fine until a few months ago. I think my mail carrier might be swiping them, seriously. We've had so many problems with the mail delivery. So my OOP was $53.50 and I charged it to USAA Visa for 10% in Rewards. My car smelled so good!
- I had brought my recycling for their bins: plastic bags (I use reusable bags but Greg brings back his dirty gym clothes in flimsy plastic bags that the gym gives out for free and my daughter always brings back plastic bags) and foam containers such as egg cartons and veggie trays.
- Thanks to Laura's post about her grocery shopping this past week, I was reminded that the Pace salsa was on BOGO and I had printed 2 $1.00/2 coupons so I got 4 jars.
- I also got 4 boxes of Ronzoni pasta that was on BOGO. It was far from being the best price that I had ever paid for pasta, but I felt that I needed to stock up because our pasta stock was low. Only when I got home, I realized that I still had 15 boxes of it. Well, what can I say? That's low for me. We love pasta. Anyhoo, buying the 4 boxes for the price of 2 also qualified me to use a Publix store coupon for $2 off produce so I bought several pounds of bananas. I'll get $0.25 back from Ibotta for those.
- I knew there was an Ibotta rebate for $0.25 off any onions so I bought a small yellow onion that cost me only 4 cents after the rebate.
- The large cans of Tuttorossi tomatoes were on BOGO so I bought 4 cans and used a store coupon for $1.00/3 cans and a manufacturer coupon for the same.
- I also got 2 boxes of Zatarain's Caribbean Rice mix on BOGO with a $0.50/2 coupon. Then a $0.50 digital coupon also got deducted at the register! And I will get $0.50 back from SavingStar too. So both boxes are free to me after all those deductions.
- Lastly, I bought 2 4-packs of Dannon Activia Light yogurts on BOGO with a $1.00/2 coupon so they were cheaper than the yogurt at Aldi.
- My OOP was $11.27. I applied the $4.99 gift card that I had received as a refund for the digital coupon (Dave's Killer Bread) that hadn't come off last week so the amount charged to my USAA Visa card was $6.28, on which I will earn 10% in Rewards.
- Ace Hardware. I mangled that trip badly! I didn't want to carry my big coupon organizer into Ace Hardware so I took out the coupons that I needed while I was in the car: a $0.50 off Drano coupon and a $5 off $20 purchase Ace store coupon. I received a $5.00 Rewards recently but I can't find it anywhere and it's really bothering me. I checked my purse again but still couldn't find it. Then I somehow lost the Drano coupon between the car and the store. Arrgh!
- I bought a bottle of Drano on sale for $1.99 (no coupon for me!)
- 2 cans of Ace ant killer spray, finally in stock and on sale for $1.99 each
- And a replacement set for my bathroom's sink knobs for $12.99. There were cheaper ones but I liked these the best. I haven't tried them yet but they're "universal".
- In order to reach the $20 threshold to use the $5 coupon, I also grabbed a package of paper plates because I'm low on those (I like to use paper plates when we have pizza or on the weekends. I know it's bad but it's fewer dishes to clean for me!)
- At the register, I was told that I couldn't use the $5 coupon because the items had to NOT be on sale. Arrgh! There was a line behind me so I felt rushed so I just told her to take the paper plates off because they weren't a great price without the coupon factoring into the purchase. I really should have told her to cancel the whole transaction and then gone back to find something else that we might need that cost $8.01+ without being on sale so I could use the coupon between that and the faucet knobs, but I didn't :( That was short-sighted of me. So my OOP was $20.43 and I still have the coupon. I will get 10% back in Rewards from USAA Visa and a few Ace Rewards loyalty points.
- I stopped to see if there were any freebies in the donation pile and I picked up another sheet of Publix store coupons like the one I had found in my paper on Sunday (I didn't see those at the store).
- They had just emailed me to say that my other kitten book had come in so I picked it up.
- I also picked up 2 free copies of the non-partisan election guide put out by the Women Voters' League for Greg and myself.
- The teen librarian was the one checking me out and she handed me something for my son which is a disk with several Dungeons & Dragons video games for PC! She said that her boss had "found it somewhere and thought that my son might like to have it." Isn't that sweet?! My son was very pleased when I gave it to him and will thank them in person this afternoon. When he opened the case, there was also a disk for "Rise of Nations" in it, a more recent game that he actually purchased last year so he plans on asking them if perhaps this was a mistake because he doesn't want anyone to miss their game!
- As I was searching my wallet and purse for my Ace Rewards a bit earlier, I came across the coupons that my son had gotten from the kids' librarian for volunteering this summer for free kids' meals at McDonald's so I went to the drive-thru to pick him one. I got the hamburger meal with the extra fries and the orange soda and it was completely free. I texted him a picture since we were just bemoaning recently that we kept on forgetting to use those coupons! So he was all excited to get this as his afternoon snack when he came home from school.
- My daughter was home, the electricity had come back on, and she helped me carry the groceries in. Oh and she had already brought the recycling bins back up to the house since they had been collected earlier today. So nice of her to do so!
- She was eyeing my son's Happy Meal and hoping that I would take her out to lunch but I needed to feed the kittens and we have a house full of food AND she's supposed to be on a diet like me so I declined. Poor girl, right?
- I made myself fold the laundry before sitting down to do anything else (but after tending to the kittens). 5 basketfuls! I put on a documentary on Netflix to watch while I was folding. I picked "The Flight of the Butterflies" about the research that went into and the discovery of the great migration of the Monarch butterfly by Canadian scientists. If you haven't seen it, you should! It's really excellent and only lasts 45 minutes, which is how long it took me to fold my laundry, coincidentally. I loved it and I think I'm going to watch it again because I was distracted at times.
- My lunch, after feeding the kittens and folding the laundry, was an egg salad sandwich on a hamburger bun, the rest of the Dole Caesar salad from last night (kit bought on clearance), a string cheese stick and a 1/4 of cantaloupe.
- I submitted all my rebates. I did that and other computer tasks while playing a DVD from the last season of Law & Order Criminal Intent on my laptop (borrowed from the library, of course!). Dreadful Jeff Goldblum is out and Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe are back for that season, yay! I used to think Vincent D'Onofrio was terrible in that series and overacted terribly (Greg still can't stand the character!) but he's really grown on me. I also liked the Mike Logan character. I think I'm going to start watching Law & Order from the beginning, probably before I watch Homeland.
- The load of kitty laundry from this morning was pretty large and the towels were taking too long to dry completely in the dryer so I brought one of the IKEA racks in and set it up in the entry room to finish air drying them. I saw an article last night that said that Ikea is going to open a bunch more of their "Order Online and Pick-Up in Store" locations so you don't have to meander through a huge store to get your Ikea goodies anymore. That wouldn't have helped me since the laundry racks weren't available online, but I might be more interested in buying stuff from Ikea if I don't have to drive all the way down to South Orlando and then spend an excruciating amount of time walking through their store because that is definitely not a shopping experience that I enjoy! I think I would like it better if Ikea was set up like Target and not like a theme park ride.
- I still haven't made a menu for the week but I have some meals in mind. I had defrosted some pork loin chops last night so I think that I'll bread them and pan fry them and also cook the Brussels sprouts and some of the corn on the cob for dinner tonight.
- My daughter mailed back her phone to Amazon this morning with their prepaid label and informed me that they had already refunded her this afternoon! Wow! We had just discussed this morning how the UPS store had said that it would take a week to 10 days for the package to arrive to its destination and how it would take another 3 to 5 days after that for her to get her money back! Amazon is kind of awesome as far as Customer Service.
- MobiSave credited my account.
- I entered my weight into Walgreens' Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices and earned 20 BR points.
- I earned the Bing Rewards credits for the day.
- Candles, candles, candles! It's a very frivolous expense, I know, but they really improve my quality of life (which, admittedly, is already pretty darn good) and make my stinky house smell good. Those kittens are cute but they're little stinky furballs.
- Hot water again to do several loads of kitty laundry, and then electricity to use the dryer for all those towels. But I used the Auto Moisture Sensing setting.
- That coffee that I got for free from RaceTrac yesterday was so bitter, I just couldn't choke it down. It was horrible! I had to dump it down the sink :(
- The power outage happened while I was in the middle of doing a load of laundry so I had to start it again when the power came back :(
- I failed to read the Ace Hardware coupon properly and didn't realize that the merchandise that I was buying couldn't be on sale in order to use the coupon as well:(
- I had a $0.50 coupon for the Drano and I somehow lost it between the car and the store :(
- When I got home, I was bending down to put something away in the breezeway cabinets and didn't realize that my sterling silver chain that Greg had bought me for our 10th anniversary had gotten caught in the door handle, and I went to stand up and the chain broke in half. It's not the kind that can be fixed, aargh. It's even more annoying since I've worn it constantly for the past 5 years and I have my favorite pendant on it which is a silver circle with Greg and my kids' names engraved on it. I still have the pendant but now I'll need a new chain. I guess he can get me one for my birthday and since I'm picky, I get to buy it myself :)
- Took the recycling out to the curb last week
- Cooked Greg's breakfast
- Packed his lunch
- Kitten duty
- Changed their bedding
- Did a load of kitty laundry
- Made Greg's bed
- Took a shower :)
- Worked on shopping list
- Reported power outage
- Clipped coupons
- Sorted and filed coupons
- Ran errands/grocery shopping
- Documented shopping and put everything away
- Kitten duty
- Changed their bedding
- Did a load of kitty laundry
- Folded laundry and watched documentary
- Chatted with daughter
- Submitted rebates
- Input receipts into my spreadsheets
- Kitten duty with Greg
- Cooked dinner
- Even thought the only exercise that I got this past week were the two walks that Greg and I took this weekend, I still lost 2.2 lbs! I'm so excited about it because I'm back to being below 220 lbs. I really don't want to screw this up. This coming week will be challenging because my period is due to start and I always get bloated plus the cramps don't make me want to do too much as far as exercise is concerned. I still hope that we'll be able to go walk this weekend but Greg might want to go fishing instead. We'll see.
- For having lost 2 more pounds!
- For very friendly and funny salesladies at Bath & Body Works this morning.
- For our awesome librarians who thought of my son, awww.
My babies are growing! I fed them last night at 10:25 p.m. and Greg helped me by playing, burping and cuddling with the kittens. Then they slept until 7 a.m. this morning. When they wake up, they make little chirping noises like a flock of small birds and if I don't answer soon, they start crying louder. They're funny. They can see me through the playpen's mesh sides so they hang themselves from the mesh and wail while looking at me! Such drama kings and queens!
Dark Gray kitten has a lone small, soft green turd this morning. This will be significant in a couple of sentences. Everyone else seems to be constipated. I swear that Tabby Cat is on a 3-day cycle. He hasn't pooped since Monday morning.
I put the garden tent "cover" on the playpen when I left to run the errands to prevent the older cats from going into the playpen (you never know) and to keep the kittens in. When I came back from shopping and pulled the cover off, they were all sitting there quietly, staring at me with their big eyes! So cute. I wish I had a picture. However, Dark Gray kitten had had another small, green, soft turd while I was gone and stepped into it so it was tracked on the towel. Arrgh. Another load of kitty laundry, coming up! And a bath for Dark Gray kitten. He loves it, though. He is a little explorer but so easy going. I do have a soft spot for him :) He totally relaxes when the warm water is washing over him and then I cradled him in a blanket and he actually fell asleep as if he were in a little hammock! He was so darn cute that I was grinding my teeth, lol! I just want to kiss him all over :)
I checked the other kittens and they hadn't stepped into the poop so I just gave them a sponge bath, as I do after each feeding. Then they went back to sleep the afternoon away.
Them sleeping longer in between feedings means that they can't hold their pee all that long. At least, the female can't and she's been peeing in the play pen. I suppose that I should have foreseen that and lined the bottom pad with a plastic sheet but... I didn't. So I guess that playpen won't be used for any human baby anymore. I do Febreeze it, but it probably won't be enough. Anyway, there's nothing to be alarmed about her peeing on the ground, it's part of their growing up process. Until recently, she lacked the muscular control to pee on her own at all so it's good that she can pee by herself and that the males have pooped on the floor by themselves too. My books says to introduce the litterbox at about 5 weeks old so that's another 2 weeks. It also says that kittens do NOT learn to use the litterbox from their mother. Rather, they go pee where they smell her pee. So in a situation where they don't have a mother but they start peeing on the ground, they apparently will pretty much always pee in the same spot so the litterbox should be placed in that same spot with some soiled material containing their pee in it. The males always pee a lot when I coax them with a wet paper towel so I'll be using that as "the lure". At about 6 weeks of age is when they will start developing the instinct to scratch the ground and cover their waste. So hopefully there won't be a pressing need for me to buy more Bath & Body Works scented candles in 3 weeks :)
How was your Wednesday?
|Look at what I found in my stash last night! The brush I had bought for Male Cat when HE was a kitten|
all those years ago! I've been brushing the kittens at every feeding.
|I brought Male Cat to the living room tonight for him to cuddle with Greg, but he was far more interested in checking out the|