Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Under the Weather on My Shopping Day ~ Wednesday 1/25/17

I think I'm coming down with something... I was so exhausted last night that I fell asleep on the couch at 8:30 pm., promptly forgetting to set my fitness tracker to to "Sleep" mode. Needless to say, I didn't exercise.

Greg woke me up when he went to bed and asked if I just wanted to sleep on the couch, but I dragged myself to bed instead because it was a little chilly and I have a duvet on my bed upstairs.  The kittens came up too, although Princess and Tabby Kitty disappeared soon enough.  Explorer spent the night on my bed, first in between my feet and then at about 2 or 3, he settled himself on my pillow and had to be touching me at all times.  I didn't sleep too well, and I woke up coughing and not feeling great.

It was super foggy this morning but we made it to the high school in one piece, with the heat on in the SUV because it felt pretty cold although my car thermometer said it was 52F.

Today is my Shopping Day and it's going to be an abbreviated one, I think, although I do have on my list to stop at Save A Lot, RaceTrac, CVS, Aldi and I'd like to stop by the South Lake Animal League Thrift Store to give them the pet coupons that I clipped for them.

The kittens are doing well, running all over the place as I type this.  I was able to give them their medicines this morning without needing Youngest Son's help, but it's a good thing that they thought to clip their nails at the vet's!

  • Go grocery shopping DONE
  • Bring recycling bins back up the driveway  DONE
  • Defrost meat for dinner Will use the sausage I bought today instead
  • Cook Brussels Sprouts in crockpot Will sauté them instead
  • Read details of Diabetic Exchange program 
  • Do my foot exercises 2X
  • Exercise
  • Finish putting away Christmas decorations
  • Take USB stick to library and ask Teen librarian to put photos of Youngest Son on it - argh, I cleared an SD card, not a USB stick!  
  • Read e-library book
  • Read library book (due on 2/1!)
  • Assign the IRA contributions to specific funds 
  • Vacuum fridge coils
  • Replace fridge water filter
  • Finish decluttering under window seat in Exercise Room (on Thursday)
  • Move missing Music files from External Drive to my Laptop 
  • Move/reinstall missing software on new laptop
  • Trying syncing my phone on new laptop
  • Clean litter box upstairs 
  • Add Osmocote plant food to rose and hibiscus bushes
  • Put away the clipped articles from Kiplinger's magazine 
  • Fill up jugs with rainwater
  • Put all the laundry away
  • Take Driscoll's surveys 
  • Take RaceTrac surveys 
  • Make lemon poppyseed muffins or/and lemon squares with the "grapefruits"!
  • Pick the oranges
  • Zest the oranges and freeze
  • Move fonts from old laptop and reinstall on new laptop
  • Take my measurements
  • Sign up for Personal Capital?
  • Email my French BFF
  • Start French blog for my mom and sister?
  • Inventory what I need to make new self-watering bins
  • Scrub patio pavers with bleach (wear old clothes and shoes, gloves and goggles)
  • Prune the rose bushes
  • Declutter exercise room shelves
  • Write to my great-aunt - bought her a card
  • Mend at least one item from mending basket (Youngest Son's bag)
  • Open savings account with Discover Bank
  • Research Florida Prepaid College Fund to see if can increase the contribution
  • Enter receipts into spreadsheets  DONE

  • Youngest Son packed a lunch to take to school.

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.

  • I was able to administer the medicine to the cats without wasting any!

  • The school drop-off was swift, which saved me gas since I didn't have to be idling in line too long.

  • I'm working on Swagbucks but my 1st daily goal is 100 SB and the automatic videos just disappeared.  Also I was disqualified from every survey this morning. I shall try again this afternoon.

  • I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits.

  • I entered my weight into Walgreens' Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices and earned another 20 BR points.

  • I perused the new weekly ads for Save A  Lot and Aldi and made note of what to buy. I'll be buying grape tomatoes, blueberries and strawberries at Aldi and apples at Save  A Lot. I have enough veggies left over from the last 2 shopping trips and also lots of canned veggies. I'm hoping this week's trip will be cheap, which it should be if I resist adding extra things to my cart!

  • I left for my shopping trip at about 9 a.m. and came back by 11:30 a.m.  I used antibacterial gel after touching all the shopping carts so I hope I didn't pick up a bug, as my area is experiencing an onslaught of flu, if I am to believe the paper.  Here is where I went and what I bought:
    • Save A  Lot:
      • I picked up two 3-lb bags of Red Delicious apples on sale at $2.49 each. I counted the apples in each bag and grabbed 2 bags that had 9 apples each.
      • I also decided to get some bologna for my son who enjoys it for lunch sandwiches ($0.99) and a package of Butterball smoked turkey sausage at $1.99 and I redeemed a $0.55 coupon from an insert.
      • I walked the perimeter of the store to see if I could find meat or dairy products on clearance but there were none.  
      • My OOP was $7.41 and I charged it to my Amazon Visa for 1% back in Rewards (they don't take Amex).

    • RaceTrac:
      • I filled up my SUV with gas at $2.199/gallon, which is significantly cheaper than it's been for a couple of months.  I earned loyalty points on my app and charged it to Discover for 5% back in Rewards.
      • My receipt didn't print so I went inside to get one. 
      • I was going inside anyway to get a free muffin in exchange for a survey reward code. I picked a blueberry muffin.
      • At the register, the clerk asked me if I wanted a receipt for the muffin so I could take another survey so I said yes and ended up with 2 receipts (gas and muffin), which means 2 more freebies for me!

    • CVS: I had planned on only getting a gallon of milk. However, once I was there and realized that the Special K products were on sale at $1.99 each, I decided to stock up on some of those since I had $10 in ECBs to use. I also realized that I had a coupon for a free razor and I wanted a better toothbrush for myself. So I did 2 transactions:
      • 1st Transaction:
        • A Gillette Fusion razor, priced at $11.99 + tax. I redeemed the free Gillette razor coupon (up to $12) and only paid tax.
        • 2 Oral-B 3D white toothbrushes priced at $4.39 each.  I shortsightedly had only printed ONE $0.50/1 coupon so I redeemed it.  Buying 2 toothbrushes gave me back $4 in ECB, and I will use it for groceries in the next few weeks.
        • At the register, both my coupons "beeped" so I braced myself for having to put everything back since they have been claiming that their new policy (denied by Corporate) was to no longer accept ANY coupons that beeped. However, to my surprise, the cashier pushed my $0.50 coupon manually and then called the manager about the free razor coupon, who put in a code and apologized for the wait!  Woohoo!
        • My OOP was $9.74 and I got $4.00 back in ECB.  I charged the OOP to my Amazon Visa card for 2% back in Rewards.
        • The razor will be put away for a Christmas stocking present for one of my boys.

      • 2nd Transaction:
        • A gallon of whole milk, on sale at $2.79
        • (2) boxes of Special K Red Berries cereal, on sale at $1.99 each and I used a $1.00/2 printable coupon
        • (2) boxes of Special K Red Berries cereal bars, on sale at $1.99 each and I used a $1.00/2 printable coupon
        • Another $1.00 was deducted for having bought (4) cereal bars and cereals (CVS digital coupon)
        • A bag of CVS Hazelnut blend coffee, on sale @ $5.99 and I redeemed a $2.00 CVS digital coupon
        • I redeemed the $10 in ECB that I had earned a few weeks back.
        • My OOP was $1.74 and I paid with the CVS gift card earned via our USAA Visa Rewards program, so it was all free to me!
        • I submitted an Ibotta rebate for $0.25 any snack bars, making this trip a $0.25 MONEYMAKER.
        • I will earn KFR points automatically with my ExtraCare card.

    • Aldi: I did very well at Aldi!  The only items that weren't on my list that I added to my cart were  a cucumber (I had forgotten to add it to my list) and a can of tomato soup since MobiSave is offering another 10 cent rebate on a can of soup.  I also purchased 2 jugs of cat litter and 18 rolls of toilet paper. Altogether, my OOP was $31.48 and I charged it to Amex for 3% back in Rewards. (so $15.46 was groceries). I also got $0.35 back from MobiSave and Checkout 51 (10 cents for the soup, 25 cents for the cucumber).

    • Dollar Tree: I wanted to get a greeting card for my Great Aunt and see if they had any of the items that I keep on my Dollar Tree wishlist.  They didn't have the minced garlic again, and when I mentioned it to the cashier, she told me that they'd had had it last week (when I didn't go) because she bought some herself. I think I'm just going to put it on my list of things to get at Walmart with my Swagbucks gift card!  Here is what I got:
      • 1 bottle of pear-scented generic hand soap for my bathroom
      • 2 cans of peach pie filling (hadn't seen those before)
      • 1 bottle of gas relief chews (for Greg and myself, they work really well!)
      • 1 small stuffed animal for Greg's grandson (I got him a frog since it's from me and I'm French!  The Brits call us "frogs")
      • 1 box of peppermint herbal tea (I like to keep a stock of it because they don't always carry it)
      • 3 greeting cards
      • 3 Valentine's Hearts for Greg and the kids who live at home on V-Day.
      • My OOP was $11.49 and I charged it to Amex. I guess I'll only get 1% back in Rewards.

    • South Lake Animal League Thrift Store: I gave them the pet coupons that I had collected for them and they were very appreciative, as usual. I kicked myself for forgetting, once again, the small box of donations that is sitting just by the front door at home!  I was looking for an umbrella stand (for my patio umbrella) and a hose reel for my 2nd hose, but didn't see either. However, I still spent money!  Here is what I got:
      • A hook rug kit for my daughter who (inexplicably) loves making those! It was only $1.00.
      • A beginner's kit to learn how to knit (needles and other supplies included although no wool and I didn't buy any from there since I don't have a specific project in mind yet). Priced at $4.75.  I have learned out to knit on 2 different occasions in my life but each time I gave up pretty fast and I don't really remember how to do it.  It's one of those things that I'd like to pick up again, although it remains to be seen if I will have the patience for it.
      • a small bag of cat toys for $1.00. We certainly didn't need it, but it contains a fuzzy ball that is the kittens' favorite kind of toy so I splurged since they've pretty much destroyed (or lost under furniture) all the other ones :)
      • a large Rubbermaid-type container to store their kitten food, which will be better than the bag it comes in. It was $2.00.
      • My OOP was $9.36 and I charged it to Amex for 1% back in Rewards.

    • Post Office: I decided to go to the Clermont post office to mail the stickers for Jess's son since usually the post office in my little town is quite busy at lunch time and that one didn't seem so busy. Indeed, I barely stood in line at all and the clerk was very friendly and talkative and we compared our fitness trackers :) It cost me less than $1.00 to mail the stickers and I paid cash.  I hope he likes them!  I had cut them off a book my son used to have when we were homeschooling during preK and he's 15 now so I think he's over the sticker phase :)

    • RaceTrac #2: I redeemed a survey reward code for another free muffin, Apple Crumb this time.  They didn't offer to give me a receipt.

  • Back home, I brought the empty recycling bins back up the driveway and unloaded the SUV. The kittens were all excited by the new bags, of course!  The temperature had warmed up nicely so I opened the windows. They'll remain open all afternoon.

  • I gave my daughter the hook rug kit and had her choose one of the muffins. She picked blueberry and since she had just woken up, had it for breakfast.

  • I took photos and put everything away and prepared my lunch. I had the last herring fillet in the spicy mango sauce on a Sandwich Thin, and made myself a spinach salad with some wrinkly grape tomatoes, the heel of an old cucumber, and a hard-boiled egg. Then I had 1/2 a papaya bought on sale last week, and then the rest of the Godiva chocolate truffles. I'm not doing well on my diet at all this week.

  • I put on some PBS shows while I ate (Antiques Roadshow, This Old House) and took a couple of Swagbucks surveys, which propelled me beyond my 2nd Daily Goal, hooray!

  • The library notified me that they have the latest John Lescroart thriller in for me!  Arrgh. I need to do some reading, stat!  My son asked me to drop him off at the library since he's taking a lot of supplies with him for the Teen Video project he's working on, so I'll pick up the book then. I asked my daughter to pick him up when he's done, though.

  • A frugal failure for my daughter but a frugal success for me: she stopped by RaceTrac to buy herself a cheap lunch with a RaceTrac gift card that she got for Christmas (failure #1 was not telling me she was going to do this because I would have given her a survey reward code to get a free hot dog, which was one of the items she was buying) but when she got to the register, she  realized that she had forgotten to bring the gift card and she didn't have enough cash with her or in her checking account, so she charged her lunch to my Discover card ($4.18) but transferred $5.00 from her savings account to my checking account. So I made $0.82 and I'll earn rewards on my card (not sure if it'll count as 5% since it was at a gas station or not). 

  • Ibotta, MobiSave and Checkout 51 credited my accounts for the rebates I submitted.

  • I had over $50 in my Ibotta account so I redeemed $50 for a Walmart gift card. I won't count the groceries bought with that card as "free" since I had already deducted the Ibotta rebates from my grocery trip budget!

  • I recorded all my receipts into my various spreadsheets so I can better analyze our spending.

  • My BFF emailed me information about a couple of scholarships that are art-oriented that she thought my daughter might be interested in.

  • I received a Valpak envelope in the mail with some coupons for local businesses. I only kept 3 that I might use.

  • I didn't get the Brussels sprouts into the crockpot for dinner so I thought I'd stir-fry them. But now I don't feel too good so I think I'll just make pasta and grill the turkey sausage in the toaster oven.
  • Gas:
    • to drive my son to school
    • and tolls for Greg's commute
    • to go grocery shopping and run errands
    • for my daughter to go to the Clermont library to do research
    • to drive my son to the library
    • for my daughter to pick up my son from the library

  • A small bag of cat toys for the kittens :)

  • As I was asleep last night, I missed out on claiming a free Pillsbury sample!  I did check my email when I went to bed and although the email was only 1 hour old, all the samples had already been claimed :(

  • I wanted to watch over the air TV while I ate lunch, but most of the TV stations I usually watch weren't being detected by my antenna, even though I didn't change anything since yesterday and I watched them yesterday! It was a clear and sunny day when I tried it so I'm not sure why it's not working, even when I change the antenna's position. The antenna itself seems to be working as it's receiving the signals from other stations, just not the ones I like!  Update: I checked again at 4:30 p.m. and suddenly all the channels were working again.  Odd.

  • After I spent money over $9.00 at CVS for 2 toothbrushes (for which I got $4.00 back, though), I realized that Aldi sells a 2-pack of toothbrushes for just $1.39. I have no idea if they're any good and I never buy toiletries at Aldi so it didn't occur to me to check!

  • I thought I was getting better but by mid-afternoon I started feeling feverish, although I don't have a fever?!

  • Colgate sent me an email with a pretty insulting titled "A resolution so easy, even Nathalie can keep it!" but on top of that the $1.50 off coupon that was included in the email didn't print and their system told me I had reached my print limit. So I filed a complaint with their Customer Service dept.

  • I've failed at my diet all week so far and now I'm not feeling well so I'm not going to exercise tonight either :(
  • Save A Lot: $7.41 (groceries)
  • RaceTrac: $29.69 (gas)
  • CVS: $9.74 (toiletries)
  • Aldi: $31.48 (groceries, cat litter, toilet paper)
  • Dollar Tree: $11.49 (groceries, cards, drug, cleaning product, toy, Vday treats)
  • South Lake Animal League Thrift Store: $9.36 (cat toys, cat food container, crafts for daughter and me)
  • USPS: $0.91 (postage)

Here is how I spent my grocery budget this week. My budget was $100 and I spent $34.76! I will post a January Groceries Report at the end of the month.
  • Baking: $2.00 (2 cans of peach pie filling)
  • Beverages: $1.00 (1 bag flavored coffee, 1 box peppermint herbal tea)
  • Breads: $1.70 (2 loaves bread)
  • Cereals: $0.00 (2 boxes Special K Red Berries)
  • Dairy: $1.50 (8 cups Activia Light yogurt, 1 gallon whole milk)
  • Pantry: $0.39 (1 can condensed tomato soup)
  • Produce/Juice: $13.12 (1 64-oz bottle apple juice, 1 cuke, 2.41 bs bananas, 1 lb strawberries, 2 pints blueberries, 2 pints grape tomatoes, 6 lbs Red Delicious apples)
  • Proteins: $13.91 (8 oz smoked salmon, 1 lb Black Forest ham, 1 package Butterball smoked turkey sausage, 1 lb bologna)
  • Snacks: $1.14 (2 boxes Special K Red Berries cereal bars, 1 box Swiss rolls)

  • a men's razor from CVS with free coupon
  • 2 boxes of Special K cereal, 2 boxes of Special K cereal bars, 1 bag of coffee, 1 gallon of milk from CVS, after sales, coupons, ECBs and use of my CVS gift card.
  • 2 muffins from RaceTrac with redemption of survey reward codes
  • 1 penny from the post office as the clerk gave me a dime back in change because he didn't want to give me 9 pennies!
  • 82 cents from my daughter when she transferred $5 back to my account to repay the $4.18 she charged to my card without permission.

  • Took the recycling out last night
  • Fed the kittens
  • Gave the kittens their medicine
  • Prepped Greg's breakfast
  • Packed his lunch
  • Drove Son to school
  • Looked at new grocery ads and amended shopping list
  • Worked on Rewards programs
  • Entered sweeps
  • Went grocery shopping/running errands
  • Brought the recycling bins back up to the house
  • Unloaded car and put groceries away
  • Took surveys
  • Checked with rebates I could submit
  • Submitted receipts for rebates
  • Took consumer satisfaction survey
  • Entered receipts into spreadsheets
  • Drove my son to the library
  • Checked out my library book
  • Fed the kittens
  • Gave the kittens their medicine
  • Cooked dinner
  • Set the dinner tabl

  • Sleep was long and uncomfortable, I woke up feeling under the weather.
  • Breakfast was a cup of Special K Vanilla Almond with 1/2 cup of ~2% milk
  • Lunch was a small herring filet on a Sandwich Thin, a large spinach salad, half a papaya
  • Afternoon snack was too many Godiva truffles :(
  • Dinner was... a bowl of veggie pasta with a little bit of butter, the 2nd half of the papaya (I figured I need the vitamins!)
  • Water consumption was unsatisfactory.
  • Exercise was... skipped
  • Foot exercises were performed.
  • Overall health was... not feeling very good :(
  • For a safe trip to and from the high school in very heavy fog.
  • For Tabby Kitty's calm demeanor when I gave him his medicine in the morning.
  • For the kittens' recovery which seems to be going very well.
  • For the change of policy about "beeping" coupons at my favorite CVS!
  • For my BFF forwarding scholarship info to my daughter
How was your Wednesday?


  1. He'll love them :-) He loves stickers, we had some out earlier and he kept wanting "more, more!".

    1. Stickers ARE pretty cool! The post office said you should get them on Saturday. Hopefully Bubby will feel better by then.

  2. So sorry you are feeling under the weather, Nathalie. Hope you will have a good night's rest and wake up feeling better. You are doing very well with this month's grocery budget! :)

    1. Thanks, Bless. I continue to feel yucky today, I just need to rest, which is what I'm doing, incidentally. I was pleased with my grocery totals yesterday, I think I'm something like $130 under budget for the month, which will offset the Eating Out/Ordering in somewhat... but not totally. Oh well, we had things to celebrate this month!

  3. My vet once told me that they like to clip their nails as they're coming out of anesthesia. They like to handle them to help them wake up and that's one of the ways they do it. Whatever the reason, I'm always happy when someone else does the clipping.

    1. I'm with you on that! I wish they would offer free nail clipping with each bag of expensive cat food that I buy, dang it! The kittens HATE having their nails clipped.

      Interesting that they clip their nails afterwards. I thought maybe they had done it beforehand although waiting until they're knocked off makes much more sense!

  4. Interesting that you found the Colgate thing insulting(which it was) but not being called a frog. In Canada, it is definitely insulting to call francophones frogs.

    Hope you are feeling better today.

    1. Well, we DO eat frogs (and we insult the British back by calling them "beefsteaks" although I don't know why) but I'm kicking ass at keeping my New Year's resolutions, I'll have them know (apart from this week but I'm siiiiiiiiiiiiiiick!). Anyhoo, there was no call for their disrespect in that email. I might be a stick in the mud but not all jokes are funny and I'm not their buddy. I'm a customer :)

      Nope, still feeling sick, eating saltines and drinking ginger ale and not doing anything. At least there's an upside to this! I hope you're staying healthy, Theresa!

  5. Wow, you did great on your grocery budget! I have been pleased with my spending this month, but you have it down to a science.

    Glad that the kittens seem to be healing well. We had a hard time keeping them from being active as well, one the initial sedative really wore off. They are none the worse for it now, though. :)

    1. That's good to know, Laura! Did you see the picture of the Crazy Cat Lady Action Figure that I posted on Sunday? LOL I thought of both you and me when I spotted it in the store. You're lucky I don't have your mailing address or you might have gotten a little present, hahaha.

      The kittens are making me feel like a total wimp. Here I am, hankered down on the couch with my blankie and my saltines and ginger ale and whining that I'm not feeling good, and the ones who had major surgery just 3 days ago are jumping and running everywhere and roughhousing. I need to be KITTEN TOUGH!

  6. Hope you're feeling better soon!

    1. Thanks, Judy! Me too, I hate feeling sick. I'm hoping I'm over it by tomorrow!

  7. I'm curious about your antenna - do you have an indoor our outdoor antenna? And how far away are the stations you are able to pick up? I've noticed recently that an Orlando radio station that I listen to in my car doesn't come in well. My husband said something about sunspot activity going on right now, messing up signals.

    Don't feel bad about not exercising while feeling sick. You're supposed to rest your body!

    1. We have an outdoor antenna controlled by remote (this one: Greg mounted it on a piece of 2 x 4 (with duct tape!) about 5-6 ft off the ground, planted at the corner of our house in the front yard and we're getting the stations from Orlando (we're 30-40 miles west of Orlando) and sometimes some from Tampa (WFTS ABC for instance). That part of the house is on a crawl space so we were able to bury the cable in the yard and then run it under the house into our living room. I used to have the flat one that you just stick in your window and it worked great with our old single pane windows but once we replaced all the windows and now have double pane windows, we lost the signals.

      I didn't know about the sunspot, that's probably what the problem was!

    2. Thanks! I forwarded the link to my husband (he's always researching antenna stuff) since we currently just have the flat indoor one (along with single pane windows).


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