Thursday, February 2, 2017

A Date with my BFF and Shopping ~ Thursday 2/2/17

I fell asleep on the couch last night right before 10 a.m. and when Greg woke me up an hour later to ask if I wanted to go sleep in my bed, I found Princess sleeping on top of me :)

I'm still wearing my fitness tracker but I don't trust anything it's telling me now.  The night before it told me I had slept fine but I had actually had a fitful night. Last night I slept great but the numbers state that I had more periods of light sleep than deep sleep. And then it really doesn't measure my steps, only whatever movements I make with my non-dominant arm (where I wear it) and I actually use it quite a bit!  It counts the movements I make to pet the cats, do the dishes, probably type on the keyboard... so I don't walk quite as much as it would make me think I do. It's disappointing, but I'm still wearing it because it does encourage me to be more active.

We have another beautiful day in store for today. It should be 77F/25 C.  I'm going to pick up my BFF in about an hour or do and treat her to Starbucks.  We'll chat for a bit and then I'll go grocery shopping on my way home. My plan is to only go to Aldi, RaceTrac, CVS and Save A Lot.  I should pack a lunch to bring with me... Oh, and I guess I should go to Lowe's and get some gardening soil. The problem with that is if I stock up, the ants will get in the bags before I'm ready to use it.  So I may just let that $10 off coupon go because I am nowhere ready to use it, I still have to make the new bins.

Bless pointed out to me yesterday that my list of goals for February is especially ambitious as it is a shorter month. Doh!  I had completely forgotten about that. So I need to try to be very good at meeting a lot of goals right off the bat.  Luckily, I had already scheduled that outing with my BFF and then lunch with my other friend next week so that's one goal already accomplished!  I might try to call my mom on the way to my BFF's this morning, I have about 30 minutes to drive on back roads.

  • Pack a lunch to take with me DONE
  • Input receipts in my spreadsheetsDONE
  • Make chicken stock with carcass in the fridge
  • Turn bread heels into bread crumbs
  • Watch yesterday's episode of "Spy in the Wild" on PBS
  • Clear my coupon organizer of expired coupons
  • Clip newly printed coupons
  • Sort coupons
  • Mop or fake mop the kitchen
  • Put the laundry away
  • Do the dishes 
  • Make a dermatologist appointment for Youngest Son
  • Download all January pictures from my phone and camera to external drive
  • Back up external drive to its own external drive!
  • Start a list of the electric outlets that I want to get replaced
  • Do my foot exercises  DONE
  • Exercise at least 35 minutes on my bike DONE
  • Finish putting away Christmas decorations
  • Find USB drive (NOT an SD card!) and clear it so Teen librarian to put photos of Youngest Son on it
  • Read e-library book in progress
  • Make sure Greg assigns specific funds to his IRA account 
  • Move missing Music files from External Drive to my Laptop 
  • Move/reinstall missing software on new laptop in progress, moved all the files to the External Drive
  • 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 
  • Finish ironing Greg's clothes
  • 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 external drive and reinstall on new laptop
  • Read the 2 library travel books
  • Take my measurements
  • Sign up for Personal Capital?
  • Start French blog for my mom and sister?
  • Get soil from Lowe's, before Saturday?
  • Look into transplanting hyacinths in garden
  • Scrub patio pavers with bleach (wear old clothes and shoes, gloves and goggles)
  • Finish decluttering exercise room shelves
  • Mend at least one item from mending basket (Youngest Son's bag)
  • Open savings account with Discover Bank or other online bank
  • Figure out how many other tax forms I'm waiting on and when they'll be coming in
  • Give Princess her medicine (twice) 
  • Try to hit my 1st Daily Goal on Swagbucks DONE
  • Call my bank to consolidate my IRA accounts
  • Send my feedback to all my elected officials (city, county, state, Congress) in progress

  • Youngest Son packed a lunch to take to school.

  • The Thursday paper comes with my 1-year delivery of the Sunday Orlando Sentinel for 1 penny and it was waiting for me in the driveway.  There's usually nothing of interest in it so it goes straight to the recycling bin, apart for the plastic sleeve, which I keep to bag the cat poop from the upstairs litter box.

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.

  • I turned off the heat at about 8:00 a.m.

  • I packed some cat food and treats that I'm giving to my BFF and also 2 large lollipops for her kids that I'd set aside a long time ago (at Halloween?!) and kept on forgetting to give to her.

  • My 1st SB goal is 80 SB and it's going to be very hard for me to hit that today. I'm only at 22 SB at 8:40 a.m. and I'll be gone a good chunk of today.

  • I earned the daily credits for Microsoft Rewards.

  • Thanks to a Slickdeals poster who shared that starting on February 10, the 30 % off discount code will be LOVE30 and the free shipping code for Kohl's cardholders will be FEB4FREE.  The current Discover Deals $10/$30 discount expires on 2/5 so I'll be checking our Discover accounts on 2/6 to see if a new one popped up.

  • I entered my weight and yesterday's walk into Walgreens' Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices and only earned another 40 BR points. I was expecting to get more for the walk...  Biking is more rewarding so I'll be doing that tonight.

  • I packed a lunch to take with me today. I used my son's old lunchbox from elementary school to keep everything cool. It's ripped on the inside but I don't care :)  I packed a ham sandwich in a reusable sandwich cloth wrap, brought some cherry tomatoes, an apple, and a Diet Coke.

  • I drove to my BFF's, gave her the cat treats/food and the lollipops for her kids, and she showed me the microwave that I had gifted her and that she had asked some friends to install for her. She's so happy with it, it matches her stove perfectly and works great!  It's missing one of the grease filters and she wasn't sure what it was so I explained it to her and then later on sent her a link to Repair Clinic's line of GE microwave grease filters so she can order one from there if she wants to.

  • We went to Starbucks, where I treated her to a Smoked Butterscotch coffee, and I picked an herbal iced tea that's described as "Pasntgo" iced tea on my receipt. It was OK.  Later on we shared an everything bagel with some cream cheese.  We didn't finish the cream cheese so I took the rest home.  My total ended up being $9.31, which was entirely covered by the $10 credit that they had issued me when I had jokingly sent a message lamenting that I couldn't participate in the National Croissant Day promotion earlier this week :)  I also earned 17.9 stars towards renewing my Gold status for another year.  We chatted for a couple of hours and then I took her back home so she could relax before her shift this evening and then I went grocery shopping on my way home.  I ate my lunch on the way.

  • While we were chatting, I did ask her what she cooked and what coupons I might be able to save for her. I had her discover Aldi a couple of years ago but she and her husband do buy some items at Walmart too so I made a note of them and I will be keeping my eyes out for coupons for her.

  • I first stopped at Aldi.  It was packed.  Ugh. As I entered the store, I pulled up my phone to consult my shopping list spreadsheet that I keep in Google Docs, only to discover that somehow it had gotten deleted!  Nooooooo.... good thing that I had worked on it this morning so I remembered vaguely what was on it!  I forgot to get 3 things: shredded Parmesan, grated Parmesan, and string cheese. Argh.  I spent  $36.17 but that also includes 2 jugs of cat litter. I charged the OOP to my Amex for 3% back in Rewards.   However, back home, I was able to claim $0.20 in rebates from Mobisave (bread and ketchup) and $0.25 from Checkout 51 (cucumber).
Pretzels, chips, bananas, carrots, lettuce, cucumber, apples, sweet corn, ketchup, yogurt, chicken tenders, sliced turkey, cheese slices, bread, Swiss rolls.
  • I then went to RaceTrac to gas up my SUV. Once again, gas was 12 cents a gallon cheaper than near my house, so I paid $2.159/gallon. I earned loyalty points on my app and a new receipt with which I will get another freebie.  I charged the OOP to Discover for 5% back in Rewards.  While I was there, I went inside to redeem a survey reward code for a free "eclair" doughnut for my son's after-school snack.

  • My next stop was CVS.  I had $4 in ECBs to spend.  I bought:
    • 2 boxes of Cocoa Puffs cereal, on sale at 2 for $4.00 and I redeemed (2) $0.75/1 printable coupons from the Betty Crocker e-newsletters.
    • 1 gallon of whole milk, on sale at $2.79
    • 1 dozen of large eggs, on sale at $0.99
    • 1 tube of Colgate toothpaste, on sale at $3.00 and I redeemed a $2.50/1 store coupon that printed at the kiosk and a $0.50 manufacturer printable coupon (I should get 10 SB back for it)
    • 3 small bags of CVS brand gummy worms because they were on 75% clearance at $0.25  a bag, and I needed to spend another $0.51 to make the most of my $4.00 ECB.
    • After all the coupons and ECB, I paid $3.30 with my CVS gift card earned with our USAA Visa Rewards program, so it was all free to me.
    • However, I received $1.00 back in ECB from the cereal.
    • Once home, I redeemed a $1.00 SavingStar Rebate for the cereals and another one for the same cereals from Checkout 51, as well as a $0.10 Mobisave rebate on toothpaste, making this trip a $2.10 MONEYMAKER, plus I have a $1.00 in ECB to apply to my next grocery purchase at CVS :)

    • I found a penny in the cart corral!  $2.11 MONEYMAKER, after all, woohoo!

  • As I approached Dunkin' Donuts, I saw there wasn't a line at the drive-thru so I pulled in, since my birthday coupon expires this month. I appreciate that they gave me close to 3 months to redeem it!  It was for any size drink, so I ordered an extra large coffee with creamer on the side.  I put the coffee in the fridge when I got home, and I'll have it tomorrow morning.

  • My last stop was Save A Lot.  If you'll recall, I had posted that I had seen a $5.00 off $25 coupon when I looked up the SAL ad yesterday morning.  I had printed a screenshot of it to bring it to the store, in case they were out of the brochures, as it sometimes happens. So when I got there, they had the brochure with the same sales at what I had seen online, but there wasn't a $5.00/$25 coupon on the front.  So I went to talk to the 3 cashiers who were standing there, and showed them the coupon and explained that I was confused that it wasn't in their brochure but that I had been able to print it.  They asked me if it was a fake coupon but I told them I had taken it straight from the Save A Lot website, so the main cashier shrugged and said that corporate "pulls stuff like that" on them all the time so I should just give her the printout when I checked out and she would put it in manually.  I told her I wasn't even sure that I would spend $25, but then I figured that since she'd confirmed that she would let me use it, I might as well use it!

  • I bought:
    • Papaya on sale for $0.79/lb (yum!)
    • avocados on sale for $0.37 each
    • a cantaloupe on sale for $1.50
    • a bunch of broccoli on sale for $1.50
    • a small bottle of coarse ground black pepper for $1.49
    • 4 Butterball smoked turkey sausage dinners at $1.99 each and I redeemed (4) $0.75/1 printable coupons
    • and then I bought a 5 lb package of skinless boneless chicken breasts on sale at $1.99/lb, which after the $5 coupon, allowed me to get them for just a little over $5.00 (so $1.00/lb).  I hadn't planned on getting those but it was too good a deal to pass up!
    • After all the coupons, my OOP was $20.51 and I charged it to my Amazon Visa for 1% back in Rewards.

  • My daughter called me to say that her BFF, who is suffering from serious stomach issues, wasn't feeling good and was going to skip her lab, so they were on their way home.

  • As I drove into our little town, I spotted a cop on a motorcycle and a RADAR gun, clocking people as the speed limit went down to 40 mph.  After I passed him, I called my daughter, who hadn't left yet, to warn her. She told me that once she passed him, she saw 3 cop cars pulling people over. I'm glad neither I nor she got a ticket (not that we are speeders, but you never know!).

  • My daughter also gassed up the family car and charged it to my Discover card for 5% back in Rewards. She earned loyalty points in her app, and she turned in the receipt to me, so we will get another freebie with the survey.

  • The kittens were happy to see me and "helped" with the grocery bags, as usual :)

  • I put everything away and then submitted my receipts for the various rebates.  MobiSave and Checkout 51 credited me right away. SavingStar will probably credit me tomorrow since I didn't have to upload my receipt (it was automatically submitted via my CVS/ExtraCare card).

  • I had 2 bags of bread in the fridge in which only a heel was left. I'll wait until I have a couple more to toast them and turn them into bread crumbs, but in the meantime I consolidated them into just 1 bag and kept the extra bread bag for the upstairs litter box cleaning duty.

  • I was able to switch back to an earlier version of my grocery shopping spreadsheet in Google Docs, thus restoring peace and order in my world, lol.  I still don't know what happened, though. My grocery spreadsheet is programmed to deduct the coupons that I plan on using, and separate the food items from the non-food items so I always know how much I expect to pay for my groceries before I even leave the house, so I was anxious to make sure that I didn't need to spend time re-creating everything!

  • I printed a BOGO coupon for Auntie Anne's from their website. This morning, I had also printed one from Discover Deals, thinking that my BFF and I might grab one, but since we had a bagel at Starbucks, we didn't need to.  I emailed the coupon to my daughter as well.

  • Fold3 is offering free access to their black history collection during the month of February, if you're into genealogy :)  You have to create a free account if you don't have one.

  • Swagbucks never replied to my complaint about yet another survey that didn't credit, but when I checked my ledger, they had indeed credited me with the 60 SB so I went over my 1st daily goal :)  Update: well later on tonight I got the reply email telling me that they had credited me so I checked my ledger and it looks like the first 60 SB were the survey that indeed credited and then they didn't check my ledger at all and credited me again?!

  • My daughter was treated to Chipotle for lunch by her BFF today :) The food wasn't why the BFF wasn't feeling good, though, as she wasn't feeling good because she had taken a bunch of medicine for her stomach problems but hadn't eaten anything first (hence why they went to Chipotle).

  • I took a survey that CVS emailed me about my shopping trip today and when I was done, it took me back to the CVS website where I spotted this coupon for the curbside service. I've never used it. Have you?  There is a double asterisk but I couldn't find the corresponding explanations so I'm not really sure what the $15 required in purchases include or do not include...

  • I repackaged the boneless, skinless chicken breasts into 4 smaller packages by reusing cereal bags as freezer bags and froze them.

  • My son was conducting his Dungeons & Dragons club meeting tonight so he needed a ride to the library as he carries all his materials with him and I don't let him ride the bike since it's too dark when he gets out.  Today, I told him he'd be the one driving there. he was a little nervous because there was more traffic today and he was driving a route that he had never driven before, with traffic lights and kids getting out of school, etc. but despite a couple of hiccups, he did fine :)  Greg will pick him up on his way home tonight.

  • After he dropped himself off at the library, I then drove to Walgreens since they had just emailed me that my Ship to Store order was ready. Unfortunately, I had to spend gas to go pick up my free item, as they're not open when I pass them in the morning after dropping off my son at school, and I wasn't planning on going back that way during opening hours until next Wednesday. This will go into my daughter's stocking at Christmas.

  • My dinner plans changed somewhat compared to my menu. I grilled 2 chicken breasts but instead of making the Barilla pasta recipe that I had planned, I just cooked plain pasta. My family enjoys it with either butter or Parmesan. I added some pesto to mine and it was delicious!  I also made a salad with a heart of Romaine, grape tomatoes, cucumber slices, and a few croutons.  I used light Asian Sesame dressing on mine.  I set aside a portion of chicken and pasta for Greg's lunch tomorrow, and we still have more pasta so I'll probably have some for lunch with pesto. Yum.

  • At 9 p.m., very reluctantly, I got back on my recumbent bike for the first time since January 19th and used it for 45 minutes. Woohoo.  Princess spent most of the time trying to "catch" one of my feet as the pedal was within reach of her paw :)

  • Gas:
    • to drive my son to school
    • and tolls for Greg's commute
    • to drive to my BFF's and go grocery shopping
    • for my daughter and her BFF to drive to their college classes 
    • for my son to drive to the library
    • to drive to Walgreens to pick up my order

  • GRRR. I think I'm going to go back on a Swagbucks moratorium after I reach my next gift card, which hopefully should be shortly, because once again I took a survey only to get an error message at the end denying me the 60 SB I should be getting. Yesterday it was nCrave and I missed out on 3 SB and they never did credit me even after I filed a complaint. Update: they did credit me with the 60 SB :)

  • I drove to my BFF's and tried calling my mom since we'd have 30 minutes to chat, but she wasn't home :( I left her a voicemail and she sent me an email back a couple of hours later.  I'll have to try again another day.

  • I need to get back on the bandwagon, darn it!  I have pretty much stopped drinking water, logging my food and getting on my bike every night.  Ugh.  Oh and I've also stopped doing the dishes at night. I just find myself very tired every evening after dinner, and I'm thinking that it's probably because I'm not drinking enough water... a vicious circle! Update: I used my bike tonight!

  • Aldi: $36.17 ($27.63 in food items, $8.54 for cat litter)
  • RaceTrac: $34.30 (SUV)
  • Save A Lot: $20.51
  • RaceTrac: $15.30 (family car)

Money spent on grocery shopping for the week (including items purchased before today): $60.13
  • Baking: $0.00
  • Beverages: $1.76
  • Breads: $1.60
  • Cereals: -$2.00
  • Dairy: $4.03
  • Dry/Pantry: -$0.25
  • Produce: $21.69
  • Proteins: $24.23
  • Snacks: $9.07

  • treats at Starbucks for my BFF and myself :)
  • an eclair donut for my son at RaceTrac
  • 2 boxes of cereal, a gallon of milk, a dozen eggs, 3 min bags of gummy worms and a tube of Colgate toothpaste from CVS with CVS gift card
  • eye make-up applicators from Walgreens
  • my daughter was treated to lunch by her BFF

  • Fed the kittens
  • Packed Greg's lunch
  • Prepared his breakfast
  • Drove my son to school
  • Worked on my reward programs
  • Worked on my shopping list and itinerary for today
  • Packed a lunch for myself
  • Gathered items I plan on giving to my BFF
  • Drove to my BFF
  • Tried calling my mom :(
  • Spent time with my BFF
  • Did my grocery shopping
  • Put everything away
  • Fed the kittens
  • Restored my grocery shopping list to a previous version
  • Submitted receipts for rebates
  • Had my son drive to the library
  • Went to Walgreens to pick up my order
  • Recorded receipts in my spreadsheets
  • Cooked dinner
  • Chased various cats away from food bowls that weren't theirs (arrgh)
  • Ended up locking up the kittens in my bedroom while we ate dinner
  • Put leftovers away
  • Caught up on blogs
  • Replied to my mom's email
  • Exercised!

  • Sleep was good.
  • Breakfast was a cup of Rice Krispies with about 1/3 cup of raspberries and 1 cup of ~2% milk
  • Mid morning snack was 1/2 an everything bagel with a little bit of cream cheese
  • Lunch was a ham sandwich, some grape tomatoes, and an apple
  • Afternoon snack was a slice of bread with a little bit of cream cheese, a mini bag of gummy worms
  • Dinner was half a grilled chicken breast, some pasta with pesto, and a side salad with light Asian sesame dressing.
  • Water consumption was almost non-existent
  • Exercise was, well, my  fitness tracker thinks I took 12,309 steps as of 8:00 p.m. tonight. BUT WAIT: I also used my recumbent bike for 45 minutes. Go me!
  • Foot exercises were performed.
  • For not getting into an accident despite the many idiots driving on the road today
  • For not getting into an accident when my son was driving to the library
  • For a nice time with my BFF this morning


  1. What kind of fitness tracker do you have? I have a both an older Fitbit and a cheaper one from work. Both seem to do okay with the steps but I don't use them for anything else. I don't track sleep because I don't like wearing it at night.

    1. I have one that I bought at Aldi last month. I thought it was doing OK but it's beeped when I "reached" 10,000 steps as I was standing at my sink doing the dishes, the other day it beeped as I was sitting down petting a cat... so I'm taking all those "steps" with a grain of salt :) I still wear mine at night mostly because I forget to take it off (back when I wore a watch, I'd always get one with a band made of rubber and that could go in the shower because I never took it off either!) but I have been forgetting to put it on sleep mode as soon as I lay down on the couch this week, and this morning I was dropping off my son at school when I realized that I had never brought it out of sleep mode. So I guess I won't worry about the sleep part of it so much anymore either!

  2. Are use a fit bit that supposed to be on my wrist but I keep it in my pocket. I did this because on my nondominant hand I bow for hours at a time and it was saying I was doing like 38,000 steps in an hour LOL. It seems to be working fine in my pocket. Save a lot coupon… If it was a fake coupon would you have told them that seems like a ridiculous question for them to ask you. I'm glad they let you use it.

    1. That was indeed a weird question to ask me about the coupon, but I'm glad they just honored it. It was bothering me this morning so I checked the email that they sent me again and couldn't find it there, so then I remembered that it came up when I just called up the weekly ad on their website and now I'm wondering if perhaps the browser didn't catch that I live where I do and showed me a brochure from another state that had the coupon promotion? But when I checked the website again, it does default to my store so I'm confused because now the weekly ad is posted alright but the coupon isn't on it anymore. So, so weird. Save A Lot so very rarely issues coupons down here, that's why I had printed a screenshot when I saw it because I thought that since I was going shopping on Thursday instead of Wednesday, they might run out of the printed brochure before I got there. Anyhoo, it all turned out alright.

      Good idea about keeping the fitbit in your pocket. I don't always have a pocket but I should remember to do that too when I do have one!

  3. Sounds like you had a really nice day, Nathalie. Glad you were able to treat your BFF to breakfast, compliments of Starbucks! I got a similar offer from CVS; I forwarded it to my daughter, not that she has a car to do curbside pick up, but you never know, they might bring it out and she collect her items at the door! Besides, she knows how to load these things to the card and I don't! :o

    1. As much as I love a good bargain, I've never seen anyone use that curbside option and wouldn't even know where to go or what to do, and plus it would make me feel weird! So I might just never use it! Let us know if your daughter is able to use it by just walking up, lol.


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