Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Shopping Day ~ Wednesday 2/22/17

It's 7:36 a.m. and it's pouring!  Luckily, it started after I had already come home from dropping off my son at school, and it looks like it's letting up as Greg is getting ready to leave for work.  The kittens haven't seen hard rain like this before, so they're in the windows, observing everything.

A peek at my weather app shows 100% chance for rain today with more rain in the forecast later on, and higher temps (high 80s) next week. Groan.

I went to bed late last night, past 11:30 a.m, and I felt it this morning as I was tired when my alarm rang.  I stayed up to update some apps on my phone and reinstall several programs on my laptop so I feel quite modern now, and not so much like a dinosaur, lol. As usual, I don't like the changes all of this brings, especially since I can't play my "Big Fish Games" of hidden objects as they appear to take only 1/3 of the screen now instead of being full screen. Stupid Windows 10. Seriously, it's been out for quite a while now, you'd think there wouldn't be any issues like these anymore.

Anyhoo...  today is my grocery shopping day. I always stop by at least one RaceTrac station to get gas and a freebie, and I'll go to Save A Lot and Aldi, possibly Publix if I can get organized soon.  I also need to get a form notarized for my daughter.  And then when I get home, I need to do the freaking dishes. Arrgh.

  • Put away chicken stock DONE
  • Defrost meat for dinner DONE
  • Make tortillas? Bought some instead
  • Grocery shopping DONE
  • Get form notarized DONE
  • Drive son to library DONE
  • Record receipts in my spreadsheets DONE
  • Give a driving lesson to my son with the stick shift this week
  • Bake PB cookies
  • Bake a pie
  • Update French blog
  • Make my bed  
  • Turn bread heels into bread crumbs
  • Earn Microsoft Rewards credits DONE
  • Input weight into WHBRHC DONE
  • Set 15 minute timer and try to accomplish as many chores as possible in that time  
  • Do the dishes by hand, drain/dry in the dishwasher (AFTER DINNER)
  • Do the dishes DONE
  • Put the laundry away 
  • Watch "Spy in the Wild"
  • Clean fridge - cleaned the bottom shelf, cleaned the "main" shelf
  • Sweep the downstairs bathroom
  • Vacuum the upstairs bedrooms
  • Make a dermatologist appointment for Youngest Son (after pediatrician apt)
  • Download all January pictures from my  camera to external drive DONE
  • 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 2X
  • Exercise at least 35 minutes on my bike  (weekdays only) 
  • Give USB drive to Teen librarian to put photos of Youngest Son on it DONE
  • Finish moving/reinstalling missing software on new laptop 
  • Read one of the library books
  • Clean upstairs litter box  
  • Add Osmocote plant food to rose and hibiscus bushes
  • Water the garden if it doesn't rain before Thursday It rained :)
  • Put away the clipped articles from Kiplinger's magazine 
  • Read new issue of Kiplinger's in progress
  • Wash kitchen windows
  • Vacuum the fridge's coils
  • Inventory the pantry
  • Inventory the freezers
  • Reorganize the gardening supplies area in breezeway
  • Purge file cabinet in progress (through "credit cards")
  • Take RaceTrac surveys 
  • Move fonts from external drive and reinstall on new laptop
  • Take my measurements
  • Look into transplanting hyacinths in garden - Moved them outside since Explorer has started to jump on mantelpiece :(
  • Scrub patio pavers with bleach (wear old clothes and shoes, gloves and goggles)
  • Finish decluttering exercise room shelves
  • Call my bank to consolidate my IRA accounts
  • Sit down with my daughter and show her how to file her taxes
  • Start on our tax return
  • Schedule an outing to P.E.A.R. Park and ask them about the trees from my backyard or look at the Audubon site that Pixel shared.
  • Write letter to my great aunt, with pictures
  • Make sure I receive the water bill from the city today They will send the bill tomorrow

  • Youngest son packed a lunch to take to school.

  • I packed a sandwich lunch for Greg to take to work.

  • School drop off went well and I got home before it started raining!

  • It poured! No need to water the garden and it brought down the temp a little.

  • I opened the windows to air out the house/entertain the cats and turned off the AC.

  • I earned the Microsoft Rewards credits for today.

  • I perused the new weekly ads for Aldi and Save A Lot online and made notes of what to buy today in the Shopping List that I keep on Google Drive so I can pull it up on my phone.  I also looked at the partial preview for next week's Aldi app and they'll have the corned beef tips at $1.99/lb so I might just get more corned beef then, if I can get there early enough in the morning (and make room in the freezer in the meantime!).

  • I'm playing some Swagbucks videos but my 1st goal is 105 SB and I won't reach it and I don't care :)

  • I entered my weight in Walgreens' Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices and earned another 20 BR points. Inching my way to 5.000 points (= $5 in free merchandise!).

  • I left to run my errands at 9 a.m. and was back by 11 a.m. So much nicer than the 5-6-hour trips I did at one point, although I didn't save as much money, lol.  Here is what I did:
    • Save  A Lot:  I wanted papaya and was tempted by the $1.99 price tag for 10 pounds of Russet potatoes. I know, I know, they'll probably spoil.  But even if I compost half the bag, it'll still be a good price.  So I got:
      • 2 papayas @ $0.99/lb
      • 10 lbs russet potatoes @ $1.99
      • 1 lb bologna @ $0.99
      • My OOP was $7.88 and I charged it to Amazon Visa for 1% back in Rewards.

    • RaceTrac:
      • I gassed up my SUV @ 2.159/gallon, earned loyalty points in my app, charged it to my Discover card for 5% back in Rewards, and obtained a new receipt with which I will get a freebie.
      • I went inside to use the ladies' room which was very clean, and I also redeemed a survey reward code for a free ├ęclair donut for my son's after-school snack.

    • Aldi: 
      • I did add a few things to my cart that wasn't on my shopping list including a package of chicken chipotle sausages  (because I still haven't inventoried the freezer so I wasn't sure if I had some or not -- I did), canned tuna, tortillas (because I figured I wouldn't feel like making my own tonight if I didn't have enough), pudding cups for the kids. 
      • I resisted buying a $20 salmon fillet at $7.99/lb. It looked beautiful but I didn't want to spend that much this month.
      • I bought dishwashing liquid and kitchen trash bags. My non-food items amounted to $6.94.
      • My overall OOP was $42.85 and I charged it to Amex for 3% back in Rewards.

    • The UPS Store: I needed to get my signature on the field trip form for my daughter's Grad Bash notarized, even though she's an adult legally so I should have had to fill it out in the first place. They charged me $9, which I charged to Amex for 1% back in Rewards.

    • South Lake Animal League Thrift Store: I dropped off a box of donations and the pet coupons that I had printed and clipped for them. As always, they were very appreciative, even though I forgot to sort the coupons by dog/cat/other, as I used to do. Darn it, I need to remember to do this, it saves them time, which they appreciate as well.

    • Publix: 
      • I guess my Publix doesn't carry the "Good Foods" brand of products as I couldn't find them and the BOGO sale that IHeartPublix alerted me about wasn't in the ad either.  Darn it.  I could have gotten 2 containers of salsa for free!
      • They were completely out of the Dial soap 3-bar packages that are on BOGO.  I got a raincheck, on the off-chance that they restock before the coupon and rebate expire.
      • I wasn't going to get pasta because I thought I was well-stocked. However when I peeked in the pantry on Monday night, I realized that I had made a huge dent in our pasta stock. Barilla was on BOGO through today at $1.69 (at my store) and I had several $1.00/4 coupons, so I bought 12 boxes of pasta @ $0.60/box, which isn't wonderful but even Aldi charges over $1.00 a box for their pasta nowadays.
      • I also bought 4 cans of Progresso soup on BOGO @ $2.29 and I used a $2.00/4 printable coupon and I'll redeem a $2.00/4 SavingStar offer so if it goes though, it should make for a great deal at 15 cents per can.
      • I was happy to find the New York Pull Apart garlic bread loaves at my Publix (Laura had written that she couldn't find it at hers). It was on BOGO @ $2.89 and I redeemed (2) $1.00/1 printable coupons and I redeemed a $0.75 offer on Checkout 51 and a  $0.50 rebate on "any item" so in the end it was a $0.36 MONEYMAKER. It would have been better if Ibotta would have left me redeem the $0.25 rebate on "any variety" of NY Garlic bread, but they would recognize the UPC code. I sent them a message but they usually don't budge anyway.
      • The Polly-O string cheese was on sale at $3.00 each and I had a $1.00/2 coupon, which made each package cheaper than at Aldi, so I bought 2 packages.
      • Lastly, I had forgotten that the Activia 4-packs of yogurt were on BOGO sale @ $2.50  this week (I shouldn't have bought yogurt at Aldi!).  I bought 4 4-ct packs of the light variety and redeemed (2) $1.00/2 coupons from newspaper inserts, so each cup cost me 19 cents each.
      • My OOP was $18.61 and I charged it to Amex for 3% back in Rewards.

    • RaceTrac: I had tried calling my daughter several times to ask if she wanted a lemonade or a hot dog from RaceTrac, as I had another survey reward code, but she never picked up, so I ended up getting myself a medium caffeine free Diet Coke at the fountain, in exchange for the survey reward code.

  • Back home, the kittens inspected everything and surprised me by being able to read.
A "Pull Apart Loaf", you say?  Kitten challenge accepted!
  • I put everything away and heated up my lunch: leftover turkey noodle "soup", 3 clementines and a yogurt with a sell-by date of October 2016, lol.  I watched the end of an episode of Law & Order on over-the-air TV while I ate.

  • I had forgotten that Ion TV shows episodes of Law & Order, one of my favorite shows, on Wednesdays, all day, woohoo!  If only we had a TV in the kitchen... I still have to wash those pesky dishes!

  • I submitted my receipts to the various rebate apps. CheckOut51 and Ibotta credited me right away.

  • The downstairs toilet wasn't flushing properly (our plumbing is ancient). I used the long snake that I had bought several months ago for the upstairs toilet and it still slow to drain but at least it's draining.  

  • I realized that my SB total was way higher than I was expecting it to be so I checked my ledger and saw that I had been credited 700 SB for an in-home product test that I had conducted. Woohoo! I nailed my 2nd goal by a large margin!

  • McDonald's is offering a free medium Shamrock Shake with any purchase with the coupon in the app.

  • Ibotta agreed to credit me with the $0.25 offer for the NY Garlic bread. Yay!

  • Our Teen Librarian already returned the USB key to me with pictures of my son that she took at various events. It's nice to see him among other teens!

  • For dinner, I made burritos and a side dish of white rice, tomatoes with chiles and red kidney beans.

  • After dinner, Greg and I watched 3 episodes of "The Jim Gaffigan Show". I had bought it on 50% off sale on Google Play. It's OK.

  • Gas:
    • to drop off my son at school
    • and tolls for Greg's commute
    • to go on my shopping trip
    • for my son to drive to the library
    • to go pick him up from the library

  • Notary Public fee

  • Next week, I really need to actually look in the fridge as I write my menu because I discovered that I had several produce items shoved at the back of the freezer that I had forgotten about and that I might need to compost.  Arrgh.

  • I was checking out something on the AT&T website and noticed that our son is using a ton of data, as in over 100% of our data plan!  I need to check his phone and chat with him about it. Thankfully AT&T rolls over our unused data from the previous month

  • Save  A Lot: $7.88 (groceries)
  • RaceTrac: $31.05 (gas)
  • Aldi: $42.85 (groceries and cleaning items)
  • UPS store: $9.00 (notary public)
  • Publix: $18.81 (groceries)

This week, I spent $58.80 out of my $100 weekly grocery budget. Here is the breakdown:
  • Baking: $0.00
  • Beverages: $0.00
  • Breads: $4.18 (2 loaves pull apart garlic bread, 10 large flour tortillas, 2 loaves white bread, 8 count hamburger buns)
  • Cereals: $0.00
  • Dairy: $9.56 (1 gallon whole milk, 2 packages string cheese, 20 cups yogurt)
  • Pantry/Dry Goods: $7.72 (4 cans soup, 12 boxes pasta)
  • Produce: $22.78 (4.95 lbs papaya, 10 lbs potatoes, 4 ears sweet corn, 1 cabbage, 3 Romaine hearts, 2 cukes, 2.17 lbs bananas, 3 lbs mandarins, 3 lbs apples, 4 lbs grapes)
  • Proteins: $12.28 (1 dozen eggs, 1 lb bologna, 2 cans tuna, 4.76 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs, 1 package chipotle chicken sausages)
  • Snacks: $2.28 (1 box Swiss rolls, 4-ct chocolate pudding cups)

I will post my February Food Expenses report at the end of the month.

  • An ├ęclair donut from RaceTrac with a survey reward code
  • A medium fountain drink from RaceTrac with a survey reward code
  • 2 loaves New York Tear Apart Garlic Bread from Publix, after BOGO sale, coupons and rebates

  • Fed the kittens
  • Prepped Greg's breakfast
  • Packed his lunch
  • Took the recycling down to the curb for collection
  • Took my son to school
  • Worked on the Rewards programs
  • Updated my To Do List
  • Looked at weekly sales ads and worked on my shopping list
  • Ran my errands and did the grocery shopping
  • Put away the groceries
  • Submitted receipts to rebate apps
  • Snaked the downstairs toilet
  • Input my receipts into my spreadsheets
  • Had my son drive to the library
  • Brought the recycling bins back up the driveway
  • Did the dishes
  • Strained the chicken stock and froze it
  • Picked up my son from the library
  • Cooked dinner
  • Put leftovers away
  • Watched a show with Greg
  • Changed settings on my son's phone to limit data use and talked to him about not streaming YouTube videos when on cellular data

  • For some rain today!
  • For episodes of Law & Order on TV on a rainy day :)
  • For my son driving us safely to the library
How was your Wednesday?


  1. Nice that you found the pull apart bread. I had to laugh at your cats' ability to read. Lady Beast (she's a recurring character, if you haven't noticed ;) ) also likes to help with the groceries when I bring them home. Although she really likes greens of all things!

    You got some good deals. I saw the price on those potatoes, but we only just started on the 5lb bag I bought a week ago, so I don't think I'll be getting any this time.

    1. I almost gave up because I didn't see it but I persevered by staring at the shelves for a couple more minutes. I felt stupid, thinking "move on! they don't carry it and it's not going to materialize itself in front of your eyes!" but then I looked lower and there were 3 loaves right there, kind of thrown there sideways so you couldn't see the label without getting them out. I was so excited, lol!

      Those cats... I get annoyed when I'm in the middle of a mission and they're in my feet all the time or chewing on everything, but they're so darn cute, aren't they all? Of course they want to HELP!

  2. Excellent deals on your grocery shopping! I like the price of the potatoes - you just have to serve potatoes every day for the next couple of weeks until the bag is gone, that's all! Unless you make something like fries and freeze them? You did well with your spending, too.

    Wow, you have some very clever kittens! LOL. Mine helped me look at today's grocery ads and fell asleep! It was too much for his little kitten brain!

    1. I don't think the kids would mind mashed potatoes every day of the week!

  3. You are so organized! We got a little rain but not enough to even water my plants. It's leftovers today- I made some broccoli soup yesterday- and have Greek rice and plenty of fish in the freezer. I picked up my grandson from middle school yesterday and used my last free coupon to 'buy' a French silk pie for his brother and him at Village Inn. It looked so good but nary a nibble for me. I have no big plans today- maybe rake leaves if the weather cooperates.

  4. Sounds like a productive day. Good luck with teaching your son to drive. A very necessary part of parenting, but very nerve wracking as I remember it.

    1. The library is only a mile away from the house and we live in a small town so it's not very complicated to get there, although he does stop signs and traffic lights to worry about. He's doing OK but he can be unsure of himself and I think he'd dreading having to drive, which surprises me, but my "car" is a very large Expedition EL SUV so it is like driving a boat at first. I'm not looking forward to teaching him on the stick shift family car though. I naturally am NOT a patient person and I'm kind of high strung so it's exhausting to try to NOT be that when the kid next to me is nervous and could kill us or someone else if he messes up! I can't wait until he gets into the Driver's Ed class through the high school, probably this summer. It'll give him much needed experience in a smaller automatic car without me being there!

  5. I am? I don't feel organized right now, lol.

    However, you indeed were so good resisting that French silk pie! How did you get the coupon? It's been years since I've been to a Village Inn. I think I was pregnant with my oldest when I last went to one and he's going to turn 23 this year.

    I hate raking leaves, I always get huge blisters right between my thumb and index finger, no matter what gloves I wear. Greg, for some reason, loves it, although he's been much less diligent this year than he's been in the past, probably because the leaves fell so much earlier this year than in the past.

    I hope you have a great day today, Nan!

  6. I just looked at the Aldi's ad again and I really need the potatoes but none here on sale. I have tons of uses for yours :) I hope that you get to eat lots of yummy potatoes cooked every way. I have to head out to Aldi's tomorrow so I will be thinking about you. We need some of the basics which I have been putting off so here is hoping that they have everything in stock. I think that you did good and saving time is sometimes saving money :) It is exhausting to spend all day doing all the shopping. I don't get to do that but normally fit in different errands in the few minutes I have between work and picking up my son. I think that a little bit of vacation is worth it because then you are ready to search that much harder next time without the burn out :) Great trips and it is sad the price on pasta now but I think that is a great deal for prices now!!

    1. The potatoes are actually on sale at Save A Lot. I just combined the screenshots from Aldi and Save A Lot into one. Sorry about the confusion!

      I'm not creative with potatoes, I'm mostly lazy, hahaha. So baked potatoes and mashed potatoes, and then using some in crockpot stews will be how I mostly use them, hopefully before they rot.

      I should make my own spaghetti (well, linguine!) but again, I'm lazy. Opening a box of Barilla suits me just fine! I'm just glad I don't have to spend $1.69 on it!

  7. I love those chicken chipotle sausages from Aldi - had some this week for dinner!

    LOL at the kittens reading.

    1. I'm so happy they seem to be carrying them all the time now. I thought they might have been a seasonal item so at first i had bought several packages of it. They freeze very well.


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