Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Shopping Day ~ Wednesday 2/8/17


Thankfully the violent storms that they had predicted for our area last night ended up being not so bad. I heard that Jacksonville got it worse so I hope Laura and her husband are OK.

I slept on the couch, before every time there is bad weather, I need to be downstairs so I can grab the kids and cats in case something bad happens.  I slept pretty well, actually. We got some thunder and it rained a while but that was about it.

This morning I took my son back to school. He no longer has a fever, although he's still coughing and his throat is bothering him some, but I think it's post-nasal drip because he's congested... and I forgot to give him a decongestant this morning before he left. Doh.

Today is my Shopping Day so I'm about to leave to go do that. I probably won't get anything else accomplished today!  I'm supposed to make turkey burgers for dinner but I think it'll be regular burgers because the ground beef is at the top of the freezer and I don't feel like digging deep down to find the ground turkey.  Chest freezers are a pain!

TO DO LIST
  • Put the laundry away
  • Gather the recycling and take it down to the curb DONE
  • Turn bread heels into bread crumbs
  • Earn Microsoft Rewards credits DONE
  • Input exercise and weight into WHBRHC DONE
  • Set 15 minute timer and try to accomplish as many chores as possible in that time 
  • Do the dishes (AFTER DINNER)  DONE
  • Clean fridge
  • Do grocery shopping and run errands DONE
  • Record all receipts in my spreadsheets DONE
  • Defrost meat for dinner DONE
  • Add bleach to furnace drain line for maintenance (will do after maintenance apt on Thursday)
  • 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
  • Find USB drive (NOT an SD card!) and clear it so Teen librarian to put photos of Youngest Son on it
  • Read 7-day library book!
  • 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
  • Back-up my phone
  • Reset phone to factory settings
  • Upgrade to newer iOS
  • Clean litter box upstairs  
  • Add Osmocote plant food to rose and hibiscus bushes
  • Put away the clipped articles from Kiplinger's magazine 
  • Read new issue of Kiplinger's in progress
  • Wash kitchen windows
  • Reorganize the gardening supplies area in breezeway
  • Purge file cabinet
  • Finish ironing Greg's clothes
  • Take RaceTrac surveys 
  • Make lemon poppyseed muffins or/and lemon squares with the "grapefruits"!
  • Move fonts from external drive and reinstall on new laptop
  • Read the 2 library travel books? on hold, since now we're not sure of when or where we're going
  • Take my measurements
  • Sign up for Personal Capital?
  • Start French blog for my mom and sister?
  • 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
  • Try to hit my 1st Daily Goal on Swagbucks  DONE
  • Call my bank to consolidate my IRA accounts
  • Sit down with my daughter and show her how to file her taxes

SUCCESSES
  • We didn't have any damage from the storms last night :)

  • My son packed a lunch to take to school.

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.

  • School drop-off went well.

  • I stopped by Publix after dropping my son off and got started on my shopping day early. I love that they open at 7 a.m. However, I'm annoyed with myself that I let the fact that the only cashier was the one who harped on my coupons the other day prevent me from putting in my phone number in the keyboard, on the off-chance that another digital coupon might be applied to my order, because I didn't feel like dealing with her this morning.  Still, I was very pleasant to her and she ended up being very bubbly, much more than I've ever seen her be, so I think she might have felt bad about her attitude during our last interaction.  Anyhoo, here is what I got:
    • 1 bottle of Truvia Nectar, on sale at $2.99 and I redeemed a $2.00/1 printable coupon
    • 1 canister of Progresso Italian bread crumbs at $1.19 and I redeemed a $0.75/1 printable coupon
    • 2 packages of StoneFire whole wheat naan bread, on BOGO @ $2.99 and I redeemed (2) $1.00/1 printable coupons
    • My OOP was $2.42 and I charged it to Amex for 3% back in Rewards.
    • When I got home, I submitted 2 Ibotta rebates for $2.50 ($2.00 Truvia, $0.50 Progresso bread crumbs) so this whole trip was an 8 cent MONEYMAKER :)


  • Then I stopped by RaceTrac to get my son an after-school snack. I redeemed a survey reward code for a free eclair donut.  While in line, a woman in front of me randomly started talking to me about the trail mix that she had bought the other day, that contained turkey jerky.  Hmm, okay?!  

  • As I left the store, I found a penny on the floor. Free money! I put it in my 2017 Spare Change Jar.

  • I perused the new weekly ads for Aldi and Save A Lot online. I'll be getting strawberries and grapes at Aldi, woohoo!

  • Ibotta credited me with the $2.50 in rebates almost instantaneously!

  • I aired out the house while I drank my coffee.  We had the AC on last night but I don't think it came on.  We have a "cold front" coming, which means that today and tomorrow it'll be in the 80s and on Friday it'll dip to 72F. Don't you wish you lived here?! LOL.

  • Checked the rain barrel and it's full, yay!  My train of thought when I saw that? "It rained so much, my barrel is full!  I should water the garden..." Good thing I didn't!

  • I finished a box of Rice Krispies for breakfast (with more dehydrated apple slices in it, yum!) and saved the inner bag to reuse as a freezer bag. I reused 10 such bags yesterday to package the ground beef that I froze, so I need to replenish my stock!

  • My 1st SB goal is 80 SB.  I've had problems with Chrome and the videos this morning and then a survey didn't credit. Hopefully Customer Service will come through or I won't meet my goal.

  • I earned the Microsoft Rewards credits for today and redeemed my points for a $5 Amazon gift card :)

  • I left for my errands at 9:10 a.m. and was back by 11:30 a.m. so that wasn't too bad!  Here is what I did:
    • Save A Lot: 
      • Two 12-oz packages of bacon, on sale at 2 for $3.
      • A bag of collard greens on 50% clearance at $1.24
      • My OOP was $4.24 and I charged it to my Amazon Visa for 1% back in Rewards

    • Vet's:
      • I picked up my cat food order and paid $118.46 (Yikes but it's for about 1.5 month for 6 cats). I charged it to Amex for 1% back in Rewards.
      • However, once I got to my car, I realized that they had ordered the wrong type of food for my older cats (they needed the moderate calorie version) so I returned the bag and had them check the price of the version I need. It's the same price so I just told them to note a credit on my account and I'll pick up the new bag of food next week.

    • RaceTrac:
      • I topped off my tank @ $2.159/gallon and charged it to my Discover card for 5% back in Rewards.
      • I gained a new receipt with which I will get another freebie
      • I redeemed a survey reward code for a free hot dog for my daughter's lunch
      • I made sure to get a couple of packets of mayonnaise with it, which I will keep for when I make sandwiches for Greg's lunch (I like to give him a separate packet so the bread doesn't get soggy).

    • Aldi:
      • Well, my plan to try to remain under $50 for the week didn't work out because they had the large jars of crunchy peanut butter!  So I bought 6 jars to stock up for Greg as it's his favorite and they only have it a few times a year. ($2.99 each)
      • I stocked up on a few snacks: pretzel sticks ($1.29), PB crackers ($0.89) and Swiss rolls ($1.39)
      • I got 4 cups of yogurt ($0.39 each) and a package of American cheese slices ($1.69)
      • 2 loaves of bread  ($0.85 each) and a bag of hamburger buns ($0.85)
      • 1 box of tri-color rotini at $0.79. However, it rang for $0.99 and I had to go show the cashier that it was indeed $0.79.  I only got it because I thought there was a $0.10 MobiSave rebate on pasta still in my line-up but I guess it expired last night :(
      • 4 lbs of strawberries at $0.99/lb and a 2-lb bag of red grapes at $1.19/lb
      • 1 bottle of dish detergent at $1.89
      • My OOP was $36.47 and I charged it to Amex for 3% back in Rewards.
      • I redeemed $0.20 in MobiSave rebates ($0.10 for peanut butter and $0.10 for dish soap)

    • Dollar Tree:
      • More success in finding things I like to stock up on: they had the minced garlic in stock!  I got 6 jars since they rarely have it anymore. The new brand minces theirs larger than the previous one, though.
      • I also bought another box of peppermint herbal tea bags since they also don't always carry it.
      • Lastly, I bought 2 bottles of hand soap. I tried that brand recently and I really liked it.
      • My OOP was $9.14 and I charged it to Amex for 1% back in Rewards.
      • I redeemed a $0.10 MobiSave rebate on hand soap.

    • Walmart:
      • Since I was paying with Swagbucks gift cards, I decided to splurge and buy 2 packages of corned beef at $4.24/lb.
      • I got 1 lb of Land O'Frost Black Forest ham for $3.98 and redeemed a $0.75/1 coupon from an insert
      • I also got a package of Borden string cheese for $2.97 and redeemed a $0.50/1 printable coupon
      • A small bottle of oregano was $0.98
      • 2 canisters of grated Parmesan cheese @ $3.18 each
      • 2.24 lbs bananas @ $0.56/lb 
      • 5 lbs of red delicious apples @ $4.42
      • My OOP was $35.29 and I paid for it entirely with Swagbucks gift cards so it was all FREE to me.
      • Then I redeemed a $0.10 MobiSave rebate on apples and a $0.25 SavingStar rebate on bananas, thus making my trip a $0.35 MONEYMAKER.
      • I didn't buy a bottle of Truvia Nectar at Walmart because they only carried the larger size, which wouldn't have been free after coupon and rebate.
      • I also submitted the receipt to the Walmart Savings Catcher, just in case.

    • RaceTrac:
      • I drove to the station just past Walmart so I could redeem my $4.00 coupon for free ice cream.  There wasn't a scale at the dispenser so I had to eyeball it. I got chocolate supreme ice cream and topped it with some Reese's pieces and SourPatch Kids.  
      • When I weighed it at the register, it came to $4.59 so I paid $0.59 in cash.
      • I received another receipt with which I will earn a freebie :)
      • I had brought a Chinese soup take-out container, in which I fit the cup of ice cream, and a cooler. I put the container in the cooler and wedged it with the bags of kitten food so it wouldn't tip over.
      • Then I turned on the AC full blast in my car and drove home.
      • When I got home, 20 minutes later, the ice cream had barely melted. Woohoo! I stuck it in the freezer and my son will be happy to have it for snack this afternoon.

  • Back home, I put everything away, with the kittens' help of course, and made my lunch.  I had a little bit of pasta left over from last night with some pesto, and an egg salad and avocado sandwich. For dessert, I had the 2nd half of the papaya that I had cut up yesterday. Yum!

  • I was happy to see that my local over the air channel 56.1 (WOPX) was airing several episodes of Law & Order today so I enjoyed (re)watching those this afternoon!

  • I submitted my receipts for the various rebates and MobiSave credited me right away.

  • The library emailed me that there is a book waiting for me. Woohoo, it's the latest Lisa Gardner. I hope it's good! I'm not sure if my son will be attending the Teen Scene activity tonight as he has to study for a test but if he does, I'll pick up the book when I drop him off.

  • I entered my weight and yesterday's exercise into Walgreens' Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices and earned 160 BR points.

  • My son was told that he qualifies to attend the STATE FBLA competition for Computer Problem Solving!  He and I are laughing about it but I told him he should compete because. if anything, it'll look good on his college application.  Plus... road trip!  Update: well, actually it takes place in Orlando so... so much for the road trip! And there's a $150 cost for the hotel and meals. I sent an email to the advisor to find out more details and figure out if the ROI on this thing is worth it. My son is actually interested in attending, which is why I'm trying to find out more. He never asks for anything and, as long as it's beneficial to him, I'm all for it. So we'll see.

  • I received an email from a Lake County deputy, following up on the sexual offender living in the neighborhood.  He informed me that that residence is not an allowable address by state law and that the homeowner claims that he doesn't live there anyway, which is another violation of State Law because the offender had to provide the state with an "allowable" live-in address.  So it looks like things are in motion and the right people are now in the know as to where this guy should live or not.  He should NOT be living within a couple of blocks of the middle school, elementary school, daycares, and playground. (His victim was under the age of 16.)

  • I drove my son to the library since he is carrying a lot of materials for the Teen Video Project that he's working on, and I took advantage of that to pick up my library book. I have 7 days to read it, so I might not do anything else today, lol.  I went to pick him up later on, as my daughter had just settled herself out on the patio, and dropped him off at the playground so he could get some swinging done :)


  • I thought this might be helpful: what is in season in February.

  • Still no answer from Swagbucks about the survey that didn't credit, at 5 p.m., but I noticed that at least I reached the 7-day streak so I'll get a tiny bonus next month.

  • I finally heard back from Swagbucks and they credited me with the 65 SB, so I met and exceeded my 1st Daily Goal. Yay!


  • For dinner I made burgers and steamed the corn on the cob that I had bought last week. In the microwave, it only takes 5 minutes and it was really delicious!  I also made a large side salad with Romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes (including a couple from my garden), cucumber slices and croutons.

  • After dinner, Greg and I watched a few episodes of "Bob's Burgers" on Netflix.

  • Then I hopped on my recumbent bike (well, "hopped" isn't really true, I didn't feel like biking at all!) and listened to 2 episodes of "Frasier" on Netflix while I caught up on some blogs and news and then read part of the current issue of Kiplinger's.


SPLURGES
  • Gas:
    • to take my son to school
    • and tolls for Greg's commute
    • to run errands and do the grocery shopping at several stores
    • to drive my son to the library and pick him up again

  • $0.59 for the balance of the ice cream bowl for my son.

  • The AC ran all day.

FAILURES
  • Once again I wasn't credited for a Swagbucks survey (65 SB) and so I opened a ticket.

  • Plus Chrome kept on crashing on me this morning as I was running SB videos so I had to restart it on several occasions and each time lost any progress that I had made towards SB :(

  • Feedly seems down this morning so I can't check on my usual blogs/news.  I'm too dependent on that, I need to make sure I back up the URLs of the sites that I like to read somewhere else, just in case!

  • Ibotta has a $1.00 off steak ANY brand available at Walmart. I scanned a package of chuck beef steak to see if it would qualify and it didn't. I have been burned by their "any brand" rebates before when they refused to honor it.  The app asked me if I wanted to submit the brand for review so I did and took a picture of the package. It met the weight requirement, said "Steak" in big letters in the front. But I didn't buy it since I knew the rebate would be rejected and guess what? When I got home, I received an email that they were rejecting the submission of the brand for their database because it didn't meet the parameters of the offers. Bullshit, but I'm glad I didn't buy the steak :)

  • Months ago, I had bought 2 bottles of dishwashing liquid (LA's Totally Awesome brand) at Dollar Tree. I hated it and ended up going back to Aldi's brand.  I ran out of the Aldi's brand earlier this week and was stuck with the Dollar Tree brand. I'm going to finish the bottle that I had started since there's not much left in it and I have to use a lot of it to get any dishes actually clean, but I put the 2nd, full, bottle in my donation pile for the thrift store.  The Non Consumer Advocate wrote a post a couple of days ago singing the praise of that brand of cleaners but I don't think she tried the dishwashing liquid... sometimes, in trying to save money, you end up wasting some.  I bought myself a bottle of Aldi dishwashing liquid today :)

  • Upromise replied that they can't issue me a check for $54.40 because the request for the $54 check has already been processed, even though I never confirmed the request.  So I asked why they couldn't cut me an additional check for the 40 cents, then.  Good grief.  They replied that I was only allowed to request 1 check per month AND that it had to be for at least $10. I replied that I was pissed off because the $54 had never been submitted (I hadn't hit the submit button) and that as soon as I could have access to all my money, I'd be cancelling my account.

  • I had signed up to participate in a promotion whereby I could have won a Domino's gift card if I replied to an email fast enough... but the email apparently came while my son and I were discussing his participation in the FBLA State Convention and even though I was actually on my laptop and logged in to my email, I missed the message by 10 minutes, so I wasn't fast enough to win one of the gift cards :(   I did win a 20% discount though...

  • I don't understand the need for Aldi to spend 1.6 billion to remodel their stores... to compete with Whole Foods?!  The closest WholePaycheck is 45 minutes away from my Aldi!  So is the closest Trader Joe's which is, incidentally, owned by the same parent company.  My Aldi just recently started putting the weekly produce that's on sale mixed in with the other produce instead of featuring it at the end cap, like they had been doing. That makes my shopping experience LESS enjoyable, not more, because now I have to hunt for the stuff that's on sale instead of going directly to the end cap.  I wonder how much of the $1.6B will result in price increases?

  • I forgot to tell my son to bring his wallet along when I took him to the library. It didn't occur to me until we were halfway there that he should have been driving to get more experience!

  • My daughter expected an Amazon package to be delivered via UPS yesterday but it never came. Today she got an email from Amazon or UPS (not sure which), stating that the package wasn't able to be delivered because they couldn't find the house number.  We get packages almost every day so I told her to call the UPS office and demand an explanation. Well, she didn't do it. Tonight there was a knock at the door and it was one of our regular UPS drivers with her package. I asked him "?!" and he said that he was out yesterday so another driver had picked up his shift and failed to deliver at least 5 more packages in my neighborhood and had marked all of them as "can't find the house number".  One of the packages goes to a guy who receives medication!  He said management was aware of that guy's performance as it's not the first time they've had that problem but I called UPS and filed a complaint nonetheless.  They're supposed to call me back.  Update: they called me back and the woman taking the complaint started by defending yesterday's driver, saying that she knew him and that he was a good guy and trying to excuse him by saying that maybe the house wasn't found on the GPS (my answer: Bullshit. I get tons of other packages and my house is clearly shown on GPS system), that maybe the number wasn't visible from the street (it is), that the houses weren't on sequential number (my next door neighbor's house number is 40+ numbers than mine despite being next door) but there are only 4 houses on our block, etc. I got really heated up and pissed off and told her that I insisted on filing a complaint on that guy.  Finally she said she'd pass it on to the shift supervisor, but I'm thinking she either won't or will interject her objections.  Grrr. This is why incompetent people keep their jobs, people others cover for them.  I just hope today's driver doesn't get into trouble because he is very nice AND does his job properly, all the time.

MONEY SPENT TODAY
  • Publix: $2.42 (groceries)
  • Save a Lot: $4.24 (groceries)
  • Vet's: $118.46 (cat food)
  • RaceTrac: $8.02 (gas)
  • Aldi: $36.47 ($2.03 cleaning supplies, $34.44 groceries)
  • RaceTrac: $0.59 (ice cream)
  • Greg's Sunpass account replenished itself: $25 (tolls)

Grocery Shopping Recap for the Week: I had hoped to spend less than $50 but I spent $67.25.  Since my budget is actually $100, I'm fine. If I hadn't stocked up on the peanut butter, I would have met my goal :) But I love my honey and he loves crunchy peanut butter so...

  • Baking: $0
  • Beverages: $1.00 (1 box of peppermint herbal tea)
  • Breads: $4.53 (4 packages whole wheat naan bread, 2 loaves white bread, 8-ct hamburger buns)
  • Cereal: $0
  • Dairy: $5.74 (1 gallon whole milk, 4 cups yogurt, 1 package American cheese slices, 1 package string cheese, 2 canisters grated Parmesan cheese)
  • Pantry/Dry Goods: $24.69 (6 40-oz jars crunchy peanut butter, 1 box saltines, 2 bottles sweetener, 2 canisters bread crumbs, 1 bottle oregano, 1 box pasta, 6 jars minced garlic)
  • Produce & Juice: $10.82 (12 individual cups applesauce, 4.4 lbs bananas, 5 lbs apples, 2 lbs grapes, 4 lbs strawberries, 1 large bag collard greens)
  • Proteins: $16.90 (10 lbs ground beef, 3.91 lbs corned beef, 1 lb ham, 24 oz bacon)
  • Snacks: $3.57 (1 box Swiss rolls, 1 bag pretzel sticks, 1 package peanut butter crackers)

FREEBIES
  • A canister of bread crumbs, a bottle of sweetener and 2 packages of naan bread, free after sales, coupons and rebates (Publix)
  • an eclair donut (RaceTrac) with survey reward code
  • a penny (found on the ground)
  • a $5 Amazon gift card  (Microsoft Rewards)
  • a hot dog (RaceTrac) with survey reward code
  • 3.91 lbs corned beef, 1 lb ham, 1 package string cheese, 2 canisters Parmesan, oregano, 2.24 lbs bananas, 5 lbs apples (Walmart), with Swagbucks gift cards
  • $4 worth ice cream (RaceTrac) with app coupon

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
  • Fed the kittens
  • Prepped Greg's breakfast
  • Packed his lunch
  • Took the recycling down to the curb
  • Drove my son to school
  • Did some shopping
  • Got my son a free snack
  • Submitted rebates
  • Worked on Rewards programs
  • Checked on the rain barrel
  • Refilled one of the hyacinth's vases
  • Worked on my shopping list
  • Ran my errands
  • Put everything away
  • Fed kittens
  • Brought recycling bin back up to the house
  • Submitted rebates
  • Entered receipts in my spreadsheets
  • Chatted with my son
  • Drove my son to the library and picked up my book
  • Cooked dinner
  • Unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher and started it
  • Washed a few pots and pans by hand

HEALTH
  • Sleep was good
  • Breakfast was a bowl of Rice Krispies with dehydrated apple slices and about 1/2 a cup of ~2% milk.
  • Lunch was about 1/2 cup of pasta with pesto, an egg salad sandwich with 1/2 avocado and 1/2 a papaya.
  • Afternoon snack was a mini bag of gummy worms and 4 salt water taffy. And a large strawberry!
  • Dinner was a burger with homemade zesty pickles, an ear of corn, and a side salad with Light Asian Sesame dressing
  • Water consumption has still not resumed. 
  • Exercise was a 44-minute bike ride (7.5 miles)
  • Foot exercises were performed.
GRATITUDE
  • For just a regular storm last night... and free rain in my rain barrel!
  • For a cashier who was pleasant when she's usually not particularly pleasant
  • That my son was well enough to go to school and seems back to his old self
  • That I made myself get on the bike tonight. I didn't feel like it but I haven't been logging my food or drinking lots of water so I've got to at least exercise!

KITTENS

Greg thinks Tabby Kitty's dad might have been a dog. Also, he's obsessed with socks. The other kittens don't care about socks. He's so funny!

video


A NOTE TO ANYONE READING THIS BLOG WHO OBJECTS TO ANYTHING THAT I HAVE WRITTEN:
This is my online diary. I keep it for myself to document what I'm doing, in order to motivate myself and share information about various subjects, including frugality. And also to express myself. I monitor comments. Sometimes I don't allow comments.  If there is something that I say that you do not like, move on.  I might sound nice and congenial, but I can assure you that if you get in my face, even with a few compliments thrown in, I will get in yours.  My opinions and what I do with my blog are not up for debate.  I don't come to your blog or your house and tell you what to say  or not say or think or not think. I expect to be paid the same courtesy.  Start your own blog and spew about people who don't support Trump and his croonies, or who don't eat paleo or who aren't vegetarians or who don't love dogs or use coupons in the 10 items or fewer line, or something else, if you want. But further comments suggesting what I should or shouldn't say or address/not address on MY blog won't be published or acknowledged. Plainly stated, if you don't like what I have to say, I don't care.

And if anyone would enjoy a very well written and researched post about a few things that have been going on this winter, please read this post at Recollections of A Vagabonde.

22 comments:

  1. Glad to hear your son felt well enough to go to school. You did very well with the grocery shopping. As for expressing yourself and your views, if not on your blog, then where? (((HUGS)))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Bless :) I hope you have a great day today and that you're not as tired as yesterday.

      Delete
  2. How is Aldi's dish soap compared to Dawn? I'm not brand loyal to much but Dawn is one of them. I'm not opposing to changing it if it's comparable. Right now I don't have a dishwasher, so I go thru a lot of dish soap! lol

    Also, what site do you use for your printable coupons. And have you had trouble with viruses pertaining to them? Thanks Nathalie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kris, I love Dawn too! The Aldi dishwashing liquid is really good for dishes and pots and pans, I haven't tried it for other uses (for instance we use Dawn to wash the cars, I've used the blue original Dawn to make soap scum cleaner for my shower curtains) but I think it'd probably do well. I usually buy whatever scent they have in stock (on a regular basis they have a yellow lemon-scented variety that states it's "antibacterial" on the bottle but I had stocked up on the Rosemary-scented one last fall and I loved it. Can't wait until they have it again and this time I'll buy 10 bottles of the stuff! This week I bought the blue bottle that claims it's "tough on grease" and has a "Compare to Dawn" label on it too, but I haven't used it yet since I'm finishing that bottle of Dollar Tree soap.

      As for the coupons, I print them for several places:
      1) The main one is Coupons.com You don't need to create an account, however they do want you to give them your phone number so they can text you a code that will allow you to print the coupons. If you're not willing to do that or can't receive texts, you're out of luck. However, I'm still able to go around that when I use a non-updated version of Firefox on my old Windows 7 laptop. Regardless of what browser you use, you can print 2 copies of each coupon per computer. They are manufacturer coupons. I like to select them category by category to keep better track of what I'm printing. The top gray bar as a "Categories" drop-down menu that you can use for that. Each time you print a coupon, it falls to the "bottom" of that category so when you want to print it again, you'll need to go all the way to the end of it to reselect it. Once you've printed a coupon twice, it'll say "Limit Reached" at the bottom of the coupon and those always stay at the bottom of the category.
      2) If you are a Swagbucks member, you will get 10 SB per coupon that you REDEEM if you print the Coupons.com coupons via Swagbucks. If you do participate in SB, go to http://www.swagbucks.com/shop/allcoupons/grocery to print them

      (part 2 in a separate reply...)

      Delete
    2. (part 2)
      3) I also print some from Smartsource.com You need to use Acrobat Reader to print those but it's free to download. If it doesn't work on Chrome, try using Edge as a browser, it works for me there without any problems. Chrome sometimes gives me problems. Smartsource also lets you print 2 copies of each coupon.
      3) Redplum.com has printable coupons. You can only print 1 copy of each coupon though and some coupons won't be available to you depending on your zip code that they'll want you to specify.
      4) Target sometimes has printable store coupons although those are far and few between now. Go to http://coupons.target.com/ and then order them by picking the "Target" option. If you hover over the coupon, it'll tell you if it's a Target coupon or a manufacturer coupon. I don't bother printing "their" manufacturer coupons as they're the Coupons.com coupons and then THEY get a kickback. I print mine via Swagbucks so I get the kickback, although Swagbucks isn't all that reliable when it comes to getting the SB from the coupons, I don't think. Still, I try!
      5) CVS also features Coupons.com on their site, however, they sometimes also have store coupons available for the Gold Emblem abound or Gold Emblem brands and you wouldn't find those on any other page. http://www.coupons.com/?pid=14415&nid=10&zid=oj97
      Also, if you're a CVS shopper and have a smartphone, download the CVS app and link it to your ExtraCare card. Every Sunday new store coupons appear in the app and you can upload them to your account. Sometimes they're the same as the ones you would print at the kiosk, but sometimes they're different too so I also always scan my card at the kiosk to get the printable ones.
      6) Walgreens also features manufacturer coupons (same as Coupons.com) and store coupons but theirs are digital coupons. So you could create an account if you don't already have one, link it to your Balance Rewards card, and then upload digital coupons to it. I do that so if one day I'm at Walgreens without my coupon organizer, I might still be able to use the coupon.

      (part 3 coming up...)

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    3. (part 3)
      7) I don't know what grocery stores you have in your area but Publix has digital manufacturer coupons on their site (and app), I always upload mine, it doesn't cost me anything and sometimes I get a good surprise when I input my home phone number in their keypad at check-out (always AFTER the cashier has already scanned my paper coupons)
      8) You can sometimes get coupon inserts at your library. Mine has a donation box in which they and other people drop off coupon inserts, or they may give away free copies of the paper, it depends on the libraries. If yours doesn't, maybe you can suggest that they start that since they more than likely have a subscription to the Sunday paper for their patrons so they do receive coupons in it.
      9) there are other sites associated with specific stores (for me, Publix!) where I'm able to print store coupons. I'm lazy and just follow the blog IHeartPublix as she posts links to specific coupons. However, if I see that the coupon is going to be a Coupons.com coupon (you can tell by the link) then I go back to my own Swagbucks account to print it. There are other bloggers who do similar things, maybe you can google the name of your store and "coupons" or "blog" and see what comes up.
      10) Hopster is another good site for coupons. https://www.hopster.com/ but you have to sign up for a (free) account and sometimes be willing to share a coupon via Twitter or Facebook or email in order to get the best value ones. I have a Twitter account that I only use for that, the only followers I have are companies that have followed me back, so I don't mind about sending Tweets to get the coupon, lol.

      Hmm, that's all that comes to mind right now. Oh and also if you are looking for a specific coupon, you should always look up the manufacturer website as sometimes they have coupons to be printed on there. Like Butterball, for instance.

      Oh I lied, I just remembered other sources of coupons: Kellogg's Family Rewards has a coupon section for Kellogg's products on their site, those are different from the regular Coupons.com coupons and you can print them twice. They change every month. They also email you coupons once a week or so in their e-newsletter (you have to go into your account and sign up for it, I never got it until I did that manually)
      I subscribe to the Progresso, Betty Crocker and Boxtops4Education e-newsletters. Once a week I receive their newsletter(s) and it usually contains "premium" coupons that can only be printed in limited quantities. Sometimes I'm able to print all of them, sometimes just one or two, and sometimes none. But at times their newsletters also give you the opportunity to claim a free sample. Again, it's in limited quantities so many times they're out of them by the time I click the link, even if I just received the email. It's frustrating but that how it goes :)

      I hope this helps!

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    4. It does! Thank you for taking the time to reply - it'll help for sure :)

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    5. I just noticed that the URL I gave for the CVS coupons wasn't the right one. It's www.cvs.com/coupons
      Sorry about that!

      Glad it's helpful!

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  3. I'm not a great fan of Aldi's dish detergent. One of the few things I don't like at Aldi's. It's okay, but it seems like I have to use a lot of it to get it to work well. I use Ajax which one of the cheaper name brands. I've never tried the Dollar Tree brand. Thanks for the heads up. I don't think I will.

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    1. Maybe I like it because I started using it after using the Dollar Tree brand which is nothing more than glorified colored water?! LOL. I use Ajax too when I can get a great deals on the small bottles at Walgreens or CVS but the scent is more chemical, to me, than the other brands, so it's not my favorite. But it does clean well.

      Yes, stay away from the Dollar Tree brand of dish soap! Save your money.

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  4. I hate the remodeled Aldis! I have one in town that isn't remodeled and I prefer to go there. Not only are the prices harder to find on the new area but the location of things is hard to figure out. My favorite part of the remodel is that they put weird spotlight things that are aiming at a blank wall so if you want to look at produce, you need sunglasses to try to read the signs and sunblock if you have to stand there too long. Stop the remodel!!!! I do love Dawn so I normally stock up. I used to be able to get it free but those deals are long gone. I try to but at $0.25 to $0.50 because I just prefer it to so many others. Why don't you return the Dollar Tree soap? I keep all my receipts and am not beyond returning anything!! I am going to have to look for the steak rebate even though it sounds kind of limited :( I am having the worst time with swagbucks. I get close to the daily goal but it seems crazy hard to make it. I got 27 bonus from last month so that tells you how hard it has been for sure!!! or how lazy I have been.

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    1. Lol, it never even occurred to me to return it, Alison! I should... I do also keep all my receipts and record exactly what I buy when in my spreadsheet so you'd think it'd be easy enough to locate the proper receipt. Unfortunately, I just threw all the receipts for the year into a couple of big envelopes and they're all jumbled up in there. It's only $1 and I'm pretty sure I bought it before the summer so it might be too late to return it. I'm just going to donate it this time but you're right, I need to remember to return items when I don't like them, even if they're just $1.

      The remodeled Aldis don't sound all that appealing. I don't want to have to squint at the price tags! I laughed at the idea of you wearing sunblock because it's so bright and you have to stand there a long time to see anything, lol. I just don't understand why they would spend so much money on cosmetic changes. I don't think that the people shopping at Aldi care all that much... or they wouldn't be shopping there?! Also, stop it with the GF/organic everything and make sure you stock crunchy peanut butter, lasagna noodles, popcorn kernels and delicious German Christmas cookies year-round, ALDI!

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  5. Hey Nathalie! We survived our storms. The wind did get pretty crazy and the power blinked a few times, but luckily we never lost it for any length of time.

    I am a loyal Dawn consumer, too. I did like Ecover, when I was really committed to using environmentally friendly products, but it's definitely not a cost-saver! I buy Dawn in bulk from BJs and that does save a little, but overall I just prefer to have clean dishes more than I prefer to try lots of brands to find a cheaper one I like. I think that I am willing to sacrifice savings for ease maybe more than I should, but it sure keeps my overall stress levels down.

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    1. Phew, I'm glad you made it out OK again!

      I used Ecover's rinse aid back when I could get it for a great price via my friend's organic co-op but I've lost touch with her and I think she discontinued the co-op. The last time I had checked the price of Ecover at any store, it was just too expensive for me.

      I think that life is complicated and doing the dishes is a pain. So if you find a soap that you like and can find pretty much anywhere and on sale regularly, why should you feel guilty about spending a few more cents? This is why I don't stress about buying Bounty paper towels. I tried several other brands, including Aldi's that claims to be comparable to Bounty and it just isn't. So I've reduced how many paper towels we use (if it were just me a roll would last me all year but Greg and the kids like using it more!) but I stick with Bounty, now.

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  6. I'm been vacationing in Florida for the past week and I felt kind of giddy getting to go to an Aldi, Publix, and Piggly Wiggly. I've seen Racetracs and Murphys. I even told my relatives about your garden. Hopefully, I don't sound like a crazy person, but I was excited to shop different grocery stores and compare prices to where I live. And I enjoy your blog and it is has been fun to see some of the same things you do. I'm over by the coast though. Anyways, I just wanted to say hi and I really like reading your blog!

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    1. Hi K! Your comment made me laugh, lol. I don't think you sound crazy at all, one of my favorite things to do when I travel anywhere is to visit the local grocery stores and compare them to the ones we have at home!

      Thanks for your kind comments, it's always nice to hear that someone likes your ramblings about every day life :) I see that you used to blog too. Any chance that you might get started again? Which coast are you by? The panhandle? I'm only saying that because that's about the only place where I spotted a Piggly Wiggly in recent years.

      Enjoy your Florida vacation!

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    2. I might blog again in the future. I'm just not that exciting to read about:) We are visiting SW Florida and I messed up. I meant the Winn Dixie not Piggly Wiggly. It'd be fun to visit a Piggly Wiggly too;) I think the Winn Dixie we shopped at was in Punta Gorda.
      We are having a wonderful vacation! It was 17 degrees when we left home and I guess it has snowed a foot or more since we've been gone.

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    3. Well, you know, I'm always amazed that people find my blog interesting so you never know :) I'd love to read about what frugal things you do, etc. SW Florida is so nice right now! It sure beats the snow and sleet, IMO! Where is home, if you don't mind me asking?

      Did you go to Sanibel Island or Captiva Island? It's so pretty, we love it. I used to take the kids there for a couple of days every year in May or June but it's been a couple of years since we've been.

      Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

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    4. I'm just getting started on being more frugal. I've gathered lots of ideas from your blog and some others I have read. Home is Washington state, the eastern side.
      We didn't get to visit any islands, but we did visit Sarasota Jungle Gardens and Siesta Key beach. Absolutely beautiful! We go home Tuesday. My cat is lonely, I'm sure. The dog is probably wanting to sleep on the bed again instead of being in a kennel. And I'll enjoy being back in my own home. Florida has been fun to visit. We'll be back again:)

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    5. Glad to hear it! You are a long way from home, I understand the "home, sweet home!" feeling after being away, I say it every time I park in my driveway no matter if I was gone only 20 minutes, hahaha. I've yet to visit Siesta Key after 30 years here, everyone keeps on saying how gorgeous it is but we're not really beach people and I always forget the name of it whenever I try to remember where I should go on a trip!

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  7. I had to laugh at your comment about a woman randomly talking to you. This happens to me frequently, and I'm not sure why. I know I don't look that friendly or approachable. Once in a Walmart a woman asked me if I was Chinese and asked me about Chinese food products (I was standing in front of the soy sauce section at the time).

    LOL at Tabby Kitty and the sock video clip!

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    1. Well that's hysterical because even from your tiny profile picture I can tell that you don't look Chinese at all!

      Once I was in a Food Lion store (YEARS ago), looking at dog food and wondering which one to buy (we had a dog at the time, my ex and I) and a lady asked me if the food I had in my hand was any good. I was irritated so I turned to her and said "I don't know, I don't EAT it!" so she said "that was a stupid answer!" and I replied "Well, that was a stupid QUESTION!" and walked away. It's been almost 25 years since that happened and I still get annoyed at the woman when I think of it, lol!

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