I have the blahs today. The weather is blah and so am I. At 7:50 a.m. the sky is very cloudy and the atmosphere is heavy with potential rain. Indeed, we have 50% chances of rain this afternoon and strong winds predicted for later this morning. Which reminds me, I need to go put the patio umbrella back in the shed. BRB.
Ok, done. At least it's cool right now and I have the windows open so the cats and I are enjoying the cool breeze. But no patio time for me today :(
Greg lost 2 pounds so far this week, hooray for him! But it also highlights my own failure to get my motivation back. I haven't exercised in 2 days, am not logging my calories, not drinking water, and I don't feel like doing any of it either :( I was doing SO WELL and I'm annoyed at myself for self-sabotaging and yet I can't get my butt in gear again.
I'm obsessing over the dishwasher. I unloaded it this morning and started scooping water out of it and now I'm waiting for my daughter to get up so I can use the wet vac to finish draining it (her bedroom is right above the kitchen). My kitchen sinks and counters are once again covered in dirty dishes (it quit only a short time into the cycle) so I'm going to need to wash them all by hand too, and I'm not looking forward to it. Once it's drained I'll try to dissemble the draining thingie to see if maybe something is stuck in there that is preventing the pump from working but the whole dishwasher is just not turning on (and yes, I checked the fuse box) so I think the motor blew. Greg said "Just call someone to come take a look at it!" but this discounts the fact that 1) I hate calling people (it really produces real anxiety in me these days, if I don't know the person and 2) that we'll more than likely have to pay for a service call only to be told they can't even look at the dishwasher because they can't get it out from under the counter without "major" demolition work. I wish I had a husband who would take care of it himself. But judging on his "I'll take care of the plumbing problem!" in the shower that still hasn't been fixed more than a year later and the "sure, I'll unhook the garden hose from the outside faucet for you!" that was articulated over a month ago and has yet to be attempted, I think that I'm on my own with the dishwasher again. And yes, I'm whining about first world problems and single mothers have it worse but, damn it, that doesn't mean that I don't ever get to whine about my problems, lol.
I never did sort my coupons yesterday so I think I'll just gather the ones that I need for sure for Publix and won't bother about the others right now. I need to go out to run a few errands:
- Pick up the cat food that I had ordered from the vet's
- Might as well go to Save A Lot since it's very close and they have $0.99 cantaloupes. And yikes, they'll have $0.29/lb chicken leg quarters this weekend but I don't think I have the room in the freezer.
- Go to Publix to get a few things
- Stop by RaceTrac to get my son a free snack as I didn't go this morning. I had left the house without my phone, which left me all discombobulated and I just wanted to get home. Yes, I'm getting old and weird, I am painfully aware of this.
So I had hoped to have a pretty quiet Wednesday but now it looks like I have a ton of things to do. Bleh.
I gave my chocolate-covered ginger to Greg last night, after partaking too much, and asked him to hide it from me. This morning I asked him what he did with it and he told me where it is. Arrgh.
Yes, I am wallowing in negativity right now.
TO DO LIST
Pick up cat foodDONE Finish grocery shoppingDONE Submit rebatesDONE Get snack for sonDONE Input receipts in spreadsheetsDONE Account for groceries this week in my postDONE Sweep kitchenDONE
- Sweep Cat Room
- Sweep breezeway
- Sweep exercise room
Make my bedDONE
- Sort coupons
- Turn bread heels into bread crumbs
Earn Microsoft Rewards creditsDONE Input weight into WHBRHCDONE
- Set 15 minute timer and try to accomplish as many chores as possible in that time
Use Wet Vac in dishwasherDONE Try to see if something is blocking the pumpDONE Do the dishes by hand, drain/dry in the dishwasherDONE Do the dishes by hand, drain/dry in the dishwasher (AFTER DINNER)DONE
- Fold the laundry (probably on Thursday as I watch "Spy in the Wild")
- Put the laundry away (Thursday or Friday)
- Clean fridge - cleaned the bottom shelf, cleaned the "main" shelf
- Sweep the downstairs bathroom
- Vacuum the upstairs bedrooms
- Sweep/vacuum the main stairwell
- Make a dermatologist appointment for Youngest Son (after pediatrician apt)
- 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 2X
- Exercise at least 35 minutes on my bike (weekdays only)
- Find USB drive (NOT an SD card!) and clear it so Teen librarian to put photos of Youngest Son on it
Return library bookDONE
- 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 upstairsDONE
- 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
- Inventory the pantry
- Reorganize the gardening supplies area in breezeway
- Purge file cabinet in progress (through "credit cards")
Take RaceTrac surveysDONE Make lemon poppyseed muffins or/and lemon squares with the "grapefruits"!Composted them, they had spoiled.
- 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
Try to hit my 1st Daily Goal on SwagbucksDONE
- Call my bank to consolidate my IRA accounts
Call Driving Class department to find out if/when Youngest Son has been/will be scheduledDONE
- Sit down with my daughter and show her how to file her taxes
Check the air filters and replace if neededDONE Pour Drano down kitchen sink (preventative plumbing maintenance)DONE Schedule credit card paymentDONE Strain the turkey stock and freeze itDONE Take down the Valentine's Day decorations and put them awayDONE Print new tax formsDONE
- Start on our tax return
- My son packed a lunch for school
- I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work
- The school drop-off was very easy!
- Greg lost 2 lbs!
- I turned off the AC and opened the windows to air the house out and entertain the cats.
- If you missed out on the TooJay's promotional app code to get a free pastrami item, the promotion has been extended to February 19th! See graphic below.
- I've got to turn my mood around. Things to look forward to today:
- There's a Law & Order Marathon starting at 11 a.m. I need to get all my errands done before then!
- And there's L&O: Criminal Intent on from 10-11 if I come back earlier :)
- There is delicious chocolate-covered ginger in the house!
- I can move my recumbent bike to the living room and bike while I watch L&O
- The rain will be good for my garden!
- I don't have to go to a real job (so, so grateful for that)
- My kittens are going to want to cuddle at some point :)
- There are leftovers in the fridge for lunch, yum!
- Dinner is going to be mock Zuppa Toscana, which is easy to make and delicious
- I'm going to get a couple of freebies from Publix today.
- I feel better already!
- Microsoft Rewards had a bonus offer for 500 credits if you submitted a Microsoft-related anecdote so I did and I should get the bonus "in a few weeks". I didn't want to write a story about how I hate Windows 10 and Windows Defender is useless, so I wrote about Greg using his Xbox One for us to watch blu-rays when we discovered that our thrifted blu-ray player didn't, in fact, play blu-rays!
- I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits.
- So I left on my errands:
- I almost missed Save A Lot because I was lost in my thoughts! I bought:
- a cantaloupe ($0.99)
- a 3.20-lb papaya at $0.99/lb so $3.17
- and a box of donut holes on clearance at $0.75. Truly, I hesitated, took it, put it back down, and then decided to take it anyway. Truth is, I was hungry and I reasoned that I would then have a snack both for my son AND my daughter AND me :)
- I looked for produce and meat on clearance but there wasn't any.
- My OOP was $4.91 and I charged it to my Amazon Visa for 1% back in Rewards.
- I picked up the large bag of Urinary S.O. Moderate Calories cat food for my older cats from the vet's. Since I had the credit from the bag that I had to leave there last week, I didn't have to pay anything today.
- I dropped off the foam items and a few plastic bags in their recycling bins.
- I checked my lottery ticket but I didn't win anything. I still have several drawings left on it.
- They didn't have any regular raspberries at all, despite that they advertise them as being on sale so that saved me some money as I was planning on buying 2 containers of them.
- I was thinking about purchasing my favorite Mentos gum that was on BOGO but I checked my stock and I still have 2 bottles of it and then gum from other brands that I don't like as much but that I need to use it. So I left it on the shelf.
- I purchased:
- 2 boxes of Barber stuffed chicken, on BOGO at $5.49 and I redeemed (2) $1.00/1 printable coupons so $3.49 for 2 boxes. They were out of the breaded chicken cordon bleu variety so I bought the chicken parmesan variety. I hope it's good but it'll definitely be an easy dinner!
- a package of Castello blue cheese slices for Greg (even though he didn't beg nearly enough) at $5.49 (aaargh) but I redeemed a $2.00/1 digital coupon so $3.49
- 4 cans of Del Monte no salt added diced tomatoes, on BOGO @ $1.53 and I redeemed $1.00/4 store coupon and $1.00/4 insert coupon so it came out to $0.27 a can.
- a tube of Gourmet Garden Cilantro paste @ $4.29. I lucked out because I had a .55/1 coupon that I had gotten from a tearpad several months ago, but there was a dispenser of $1.00/1 Catalina coupons and I grabbed the last one! So I paid $3.29 but I also redeemed a $1.00 Ibotta rebate, which made it a better price. It's more expensive than growing my own cilantro or even buying it fresh at SAL or Aldi, but I haven't planted any and I keep needing to use a little of it in recipes so I like the paste :)
- a small bottle of Truvia Nectar on sale at $2.99. I redeemed a $2.00/1 printable coupon, which beeped. I had a different cashier this time who didn't bat an eye and entered it manually. This ended up triggering the $1.50 digital coupon that I had on my account, which made it a moneymaker, but I also submitted a $2.00 Ibotta rebate so in the end it was a $2.51 MONEYMAKER! Woohoo!
- My OOP at the store was $10.82 and my cashier congratulated me on my savings :) I charged it to my Amex for 3% back in Rewards.
- Back home, I submitted my receipt for $3 back from Ibotta.
- I also picked up a couple of free recipe cards from Publix Apron.
- I decided to skip RaceTrac since I had the donut holes and didn't feel like making another stop.
- Ibotta credited me within a few minutes!
- I unlocked a few new offers from Ibotta, MobiSave and SavingStar.
- I had left my laptop on playing automatic videos from Swagbucks but they dried up while I was gone. I attempted to take a few surveys and lucked out with a Peanut Labs survey that was super easy, took maybe 1 minutes and earned me 65 SB! So I met my 1st goal by 11:00 a.m.
- I turned on Law & Order on over the air TV to have it in the background as I completed several tasks on my laptop.
- I entered my receipts into my spreadsheets. Tracking what we spend to the penny is vital to ensure that we are being frugal and know where our money is going. Tracking my grocery shopping in details allows me to make sure I don't overspend in this category of the budget where most people do overspend by a lot :)
- For lunch, I had a pulled chicken sandwich, the rest of the collard greens leftovers and about 1/3 of a cantaloupe.
- I printed some new coupons via Swagbucks, including some new pet coupons that I'll be donating.
- I took 3 RaceTrac surveys and earned 3 more freebies :)
- I called the office to find out when my son might be able to take the driver's ed class but there are 15 students ahead of him and only 3 students per class so he might not be able to take it until the summer... but then it'd only be over a week. At least now I won't worry about possibly scheduling something during the school year that would conflict with it. I wish they would just let us schedule a class right now but we can only do it when it's "our turn" so probably closer to the end of the school year.
- I used the Wet Vac to drain the water out of the dishwasher, unscrewed the filter to clean out the pump area, cleaned the door contacts (just in case) and tried getting the dishwasher to start again. After a couple of tries, it did start and I thought I had fixed it! But after about 30 seconds, it stops. When I open it, it's refilled with water. So I emptied it again and tried again. And so on and so forth. 3 times. So after doing more research, I think it's the pump, which can only be accessed from the bottom of the dishwasher. I researched the cost of the part on RepairClinic and it's over $100, plus the cost of a service call because I think it'd be over Greg's head. So then I started to think that we should just buy a new one since ours is 15 years old anyway. I checked the Lowe's website and there is a Whirlpool Energy-Star rated dishwasher on sale for just $299 through the end of the month and they have 2 in stock at my store. I called the number to get a quote for installation and hauling of the old one and before tax and if we chip the tiles out ourselves, and barring any "we need to bring this up to code" issues, the total would be $467.98 before tax. I asked Greg if he thought he could install it himself and he said "probably" and thought we might be able to get the old one out by moving the fridge out of the way and taking out the end support of the countertop and sliding out the dishwasher that way. Hmmm. So I was thinking we'd go look at the dishwasher this weekend. I checked Appliance Direct as well and it's $15 cheaper but with delivery, etc, I think it'll be a wash and I'd rather deal with Lowe's.
- Then I did the dishes by hand and used the dishwasher as a drying rack. It only took maybe a couple of minutes longer than just loading the dishwasher so I decided that I'd rather NOT replace the dishwasher until we're ready to remodel the kitchen, at some point after we pay off the house. I grew up without a dishwasher anyway so it's not a huge deal. I'll just buy a couple of dish basins so I can minimize the water waste since my sinks still drain even with covers on them.
- I informed my son that he would be driving to the library today so he needed to bring his wallet with him. We reviewed the route and what he could improve on compared to the last time he drove there and he did great.
- I gave him my library book to return for me so I don't incur any late fees :)
- I researched dish basins on Amazon that would fit into my old double-sink and ordered 2 of them along with some cat scratcher refills and cat grass containers since they were add-on items that I could only get if I spent more than $25. I redeemed $12.40 in Amazon Visa rewards and picked the No Rush shipping option for the scratchers and the cat grass, since it was available. My OOP was $21.10 and I will earch 5% back in Rewards and I will get $2 back in digital credits. So basically my 2 dish basins cost me $0.93 :)
- I reused a bread bag to dispose of the contents of the upstairs litter box when I cleaned it.
- I went to pick up my son from the library and had him drive home. He did extremely well :)
- I strained the turkey stock that had cooked overnight and reused 2 Chinese take-out soup containers to freeze 8 cups of it.
- I washed and hung to dry a cereal bag that my son had set aside for me. I also clipped the Boxtop and will mail it to our local elementary school, along with the others that I collected, in the Spring.
- I cooked the Mock Zuppa Toscana soup for dinner. I used smoked turkey sausage and kale and added one of the 4-cup containers of turkey stock that I had just put in the freezer to the pot since I hadn't defrosted any chicken stock anyway! I served it with naan bread.
- After dinner I still had about 4 cups of soup left over so I saved it in the fridge for future lunches.
- I did the dishes by hand after dinner. I actually like it as now that I'm using the dishwasher as a drying rack, I can pile up the large pots and pans on top of the other dishes without worrying that they'll prevent the top rack from getting washed, and my sinks can remain empty!
- to drive my son to school
- and tolls for Greg's commute
- to run my errands
- to drive my son to the library and pick him up again
- Middle Son and I haven't had a date this month so I think I'm going to take him to see the Lego Batman movie on Sunday as Greg will be out of town.
- Definitely wasn't credited for a 14-day streak by Swagbucks and now my Daily Goal is 96 SB. Ugh. I'm very close to the 2,200 that I need for my next gift card so I'll keep on trying to earn SB until then and then I may give it a rest...
- Well, shoot, I was hoping that Lidl would be coming soon and more than hoping that the mystery building going up next to our Walgreens might be one (since it doesn't look like it's going to be the much rumored Taco Bell, after all...), but it doesn't sound like Florida will be getting Lidl stores in the near future. However, if you are in Virginia. or the Carolinas, get excited!
MONEY SPENT TODAY
- Save a Lot: $4.91 (groceries)
- Publix: $10.82 (groceries)
- Amazon: $21.10 (2 dish basins, 2 cat scratchers, 2 cat grass containers)
Grocery shopping this week: my budget is $100 but I spent $61.99 after all rebates, broken down as follows:
- Baking: $0.00
- Beverages: $0.00
- Breads: $2.55 (2 loaves white bread, 8-ct hamburger buns)
- Cereals: $0.00
- Dairy: $9.53 (1 package American cheese slices, 1 package string cheese, 4 yogurt cups, 1 package Castello blue cheese slices)
- Pantry/Dry Goods: $1.06 (1 jar grape jelly, 1 box saltines, 1 bag egg noodles, 1 bottle Truvia Nectar sweetener)
- Produce & Juice: $29.09 (64 oz apple juice, 2 lbs carrots, 5 lbs gold potatoes, 3 Romaine hearts, 1 cucumber, 1 lb Roma tomatoes, 3 lbs mandarins, 2.9 lbs bananas, 4 lbs red grapes, 4 lbs strawberries, 3.2 lbs papaya, 1 cantaloupe, 4 cans no salt added diced tomatoes, 1 tube cilantro paste)
- Proteins: $14.16 (4.25 lbs pork loin, 1 lb Black Forest turkey, 2 boxes Barber Chicken)
- Snacks: $5.60 (1 box Swiss rolls, 1 package peanut butter crackers, 1 bag pretzel sticks, 1 bags marshmallows, 1 box donut holes)
- Free pastrami item at TooJay's via their app when you enter the promotional code "Pastrami" in the app by 2/19!
- a bottle of Truvia Nectar that I was actually paid $2.51 to bring home :)
- the two dish basins were almost free ($0.93) since I paid for them with Amazon Visa Rewards.
- Fed the kittens
- Packed Greg's lunch
- Prepped his breakfast
- Drove my son to school
- Unloaded the dirty dishes from the dishwasher
- Scooped out half the water from the dishwasher
- Looked up possible solutions/repairs for dishwasher online
- Worked on Rewards programs
- Caught up on blogs
- Located coupons for my shopping trip
- Ran my errands
- Put everything away
- Submitted rebates
- Recorded receipts in my spreadsheets
- Downloaded tax forms
- Updated my checkbook
- Printed some coupons
- Took customer satisfaction surveys
- Drained the dishwasher with Wet Vac (3 times)
- Tried to fix the dishwasher
- Researched dishwasher parts
- Researched new dishwasher
- Called Lowe's to get quote on installation/swapping
- Texted with Greg about replacing dishwasher
- Did the dishes by hand
- Had my son drive us to the library
- Brought back the recycling bins from the curb
- Made my and Greg's beds
- Cleaned the upstairs litter box
- Researched dish basins
- Placed an Amazon order
- Checked the air filters
- Poured some Drano down the kitchen sink for preventative plumbing maintenance
- Took down the Valentine's Day decorations and put them away
- Cleaned out my email inbox
- Went to pick up my son from the library and had him drive home
- Drained and froze the turkey stock
- Washed a cereal bag
- Swept the kitchen
- Cooked dinner
- Brought the Wet Vac back indoors and put it back together into a Shop Vac
- Emptied the countertop composting bin into the large one outdoors
- Did the dinner dishes by hand
- Sleep was OK.
- Breakfast was a bowl of Rice Krispies with fresh strawberries and a cup of ~2% milk. I drank coffee.
- Mid morning snack was... 6 donut holes.
- Lunch was collard greens, a pulled chicken sandwich and 1/3 of cantaloupe. I drank diet Coke.
- Afternoon snack was chocolate-covered ginger and 2 mandarins.
- Dinner was zuppa toscana and a wedge of naan bread
Water consumption ExerciseI'm taking a break
- Foot exercises were performed.
- For an easy school drop-off
- For nice cashiers both at Save a Lot and Publix
- For Ibotta because it really does save me money :)
- For my lovely kittens!