Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Shopping Day, Part I ~ Tuesday 3/28/17

I need to try to muster some enthusiasm for my day.  It's not even 8 a.m. and I'm already "dreading" it. Well, "dread" is too strong. I just don't feel like doing what I need to be doing, to wit: the dishes and grocery shopping. I've got to do some shopping today as we are out of bread and eggs.  So I might as well do it all.  And I have huge piles of dirty dishes in the kitchen as well and the combination of the two tasks that have to be done today is a little too much :) Yes, I feel very pampered and privileged saying this, but it's the truth.  I shall do these and other tasks too but I'm not too enthused.

The new mattress was OK last night. Greg tried it and really liked it.  I didn't find it as "firm" as I thought it would be and I'm still harboring a tiny hope that it'll get firmer. I slept OK. Not great, but not bad either.  It was super nice to have all the room and I guess Explorer got spooked by the new layout because he didn't sleep with me at all. Princess did for a short while, down by my feet again.  What isn't working is having the mattress on the floor. I'm too old for this!  It's really hard for me to get up and I get up at least once, usually twice at night.  So I need to look for a bed. I don't feel like driving an hour down to Ikea (I don't like that store at all!) so I might look at a thrift store first. We'll see how much patience I have before I caved in and buy a new bed :)

  • Fold the laundry
  • Put the laundry away
  • Take trash cans down to the curb DONE
  • Drop off recycling at Publix DONE
  • Go grocery shopping DONE
  • Declutter the printer stand
  • Do the shredding
  • Refill the self watering bins
  • Give a driving lesson to my son with the stick shift 
  • Take Youngest Son to get a haircut
  • Clean bathroom ceiling 
  • Clean hallway ceiling right outside the bathroom
  • Make my bed DONE
  • 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 from the weekend  DONE
  • Do the dishes by hand, drain/dry in the dishwasher (AFTER DINNER) 
  • Vacuum Youngest Son's bedroom DONE
  • Put one mattress away in his room DONE
  • Take one mattress and the bed to the thrift store?
  • Make a dermatologist appointment for Youngest Son
  • 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  (weekdays only)
  • Clean upstairs litter box DONE
  • Put away the clipped articles from Kiplinger's magazine 
  • Inventory the pantry
  • Inventory the freezers
  • Purge the top drawer of the file cabinet
  • Take RaceTrac surveys 
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Go to airport to cash in my euros?!
  • Mend sliding door window screen
  • Plant and water the tree
  • Water the pineapples
  • Add water to indoor pineapples - I think I might compost them.  I really don't want to plant them, after all, and I don't have anyone to give them to.
  • Track my and Greg's IRAs for the IRS
  • Download all February pictures from phone, Canon camera, and Panasonic camera to external drive
  • Reply to blog comments   DONE
  • Purge the dresser in the upstairs hallway
  • Purge the top drawer of the file cabinet
  • File all the pending documents
  • Use brush on fridge coils
  • Schedule maintenance appointment for my SUV
  • Prep March Food Expenses post in progress
  • Sweep kitchen DONE
  • Vacuum living room
  • Get Youngest Son to sign up for French I on FLVS
  • Check if Youngest Son made Guidance apt to ask for start date after AP exam (May 11)
  • Get change so I can give Youngest Son $5 for the McDonald's gift card

  • Youngest Son packed a lunch to take to school. He'll be there longer than usual today due to a study group, so I hope he thought to pack himself a snack.

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work. We're almost out of Diet Dr. Pepper so I hope CVS is stocked up today!

  • The school drop-off was easy. I didn't stop at RaceTrac to get him a freebie snack on my way home since I baked banana bread yesterday and I'll be going to RaceTrac later on today anyway.

  • I signed a petition to ask the government to reconsider defunding public access media. Not that it'll do any good, I'm sure they're going to want to look like their administration is being successful in the eyes of their supporters, but if you value PBS (TV and radio) and their programming, please consider signing the petition yourself and possibly donating to your local station.  "Without this critical seed funding, our local stations may be forced to go off-air or cut the programs we love and the public services our community rely on. We could lose access to local programming, educational content for children, emergency communication services, trusted news, and more."

  • In Florida news, the legislature is looking at cutting something like $11 million from Bright Futures Scholarships and $60 million from state college funding (plus I think $110 from state university funding).   On a selfish level, I fear this is really going to impact Youngest Son the most out of all my children as I fully expect our state college to stop the free (to us but not to them) dual enrollment program that my daughter is benefiting from and that I was hoping Youngest Son would join in his Junior and Senior years.  I'm thinking there'll be a fight in our state legislature, though, as other Republicans such as the governor had already announced that they were looking to actually expand Bright Futures, but being a pessimistic person surrounded by moronic politicians, I don't see a good ending for our students.

  • I made my wish list of store stops today and I'm overwhelmed: in a perfect world, I would need to stop at 11 stores!  Arrrgh.  I might need to rethink this, I don't think I'm up for such a long day of shopping. And that doesn't even involve dropping off donations at the thrift store!  Update: 30 minutes later, I had cut it down to 8 stores and dropped Walmart from my list.  This trip will count against my April budget.

  • Oh crap, I just remembered something else that I have got to do today: vacuum Youngest Son's bedroom and moved one of the twin mattresses in there. He got it all ready for me last night so I really need to do this so he can put all his stuff back where he wants it.  Arrgh. Better go do that now before I forget.  8:50 a.m.: Done!  I'm afraid my son is turning into a hoarder, though. His tiny room is crammed and I want to get rid of a lot of stuff that he won't let me get rid of because he doesn't like change (like his mom!). I did recycle some flattened cardboard boxes that he was keeping to use for making miniature dioramas, but it's not like we never have cardboard boxes around the house, he doesn't need to stockpile it!  I want to spend the day with him getting everything out of there, I need to add that to my calendar. The problem is that we have no storage, really, in this house. The closets are tiny. There are definitely things he wants to keep but doesn't use (like old LEGOs) that he could store in there, though, since he doesn't use it for his clothes. I really need to reorganize all that for him but I don't want to do it without him.  And yes, I'm storing a spare twin mattress in his room because there's no room anywhere else and I think he might need a new mattress before he leaves for college.  It's on its long side underneath his platform bed in a space that was previously unused, so it won't be in his way.

  • I had a peanut butter and banana sandwich for breakfast in hope that the protein kick would inspire me to go do the dishes. I don't know if I really feel "inspired" but I'm going to do them now.   Sigh.  Why do I do this to myself?!  I need to go back to doing them right after dinner, it's much less painful.

  • 10:00 a.m.  The dishes are done, the large microwave cleaned, the countertop composting bin emptied, I added dead leaves to the large composting bin (too many!), and I swept the kitchen. It really needs to be mopped but if I do that today, my back won't let me do anything else.  I'm now reasoning that perhaps I could just go to Save A Lot today and get the essentials and then go to the other stores on Thursday.  Greg is going to run out of Diet Dr. Pepper but he could survive, I think.

  • I texted him to give him a heads-up that I'll only be going to SAL and not stocking up on Diet Dr. Pepper today but offering to redeem my free drink coupon at RaceTrac tomorrow morning to get him a large Diet Dr. Pepper.  I really wish he would stop drinking that crap, I'm such an enabler. But if I don't get it for free with my deals, he won't think anything but go to the vending machine all day, every day. He's an adult and I'd rather save the money!

  • I've been running automatic videos on Swagbucks this morning and I've reached my 1st goal. They're really slowing down my laptop this morning so I'm going to stop now.

  • I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits.

Source: Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day blog

  • It looks like Bulk Nation will be opening in Clermont in July!  I can't wait to check it out.  The same article announces one opening in Jacksonville in early 2018 (this note is for my friend Laura!).  ""Customers can expect a unique experience with over 3,000 bulk specialty food items including dried fruits, nuts and vegetables, as well as spices, coffees, teas, ancient grains and candy." Laura, you might want to sign up for their enewsletter and if you use Twitter, follow their Twitter feed. They routinely post coupons on there (and on their website as well) and they email their flyer.  

  • SampleSource sent me an email heads-up that they'll be releasing new free samples soon. If you haven't signed up for SampleSource yet but are interested in getting free samples,  see the graphic below for information.  Unlike PinchMe, SampleSource has never required me to fill out feedback to keep getting them...

  • Some medical office called me and left a voicemail about a problem with an MRI insurance approval.  The number was weird... the area code and then 555-1212.  "555-1212" is the genetic number that is used in TV shows, etc.  I thought it was odd that it would have been assigned to someone in real life!  The person who left the voicemail though sounded legit and left a completely different phone number and extension. So I Googled that number and it does belong to a medical office so I called them back, got the person's voicemail and let her know that she either had the wrong phone number for the patient she was trying to reach or had dialed it wrong. But I'm still wondering about the "555-1212" and where the heck that came from! Incidentally, that's the number I've been putting on forms (with a different area code though) when they ask for a phone number and I don't see why they would need it, hahaha. 

  • So I went grocery shopping at 11:00 a.m. and I was back at 12:30ish.  I only made 3 stops, in the end, and I'm wondering if I really need to go to Aldi at all this week.  Here is what I did:
    • Save A Lot: I got what I had on my list to get specifically there, which wasn't much, and then I grabbed other items that were on my Aldi list but weren't all that much more expensive than at Aldi.  They had several packages of meat on 50% clearance so I grabbed those too. I ended up with:
      • 5.03 lbs of chicken leg quarters marked down to $0.54/b so $2.72
      • 3.59 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts marked down to $0.99/lb so $3.54
      • 4 packages of beef bottom round steak marked down to $2.79/lb, so totalling $2.03 lbs for $5.66/
      • 2.29 lbs bananas at $0.49/lb = $1.12
      • 1.71 lbs cabbage @ $0.59/lb = $1.01
      • 1 chocolate pie crust @ $1.49 (a splurge. I don't have a plan for it but I'll think of something!)
      • 2 lbs Halo clementines @ $2.99
      • 4 ears of corn @ 3 for $1 so $1.34
      • a dozen large eggs @ $1.19
      • 8 oz block of mild cheddar @ $1.79
      • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk @ $1.59 (I usually make my own but it's nice to have a can when I'm in a rush)
      • 1 box of turkey breakfast links @ $0.99
      • 1 large bag of tropical trail mix @ $4.99 (total splurge!)
      • 1 loaf white bread @ $0.99
      • 7.60 lbs papaya @ $0.99/lb = $7.52
      • 3-pack of scrubbing sponges @ $0.99
      • My OOP was exactly $40.00 and I charged it to Amazon Visa for 1% back in Rewards.

    • Publix: 
      • I dropped off my plastic bags and foam containers in their recycling bins and ventured inside without a plan.
      • I ended up getting 4 boxes of Foster Farms corn dogs on BOGO sale @ $3.49 and  redeemed (2) $2.50/2 printable coupons so each box of 6 cost me 50 cents :)  Youngest Son loves corn dogs.
      • I was hungry and couldn't resist the Toufayan flat bread on BOGO sale @ $2.49 and got it even though I didn't have any coupons to go with it :)
      • My OOP was $4.47 and I charged it to Amex for 3% back in Rewards.

    • Walgreens:
      • I picked up my free 8 x 10 reprint. I should have made sure to look at the actual photo and not a thumbnail photo when I ordered that reprint because Greg is in focus but the kittens are kind of blurry. Oh well.  
      • I asked the cashier if he knew what the building was that's going up next door because we're been speculating for months and, as we "feared" (because we wanted something exciting like an Aldi or a CVS or a cool restaurant), it's a medical office (dialysis).  There might also be a Taco Bell going up behind it but we don't like Taco Bell (well Greg doesn't so I haven't eaten there since meeting him!). Well, poop so to speak.

  • I came home and put everything away with the kittens' "help", of course, and fixed my lunch.  I had the rest of the turkey/red kidney bean stew from 2 weeks ago. I sprinkled the rest of the shredded mozzarella and ate it with a large piece of whole wheat flat bread.  I also made coleslaw with half the cabbage and used half of the remainder of a jar of Marie's Coleslaw dressing. I really like that dressing and now I'm kicking myself for being lazy last week and not going to Publix when the Marie's dressing were on BOGO and I had coupons too!

  • A local ice cream store emailed me a job opening that sounds interesting (i.e. not just the plain salesperson type of thing) so I forwarded it to my BFF, in case she wants to find out more about it.

  • I emailed Dawn to let her know I wanted to give her a cookbook but then I realized she had posted she had just bought it. Nooooo!  

  • I entered bonus code SLAM-DUNK-KFR2-5PTS into my Kellogg's Family Rewards account and earned 25 KFR points.

  • A Slickdeals poster shared that you can get 1 Redbox movie rental for free per account with code 76GFD49A (free for standard-definition, $1.50 off a Blu-Ray rental). The code is valid thru 4/1/17.   This appears to work in-app, online, or at the box.

  • Speaking of movies, I had put "The Conscientious Objector" documentary on hold at my library last weekend. It's a 2006 documentary about Desmond T. Doss, the gentleman who was the subject of the movie "Hacksaw Ridge", that we watched (courtesy of Redbox) last Saturday night. I received an email from my library that the movie is waiting for me. My son is going to the library tomorrow so I'll have him pick it up for me then.

  • I drove to the high school to pick up Youngest Son. He'd been complaining that he couldn't text anyone and did so again today. So I asked him several questions, and finally found out that since I had told him not to surf the net while on cellular data at school, he had switched to "Wi Fi only", thus disabling his texting ability if he wasn't on WiFi.   Mystery solved!

  • I gave my son the spare backpack that we had since his broke.  I had forgotten to do so last week and he never asked me for it despite knowing I had a spare one for him.

  • My son had won a McDonald's gift card at the FBLA District competition and asked me if I could exchange it for cash. I looked up the value and it's $5. I need to get change and then I'll give him $5 in exchange for the card.

  • Last night, I noticed that the bulb on the fridge's water dispenser had gone out.  I went to check it today to see if I needed to replace it or if maybe it was one more thing on the fridge that was going out (it's almost 15 years old and the ice dispenser isn't working).  But I found that the bulb was just loose, so I tightened it and now we can see when we get water at night again. Ta dah!

  • I entered my weight into Walgreens' BRHC and also my recumbent bike activities for Sunday and Monday and earned 280 BR points. Woohoo! Getting closer to 5,000 points.

  • I was able to request a sample for Fiber One bars, via a link in the Pillsbury newsletter that I subscribe to.
  • For dinner, I grilled smoked turkey sausage, and cooked a bag of cheese ravioli. I also heated up a can of mixed vegetables.

  • After dinner, Greg and I watched a couple of episodes of "Seinfeld".

  • Save A Lot: $40.00 ($1.06 cleaning items, $38.94 groceries)
  • Publix: $7.52 (groceries)

  • I picked up my free 8 x 10 reprint from Walgreens
  • 2 boxes corn dogs and 1 package flat bread from Publix (BOGO sales)
  • A free movie rental code from Redbox
  • Requested a sample from Fiber One

  • Made my bed
  • Fed the kittens
  • Packed Greg's lunch
  • Prepped his breakfast
  • Drove my son to school
  • Aired out the house
  • Cleaned the upstairs litter box
  • Collected the trash throughout the house
  • Took the large trash can and mattress box down to the curb
  • Made a shopping itinerary
  • Vacuumed parts of Youngest Son's bedroom
  • Moved spare twin mattress we're keeping into his room
  • Recycled some cardboard
  • Sent an email to a friend
  • Did the dishes
  • Swept the kitchen
  • Cleaned the microwave
  • Emptied countertop composting bin
  • Added leaves to large composting bin
  • Replied to blog comments
  • Went grocery shopping
  • Put everything away
  • Emailed a friend
  • Picked up my son from his study group
  • Helped son solve his phone texting problem
  • Brought the trash cans back up the driveway
  • Chatted with my next-door neighbor about our cats
  • Gave replacement backpack to Youngest Son
  • Tightened bulb on water dispenser
  • Requested a sample
  • Cooked dinner

  • For being able to do the 3 main chores that I needed to do today!
  • For friendly next-door neighbors
  • For Explorer coming to cuddle with me this afternoon
He's so big now!
Remember this one?  LOL.  That was only 7 months ago!


  • When I was reading this post from Cat and Turtle about her backyard birding experience, I kept on flashing back at Live & Learn's bird sightings at her old house. I always enjoy those kinds of posts :)  I really need to add more flowers and flowering bushes to my backyard to attract feeder birds.  My cardinal feeder is almost empty again (I refilled it just a few days ago) because of the damn squirrels :(  Maybe I shouldn't be so fast in chasing the stray cats away. If only I could be sure that they go after the squirrels but leave the birds alone!


  1. You had a busy day! Good of you to whittle down your list of stores to just 3! That little kitten is almost full grown, now! Hope you have a good day, tomorrow.

    1. It was quite a relief to only have 3 stops, honestly, and I was telling myself that maybe I should just get into the habit of buying less so I can just shop at Aldi or Save A Lot and still remain within $50 to $60 a week but not have to worry about chasing deals all over the place because it felt so nice, yesterday!

      I probably should stop calling the kittens "kittens" now. But they're such an entity set aside from our older cats that I don't think ever will stop calling them that!

  2. My Wednesday will be like your Tuesday- too many places and things to do. I will be so happy when it's Friday! Wow you sure got some bargains at Save A Lot. I guess I should go there more often. I really only buy their buttermilk- the store is old and not very nice. It went into the old Food Lion store that definitely needed remodeling. I need a new mattress too but I'm so darn tight when it comes to those kinds of things. If I told you how old mine was, you'd say I needed to dump it ASAP!. It looks great though- I never did sleep with kids or pets and I never eat/drink in my bedroom so no spills. I did buy a memory foam type pad for it and that seemed to firm it up a bit. I hadn't heard about the Bright Future scholarships. When Dd went to UF, the program was great- she had all tuition and books paid for so all I paid was dorm/food and then later apartment/utilities. One thing my husband and I wanted to do was to finance the kids' college so they graduated debt free- $$ but I don't regret it. I don't pay for graduate school though and all 3 have master degrees. My son actually has 2 but he's working in his field which is good! Pizza today and then I'm thinking Friday I will grocery shop and change up the menu. I've been wanting to make some Thai food- I love it but don't cook it often.

    1. The deals, at my Save A Lot at least, are hit or miss. Last year I was able to get meat, baked goods, produce and pizzas on clearance on a regular basis. This year, they either got better with their inventory or are putting the clearance items out later in the day but it's rare that I'm able to find meat on clearance anymore. They don't even have the pizzas in their refrigerated case anymore and their baked goods seem to never be on clearance either. It's better for my hips, I suppose :)

      Having a good mattress makes all the difference in the world. I love the mattress we have in the master bedroom, we bought it 16 years ago and it's awesome. But Greg and I just can't sleep together, we fidget and get up too much and I like my little bedroom that I've repainted myself so I was willing to take "one for the team" until now. Mattresses are expensive and it's hard to tell how well you will like it when you get home, so I understand wanting to put off the purchase as long as you can! The one I bought is a little less firm than I would have preferred but last night I was already more comfortable on it than I was the night before, so I think that the "let it inflate for 48 hours" advice was probably right on the money. We'll see if tonight is even better :) I don't eat in bed either and the kittens don't soil the bed, but my period is problematic so I probably should buy a mattress cover. I'll have to put that on my list of things to get at Kohl's next time I have Kohl's cash to spend!

    2. Also...
      It was nice of you to pay for your other kids' college education. My ex and I had put a plan together (well we had planned but not done anything about it!) to pay for the last 2 years of an undergraduate degree and possibly move closer to a state university so the kids could live at home while going to college. But we had a lot of credit card debt and then we divorced. Coincidentally, after we divorced he got a job at a company located right across from the UCF campus and eventually met his 3rd and current wife there. They both work for the same company. He/they commuted there for years since he had to live in my vicinity because we shared physical custody of our 3 kids 50/50, but a couple of years ago they bought a house just 1 mile from their work and the kids (hers and ours) have been able to live there for free, as we had originally planned, although none of them lived there the whole time. Greg and I decided to concentrate on eliminating our debt and since I had become a SAHM a couple of years into our marriage, it also became more important for us to save for retirement than to pay for the kids' college. We strongly encouraged them to pursue scholarships, do dual enrollment, make sure they participated in clubs/athletics and volunteered, so they could qualify for Bright Futures, paid for multiple SAT and ACT tests, etc. Some were very smart (Greg's daughter although then she made a dumb decision, IMO, and my daughter who went the dual enrollment route and didn't let a scholarship that I had earned for her stop her from obtaining excellent grades and trying out for more. I do regret she didn't pick UCF and their scholarship offer, though) and others either couldn't quite qualify or didn't care back then. Hopefully they will learn from their experiences. I think that with the current Florida legislature and my and Greg's philosophy, our youngest son will probably get the shaft. This is why I'm glad I had the "foresight" to put the chore money he's earned these past years into a small Florida Prepaid Account and the chore money he's currently earning into a 529 Savings Account. It won't be much but at least it'll be something, should be not be eligible for Bright Futures. They're tightening the requirements again. He's an excellent student so I don't think he would have problems from that side of things, but you never know...

      I hope your week is easy, Nan! Enjoy your pizza tonight!

  3. For not being very motivated in the morning, you sure accomplished a lot. Good job. :)

    I miss my bird posts from my old house, also. Slowly, but surely, I hope to get more of them going here.

    1. And I look forward to your future pictures!

  4. I would so love a store like Bulk Nation. I am envious! I love Trader Joe's but to far away. I do go to Aldi's once in a while

    1. I hope it's everything I'm picturing it to be :) Trader Joe's is too far away from my house too but to be honest, I only like a couple of items from there. Otherwise, I find it very expensive.

  5. I like our Bulk Food Nation store (opened last fall, I think). I don't go there too often (they have a lot of bulk candy, which I'm trying to stay away from, and stuff like spices and food/soup mixes). Some of the stuff they have is cheaper at Aldi. But a lot of their stuff is great, and semolina flour is much cheaper there than at Publix. (I use semolina for a Ricotta cheesecake recipe)

    1. I stopped reading at "bulk candy". Ha! Then I saw "ricotta cheesecake" and remembered your picture of the last one you baked and now I want some. Ohh, I can't wait until Bulk Nation opens here!


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