Thursday, March 9, 2017

Shopping Day ~ Thursday 3/9/17



I'm starting to wonder when I'll have a nice, satisfying night again. I probably ought to go back to exercising at 9 p.m., if only I could keep my eyes open then! It's a vicious circle.

I can't really blame the kittens, Explorer didn't come to bug me until 5:05 a.m. but then he was insisting on either sitting on my face or lying down near my face with all 4 paws on my face or with one of his paws wrapped around my wrist.  Awwww. But annoying when you're trying to sleep!  Then Princess showed up 30 minutes later, crying a little. She cuddled for a little bit and then left again.

Today is all foggy.  It's also my Shopping Day and in my tired mind, I thought "I'm only going to Aldi today, that's it!" but, as usual, it won't be it. I pass Save A Lot so I might as well stop there and get their deals (grapes for $0.99, apple juice that's cheaper than Aldi's), then I need gas so I'll go to RaceTrac, then I really need to try to get Diet Dr. Pepper for Greg for free so I'll head out to CVS, then Aldi, and then what the heck, Publix is on the way home and I think I saw a post saying that we could get Nutella jars for just 30 cents this week so I'll stop there too!

Then, I didn't do the dishes last night either so I have 2 days of dishes waiting for me when I get back. I didn't sort my coupons so I'll have to do something about that before I leave. Bring the waaaambulance!

I passed an empty bottle of Coke left in the middle of a very quiet street this morning and didn't stop to get the cap. Why? Because we can only enter the codes until 3/22 (but you can redeem your points until late June) and I'm far from having enough points to get anything worthwhile so I'm giving up on MyCokeRewards already.

Sorry for the downer of an opening, I'm just tired and cranky!  This perimenopause is irritating as hell, I'm now over a week late, which means I'm bloated and cranky and starving all the time. Why can't I get stuck in the nice part of my cycle when I'm all mellow?!

My daughter decided not to go on the Bahamas cruise, citing a lot of work that she needs to do next week for her classes.  In the end, her dad cancelled the cruise and is now inviting the kids to go to Busch Gardens in Tampa on Monday and to a Blue Man Group's concert. She said she'd probably skip Busch Gardens but go to the concert.  So she'll be here most of the week but since she has so much work, I can't really schedule any outings with her.  Sounds like I'll be taking walks on my own?  Youngest Son will probably only want to play videogames and relax at home.  I don't mind, I don't like crowds and Spring Break in Florida is always crowded everywhere.

Youngest Son has a certification exam for Digital Design today. It's one of his electives and part of a series of classes in which he'll be able to earn certifications every year.  If he does well in the exam not only will he get another certification (he had earned one last year for Computer.. something rather, I forget!) but he will also be exempt from the end of year exam. So both he and I hope he does well!  He never shares what he does in those classes and when I ask questions he doesn't have much to say, in true introvert fashion, so I have no idea.  He did muster some enthusiasm about something last night when he caught sight of a commercial for Michael's because he likes Michael's and asked me if we could go together this week.  That was completely out of the blue and so was his liking "Law & Order" so when I shared that with Greg, he thought I had dreamed the whole thing!  Then this morning he came alive when I asked him about the Nintendo Switch because video games  and systems are something to get excited about, I guess. Not that he wants one, but he knows about it and didn't mind talking about it on the way to school.  Video gaming bores me to death, though, so it's not something we bond over :)  OK, now I'm babbling. Again, I blame bad sleep quality!

TO DO LIST
  • Run errands DONE
  • Input receipts in my spreadsheets DONE
  • Give a driving lesson to my son with the stick shift 
  • Clean bathroom ceiling
  • Add bleach to furnace line
  • Make my bed 
  • 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 DONE
  • Do the dishes by hand, drain/dry in the dishwasher (AFTER DINNER) 
  • Vacuum Youngest Son's bedroom
  • 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 2X
  • Exercise at least 35 minutes on my bike  (weekdays only) 
  • Read one of the library books in progress
  • Clean upstairs litter box 
  • Put away the clipped articles from Kiplinger's magazine 
  • Wash kitchen windows
  • Inventory the pantry
  • Inventory the freezers
  • Purge the top drawer of the file cabinet
  • Take RaceTrac surveys DONE
  • Take my measurements
  • 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
  • Finalize and mail letter to UPS CEO (add Amazon's comparison)
  • Plant and water the tree
  • Water the pineapples
  • Add water to indoor pineapples
  • Make sure I get answer from the Educational Foundation director re: Daughter's scholarship about what paperwork to fill out She replied. I need to call her later this month.
  • Track my and Greg's IRAs for the IRS
  • Fix the brakes on my bike again 
  • Download all February pictures from phone, Canon camera, and Panasonic camera to external drive
  • Get the hummingbird feeders out of storage
  • Make hummingbird nectar
  • Make sure all pictures from the Canon camera are saved to external drive and then wipe out the memory card, format it for the Panasonic camera and swap memory cards
  • Reply to blog comments DONE
  • Sort coupons DONE
  • Renew library books (on Thursday) Put reminder on my calendar for Thursday
  • Ask Youngest Son to pick up new library books for me (Thursday)
  • Wash my bedding
  • Fold laundry 
  • Put laundry away
  • Sweep Cat Room
  • Sweep Exercise Room
  • Clear out front porch

SUCCESSES and FAILURES
  • Youngest Son took a packed lunch to school and I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.

  • Despite the fog and heavier traffic than usual, school drop-off was surprisingly swift.

  • The Thursday paper was in my driveway (part of my 1 penny for a year subscription to the Thursday + Sunday editions of the Orlando Sentinel). As usual, I recycled the whole paper since the news are all warmed up from previous days and I've already read them online from other sources, and kept the plastic sleeve to reuse when I clean the upstairs litter box. I think I only have 1 week left on my subscription. They haven't asked me to extend it, which means I need to call to end it, probably?  I had paid with a real penny mailed to them so it's not like they can charge my credit card...

  • I aired out the house.  I'm only leaving the windows open until about 9 a.m., when I go shopping. It's supposed to get into the 80s today so we'll have the AC running most of the day. 

  • I earned the Microsoft Rewards credits and got started on Swagbucks by running some automatic videos, taking the poll of the day and checking out the deal of the day. I'm at 2,041 SB as of 7:40 a.m., inching my way to the 2,200 I need for a $25 gift card. My 1st goal has been 60 SB for a couple of days and I haven't even bother trying to hit that! Yep, it's that time of year when I'm burned out on Swagbucks.

  • I decided to have a PBJ for breakfast. It fills me more than a bowl of Rice Krispies so hopefully I won't be hungry and buy all the chocolate at Aldi :)

  • I renewed my 2 library books online since no one had put them on hold. My son will pick up the Jonathan Kellerman book for me tonight when he goes to hold his D&D club.

  • I left to run my errands right before 9 a.m. and I was back by 10:30 p.m.  Amazing!  The stores weren't busy at all, making me wonder if Thursday morning should be my grocery shopping day, lol.  I expect it'll be even better once all the snowbirds go back up North.  I haven't totaled my receipts yet but I did go over $50 because I treated us to a few things and stocked up on others. Plus, I didn't go to Walmart. I'll have to go next week to "atone" for today, hahaha. Here is what I did:
    • Save A Lot: my son told me this morning that he didn't want bologna so I skipped it. I'm a little disappointed as bologna is only $0.99 while the ham is $3.49 but ham is healthier!
      • I got 2 huge papayas (a little over 7 lbs) for $0.79/lb
      • They had brown bananas marked down to $0.29/lb so I got about 2.5 lbs of those
      • The grapes were on sale for $0.99/lb so I got about 4 lbs of them
      • The ears of sweet corn were on unadvertised sale for 3 for $1.00. I bought 4.
      • The 100% apple juice price has gone down to $1.29 a bottle, which is cheaper than Aldi's. I had planned on getting 2 bottles but they only had one.
      • My OOP was $13.03 and I charged it to my Amazon Visa for 1% back in Rewards.
      • My cashier reminded me of Prince Vespa, from "Space Balls" the Mel Brooks parody of Star Wars. He had long blond hair in a similar cut, moved very slowly, and didn't seem especially bright. Then he have a huge yawn when he handed me my receipt and didn't even cover his mouth.  Yep. Prince Vespa alright.

    • RaceTrac: 
      • I needed a little over half a tank of gas, which has been holding steady at $2.159/gallon for several weeks now, in my neck of the woods. I earned loyalty points on my RaceTrac app, charged the OOP to Discover for 5% back in Bonus Rewards, and obtained a new receipt which will get me a freebie as soon as I take the survey.
      • I also redeemed a previous survey reward code for a free salted caramel frosting filled muffin for my son's after school snack.

    • CVS:  I did 2 transactions as I want to only use my CVS gift card for groceries.
      • Transaction #1:
        • I needed fluoride rinse for Youngest Son.  I could have gotten a better deal on Listerine since I had coupons and there is a $5 ECB offer on $10, but the Listerine rinse only had 0.02% fluoride while the CVS brand of fluoride since has 0.07%. I went with the higher cost but the more fluoride since the goal is to prevent cavities and he has my bad teeth.  It was on sale for Buy 1, Get the second for 50% off so at least I saved a little bit!
        • I charged the $6.89 OOP to Amazon Visa for 2% back in Rewards.

      • Transaction #2:
        • They did have 3 cases of Diet Dr. Pepper in stock, woohoo! It was on sale at 3 for $10 and I redeemed the $10 in ECB that I earned by doing a CVS Consumer Advisory Panel survey last week so it was all free to me :)
        • I got a gallon of milk on sale for $2.79 and a dozen of eggs on sale for $0.99
        • I wasn't planning on buying cereal, but then I saw that the Lucky Charms were included in the "Spend $20, get $10 back in ECB" promotion.  They were on sale at 3 for $10, which isn't a great price at all, but after all, they're all free to me since I use the CVS gift card. So I bought 6 boxes (good thing too because we were out of it) and redeemed $2.50 in coupons.
        • So I redeemed the $10 in ECB and the $2.50 in cereal manufacturer coupons, and then a $1.00 store coupon was deducted for the cereal (I had uploaded it to my app). My OOP was $20.77 and I paid for it with my CVS gift card, earned via our USAA Visa Rewards program so it was all free to me, and I received $10 back in ECB, that I will use for more groceries in the next month.
        • Later on, I redeemed a $1.00/2 Big G cereals rebate from SavingStar, thus making this trip a MONEYMAKER :)

      • My cashier is awesome. First of, she greeted me back with a great smile, commenting that it had been a while since I had shopped there. She's right, I hadn't been to CVS in several weeks!  Then she asked me how I got the CVS gift cards so I explained it to her and we talked about Swagbucks as well.  She said she was amazed with my organization, hahaha.

    • Aldi:
      •  I deviated a little from my list and bought raspberry syrup for $3.99 because I love fruit syrup and I wanted it! I also grabbed the last 2 large jars of crunchy peanut butter since Greg is eating so much of it ($2.99 each), a bag of oyster cracker and a bag of pretzels that I had forgotten to add to my list, ($0.79 and $1.29) and a St Patrick's Day Tshirt for Youngest Son as he loves all things Irish and the Tshirt reminded me of him ($4.99 + tax).  Aside from that, I got:
        • 2 jugs of cat litter ($3.99 each, plus tax)
        • 2 bags of AP flour ($1.39 each)
        • 1 bag seasoned fries ($1.89)
        • 1 bag chicken nuggets ($3.79)
        • 1 box Swiss rolls ($1.39)
        • 3 lbs Red Delicious apples ($2.59, I counted the apples in the bags and took the bag with the most apples - 10)
        • Blue cheese crumbles ($1.99, will replace the blue cheese slices that Greg loved on his burgers but that cost $5.49 a package!)
        • Asparagus ($1.09)
        • Black Forest ham ($3.79)
        • String cheese ($2.79)
        • Fresh salmon @ $7.99/lb ($11.91)
        • Grape jelly ($1.69)
        • 4 cups of yogurt at $0.39 a cup
        • American cheese slices ($1.79, they went back up by 10 cents)
        • 2 punets of blueberries at $0.99 each
        • 4 lbs of strawberries at $0.99/lb
        • 2 loaves of white bread ($0.85 each)
      • I redeemed the $5 off $30 coupon from Sunday's paper. My OOP, for everything, after tax, was $66.97 and I charged it to Amex for 3% back in Rewards.
      • I also redeemed a $0.10 rebate off jelly from MobiSave.
      • I'm very proud of myself for resisting the large bag of tropical trail mix. It looked soooo good!  I love tropical trail mix!  Damn it, I wish I had bought it, lol. But I kept on picturing myself on the scale on Sunday morning, bemoaning having put on weight again, so I left it on the shelf.  Yay me. I still wish I have bought it, dang it! I won't promise that I won't buy it next time I'm there.
      • I completely forgot to take a picture of what food I bought at Aldi!

    • Publix:
      • the kids love Nutella and I only buy it when it's on sale (otherwise I buy the Aldi brand once in a while). It was on BOGO sale @ $3.59 and I had $1.50/1 coupons so I bought 4 jars of it. I'll have to make crรชpes for the kids, or maybe even beignets.
      • The Earth Balance spreads were on BOGO, @ $3.99, so I treated myself.  I redeemed (2) $1.00/1 coupons.  I really like them on toast or when I make grilled cheese sandwiches.  They freeze very well so I froze them when I got home, since I'm still finishing the last container.
      • I also got a whey protein PowerBar for free as I had received a freebie coupon for one. Could you believe that those are $2.50 a bar?  Who buys those?!  I gave it to Greg.
      • My OOP was $3.17 for all this, less than the cost one one jar of Nutella! I charged it to Amex for 3% back in Rewards.
      • I found a penny in the parking lot! Free money!
      • Back home, I realized that there was a $0.75/1 rebate for the Earth Balance on Checkout 51 that I could redeem twice for a total of $1.50 so my Publix trip will only cost me $1.67 total after all, woohoo!


  • So I was home by 10:30 a.m. and the kittens immediately started inspecting my groceries and my empty bags to make sure I had gotten everything :)


  • I put everything away. Usually I have lunch as soon as I get back but it was too early!  Tell that to my stomach, which is conditioned to eating lunch once the groceries have been put away. But I decided to wait until noon.

  • My daughter came down to chat for a bit before she headed off to her college classes with her BFF.  Her dad had given her $65 for her Prom ticket and she needed a check so she gave me the $65 and I wrote her a check. I reminded her to order her (free) checks from our credit union since she'll need them to pay her rent soon.  Then I gave her the $65 back, asking her not to blow it on crap. I hope she puts it back in her bank account.

  • I also wrote her a check for $150. In chatting at dinner a couple of nights ago, she mentioned that she had paid the $50 apartment application fee and the $100 security deposit from her savings account.  We don't contribute to college expenses (although I buy groceries, clothes and other items when I go visit) but she's moving into a furnished apartment and won't need much.  For the older kids, I had bought them the microwaves, mini fridges, and other room furnishings, so I told her that I'd refund her for those fees since I wouldn't need to buy the microwave, fridge, etc. She was very appreciative.

  • I gave her a RaceTrac Survey Reward code so she could pick up a free hot dog for her lunch.

  • My BFF texted me to ask if we could reschedule our coffee date to Monday morning, as I suspect she had the opportunity to pick up a double shift tomorrow. I agreed, since next week is Spring Break anyway so I probably won't be in the mood to be very domestic.  I was going to redeem my free coffee app coupon that's only good on Fridays, though. Oh well.

  • Youngest Son texted me that he passed his exam with a 875 (he needed a 700). Woohoo!

  • I placed a new order for kitten food with my vet's office.

  • The kids had opened a new brick of shelf-stable whole milk (bought at Dollar Tree last year for hurricane season) and only half the brick was left, so I mixed it with another 32 oz of water and now I have a whole quart of ~2% milk :)


  • Alright, time to go eat leftovers!  I had mentioned to Nan that I was planning on making coleslaw for lunches, but I realized that I had leftover salad to eat. I added some of the chicken meat leftover from last week. I also heated up the 2nd half of the can of tomato and carrot bisque that I had opened a couple of days ago and threw some oyster crackers on top. For dessert, I finished the grapes left at the bottom of one of the bags I bought a couple of weeks ago and an apple that had started to spoil.  Finally, I used the last 1/3 of a packet of Crystal Light lemonade that had been in my pantry for far too long, to mix myself 2 cups of lemonade to drink with my meal.  So leftovers, decluttering the pantry and The Rockford Files on Cozi TV (an over the air channel) = a great and relaxing lunch!


  • I submitted my receipts to MobiSave and Checkout 51. The SavingStar rebate will be processed automatically via my CVS ExtraCare card. MobiSave credited my Paypal account right away.

  • Last night I noticed that my new monthly coupon for a free fountain drink at RaceTrac had shown up in my app.  I also have coupons for BOGO gum but I don't like that brand.


  • I printed a few "premium" coupons that Boxtops4Education had emailed me.

  • Oooh, my zip code is now eligible for ONE-day Prime shipping on Amazon!  I texted Greg about it who said that made him feel like ordering something. Of course, that'll be when UPS once again decides they can't find our house...

  • I entered all my receipts into my spreadsheets.

  • Checkout 51 credited my account with $1.50 for the Earth Balance spread.


  • Youngest Son took the bus home, as usual, and told me that the D&D Club gathering at the library had been cancelled for tonight as they're holding another function. This saves me one round-trip.

  • I took 2 RaceTrac surveys and earned two more survey reward codes for freebies.

  • It's 3:00 p.m. and I still haven't done the dishes :(  Ugh.  I'm watching the rest of the bad French series because I really don't feel like doing them right now. I've got to do them before dinnertime, though, as we're out of clean plates!

  • This reminds me: I reused the water left in 2 dinner cups from last night by refreshing 2 pineapple jars.

  • Well, I reached my 1st daily Swagbucks goal after all. Woo!

  • I finally figured out how to fix my Kindle Fire/Netflix problem. My Kindle had, out of the blue, been telling me that there wasn't an SD card it in, when there was, a micro SD card. I borrowed the micro SD card adapter that I had given to my son recently, and plugged it, with the micro SD card, in my laptop. Right away it told me there was a problem with the drive, although I could pull it up in Windows Explorer and see the contents.  This micro SD card used to be in my son's Android phone and I guess I hadn't wiped it out as it now had both phone files and files from the Kindle.  I have no idea if that caused the problem, but I decided to reformat the micro SD card by right clicking on the drive and choosing "format".  Then I put it back into my Kindle, but it still told me there wasn't an SD card in it.  However, when I went to "settings" and "storage", it suddenly appeared (it wasn't there before I reformatted the card).  There still seemed to be some files on it, as some file space was taken, so I elected to clear the memory card.  Then I redownloaded the Netflix app (after making sure that downloading apps to the Micro SD card setting was enabled). At first, it didn't look like it worked, but after a few minutes, suddenly the app appeared in my line-up and I was able to log back into my Netflix account. So I'm not sure exactly what happened but now I can finish watching my show while I do the dishes, and I don't think I need a new micro SD card, woohoo!


  • For dinner, I cooked coriander crusted salmon, white rice and steamed asparagus. I served one of the containers of strawberries for dessert. It was all delicious :)


  • Greg and I watched some Seinfeld episodes from the DVD set that we own, after dinner.


  • I put several upcoming thrillers on hold at the library, but I'm either # 50-something or 100-something on the waiting list for all of them!

MONEY SPENT TODAY
  • Tolls: $25.00 (Greg's Sunpass account replenished itself)
  • Save A Lot: $13.03 (groceries)
  • RaceTrac: $32.24 (gas)
  • CVS: $6.89 (fluoride rinse)
  • Aldi: $66.97 ($53.44)
  • Publix: $3.17 (groceries)
  • Daughter: $65 (future college expenses) and $150 (apartment fees and deposit refund)

I spent $67.04 out of my $100 grocery budget, broken down as follows:
  • Baking: $2.78 (10 lbs AP flour)
  • Beverages: $0.00 (3 12-packs Diet Dr. Pepper)
  • Breads: $1.70 (2 loaves white bread)
  • Cereals: MINUS $1.00 (6 boxes Lucky Charms)
  • Dairy: $8.62 (1 gallon whole milk, 1 box blue cheese crumbles, 1 package American cheese slices, 4 cups yogurt, 1 package string cheese, 2 containers Earth Balance spread)
  • Pantry/Dry Goods: $12.35 (1 bottle raspberry syrup, 1 jar jelly, 2 40-oz PB, 1 bag oyster crackers)
  • Produce: $24.54 (1 bag fries, 3 lbs apples, 4 lbs strawberries, 12 oz blueberries, 1 lb asparagus 4 ears corn, 1 bottle apple juice, 4.06 lbs grapes, 2.47 lbs bananas, 7.16 lbs papaya)
  • Proteins: $14.19 (1 bag chicken nuggets, 1 lb Black Forest ham, 1.49 lb salmon, 1 dozen eggs)
  • Snacks: $3.86 (1 box Swiss rolls, 1 bag pretzels, 4 jars Nutella, 1 PowerBar)
I went over my desired target of $50 but I did indulge (fresh salmon, raspberry syrup, Earth Balance spread, berries) and stocked up on other items (Nutella, peanut butter, jelly). All in all, I'm pretty happy with my spending, especially since I only spent $3.86 on snacks :)

FREEBIES
  • A salted caramel frosting filled muffin from RaceTrac, with survey reward code
  • A hot dog from RaceTrac, with survey reward code
  • a gallon of milk, a dozen of eggs, and 6 boxes of Lucky Charms from CVS, with ECBs and CVS gift card earned with one of our credit cards' Rewards programs
  • 3 jars of Nutella, 2 containers of Earth Balance spread from Publix after sales, coupons, and rebate from Checkout 51.
  • A PowerBar protein bar from Publix, after coupon from the manufacturer

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
  • Fed the kittens
  • Packed Greg's lunch
  • Prepped his breakfast
  • Retrieved paper from the driveway
  • Dropped off Son at school
  • Aired out the house
  • Worked on Rewards programs
  • Replied to blog comments
  • Adjusted shopping list
  • Commented on other blogs
  • Renewed library books
  • Sorted my coupons
  • Went on my errands
  • Put everything away
  • Submitted rebates
  • Texted with my BFF
  • Texted with Youngest Son
  • Texted with Greg
  • Chatted with my daughter
  • Wrote her the checks she needed
  • Printed coupons
  • Caught up on blogs
  • Input my receipts into my spreadsheets
  • Chatted with Youngest Son
  • Took Customer Satisfaction surveys
  • Fixed my Kindle problem
  • Did the dishes
  • Cooked dinner
  • Put some library books on hold

GRATITUDE
  • For a cheerful CVS cashier. I love her!
  • For Youngest Son passing his Digital Design Certification exam

NATURE

  • I didn't sit outside today so I don't have any cool pictures of butterflies, flowers or birds to share today.  However, I did see a hawk sitting on the electric cable outside of the house where the sometimes loose rooster resides. I'm thinking we might not see the rooster much longer...the hawk is smaller than the rooster but I don't think he would mind chicken for dinner.

  • So here are some pictures of my kittens :)
Princess

Explorer

And the very judgmental Tabby Kitty. I always feel like he's disapproving of me :)
Anything happening in your neck of the woods lately?

14 comments:

  1. Oh, those are some bee-you-ti-ful kittens! ๐Ÿฑ It was warm here--in the low 80's. I filed our taxes, did some puttering, then immersed myself in The Great British Bake-Off show. My sister watched it and you mentioned it so I thought I'd give it a go. I'm in the second season and I really like it. Your quick shopping trips always amaze me. It usually takes me about three hours to hit up a couple of stores, but then I typically browse. Guess I'm slowing down. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. It's in the mid-80's here too. I hate it and yet it's so much better than when it's in the mid 90's, hahaha. So I need to be thankful for that. Yay on filing your taxes, I hope you don't owe anything. Ah, don't you just love the Great British Bake-Off? Just hearing the music makes me giddy. Maybe I'll rewatch Seasons 2 and 3 by myself! My quick shopping trips amaze me too because it wasn't too long ago that it would take me 4 to 6 hours to get them done. But back then I'd stop by SuperTarget, sometimes Walmart, Murphy USA, Kohl's, several thrift stores and possibly Walgreens too! I've stopped going to Target, only go to Walmart every couple of months, Murphy USA seems to have discontinued their freebie program so I'm not going anymore, I rarely need anything from Kohl's and when I do have free money to spend, I've been ordering items from their website, I haven't needed anything from thrift stores lately, and Walgreens rarely has anything that's of interest to me. So that simplifies my life greatly. I make my list before I leave, pull the coupons that I'll be using and know the layout of all the stores so I can get in and out quickly. The only store that eludes me is our Super Walmart as I can never remember where anything is so I feel like I waste a lot of time there. I really don't like shopping there so even though I have gift cards to use there, I try to avoid going!

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  2. You just breezed through that grocery shopping trip! Lots of good deals, too. Loved the pictures of the kittens. They've grown so much!

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    1. They have, haven't they?! They rarely want to cuddle anymore :( Just like human children!

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  3. Oh those kittens are so cute! I do miss pets but I'm done....Done...LOL. Let's see- some good grocery deals for you. I can't believe I haven't shopped much for food at all. Last night I just couldn't eat fish again so thawed some vegetable beef soup and had a bowl or two. I have never had Nutella- never. I love crunch PB though but it's a red light food foe me so I never have it in the house. i'm the same way with ice cream- if i buy it when the GSons spend the night, I send it home with them or gulp, throw it out. I did something stupid yesterday- I re-read a book i liked shipping News and decided to get the DVD from the library. I had to renew it twice since I never got around to watching it until Wednesday night and yesterday I returned it. Yep- DVD was still in the player drat it! Now I have to make a special trip to return it and I was not planning on going that direction. I might as well stop at Publix on the way and I had planned a no drive day boohoo. Our spring break is next week and you know what that means? DW yay! How old are your older sons? It sounds like they live fairly close. Did I ever post I have lived in several states- Iowa, Hawaii as a young child, Illinois, Indiana, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida?

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    1. I hear you. I was "done" with pets until a year and a half ago, telling everyone that when Male Cat and Mean Kitty were gone, we wouldn't be getting other pets. And then I had to rescue New Kitty and give it to the kids for Christmas because all they asked for was "a cat!" and I like to make my kids happy (and I love cats!) and then the neighbor knocked on my door to show me the 3 kittens (well 2 kittens, he found Tabby Kitty in the tree just 30 minute later) on the ground in between our houses and I couldn't leave the babies out there to die! So now we have 6. Sigh. But we all love cats so we're very happy with our little tribe. Middle Son (21), who lives at his dad's near UCF (East Orlando, an hour away from my house) comes to visit not to see me, but to see and cuddle with the cats, lol. Oldest Son (soon to be 23) and his GF live in Southeast Orlando. It's not too too far but he and I are estranged so we don't see each other.

      Hey, I've done the "turned in the DVD case but there wasn't a DVD in it!" at the library thing too! Now I always double and triple make sure that the darn DVD is in there because you're right, it's annoying to have to go back AND to have to forego a No Drive Day to boot! But if you stop by Publix at the same time, at least you're turning it into a productive trip.

      I hope you have lots of fun at WDW next week and that the crowds aren't too bad!

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    2. Thanks. Your kids are close in age so you were busy. Ours were 12 and almost 15 when youngest was born- we wanted a third child and unfortunately I had 2 miscarriages but then finally had her. Honestly, she never gave me any grey hairs- easy toddler, good student, fairly respectful, and motivated. I doubt if she ever lives very close though- just not the job opportunities here. After college she and her then fiance moved to Austin, Texas and then he got a transfer to SF where they married and live now. I am thinking it's 6 years now they have lived there. I still look for coupons but rarely use them any more- occasionally though! I refuse to go to CVS- I hate the way they do couponing! That's just too much work for me heehee. I used to do Swagbucks but it seemed I got so much spam on the computer and I use it for work too, so no more.

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    3. Sorry to hear you don't like CVS's couponing policy. I find it very easy myself? Walgreens is the one that I can't stand since you can't have more than coupons than items, they adjust the value of the coupons down (but then redeem them for the full value with the clearinghouse!), they count the Register Rewards as manufacturer coupons, you can't earn Balance Rewards on a transaction when you redeem Balance Rewards, their Register Rewards expire only about 1 or 2 weeks (CVS gives you a month on their ECBs) etc... So I very rarely shop there anymore. I'd love for a CVS to open in my little town. We only have a Walgreens and the closest CVS is 15-20 minutes away (and then there are 3 of them within a 10 mile radius but not in our direction). If a CVS and Aldi opened here, I'd be happy like a pig in mud!

      When Greg and I married, our kids were 9, 8, 7, 5, and 2.5 and then we had our youngest almost right away. So we (well, quite honestly, I!) was very busy for several years after that, especially since I still worked full-time an hour away back then. Looking back on that time in our lives, I'm always amazed at how many things I accomplished back then! Then I sold Greg on being a stay-at-home mom once I got laid off by telling him that the house would always been clean. Ah! The greatest scam ever :)

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  4. I keep telling myself that I am going to coupon and learn the drug store game, but as soon as I start to try, I get frustrated and give up! We only spent $33 at Aldi this week for groceries, yay! We only need bread and lunch meat for my husband's lunches next week, so I'm shooting for a <$5 week this week - we'll see how it goes. About once every three months, I take a day off work and still send Little Daisy to daycare and spend the day deep cleaning the house. I'm talking, on my hands and knees with a toothbrush scrubbing where the floor meets the wall kind of stuff. Yesterday was that day for me, and I got so much done! :)

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    1. If you do most of your shopping at Aldi, there's really no reason to use coupons (although if you know someone who gets the Sunday paper, ask them to keep an eye out for Aldi store coupons. They pop up in my paper once in a while). I used to scoff at people who said that using coupons encourages you to spend more, but in my case, it was true because I would stock up on all those great deals that major bloggers always reported on, but we would waste a lot of food :( What's the point on saving x% with coupons if you're still spending more than you should, right?

      Nowadays, I still clip coupons because I just love it! I've been couponing for 30 years so it's part of me. I would say the majority of the coupons that I do clip don't get used, but that's OK. I like having options when I visit a store that does accept coupons, and passing on coupons to friends and family if I get some that would benefit them. It's kind of a hobby for me. If I shop in a store that accepts coupons, I always try to limit myself to those items for which I have coupons and couple those with sales or even store coupons. The major shift in how I shop nowadays, is that I mostly ignore the big bloggers and shop my pantry first. I still follow "I Heart Publix" because she saves me time in figuring out the best deals for me. Publix has BOGO (Buy One, Get One Free) sales and store coupons and those, coupled with manufacturer coupons and rebates, allow for wonderful deals, especially since we can also use coupons for the items that are free. But I only buy those items that we will definitely use, even if others could be had for pennies on the dollar. It was a long learning curve, but I've finally mastered it!

      I don't really do the drugstore game for the same reason. Rolling your ECBs at CVS, etc. I tried it several years ago and it led to my stockpiling shampoo and other items that I'm still trying to use up these days! What I do is strictly use all the ECBs that I do get for grocery items to reduce my overall food spending. I usually buy most of our cereal, Greg's Diet Dr. Pepper, milk and eggs at CVS. The ECBs help and then I pay with a gift card that I earned with one of our credit card's rewards program (we don't have credit card debt).

      You did great only spending $33, especially if you're only going to spend $5 this week! You'll be under the $40 you had set as a goal for yourself for 2 weeks, that's awesome.

      I hate housecleaning. I really do. Right now I should be doing a lot of it, but I keep on trying to find other tasks to accomplish :) I think I'm revolting against the way I was brought up as my mom, who worked outside the home, also spent all of her time at home cleaning. She rarely watched TV, never read a book, never went out. She just cleaned. She stressed me so badly! My kids have the opposite problem as I wish they would clean more, but I figured that once they have their own place, they'll find their own style. Well, with that, I'm off to sweep.

      Have a great weekend!

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  5. Super confused that I couldn't read through the post because I have a pile of Coke Rewards to put in that I haven't gotten to so I started reading and got to the part where the program was expiring and then had to get up and get my points to enter. Just ordered a free case of coke coupon. I am bummed with the fact that they still haven't lifted the point limit because I have a million piled in my kitchen! UGH!! I put in 73 points and wondering when the week resets so hoping that I can remember to put more in but don't know if I will get enough for another prize before the end. Crossing my fingers!! That sounds like the best trip to the store that I have ever heard. Love a great cashier and they really make all the difference in having a good day and not arriving home irritated because something didn't work out right. Great haul!!!!

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    1. I think the week resets on Monday?! I still don't understand what the new program will be. I expect they'll want us to upload our receipts because them printing a prize right on the cap sounds wayyyy too easy. So I'm thinking I might not participate in the new program. I hope you can redeem your points for something good!

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  6. About the ...he doesn't have much to say... I can relate to that. My youngest son is famous for his four-letter texts. It's become a game now. I will send him a long, detailed text and he'll text back with "yeah" or "fine" or "good" or "home." Sometimes I get the feeling he's thinking long and hard about answering a text that will require only four letters, just to not break his streak. So instead of "yes," for example, he'll say "sure." LOL.

    OMG...I so wanted to get the BOGO Nutella at Publix. I made myself put it back on the shelf.

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    1. It sounds like you're like me, we use texts like emails and write long ones! You should ask your son if he consciously only uses 4 letter words. He might not even notice that he does it?

      Greg will also usually reply with short replies, usually THREE letter answers now that I think about it, ha. His favorites are "meh", "heh", "gaa", "yep". As a matter of fact, if a text reply is longer than a one word answer, I'll frequently ask him if he's been kidnapped and it's his secret signal for me to call the police, you know? And Youngest Son's answers, 99% of the time, are "OK".

      Good that you put the Nutella back on the shelf. More for me! My kids are addicted to it and I've always loved it a little too much. I wouldn't have had any this week but I defrosted some of that blueberry oatmeal bread that I tried baking with way too little sugar and I can't eat it without some sweet spread on it so I've been using Nutella. Bad for my belly and hips but oh so tasty!

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