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 errandsDONE Input receipts in my spreadsheetsDONE
- 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 creditsDONE Input weight into WHBRHCDONE
- Set 15 minute timer and try to accomplish as many chores as possible in that time
Do the dishesDONE
- 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 surveysDONE
- 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 commentsDONE Sort couponsDONE
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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 crêpes 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.
- 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.
- 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)
- 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
- 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
- For a cheerful CVS cashier. I love her!
- For Youngest Son passing his Digital Design Certification exam
- 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.