Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Shopping Day ~ Wednesday 3/1/17

Ugh, I hate it when the 1st of the month falls on a Wednesday.  I'm gone all morning, exhausted in the afternoon, and then all those new task reminders are popping up in my email because a lot of things get reset at the beginning of the month. I'm tired and I haven't even started yet!

Good news, we start a new budget month for the groceries. Bad news: I already planning on spending more than $50.

I was supposed to stop by CVS to get a free (after SB gift card) half-gallon of milk today, but I'm going to skip it. It'll save me at least 15 minutes and sometimes time is dearer than money.

So my plan is to hit: Save  A Lot, RaceTrac, Aldi, and Publix.  That should be manageable.  My To Do List is going to be huge: not only did I not accomplish everything, but now I'm adding recurring things from my monthly goals list AND new items from my monthly goals list AND the start of the month tasks.  Sigh.

  • Work on shopping list DONE
  • Fold the laundry
  • Put the laundry away
  • Research state park for a hike this weekend
  • Give a driving lesson to my son with the stick shift 
  • Mop bathroom
  • Clean bathroom ceiling
  • Make my bed DONE
  • Earn Microsoft Rewards credits DONE
  • Input weight into WHBRHC DONE
  • Sort coupons DONE
  • Set 15 minute timer and try to accomplish as many chores as possible in that time 
  • Do the dishes by hand, drain/dry in the dishwasher (AFTER DINNER) 
  • Watch "Spy in the Wild"
  • Sweep/mop the downstairs bathroom
  • Vacuum Greg's bedroom
  • 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 DONE
  • Exercise at least 35 minutes on my bike  (weekdays only) 
  • Read one of the library books in progress
  • Clean upstairs litter box DONE
  • 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
  • Inventory the freezers
  • Purge the top drawer of the file cabinet
  • Take RaceTrac surveys 
  • Take my measurements
  • Look into transplanting hyacinths in garden
  • Scrub patio pavers with bleach (wear old clothes and shoes, gloves and goggles)
  • Finish decluttering exercise room shelves
  • Move coffee table back to living room
  • 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.
  • Write letter to my great aunt, with pictures
  • Mail letter to my great aunt
  • Schedule credit card payment DONE
  • Update French blog
  • Mend sliding door window screen
  • Finalize and mail letter to UPS CEO (add Amazon's comparison)
  • Plant and water the tree
  • Purge the coupon organizer I'll do it this weekend as I realized I have quite a few coupons expiring on 3/3 and I want to make sure I don't purge something that I might need between now and then.
  • Redo kitchen wall calendar DONE
  • Make sure I signed up for the Bonus Discover Rewards offer starting in April DONE
  • Contact Educational Foundation director re: Daughter's scholarship DONE, waiting for answer
  • Calculate our Net Worth in progress, waiting for new mortgage statement
  • Track my and Greg's IRAs for the IRS
  • Do the shredding
  • Download all February pictures from phone, Canon camera, and Panasonic camera to external drive
  • Trim cats' nails
  • Enter receipts into your spreadsheets DONE

  • Youngest Son packed a lunch to take to school.

  • I had reminded him to dress up for extra credit in one of his businesses classes so he did.

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work. Since he complained that the pulled pork's sauce leaked all over his lunch bag yesterday and he gets the same lunch today, I put the dish in a recycled zipper bag too.

  • I stopped by RaceTrac after the school drop-off, which went well, and picked up a free salted caramel muffin for my son's after-school snack by redeeming a survey reward code.

  • I aired out the house when I got home. It's going to be hot again today so the AC will probably be running starting at 9 a.m. since I'll be gone this morning.

  • Last night, I remembered to get the cat grass out for the kittens, who had themselves a feast :)

  • I started running running Swagbucks videos as soon as I turned on the laptop. My 1st goal is 70 SB so I might actually try to reach it today.

  • I perused the new ads for Aldi and Save A Lot online and updated my shopping list.  I want to buy more corned beef ($1.99/lb at Aldi) and spareribs ($0.99/lb at SAL) so I hope I have room in my freezer. I don't think I do but we'll see what happens.  My total is going to be over $50, though, damn it.  I do need everything else on the list, kind of.

  • My daughter's classes are strictly online today so she shouldn't be driving anywhere, that I know of.

  • I mixed 1/2 a gallon of water with 1/2 a gallon of whole milk to stretch it.

  • Wawa is offering with coffee every Friday in March with their app.  Woohoo although I'm never near a wawa on a Friday... I texted my BFF to see if she could meet for coffee this Friday but she's working double shifts right now so we tentatively scheduled a date for next Friday.

  • I went grocery shopping at 9 a.m. and was back at 11 a.m., woohoo!  Here is what I did:
    • Save A Lot: I wanted to buy more papaya but since the ribs were on sale, I substituted the ribs (a treat for Greg) in my cart. I got:
      • 8 lbs of Red Delicious apples, on sale at $3.99.  You all know that I count the apples in each bag as the price per item matters to me more than the price per lb in this case.  The apples were larger than usual so I wanted to make sure that my cost per apple wasn't going to be higher. It ended up being just a tiny cheaper than the regular apples at Aldi so I bought the bag. I made sure none of the apples were bruised.
      • 3.46 lbs of bananas, on sale at $0.29/lb, so $1.00.
      • 2 lbs of Halos clementines, on sale @ $2.99
      • 8 oz of baby portobello mushrooms, on sale @ $1.50
      • 1 dozen eggs, on sale at $0.79. I wasn't planning on buying any but the price was very good AND there is a $0.50/1 any dozen eggs rebate on Checkout 51 so I splurged. Never mind that I usually get my eggs for free at CVS!
      • 1 lb of bologna @ $0.99
      • 5.47 lbs spare ribs, on sale @ $0.99/lb = $5.42
      • My OOP was $16.68 and I charged it to Amazon Visa for 1% back in Rewards.

    • RaceTrac: 
      • I  gassed up my SUV @ $2.159/gallon. I charged the OOP to Discover for 5% back in Rewards, earned loyalty points on my RaceTrac app, and obtained a receipt which I will turn into a freebie when I take the survey.
      • I went inside to redeem a survey reward code for a free hot dog for my daughter's lunch. I made sure to grab 2 packets of mayo and 2 packets of ketchup.  I like having the packets of mayo to pack in Greg's lunch when I give him a sandwich, so it doesn't get soggy.  The kids will use the ketchup packets.
      • The cashier asked me if I wanted a receipt and I said "why not?!" so I ended up with another receipt with which I will eventually get a freebie. Woohoo!

    • Aldi:  you know you're old when the cashier, whose lane ended up being closed, tells the younger woman pulling in with a cart filled with 10 times as many items as mine, that he can wait to take his break and that he'll check her out (oh yeah he will alright!) right after he watched me pulling into his lane and noticing the "lane closed" sign, without saying anything :(  Here is what I bought:
      • 4 jugs of cat litter (not pictured) @ $3.99 each
      • 1 small bottle hand soap ($0.75) and I redeemed a $0.10 MobiSave rebate
      • 2 loaves of white bread ($0.85 each), hamburger buns ($0.85), a loaf of whole rye bread ($1.99)
      • 1 lb Black Forest ham ($3.49), 1.96 lbs corned beef tips (on sale @ $1.99/lb)
      • American cheese slices ($1.69), Swiss cheese slices ($1.99), 16 oz shredded Cheddar ($2.99)
      • 1 envelope reduced sodium taco seasoning ($0.39), 1 small jar decaf instant coffee ($1.99)
      • 1 box saltines ($0.75), 1 package PB crackers ($0.89), 1 box Swiss rolls ($1.39)
      • 1 lb asparagus (on sale @ $1.29)
      • I paid for the $43.14 OOP with my Amex for 3% back in Rewards.

    • Publix: I didn't pay attention, this morning, when I gathered the coupons for special deals advertised by IHeartPublix and ended up handing over a store coupon for the Halls that was expired :(  Ugh. Here is what I bought:
      • Two 3-packs of Dial soap, on BOGO (with a rain check) @ $2.29. I redeemed a $1.00/2 insert coupon and will get $1.50 back from SavingStar (hopefully, because I bungled the receipt submission and first submitted my Aldi receipt by mistake, grrr.) so it was a $0.04 MONEYMAKER after tax and rebate.
      • Two bags of Halls cough drops, on BOGO @ $2.09. I redeemed a $1.00/2 insert coupon and submitted for a 1.20 Checkout 51 rebate, so they were a $0.11 MONEYMAKER after rebate.
      • 1 large bottle of Palmolive dish soap, on clearance @ $2.00 and I redeemed a $0.35/1 coupon that Colgate-Palmolive had mailed me, so $1.65. That made it cheaper than the Aldi dish soap.
      • 2 packages of Jell-O Simply Good, on BOGO @ $1.49 and I redeemed a $0.75/2 Checkout 51 rebate so $0.37 each. I need to remember to make Jell-O for my son's snacks!
      • 1 can of Bush's reduced sodium garbanzo beans, on sale @ $0.79 and I redeemed a $0.75/1 insert coupon so $0.04
      • Two 6-oz containers of Driscoll's raspberries, on sale @ $2.50 each and I redeemed (2) $1.00/1 coupons from the Driscoll's Advisory Panel so $1.50 each. I need to go back to eating Rice Krispies in the morning with some low calorie fruit in it because the PBJs I have been eating are too high in calories!
      • My OOP was $8.87 and I charged it to Amex for 3% back in Rewards.

  • I submitted my receipts for various rebates. Checkout 51 credited my account for 1 of my 2 receipts but questioned the other one as not having a date (see "Failures"). MobiSave credited my account right away. And then Checkout 51 did credit my account for my 2nd rebate. Woohoo!

  • Today is Law & Order Marathon Day on Ion TV (over the air channel) so I'm playing episodes while I type this recap :)

  • I kept track of all my expenses, in detail, in several spreadsheets.

  • I had forgotten that I have my son drive to the library and back on Wednesdays so I ended up cooking the corned beef in the crockpot instead of using the recipe I was planning on using.  I had a very hard time getting everything to fit in my crockpot though and ended up using only 1/4 of a head of cabbage!

  • I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits. There are extra credits to earn when you use Edge as a browser!

  • I entered my weight into Walgreens' Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices and earned 20 BR points.

  • There are new free e-books available via the KindleFirst program this month, but none of them looked interesting to me, and I rarely if ever read the ones that I download anyway, so I didn't bother this month.

  • I reused a bread bag when cleaning out the upstairs litter box.

  • I had my son drive my SUV to the library, to practice, and then drive back when he was done (with me next to him, of course).  I asked him to return the John Le CarrĂ© biography for me since I wasn't going to finish it.

  • I received a $5 promotional gift from Kohl's in the mail, which means I'll have to find something cheap to buy next week. Hmm, I've got to put my thinking cap on.  Maybe some dish towels to give to one of the kids for Christmas.

  • I qualified for a SB survey and met my 2nd goal!

  • Greg convinced our son to rehearse his oratorical speech in front of us tonight (the competition is tomorrow night) and we were able to give him feedback. I'm not sure if he'll take it into account, but I hope so.

  • Gas:
    • to drop off my son at school
    • and tolls for Greg's commute
    • to go grocery shopping
    • to go to the library (twice)

  • More corned beef because I love it so  and it was on sale :)

  • Spare ribs for Greg

  • I didn't pay attention to the expiration date on the store coupon for the Halls and it had expired so it was rejected. Arrgh.

  • I got distracted by the kittens and submitted my Aldi receipt for a SavingStar rebate when in fact I should have submitted my Publix receipt! Double arrgh!  I did another submission with the appropriate receipt and emailed them to warn them.  This is embarrassing since they ask you to verify that you are submitting the correct receipt and I clicked through the warning without paying attention!

  • Checkout 51 rejected one of my receipts for "not having a date" but allowed me to specify whether I saw a date on the receipt or not and what that date was.  Then they said they would review it within 48 hours. Argh. This has never happened before!  But then they did credit me within 5 minutes so not a failure after all.

  • Youngest Son won't be participating in the library system's Teen Video Awards this year after all. He had planned to do a stop/action movie with his LEGOs but is running out of time as it is due in 2 weeks and he says there is no way he will be done. I'm very disappointed as he won 2 years in a row (and won the contest for the whole state of Florida, 2 years ago!). He looked disappointed too.

  • I was supposed to be rebooting my health efforts today but I forgot to drink my water, so far at 6:30 pm. I've only logged my breakfast into MFP and I feel so rundown (after 2 nights of lousy sleep) that I don't think I'm going to get on the recumbent bike tonight because all I want to do it sleep!

  • Dinner was pretty terrible!  The corned beef was boiled so instead of being a soft, melting piece of meat, it was tough and chewy. Yuck.  The veggies were OK.  We have lots of veggies (potatoes, carrots, cabbage) leftover. I think I'll put them through the potato ricer tomorrow and serve it as a side with the chipotle chicken sausages.  I put a note in my crockpot cookbook to never use that recipe again. Ugh.

  • Save A Lot: $16.68 (groceries)
  • RaceTrac: $24.61 (gas)
  • Aldi: $43.14 ($25.26 in groceries, $17.88 in non-grocery items)
  • Publix: $8.87 ($4.53 in groceries, $4.34 in non-grocery items)
I spent $45.26 on groceries this week:
  • Baking: $0.00
  • Beverages: $1.99
  • Breads: $4.54
  • Cereals: $0.00
  • Dairy: $6.67
  • Pantry/Dry Goods: $0.39
  • Produce: $13.81
  • Proteins: $14.09
  • Snacks: $3.77

  • A salted caramel muffin from RaceTrac, with survey reward code.
  • A hot dog from RaceTrac, with survey reward code.
  • Two 3-packs of Dial soap, from Publix (after raincheck, coupon and rebate)
  • Two bags of Halls cough drops, from Publix (after sale, coupon and rebate)
  • A $5 promotional gift from Kohl's

  • Fed the kittens
  • Packed a lunch for Greg
  • Prepped his breakfast
  • Dropped off my son at school
  • Picked him up a snack from RaceTrac
  • Took the recycling down to the curb
  • Cleaned up cat barf
  • Aired out the house
  • Checked the new weekly ads
  • Worked on my To Do List
  • Sorted my coupons in my organizer
  • Caught up on the news
  • Texted my BFF to set up a date
  • Did the grocery shopping
  • Fed the kittens again
  • Put everything away
  • Submitted my receipts for rebates
  • Entered my receipts into spreadsheets
  • Started dinner in the crockpot
  • Updated our Net Worth document
  • Had Youngest Son drive us to the library
  • Scheduled a credit card payment
  • Caught up on blogs and commented
  • Texted my friend Juliet to set up lunch in March
  • Started purging my coupon organizer
  • Went to pick up Youngest Son from the library
  • Brought the recycling bins back up to the house
  • Worked on Swagbucks
  • Set the dinner table
  • Cuddled with a kitten
  • Fed the kittens
  • Gave feedback to Youngest Son on his speech

  • Sleep was... restless? I tossed and turned and had weird dreams.
  • Breakfast was... a PBJ
  • Lunch was... 1/2 cup of beans and rice, an egg and avocado sandwich, 3 mandarins
  • Afternoon snack was... a piece of string cheese, a cup of grapes
  • Dinner was... corned beef, potatoes, carrots and cabbage, a slice of rye bread and a slice of Swiss cheese.  Then 2 mandarins.
  • Water consumption was... not good at all! I had 2 cups of coffee, 1 cup of decaf coffee and some water but probably less than one cup.
  • Exercise was... skipped tonight, I'm too tired.
  • Foot exercises... were performed.
  • For a short shopping trip this morning!
  • For Youngest Son delivering his speech in front of us. It was quite good!


  1. Yay! You came under budget on groceries this week! You said you'd go over, but you kept it to $45 and change. Well done! I did a short grocery shopping trip today, myself. Will post that tomorrow.

    1. You're right, I did, didn't I? Yay!

  2. Sounds like you were pretty busy. I filled my car up yesterday- $1.15 a gallon with my gas points YAY. I have a busy day but lunch is provided (I am thinking no fish LOL) and tomorrow it's the same thing- all day conference about autism. My sis just came into a nice chunk of money and wants to buy me something. I think she should save the $$ but she is insistent and I have let her live with me a couple of times so it's either a new TV or fridge. I have a flatscreen but it's just regular sized and bro just bought a big one(50" I think) for $1000. I might price them both this weekend. Nephew who is 21 is getting a Civic (probably new) which I think is silly but I kept my mouth shut. He's a good kid but totally unmotivated, doesn't work, has been going to community college 3 years and finally has 30 credit. He's had re-dos and dropped classes. I imagine he'll still be living with her when he's 30. Oh well! NOMB. PS cool about your son and his filming- HS is more demanding so I can understand his lack of time to finish it.

    1. Ooh, great deal on gas, Nan! Enjoy your larger TV!

  3. I find shopping very tiring, so I can relate to you being tired when you get home. I don't know how some people shop all day just for fun. Maybe it's fun if you don't worry about the budget.

    1. I think that for me it's more fun when I do try to keep to a budget. It must be very boring to be able to afford everything you want. I mean, after a while, do you even still want anything?! I guess I'll never find out.

  4. I was annoyed when I was at Aldi -- the sign for the corned beef indicated that it was $1.99/lb but it rang up for the marked price. I didn't have time to wait so just had them remove it, but that irritated me. I'm sorry yours didn't turn out well, I hate that!

    1. Oooh, I would have been annoyed as well, darn it! It was a sale item that they knew would be popular how could they not price it properly? Good thing you realized that it was priced wrong before you left!

  5. That's the best deal I have seen on corned beef in a long time, even the pointed cut! Usually it's $5.99/lb. I checked to see if our aldi's here has it and they do...through March 7. Gonna go git a couple today. We love it!

    1. I thought it was a great deal too and then I was re-reading my posts from March 2016 (or 2015? I can't remember) and both Walmart and Aldi had it for $1.99/lb back then too. All I know is that during the whole year the cheapest I saw it was at $3.99/lb.

      I just wish I had written down where I had found my recipe for cooking it in the crockpot with sauerkraut last year because it was so darn delicious, not at all like this year's recipe that was awful. I guess I'll have to google it. I hope your Aldi still had it in stock, they tend to run out of the meat specials by Wednesday evening at mine and often don't get anymore.

  6. You know, exercise is the first thing that gets not done when I'm tired or worn out from not sleeping enough. This line about exercising giving you more energy is BS... I need energy to exercise!

    1. I know! This is why I can't exercise early in the morning either. Or after lunch (unless I'm hiking). It seems that I have got to try and go back to using my recumbent bike at about 11 a.m. How have you been doing with your walking after work?


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