Friday, April 7, 2017

A Late Shopping Day ~ Friday 4/7/17

Well here it is Friday and I can't postpone my shopping trip any longer because we'll be busy this weekend.  Arrgh. It's lovely and cool outside right now at 7:37 a.m. (54F/12C ) and I have the windows open and I just want to go sit on the patio and enjoy the birds.  However, they didn't finish the roofing job on the new house yesterday, they haven't even started installing the felt and shingles so I'm afraid it's going to be a cacophony of nail guns starting soon instead of the soothing calls of the birds.

Also, for some reason, the traffic noise on the highway half a mile down the street is much louder today than it actually is.

We're under a fire watch due to our severe drought conditions and I smelled smoke this morning.  I hope they put out whatever fire is going on nearby.

  • Defrost meat for dinner DONE
  • Sweep leaves off the front porch and collect for composting DONE
  • Go shopping DONE
  • Submit receipts for rebates DONE
  • Enter receipts in all spreadsheets
  • Clean upstairs bathroom sink and mirror, and toilet
  • Scrub the bathtub 
  • Declutter the printer stand
  • 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 
  • Earn Microsoft Rewards credits DONE
  • Input weight into WHBRHC  
  • Set 15 minute timer and try to accomplish as many chores as possible in that time
  • Unload dishwasher DONE
  • Do the dishes by hand, drain/dry in the dishwasher (AFTER DINNER) 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 
  • Exercise at least 35 minutes on my bike  (weekdays only) 
  • Clean upstairs litter box  
  • 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
  • Ask PEAR Park rangers 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 - get cat resistant screening material?
  • Plant and water the tree
  • Plant the Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow plant
  • 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 and March pictures from phone, Canon camera, and Panasonic camera to external drive
  • Reply to blog comments  DONE
  • Reply to emails in progress
  • 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
  • Vacuum living room
  • Try making yogurt in yogurt maker
  • See if can mend Youngest Son former backpack straps
  • Update Net Worth Report spreadsheet DONE
  • Read a library book 
  • Contact IRL friends to schedule coffee/lunch this month in progress, made plans with one of them
  • Make more hummingbird nectar DONE
  • Preserve the  garden vegetables that are on my counter
  • Take cuttings of the basil and root them
  • Take cuttings of the jasmine and root them
  • Ask to take cuttings of the neighbor's hibiscus and root them
  • Sew headphones in place
  • Add bleach to furnace line

  • Youngest Son packed a lunch to take to school. I dropped him off at school and he'll ride the bus home.

  • Greg was up with a stomach ache when I got up but after a while he felt better and went to work.   I packed him leftovers for lunch as he insisted. I hope it doesn't hurt his stomach again.

  • He pointed out that one of the cats had left a track of something on the window seat cushion so I sprayed it with Purple Power and set it outside to dry.

  •  As I waved him goodbye, I decided to sweep all the leaves from the front porch, again, but this time I collected them into the trashcan that I use for composting leaves for my large compost bin, I filled half a can!

  • I noticed that the door to the small gardening shed was unhooked and had been open as my patio chair had been pushed under the small side table... that door cannot be unhooked without human strength and Greg said he didn't go into the shed.  I was there yesterday but I know I closed it because I always double make sure that it's closed properly.  Weird but my bike is still there and none of my gardening tools are missing. Phew!

  • And then something also dug out a 3-ft portion of mulch from the berm. Even curiouser!  It's too big for squirrels, maybe an armadillo?

  • So I raked the mulch back in place, and started pulling weeds from the patio and the berm.  There are always many more weeds than it seems at first, aren't there?!  Soon I was pulling weeds out of some of my self-watering bins, 12 of which are the flimsier ones and are falling apart. I ended up collapsing and throwing away 4 bins.  I saved the parts that were protected from the sun and that can be reused.  Then I re-mulched the areas where the bins had been.

  • I need to throw away the other 8 bins but I don't have room in the trash can so I'll need to do that over several weeks. I had planned on saving the soil but there are so many weeds growing in them, it's pointless. Right now the soil is very dry so it's easy getting big chunks of it out and into the trash can.

  • Back indoors, I made a batch of hummingbird nectar while I unloaded the dishwasher.

  • I really don't want to go shopping. I want to a) stay in my backyard and look at the birds and b) go on a park visit somewhere with my daughter since she doesn't have classes today.  But I think she has a big deadline for a paper so I need to just go shopping. Sigh, sigh, sigh.

  • It's 9:15 a.m. and I just remembered that I need to defrost meat for dinner, I think... brb.  OK I set some tilapia fillets to defrost.

  • I left at about 10 a.m. to go run my errands and came back at about 1:30 p.m.  I accomplished everything on my list and now my feet hurt!  Oh no... we're supposed to go walking tomorrow!  here is what I did:
    • I called my BFF from the car on my way to my first stop and we made a tentative date to have coffee together next week. I told her about Wawa's having surveys on their receipts since she gets her gas there.
    • RaceTrac #1: I redeemed a survey reward code for a free snickerdoodle "brookie". I ate it as my snack this afternoon.

    • RaceTrac #2: 
      • I gassed up my SUV. Yikes, gas is also $2.40/gal in Clermont!  I earned loyalty points on my app, charged it to Amex for 2% back in Rewards, and gained a new receipt with which I will earn a freebie.
      • I redeemed another survey reward code for a free Cinnabon muffin (I forget which flavor), which I gave to Youngest Son for his afternoon snack.

    • Petco: ahem, I went a little crazy at Petco, I'm not sure what happened!
      • I had intended to only get the bag of cat treats with the free coupon they had sent me for Mean Kitty's birthday. I'm donating it to my BFF.
      • However, then I remembered that I had meant to buy the cats one of those round ball chasers toys to keep them busy (not that they need more toys but they've been busy doing things they shouldn't do recently so I thought a toy like this would hold their attention).  I found one that I liked for $19.99. I checked Amazon to see how much it would be and they offered from Petco for $16.99 with free shipping!  I meant to ask the cashier whether they would price match that or I would have left it there and would have ordered it through Amazon. 
      • However, I happened to see that there was a "buy 3, get 1 free" offer on cat toys of that brand, and I forgot all about being frugal and bought the cats 3 more toys. And then I forgot to ask if they would price match Amazon.
      • So this is how I entered Petco to get a freebie and ended up spending $35 on cat toys!  I charged those to Amex for 1% back in Rewards.  I did get the cat treats and one of the toys for free.
Plus another toy that's not in the picture
    • Zaxby's: one of the reasons why I left at 10 a.m. was because Zaxby's doesn't open until 10:30 a.m. and I wanted to redeem the coupon for the free sandwich meal that I had received in the mail. I got there at 10:40 a.m. and I was the only customer, yay!  I ordered the Cajun Chicken Sandwich meal and ate bits of it here and there in between errands. It was very good but kind of messy to eat. It came with fries and a 22 oz drink. I picked Caffeine Free Diet Coke with Lime. One of these days I'll be brave and taste the Raspberry Diet Coke :)

    • CVS: I did 2 transactions there.
      • Transaction #1: I bought 1/2 gallon of whole milk on sale at $1.99 and an 8 oz canister of Maxwell House decaf instant coffee, on sale @ $2.99.  I redeemed a $1.00 ECB earned during my last trip and also a $1.00 digital ECB that had appeared in my app this past weekend.  Then, a $1.50 store coupon for tea/coffee also got deducted, to my surprise!  I guess I hadn't noticed that I had uploaded it.  So my OOP ended up being $1.48 and since I paid with a CVS gift card earned via our of our credit card Rewards programs, it was all free to me!

      • I looked for multi-color bunny Peeps for the cake I would like my daughter to make for us, but they only had the large packs of one color for $1.99 each. I wanted 4 different color!  So I left them there.
      • Transaction #2: Greg's got a sweat-related rash and I read that I needed to treat it with cortisone cream and antifungal cream, and then protect the area with Desitin.  So I bought the CVS version of Desitin ($4.69) and a CVS tube of antifungal cream ($7.99).  I also bought some CVS allergy pills for $5.29.  I was able to use a 15% off your purchase coupon that helped me save $1.91 and my OOP was 16.06, charged to my Amazon Visa card for 2% back in Rewards.

      • However, back home, I realized that I had a tube of antifungal cream from the Dollar Tree, and also that the allergy pill box only contained 5 pills (I thought I was buying a box of 20 pills!).  So I will be returning both those items to CVS for a refund.
    • Aldi:  Man, I spent over $100 at Aldi!  
      • However, that included $19.99 + tax for a new patio umbrella stand, a jug of cat litter at $3.99 + tax and 6 bottles of hand soap @ $0.75 each + tax.  And then they had the 20-lb bags of bird seeds on clearance for $1.99 a bag so I grabbed two!
      • So my groceries there actually cost $65.34.  I stocked up on baking products (oil, cake mixes, frosting, cocoa powder, semi-sweet morsels), butter (6 lbs @ $1.99), pork loin ($1.69/lb), several cheeses that we needed and produce.
      • They did have Peeps for $0.99 but they were the yellow chicks. I left them there.
      • I charged the $100.08 OOP to Amex for 3% back in Rewards.
      • Later on, I submitted my receipt for the following rebates:
        • 10 cents off carrots (Mobisave)
        • 10 cents off hand soap (Mobisave)
        • 10 cents off cheese (Mobisave)
        • 25 cents off lettuce (Checkout 51)

    • Dollar Tree:
      • I keep an ongoing list of things that I would like to get there and I only go when I have several items on that list that need to be replenished.  Today I got several of those and also other items:
        • 4 medium packs of bunny Peeps in 4 different colors. Yay!
        • Anti-dandruff shampoo for Youngest Son (x2)
        • Anti-gas chewy pills for Greg and myself (but then I found 2 more bottles at home! however we use those from time to time so they won't go bad!)
        • A new bath puff for me as mine is falling apart already
        • A birthday card for Oldest Son
        • 2 cans of peach pie filling and 2 cans of cherry pie filling. They don't always have those so I stocked up.
        • A tube of hydrocortisone cream for Greg
        • Some hair elastic bands for me
      • My OOP was $15.03 and I charged it to Amex for 1% back in Rewards.

    • From there I walked to Bath & Body Works, where I redeemed a coupon for a free mini bottle of shower gel that I gave to my daughter.

    • Wawa: I redeemed the coupon awarded to me for taking the survey yesterday for a free 44 oz caffeine-free Diet Coke with Lime.

    • South Lake Animal League Thrift Store:
      • I donated an envelope filled with pet coupons
      • I completely forgot to bring the twin bed and other donation items with me!
      • I looked around and didn't see anything to buy, although I was tickled pink to see this French 45 rpm single from Michel Fugain and the Big Bazar, one of my favorite French singers.  This was published in the 70s and it's one of my favorite songs of his. I don't have a record player so I left it there but I posted it on Instagram for my siblings, saying that it was just about the last thing I was expecting to find in a small thrift store in Clermont, Florida!  Luckily for me, one of my brothers sent it to me as an MP3 several years ago, so I'm listening to it as I'm typing this :)

      • On my way out, I spotted some plants that they were selling and they had a "Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow" plant for just $2!  My daughter and I have been admiring the huuuuge one they have at Leu Botanical Gardens in Orlando (over there, it's a tree!) and my neighbor also has a small one so I was very excited to get it. I hope I don't kill it!  I need to plant it and remember to water it. My neighbor has his in a shady spot. I need to research the best spot to place it.  I paid cash for the $2.14 that it cost me after tax.  I'm thinking that plants aren't taxable, though, I can't remember...

    • Publix:
      • 2 bags of Tyson chicken nuggets on BOGO @ $6.49 and I redeemed (2) $1.00 coupons to get each bag for $2.25
      • 2 bags of Alexia potatoes on BOGO @ $3.44 and I redeemed (2) $0.75 coupons but then another $0.75 digital coupon was deducted (?), so I paid 60 cents per bag
      • 2 4-lb bags of Domino white sugar on BOGO @$3.19 and I redeemed a $0.75/2 coupon and then redeemed a 20 cent MobiSave rebate to get each bag for $1.12, cheaper than at Aldi
      • 1 8.5 oz container of Sabra Garlic and Herb Hummus spread, on sale @ $2.50 and I redeemed a $2.00 digital coupon to get it for 0.50. However I also redeemed a $2.00 Ibotta rebate afterwards, so it ended up being a $1.50 MONEYMAKER.
      • 2 bars of Oreo milk chocolate @ $0.99 each and I redeemed a $0.55/1 coupon and then redeemed a $1.00/2 Ibotta rebate to get the bars for 22 cents each. I gave them to the kids.
      • 4 containers of Mentos gum, on BOGO @ $3.49 = $6.98
      • 2 bags of Sour Patch Kids candy @ $1.99 each for which I redeemed a $1.00/2 coupon and then a $1.20/2 Checkout 51 rebate to get each bag for $0.89. I will give one to my son when we go to play D&D on Sunday and one the following week.
      • My OOP at Publix was $20.92 and I paid with Amex for 3% back in Rewards.

  • Back home, my daughter helped me unload the groceries and then she started playing with the kittens and one of the cat toys that I had bought.  They loved it!

  • Then we had them play with the ball chasing toy. They had so much fun!  They're going to sleep for hours now :)

  • I put everything away. My lower back hurts from lugging the heavy bags of seeds and the umbrella stand, ouch!

  • I earned the maximum credits of Microsoft Rewards and then they also gave me 500 extra credits because today was my 2nd anniversary with them. Woohoo!

  • I submitted my receipts for the various rebates and was credited promptly!

  • I've been listening to French songs from the 70s on YouTube ever since I posted the Michel Fugain videos!  Most of them I do own in MP3 form, but I don't listen to them very often. It reminds me of my parents (they divorced in 1976) and summers at my maternal grandmother and I'm crying like a baby.  I love those songs but they are so bittersweet.  Then I moved on to French songs from the 80s.  Aaaah, it'd been a while since I'd heard some of those!

  • I received a sample of a new perfume by L'Occitane in the mail.

  • For dinner I cooked the Pecan Crusted Tilapia and Cheesy Grits and I also steamed some asparagus.  My daughter told me that she didn't like fish but that she really LOVED that recipe. Yay!

  • And I did the dishes right after dinner, for the 3rd night in a row, bam!

  • Greg didn't want to watch Seinfeld and preferred to read so I kept on listening to French songs on YouTube.
  • Tolls: $25 (Greg's Sunpass account self-replenished)
  • RaceTrac: $48.51(gas for SUV)
  • Petco: $35.28 (cat toys)
  • CVS: $16.06 (health items)
  • Aldi: $100.08 ($34.64 non food items, $65.44 groceries)
  • Dollar Tree: $15.03 ($7.03 non food items. $8.00 groceries)
  • SLAL Thrift Store: $2.14 (plant)
  • Publix: $20.92 (groceries)
  • A Snickerdoodle Brookie from RaceTrac (with survey reward code)
  • A Cinnabon muffin from RaceTrac (with survey reward code)
  • A bag of Friskies cat treats from Petco (with Petco Pals cat birthday coupon)
  • A cat toy from Petco (with buy 3 get 1 free sale)
  • A Sandwich meal from Zaxby's (with coupon received for joining their e-club)
  • 1/2 gallon of milk and 1 container of instant coffee from CVS (with CVS gift card earned via one of our credit cards' Rewards program)
  • A mini bottle of shower gel from Bath & Body Works (with mailer coupon)
  • A 44-oz fountain drink from Wawa (with survey reward coupon)
  • A bag of Alexia potatoes, a bag of Tyson chicken nuggets, a bag of Domino sugar and 2 canisters of Mentos gum from Publix (BOGO sales)
  • A container of Sabra spread from Publix (after sale, digital coupon and rebate)
  • Fed the kittens
  • Prepped Greg's breakfast
  • Chatted with Greg
  • Packed his lunch
  • Drove my son to school
  • Swept leaves off the porch
  • Collected them to compost
  • Called Greg about possible break-in
  • Pulled weeds
  • Collapsed several-watering bins 
  • Threw them away
  • Put away parts that I saved to reuse
  • Mulched the bare areas
  • Put away tomato cages
  • Made hummingbird nectar 
  • Unloaded the dishwasher
  • Replied to my brother's email
  • Set tilapia to defrost
  • Ran my errands
  • Unloaded the SUV and put everything away
  • Chatted with daughter and watched the kittens play
  • Submitted receipts for rebates
  • Enjoyed French songs :)
  • Chatted with Youngest Son
  • Cooked dinner
  • Did the dishes
  • Listened to more French songs from the 80s on YouTube
  • Checked the latest mortgage statement online
  • Updated Net Worth Report
  • For a gorgeous day
  • That I didn't hit anyone while I parked my SUV many times today! I was a little apprehensive.
  • For an unexpected digital coupon at Publix
  • For a great deal on bird seeds that will feed... the squirrels (!) through the summer
  • For people posting my favorite French songs on YouTube:)
Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?


  1. Sounds like you had a successful day with all your shopping and everything. Dancer says he feels deprived because I don't buy any toys for him! Not that he'll play with them, even if I do buy them for him. LOL. The 99 Cents Only store here had two kinds of apple pie filling, but I didn't buy them. But I thought of you when I saw them. Hope you have a lovely weekend.

    1. Ha! Our older cats don't really play with toys. Male Cat doesn't even know how to play! He just sat on the ball chasing toy yesterday while Mean Kitty just lied (laid? I never know) down on top of it! I did think of you and Dancer while at Petco because there was a toy called "Cat Dancer" and the picture was of a cat that looked a little like Dancer. I just found it online!

    2. Yes, it does look like Dancer! LOL! Maybe I should get one for him! Oh, that's too funny that the older cats just sat or lay on the toy! That's probably what Dancer would do, too. He's too lazy to even chase a laser beam except for the first two seconds.

  2. You got a lot of shopping done today. I have a very busy weekend planned including car shopping. Yuck!

    1. Good luck with that! Are you looking at buying new or used?

  3. I know how you feel about hearing French songs from your childhood! When MP-3s first came out, my sister emailed me a bunch of German pop songs from the 70's - stuff that we had listened to as teenagers. I threw me right back to the time when I was a teenager...amazing how music can do that, isn't it? And after I had listened for a while, I said to my sister, "Was the music then always so bad?" and she replied, "Yes, we were just too young and dumb to notice." (German pop music from the 70's really was bad...but fun to listen to now, LOL).

    And that Oreo milk chocolate is made with Milka chocolate - the chocolate of my childhood!!! I discovered it a few weeks ago and have been in heaven since... drool. Just like music, it throws me back to my childhood. But unlike music, that stuff attaches itself to my butt and stomach. Sigh.

  4. But unlike music, that stuff attaches itself to my butt and stomach. LOL! The 70s were big for the EuroVision stuff so some of those songs were probably popular in France too! Speaking of European stuff, did you ever watch the show "Games Without Borders" (Spiel ohne Grenzen) on TV in the 70s? I looooooved it, it was so much fun to watch and cheer for your own country :) I miss that show so much.

    Milka is totally the chocolate of my childhood too! Oh and Kinder eggs. We didn't care for the Kinder chocolate but the eggs were so cool. Did you have the Galak white chocolate? It's made by Nestlé. They had that totally trippy cartoon commercial for it when I was young where a dolphin was caught by evil fishermen in a net and kids on a boat had a whole case of the Galak white chocolate that they used to reflect the sun's rays which would send cut the cord to the net and set the dolphin free. And the little girl at the end said "We saved you thanks to Galak, so good, so white!" I just rewatched the commercial on YouTube and it's so cringely bad, I couldn't stop laughing :)

    1. Yes, yes, yes - Spiele ohne Grenzen! My brothers, sisters, and I used to LOVE that show - I think I remember it was on Saturday afternoons. OMG, now you dug up some memories! When my brother came to Miami a few years ago, I asked him to bring Kinder eggs. I still have the little toys that were inside, the chocolate is long gone.

      I don't remember Galak chocolate - they didn't have that in Germany. LOL on "cringely bad" - that's how a lot of stuff from the 70's seems now.

    2. Yes, Saturday or Sunday afternoons, if I recall. Oh my, we used to be watching the same show at the same time, probably, because I think it was broadcast live. It was so much fun!


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