Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Whinesday. Err, I mean Shopping Day ~ 4/19/17

I don't waaaaaaaaanna go shopping today and I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate people! And I have dishes to doooooooooooooooooooooooo...  Welcome to my Whinesday.

Now that this is out of the way, I have a question for you: would you rather have crappy nights every night or a craptastically crappy night every other night and then a terrific night?

I think I'll take the latter.  I had a wonderful, glorious, restful night last night!  I fell asleep on the couch watching "Forensic Files", woke up at 10:20 p.m., went to bed, Tabby Kitty came to sleep with me (?!), Explorer woke me up at some point to cuddle and play but listened when I told him to stop and then I fell back asleep and didn't wake up until 6:10 a.m.!!!  I felt rested and happy, for once. I really miss when all my nights were like that!

So apart from being Whinesday, though, it's Wednesday and I have to go shopping. I don't want to. I don't have to only we're almost out of kitten food so I have to go pick up my order at the vet's and Greg is desperately out of Diet Dr. Pepper so I have to drag myself to CVS to see if I can score it on sale. If they don't have it... well I'll have to drag myself to Walmart to get it with Swagbucks, I guess. Ugh. I hope they have it at CVS!  What I really wish is that he would quit drinking it. It messes up my whole budget.  On a more positive note, I have to go to Aldi today because I put pizza on the menu for tonight which means... no cooking!  Yay! I really haven't been in a cooking mood lately.  Well, I haven't been in a mood for doing much of anything, to be truthful.

  • Defrost meat for dinner  No need, we're having pizza from Aldi
  • Work on shopping list DONE
  • Submit receipts for rebates DONE
  • Input receipts in spreadsheets DONE
  • Pick up kitten food at vet's DONE
  • Get annuals at Lowe's DONE
  • Put the laundry away
  • Iron Greg's clothes for next week's trip
  • Take recycling down to the curb DONE
  • Purge/clean the fridge DONE
  • Sweep/vacuum kitchen, breezeway, Cat Room
  • Wash Cat Room windows (outside)
  • Schedule trip to Trader Joe's (need whipped cream) perhaps on Thursday
  • Scrub the bathtub 
  • Research state park to visit next weekend - I think I'll have to wait until later in the week to see what fires are burning...
  • Declutter the printer stand in progress
  • Give a driving lesson to my son with the stick shift 
  • Take Youngest Son to get a haircut - Greg will take him next weekend unless I can't stand it anymore sooner than that!
  • Clean bathroom ceiling 
  • Clean hallway ceiling right outside the bathroom
  • Clean downstairs bathroom sink
  • Sweep downstairs bathroom
  • Take down the "seed nursery" and try to store it in little shed
  • 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 
  • Do the dishes by hand, drain/dry in the dishwasher (AFTER DINNER) DONE
  • Put mattress out with the trash (Tuesday morning) 
  • 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
  • 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 
  • Take Wawa survey DONE
  • 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 Discovery Gardens staff about the trees from my backyard or look at the Audubon site that Pixel shared.
  • Clean the barbecue (as in scrub it because I sprayed the inside with wasp spray)
  • Mend sliding door window screen - get cat resistant screening material?
  • Plant and water the tree
  • Track my and Greg's IRAs for the IRS
  • Download all March pictures from Canon camera, and Panasonic camera to external drive 
  • Reply to blog comments
  • 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
  • Try making yogurt in yogurt maker
  • See if can mend Youngest Son former backpack straps
  • Read a library book in progress
  • Preserve the peppers and tomatoes that are on my counter 
  • 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
  • Add Drano to kitchen sink plumbing for preventative maintenance
  • Trim the hedge
  • Trim the bushes
  • Reset the new hose reel in a better position (make sure handle is accessible)
  • Take Youngest Son shopping for jeans and shorts
  • Mix more Chicago Steak Seasoning
  • Mix more Ten Things Farm Seasoning
  • Mix Chili Seasoning for Friday
  • Add zippered plastic bag to fanny pack to protect camera if it rains
  • Plant new flowers in planters
  • Dice and freeze green peppers
  • Pay water bill
  • Order big cat food
  • Bake peanut butter sheet cake (Baking notebook for recipe) once the bunny cake is gone
  • Order graduation announcements - Middle Son Waiting for him to email me his picture, sent him another reminder today

  • I had a great night of sleep!

  • Youngest Son was still coughing a little this morning but it's much better now. He was in a good mood too!  He packed a lunch to take to school, I dropped him off there, and he'll ride the bus home.

  • I snapped  a picture of the car that always drops off the high school students in the middle of the road because the parent is too lazy and entitled to turn into the parking lot to drop off in the drop off zone, like regular people do, you know.  However, then I realized that I probably need a picture of the actual drop off in the middle of the road so I'll need to get my camera ready in the mornings now.  I've decided that I'll email the picture to the chief of police (he's new, hopefully he'll do something about it like positioning someone at the entrance of the high school in the mornings to deter speeders and assholes like that parent) and the principal of the school too. Yes, I am a female curmudgeon. What that person is doing is dangerous and she's not the only one. My kid is going to be driving on that road next year and I don't need him to be more in danger than he already is.

  • On my way home, I stopped by RaceTrac to get Greg a free 32 oz Diet Dr. Pepper from RaceTrac, with a survey reward code.

  • I packed leftovers for him to take to work.

  • I filtered more water for the cats.

  • It kind of cool again this morning so I opened the windows and turned off the AC. I'll have to close them and turn the AC back on before I go shopping but the cats are all enjoying the bird calls right now and so am I.  I'm trying to resist going to sit on the patio because if I do that, I may not go shopping at all!

  • I perused the new ads that came out this morning for Aldi and Save A Lot and adjusted my shopping list accordingly.

Save A Lot
  • I really didn't feel like doing the dishes this morning (what a surprise!) but I knew I'd definitely NOT feel like doing them in the afternoon... so I dragged my sorry butt to the sink and did them at 7:45 a.m.

  • 8:30 a.m.: I did the dishes, took the recycling down to the curb for collection, purged the fridge of a couple of items, and cleaned the bottom drawer and bottom of the fridge.  I am now rewarding myself with the last piece of chocolate for breakfast. What? It's like pancakes but in chocolate cake form.  And I needed to get the huge cake pan out of the fridge and the kittens would have eaten it if I hadn't.

  • So purging the fridge = food waste. Not good!  I threw away the rest of the rotisserie chicken from early last week because I was too lazy to pick it and freeze the meat last week :(  A mostly full container of light sour cream that had gotten moldy. That never happens anymore and I just bought that sour cream!  I think my fridge isn't cooling as much as it used to so I lowered the temperature in it.  I'm sure that'll do wonders for my electric bill!  I also threw away 2 yogurt cups that had an expiration date of October 2016.  Ugh.

  • Alright, I caught up on the news and on some blogs, had breakfast and my coffee... I'm going in!  I hope to be back before noon but I probably won't. I have lots of stops to make and while washing my Brita pitcher this morning and feeling grateful to the person who had donated it to the thrift store, I felt an urge to go visit thrift stores today!  I don't really need anything so it'll be interesting to see if I find anything to buy.  TTFN.

  • I was back by 12:30 p.m.!  Sure, I cut a couple of things off my itinerary, but it was the thrift stores so that was alright.  But man, did I bust my budget!  I don't know what happened, but for someone who didn't feel like going shopping at all, I went crazy!  Ready?!

    • I decided to change the order of my itinerary so I would end with Lowe's and my flowers wouldn't suffer in the car while I shopped. Only, I ended up going to Lowe's in the middle of my trip anyway!  Oops. The flowers were fine.
    • Publix:
      • I dropped off the recyclables (foam containers and egg cartons, plastic bags).
      • I hadn't looked at the brochure at all not had I looked at the emails from IHeartPublix, aside from the one telling me that the Delizza mini eclairs were on sale for $3.99 and that there was a $1.00 printable for them. I luuurve those and usually only buy them at Christmas so I splurged. But I limited myself to just 1 box even though I had 2 coupons. Small victory? Perhaps not. Cuz I  bought more snacks at other stores!
      • I got some Publix coffee filters that were $1.29 and for which there was a $1.00 digital store coupon. Yay! 
      • My OOP was $3.31 but the filters won't count towards the grocery budget so $2.99 for groceries, $0.32 for non-food items.  I paid with Amex for 3% back in Rewards.
      • Note: Publix (at least mine) doesn't carry SheaMoisture products at all.

    • Walgreens: I did two transactions because I wanted to redeem my BR points and I knew that if I bought everything in one transaction, I wouldn't earn any BR points on anything!
      • Transaction #1:
        • I was inspired by Laura who mentioned that she bought her 12-packs of Diet Dr. Pepper at Walgreens and redeemed her $10 in Balance Rewards to only pay $2.  I had meant to buy mine at CVS (on sale at 3 for $10) and get them for free since I was going to pay with a gift card, but I wasn't convinced that CVS would have them and I really didn't want to go to Walmart to get them with a Swagbucks gift card.  So when I saw that Walgreens had it in stock at 3 for $12, I decided to bite the bullet and redeem my $5 in Balance Rewards.  So it was $7.84 after tax and I paid with my Amazon Visa for 2% back in Rewards. Oddly, I did earn 70 "EveryDay Points".
      • Transaction #2:
        • They were out of the large bottles of Purex that were on sale for $5.99.  I should have gotten a rain check but I forgot to ask for one.
        • I checked to see if perhaps they had the SheaMoisture shampoo in tubes but they didn't.  Their website didn't have them either but I figured I would check the store too. 
        • I stopped by the clearance end cap. Mistake?  I got:
          • 2 packages of U by Kotex ultra thin fitness pads for $2.99 each and I redeemed 2 $1.00/1 coupons. I'll give them to my daughter.
          • 1 roll-on tube of gardenia perfume. I'm almost out of my roll-on peony perfume from L'Occitane and that stuff is expensive, so I decided to splurge on this one on clearance at $5.89.    Did I need it?  No.  Did I even got to smell it first?  No.  Not my smartest purchase!
          • 1 stick of 70 SPF sunscreen at $4.39. Small and light enough to put in my fanny pack for those long hikes.
        • The eggs were on unadvertised sale at 2 dozens for $1.00!  So I got 2 dozens.  We'll have omelets next week when Greg is away.
        • 1 bag of Trolli sour worms on sale for $1.50 and I got a $1.50 Register Reward that I'll use on my next trip.
        • 1 gallon of milk on sale for $2.99 (since the milk wasn't on sale at CVS).
        • My OOP was $20.99 and I charged it again to Amazon Visa for 2% back in Rewards. I earned 2,180 BR points!

    • Save  A Lot:
      • I grabbed 2 smallish papayas. There were 2 price tags on the shelf: $0.99/lb and $0.79/lb.  When I pointed it out to the cashier, she claimed that she had to go with what was in the computer because she couldn't override it. I know that's bullshit because my favorite cashier, who never seems to be there when I'm there anymore, used to override stuff all the time.  Anyhoo, they rang at $0.99/lb. Oh well. So it was $5.45.
      • The corn was $1.00 for 3 ears so I got 4.
      • The Halo clementines were still $2.99 for 2 lbs. I got one bag.
      • There was a bag with 2 green peppers on clearance for just $0.55 so once again I channeled Laura and bought them. I'll dice and freeze them.
      • I had 2 $0.55/1 coupons for the Butterball Smoked Turkey dinner sausages.  They used to be $1.99 but they've gone up to $2.29 :( I still bought 2 of them as they freeze well and I use them in several recipes.
      • Since I wasn't going to Walmart, I got 4 small cans of no salt added tomato sauce at $0.29 each, a can of tomato paste at $0.50 (that sounds expensive?), 4 cans of no salt added peas at $0.65 and 2 cans of no salt added corn kernels at $0.44 each.
      • The only flavor of Goya Sazon was the cilantro & annatto flavor. I bought a box of 10 packets (?) for $2.19.
      • My OOP was $19.84 and I paid with Amazon Visa for 1% back in Rewards.

    • Vet's:
      • I picked up my 4 bags of kitten food. It was $75.96 and I charged it to Amex for 1% back in Rewards.
      • A guy was bringing in a cute 2.5 month old kitten and its mom which was in heat, whom he had rescued while she was pregnant, for a consult. I shared my experience last year with New Kitty (who had been pregnant and was also in heat shortly after we adopted her from our neighbors) and the kittens and told him about the $50 rebate on spaying/neutering from the county (he didn't know about it). He said "thank you" very distractedly, but was too busy checking his phone to even make eye contact. Why did that bother me?  And why was I even talking to him to start with?

    • I got sidetracked for a couple of minutes by the Bravo Supermarket.  It's going into the old Walgreens location that has been under construction for several months. Today, the parking lot outside of it was full, so I figured it had opened and I would check out the prices. Only, after I waited at the traffic light and turned into the parking lot, it wasn't open at all. There aren't any signs on the doors announcing the Grand Opening either!  I'm guessing they were training their staff, though, since the parking lot was full.  Weird.

    • RaceTrac:
      • Would you believe gas went up to $2.46 a gallon?! That's another 8 cents a gallon since last week! I hadn't learned my lesson at the vet's because when the guy next to me said "Can you believe those prices?!", I got drawn into a conversation about the prices of gas recently and the "Summer Blend" B.S.  That guy was alright, though.  I topped off my tank. I earned loyalty points on my app and gained a new receipt that will get me a freebie.  I paid the OOP of $11.89 with Amex for 2% back in Rewards.
      • I redeemed a survey reward code for a free "brookie" for my son's snack.

    • Lowe's:
      • Yeah, I was going to go at the end of my shopping trip but it was right there so I stopped.  I wanted to get some annuals for my tiered planter from Aldi. I vaguely remembered looking at the new ad and seeing annuals on sale for $1.00 each. Only, when I went in, I saw a 12-pack of marigolds.  I thought they were $6.68.  Then I saw the 12-packs of impatiens.  They were $7.98.  I was torn because I liked them both.  So I decided to buy both. Only I had looked at the marigold price tag upside down, I guess, because they were really $9.98. Oops.  So my OOP was $19.22 and I paid with Discover for 5% back in Bonus Rewards. I'm way over the $50 landscaping budget that I had set for 2017!  Oh well, I'm not planting veggies and I like looking at pretty flowers when I sit on the patio in the mornings!

    • CVS: the only thing on my list there was the Diet Dr. Pepper. Well, they didn't have any.  They had a tower of Pepsi and other Pepsi products and even regular Dr. Pepper, but no DIET Dr. Pepper. I don't) know why they're always out of it! I checked for the SheaMoisture shampoo in tubes but they also didn't have it.  So I left empty-handed.

    • Aldi: Oooh, I went crazy at Aldi!  I don't know what came over me!  I got what was on my list and then got a few more things.
      • Firstly, I got a cart from a gentleman returning his, who told me to keep the quarter and blessed me. Most of the time this irritates me but today it was nice to hear because I had just been irked by the attitude of the guy I had helped out of the goodness of my heart at the vet's, lol.  So I did decide to pay it forward, actually. But I kept the quarter. My pay it forward idea had germinated several weeks ago, but I had forgotten to actually take action on it, until today.
      • The rain barrel was HUGE and wouldn't have fit in any of the spots I had for it, so I didn't buy it.
      • They did have a large indoor-outdoor carpet on sale for $14.99 so I bought one; Greg will cut it and wrap the horizontal supports of the kayak stand with it so the kayaks don't get too scuffed and damaged when we slide down in and out.
      • As far as other non-food items, I bought 2 gallons of cat litter ($3.99 each), a box of 80 kitchen trash bags ($4.59) and a new loaf pan for $3.99 (ooh, I just realized it was marked down to just $1.00!) to replace the rusted one that I had thrown away.  The non-food items were $31.25 in total.
      • They had the large jars of crunchy peanut butter again (they're making a liar out of me this year!  They usually don't have it as often as that!) so I bought another 4 jars since Greg eats PBJs every morning and also for lunch on the weekend.  They were $2.99 each.
      • I again was "inspired" by Laura's tales of a chocolate stash, and bought 3 bars of Schogetten chocolate ($1.29 each), 2 chocolate liquor cakes ($2.49 each) and 2 containers of chocolate covered espresso beans ($2.99 each).
      • Other snacks were a box of Swiss rolls ($1.39), a jar of generic Nutella ($1.99), saltines (I'm addicted!) $0.75, a bag of cinnamon churros (for the kids) and a bag of pretzel sticks ($1.29).
      • I wasn't planning on buying meat, but they had the marinated carnitas pork roasts with $4.00 off stickers on them so I bought 3 of them ($5.64, $4.84 and $5.11 after the discount).
      • I also bought a bag of frozen breaded chicken breasts for $5.99. I figured my son might want to cook them once in a while to make himself chicken sandwiches. But once at home, I realized that you have to bake them for 30 minutes! Poop.
      • And a package of chipotle chicken sausages ($2.99)
      • Produce purchases were a lot of bananas (5.5 lbs!), 2 bags of Gala apples on sale at $1.89 each, 1 bag of Navel oranges on sale at $1.89 (I had gotten 2 but one of them had a rotten orange in it so I left it with the cashier),  2 lbs of grapes (on sale at $0.99/lb), 2 mangoes (on sale at $0.49 each), and a bottle of apple juice)
      • Other items were a pouch of Stevia sweetener, a box of  crispy rice cereal, a bottle of salad dressing, tortilla strips, a box of yellow rice (in case I don't like that Goya Sazon), 4 cans of tomatoes with green chiles, 3 cans of black beans, a XL cheese pizza, a box of chocolate cake mix, a container of light sour cream, a package of string cheese, a package of cheese tortellini, a loaf of bread and a package of hamburger buns.
      • So the food items totaled... $98.98!  Yikes, I'm definitely over budget this week!
      • I paid for the $130.23 OOP with my Amex for 3% back in Rewards.  I also bought a couple of gift cards to surprise a couple of people. That's my pay it forward tactique, cuz a quarter... yeah, that doesn't really help, especially if you don't need it (like me, you know? I hate those circles jerks of people "paying it forward at Starbucks. There was another one of those in the news again today.  Are you serious?  You're paying for the overpriced coffee of the person behind you in line who obviously doesn't NEED the money - or they wouldn't be buying overpriced coffee at Starbucks! - and you're acting like this is worthy of being reported on TV?! Please, get over yourselves!)
      • On the way out, the lady who was pushing a cart behind me had bought a large gardening item in a box that was falling off the bottom of the cart. It's happened to me so many times!  I offered to help her (although I had my own large roll of carpet to maneuver along with my full cart!) and she was thankful but said she could manage.  Then, as I went to return my cart, I saw her struggling with holding her cart while she tried to fit everything in her trunk (our parking lot is on a small slope) so I offered to help again and this time she accepted and asked if I could just hold her cart in place while she loaded the stuff. So I did. She was very appreciative.  That woman will NOT go home and complain on her blog how no one helped her even though they saw her struggling (and she wasn't even bleeding all over the place!).

    • Dollar Tree:
      • I wanted to stock up on UHT whole milk for the upcoming hurricane season so I bought 4 cartons of it.
      • I also got 2 more cans of peach pie filling since I had used the 2 cans I had bought the last time and they don't always have it.
      • I found 5 dark green planters without holes in the bottom that I placed under my hanging baskets at home to catch the water leaking from them when I water them (we're in the middle of a drought).
      • I saw a tube of aloe vera and couldn't remember if I was almost out of it at home or not. Since I burned myself last week and Greg got sunburned when he went kayaking, I figured it couldn't hurt to have another tube of it!
      • They had "happy graduation" decorations so I grabbed a banner, 2 gift bags and some paper plates and napkins for my 2 graduates (daughter and middle son). I won't have a party per se, but I do intend to mark the occasion with a special meal or two.
      • My OOP was $17.77 and I charged it to Amex for 1% back in Rewards.

    • Wawa:
      • I went in to redeem the survey coupon for a free any size beverage. I picked a 44 oz fountain drink (Caffeine Free Diet Coke with Lime).
      • I was hungry so I decided to treat myself (further!) with a Wawa Hoagie.  I picked a roast beef hoagie. Yum, yum, yum!
      • I paid for the $4.80 OOP with Amex for (hopefully) 2% back in Rewards.
      • There is another survey on the receipt so I will get another freebie, woohoo!

  • After that, I drove home. My daughter helped me unload the SUV and the kittens made sure I had emptied every bag and that everything was accounted for :)  I offered the brownie and churros to my daughter, who didn't want them. So I offered her one of the chocolate bars that I had bought.

  • SampleSource sent me an email inviting me to request new samples.  I had the choice between 5 samples but only picked two since I wouldn't have used the other 3. I'll be getting a sample of breakfast bars (I forget the brand and I didn't take a screenshot) and a sample of method laundry detergent.

  • Hey,  I had forgotten that Wednesday = Law & Order Marathon on Ion TV!  I turned it on as soon as I sat on the couch to start typing this post. I love L&O :)

  • I submitted my receipts for 2 rebates: $0.10 of any canned tomatoes with MobiSave and $0.25 off any item from Ibotta.

  • My son walked to the library to attend the free Teen event.

  • My daughter had to drive to the college today to do a presentation. She borrowed my flash drive again. I need to remember to buy her one for college :)

  • Laura talked about reorganizing her spice cabinet today and asked how we organize ours. I looked for a blog post that I had written on mine but couldn't find it... it's because it was on my previous (and private) blog!  I reorganized mine back in March 2013.  Here what I did, in a nutshell: I got a 3-drawer plastic "chest", I made labels and laminated them and then hot glued them to the top of the bottles.  All the spices (save the ones that I use all the time, those I keep by my stove) fit in there.  I keep the "chest" under my kitchen island.  When I open the drawers, it's easy to find what I need (I keep them in rough alphabetical order).

  • After I input all my receipts into my spreadsheet and analyzed my spending (too much!), I took a Wawa survey and earned a coupon for a free any size beverage that I will redeem next week :)

  • I earned the Microsoft Rewards credits for today. Getting closer to a $5 Amazon gift card!

  • I baked the XL cheese pizza from Aldi for dinner. The kids wanted their plain and I added ham and mushrooms for Greg and my slices. Also I cut 4 serrano peppers from my garden on my 2 slices.

  • Publix: $3.31 
  • Walgreens #1: $7.84
  • Walgreens #2: $20.99
  • Save A Lot: $19.84
  • Vet's: $75.96
  • RaceTrac: $11.89
  • Lowe's: $19.22
  • Aldi: $130.23 and $50.00
  • Dollar Tree: $17.77
  • Wawa: $4.80

I went way over budget:  I spent $140.59 on groceries this week!  The breakdown is as follows:
  • Baking: $2.99
  • Beverages: $7.84
  • Breads: $1.70
  • Cereals: $1.19
  • Dairy: $10.97
  • Pantry/Dry Goods: $24.25
  • Produce & Juice: $29.99
  • Proteins: $37.03
  • Snacks: $24.63

  • A 32 oz fountain drink from RaceTrac with survey reward code
  • A "brookie" from RaceTrac with survey reward code
  • A quarter from the gentleman who gave me his cart at Aldi

  • Fed the kittens
  • Packed Greg's lunch
  • Prepped his breakfast
  • Filtered water for the kittens
  • Dropped off my son at school
  • Picked up a soda for Greg
  • Aired out the house
  • Looked at new Aldi and SAL ads
  • Finalized my shopping list
  • Put a shopping itinerary together
  • Did the dishes
  • Took recycling down to the curb
  • Set aside recycling to take to Publix
  • Purged the fridge of a couple of items
  • Cleaned the bottom of the fridge
  • Went grocery shopping/ran errands
  • Texted Greg
  • Texted my son
  • Put everything away
  • Chatted with my daughter
  • Submitted receipts for rebates
  • Recorded all my receipts into my spreadsheets
  • Took a customer satisfaction survey
  • Cooked dinner

  • For the cheerfulness of the receptionists at my vet's office. They're so sweet!
  • For the gentleman's blessing as he told me to keep my quarter at Aldi. It was nice to actually run into someone that was pleasant, even though I didn't need the quarter!
  • For being able to afford all my groceries and other items.
Have you ever "paid it forward" or ask someone to pay if forward as you gave them something?


  1. I never want to go shopping either, but it's a necessary evil. Looks like you got into the swing of it once you got started.

    1. It's like everything, isn't it? "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step". It's that first step that's always the hardest! I actually love grocery shopping but these days I'm loathe to leave my house for any reason hence all the whining. I would be so happy if Aldi would just build a store in my little town! Every week I tell myself that I'll just go to Save A Lot (which is much closer) but then those darn Aldi prices (and their goodies) always manage to reel me in!

  2. You might have gone over your weekly budget, Nathalie, but you did well, overall, and made good use of the sales. Thank you for sharing what you paid for the plants; I was thinking the prices here were too expensive, but it seems like you are paying the same amounts there, too. I budget $25 per month for garden supplies over what I pay the gardener in a regular month of 4 Fridays (I pay him more if there are 5 Fridays in that month), but I've already gone over that amount! I enjoy grocery shopping, but, like you, I don't always want to go!

    Loved the picture of the kittens investigating your shopping bags! They are so helpful and cute! And your spice jars are so neatly labeled and organized! I keep mine in a drawer, too, and some are labeled, but not like yours! Bless

    1. You know what, though? I was completely wrong about the price of the impatiens. Well, the price was as I said but the quantity was wayyyy off and I didn't realize that until I transplanted them this morning: it wasn't a 12-pack, it was a 6-pack! So that doubles the price of the impatiens, per plant. Sometimes, I'm wondering if I'm becoming senile (reading the wrong price, then thinking there were twice as many plants...).

  3. I love your sassiness in today's post! I was lol-ing several times. And I completely agree with your pay it forward logic! Someone once told me they paid it forward by buying people's drinks at the bar - while I would really appreciate their kindness - I would much rather they took that $5 and gave it to someone that was struggling with hunger.

    1. Exactly!

      Everytime I read a story like this, I'm thinking "I'd totally be the person breaking that chain of 160 people paying for each other's Starbucks"! And then I read that the baristas paid out of their own pocket to keep the chain going when people like me would break it, and I had no words. My Oldest worked for Starbucks for a while so I happen to know that they don't pay tons of money. This is so, so misguided.

  4. It's Friday here haha. I have a long list of things I want to get done before noon. Friday afternoons here are just awful- traffic is crazy and what normally wakes 10 minutes to get somewhere might take 30. Nope not for me- I'll be done with the errands by 11. That's the advantage of being a morning person! Did you get your shopping done? I didn't even look at the Publix ad but I want to go to Winn Dixie- they have the Halo ice cream on sale. It's $$ but I love ice cream and a pint of is is like 240 calories. It's not really ice cream but tasty.I thawed some chicken breasts and have yet to decide what to do with them. I might just pound them, flour and egg and make a couple of faux Chic Fila sandwiches. One more week and it's May!

    1. Funny, I had read your comment but wasn't going to reply until later today (because that's how I roll!) and then I saw a blog post advertising your ice cream for free after rebate at Walmart ($1 off printable coupon if you subscribe to the Halo Top newsletter and a $4 rebate via Ibotta). Well, the coupon would work at Winn Dixie and I'm pretty sure Ibotta rebates work with Winn Dixie receipts too but you need a smartphone to download the app. I can't remember if you have one or not and if you already use Ibotta or not. If you don't and intend to use it, would you mind using my referral code? Have you ever made your faux Chik Fil A sandwiches, cooked them, and then frozen them? I wonder how well the breading would remain on the chicken breasts if they were frozen and then defrosted again?

      Yes, I did my shopping... you've actually just commented on this post that details my shopping trip, lol. Among other things, I bought a bag of already breaded chicken breasts, thinking that my son could microwave one to make himself a chicken sandwich on the weekends, I didn't think he would like the pressed meat patties. But once home I realized that you have to bake them for 30 minutes! I could have just made mine for much cheaper, then!

      Enjoy your ice cream. Can you believe that it's been officially Spring for a month already?!

  5. Wow, Nathalie -- I was really on your mind during this shopping trip! :) I am always happy to provide inspiration for adding to or creating a chocolate stash. And your spice drawers and labels look great! I've tried organizing them alphabetically before and it's been a bust. Somehow my mind works better when the items I use the most are grouped together, or items used for a specific purpose are grouped together.

    I have paid for someone's coffee and had my own covered before. I was really grateful when that happened! I've also broken a chain -- I'm happy to spend the money I was already planning to spend, sometimes, but I'm not willing to buy drinks for a car full of people. And the idea that baristas might be picking up tabs just to keep a chain going blows my mind. I suppose I see this more an act of kindness (when workers aren't being exploited into using their own money for the sake of a story) as opposed to charity, and acts of kindness can be instrumental in turning someone's day around for the better. :)

    1. Yes, you have a good point that a kind gesture can unexpectedly brighten someone's day and that everyone should be able to have a brightened day, not just the more destitute amongst us. Well, I'm interpreting the subtext here. In my case I'm always glad to get "free" money in the form of a quarter left in an unattended cart in the lot, but I don't welcome the pressure of "paying it forward" that comes with the offer of the free quarter from people who think that a quarter, that I was going to get back when I returned my cart anyway, is somehow going to help me. And actually, I already have a quarter in hand to give to them so them telling me to keep my quarter just causes me to have to fumble in my purse to put it back so it annoys me. Plus I suspect that in many cases, especially when it's not accompanied by a meaningful eye contact and smile, it's just a tactic by the person who really doesn't want to deal with having a quarter themselves and throws in a careless "pay it forward!" instruction to make themselves feel better. I told you I was crabby! What brightened my day wasn't getting the quarter or being "blessed" but the gentleman's smile and friendly behavior.

      You sure were on my mind that day, eh? I think I mentioned your name at least 3 times! I understand grouping the spices in the order that makes most sense to you. You're an instinctively creative person when it comes to cooking and I'm not. I seek order and directions from recipes so alphabetical order (or close to) saves my sanity when it's time to look for a specific spice.

    2. Oh, I totally hear you on the subtext that is sometimes there. I don't like feeling like I immediately have to do something in return, so I usually don't, ha! I just think of it as the yin and yang of the universe working itself out and either I'm being paid back for being kind at some point, or maybe I have a kindness coming up. This makes me sound zen, but I'm really not. It mostly keeps me from ramming my cart into people, lol. And I generally do NOT enjoy being told to have a blessed day because it often sounds condescending to me, not genuine.

    3. You always make me laugh, Laura, because here I am thinking I'm the biggest grouch ever, and then you, a perfectly sweet person, will say something like that... which happens to be exactly how I feel! So now I feel better, LOL. Thanks!

  6. Wow! I am amazed at the number of different spices you have. I only keep a few very basic spices from which I make spice mixes as I need them. It's true that I don't try a lot of new recipes, especially those that ask for a spice or herb that I don't usually have. I used to buy those, use them once, and end up throwing them out. So now, I just keep a very few spice bottles on hand that I replenish from the Bulk Barn. And since my spices have been just recently purged and organized, I have a list of what I keep: allspice, basil, bay leaves, cayenne peppers (also ground cayenne powder), celery seed and celery salt, chili powder, cloves, coriander, cumin, curry, dill, garlic (both ground and granulated), ginger, lemon peel and lemon pepper, marjoram, mustard powder, nutmeg, onion (dehydrated flakes, granulated and powdered) oregano, paprika (and smoked paprika), parsley, pepper (black and whole peppercorns), poultry seasoning, sage, salt (table, sea, and kosher), savory, thyme and turmeric. I am currently out of ground rosemary, and when I eventually run out of poultry seasoning, I will make my own mix. I may also buy a little cream of tartar because I have read up on all the different ways that I can use it in the house. I also keep these spices in alphabetical order. My mixes are kept on a shelf in a cupboard, and hand labelled. Seasoning salt, taco seasoning, ragin' cajun, Montreal steak spice, Emeril's Baby Bam (for beef), 10 Things Chicken (from you Nathalie), brown gravy mix, etc.

    1. That looks like a lot of spices to me, Susan!

      The only reason why I have so many is that before I had an epiphany (shortly after starting this blog), I used to make a menu plan first and then shop for the supplies. Since I'm not a creative or instinctive chef/cook, I'd just buy whatever was on the list. I do have an eclectic taste in recipes so at some point I started accumulating a lot of spices only because at some point or another, one was included in a recipe that I had tried. But in reality, I don't use a lot of them on a regular basis.

      I've never seen ground rosemary, I don't think. I just dry mine and use the leaves whole. Sometimes I ran them through my coffee grinder a little, but them I'm afraid that it would lead to using too much rosemary in a recipe. Although, is there ever such a thing as too much rosemary? I love it. I love smelling it when I water it too! I use cream of tartar to make baking powder so I have several jars of it. Rajin' Cajun sounds yummy. I was going to ask you to post the recipe and then I remembered that I have a large jar of Cajun seasoning bought several years ago. I ought to use it on pork chops. Back then, I used to buy the very thick pork chops that were already pre-seasoned with that stuff from Winn Dixie and we loved them. One day I asked the butcher what the seasoning was that he used and he offered to give me (or maybe sell me but I think he gave it to me) the rest of his jar. But I keep on forgetting that I have it because I don't get a spice out of that cabinet unless I'm following a recipe that calls for it, lol.

  7. Yes, you told me about making your own baking powder with the cream of tartar. Since then, I have also read the benefits of using it in cleaners and as a polishing agent for metals. You are the reason I am rethinking the benefits of buying it for my spice drawer.

    1. Ah! I don't polish any metals, but if I did, I'd be interested in hearing about your cleaner agent recipe. What do you polish with it?

  8. Schogetten, chocolate liquor cakes, chocolate covered espresso shop at Aldi like I do! As a matter of fact, I just ate one of those $0.49 mangoes.

    You might be interested to know that for the first time ever in my life, I did a survey yesterday to get a free beverage at Wawa, and this evening I asked my husband for his Racetrack receipt so that I could do a survey there, too. All because of you! (Thanks!)

    1. I was addicted to those liquor cakes! I didn't see them last week and I was relieved! That's always my problem with Aldi, they have too many goodies at great prices!

      Woohoo! Great job in doing those surveys and getting those freebies! I'm so proud of you, hahaha!


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