Friday, June 16, 2017

Breakfast with A Friend and Errands Run ~ Friday 6/16/17

It's 6:37 a.m.

Why am I up so early?  Or rather, why does it feel that I'm up super early when I used to get up at 6:10 a.m. just a few weeks ago?

Well, Greg had to leave an hour early today because he's interviewing someone before the official workday starts, and I'll be leaving to go meet my BFF for coffee in an hour.  Yawn. I can't wake up!

I went to bed at midnight. I definitely should have gone to bed earlier. I feel like a zombie. However, I can't really complain about that to my BFF, who came back from her Canadian west coast trip and went right back to work the very next day!

It's now 7:20 a.m. and the sun is already coming out. Yay!  It's cloudy too, but just seeing sunshine makes me feel more alert already.  We do have an 80% chance of rain today though, with a high of 86F (but with a humidity level of 94%, it'll feel hotter).

Looking at what's on my plate today:  after having coffee and breakfast with my BFF (I think we'll pick it up from Wawa and go back to her place since it's grey and damp outside), I'll swing by Clermont and run some errands.  I'm going to drive the Focus this morning, which is much better for gas consumption and will allow me to refill it in Clermont for my daughter who is driving to her dad's when I come back.

Then I'll need to do the darn dishes. I should be doing them now but I can't stop yawning and I'm actually considering taking a short nap before leaving for my BFF's... which I shouldn't do because it'll probably be even harder to get going after that!

Bless told me she missed my To Do List so I'm going to post a short one...

  • Do the dishes MOSTLY DONE
  • Exercise
  • Order kitten food - DONE
  • Write check for mortgage and mail it
  • Look for the article I had saved about what to do once your mortgage is almost paid off
  • Transfer money to New Car Savings
  • Schedule credit card payments
  • Email my mom
  • Write and mail postcards to my mom and great aunt
  • Write and mail postcard to a friend
  • Edit another Vacation post
  • Put the hanging pots back in their place - DONE
  • Freeze peppers and eggplants
  • Clip cats' claws
  • Put Greg's laundry away
  • Clean upstairs bathroom
  • Pull weeds IN PROGRESS
  • Make hummingbird nectar
  • Read library book that's due on Monday
  • Read diabetes cookbooks 

Alright, that ought to do for the next couple of days! Of course, I have plenty of other things to do but those are the ones I ought to concentrate on.

So I think I'm going to return to a familiar format for the daily posts. I kind of feel I need that structure right now!


  • I packed a lunch for Greg to take to work (leftovers).

  • There was half a cup of coffee left over in the pot from yesterday afternoon so I had that early this morning to try to wake up.  I didn't want to brew a whole pot since I was going out to get coffee with my BFF. Yes, I could have just brought coffee from the house, but we enjoy our Wawa dates and their coffee is good.  But for once I'm actually having a coffee date at Wawa on a Friday, they're not offering a coffee freebie today.  A while back, it seemed that they were offering free coffee on Fridays quite often!

  • I looked at the ad previews for CVS and Walgreens for next week and made a note of what I'll plan on purchasing. CVS will have the Diet Dr. Pepper 12 can packs on sale at 3 for $9 and if they actually have it in stock this time, I'll get some to start stocking up for Greg. He'll want to take some camping (there won't be RaceTrac stations where he and our son will go so they won't be able to use their Sodapalooza cups) and so there's only 1 month left of Sodapalooza for him.  I spoke to the store manager this week and mentioned that they never order enough Dr. Diet Pepper because whenever they have a promo on it, they always run out very fast but have tons of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, etc. (they usually run the Dr. Pepper promos along with the Pepsi promos). He said he would talk to the rep. No, dude, YOU NEED TO ORDER MORE DIET DR. PEPPER!  People love that stuff! So we'll see if our little chat made any difference.  Walgreens will have the eggs on sale for $0.79 a dozen, but Save A Lot has had them for $0.79 a dozen for several weeks and I might not need anymore as I still have 1.5 dozen in my fridge.

  • I drove the Focus to my BFF and saved money on gas that way.  However, when I got there and glanced at my phone, I realized that I was 30 minutes early!  I had texted her before I left to say that I was on my way and she didn't want to tell me I was coming too early, hahaha.  Luckily, she was already up.  

  •  I gave her the pet coupons that I had printed for her.

  • The weather was actually fine so we were able to sit outside at Wawa. I know it's weird that we have our dates at a gas station, but that particular Wawa is at the entrance of a subdivision and you access it from the side street, not the 6-lane highway that it borders, and there are tall bushes around the property so it doesn't look "gross" the way gas station usually do, you know? And it's not super busy either.  I decided to have a 24 oz French Vanilla coffee with a little bit of skim milk in it, and ordered an egg white omelet panini, without any cheese. It came with spinach and red peppers and was delicious. My BFF also ordered a panini and had coffee. I told her it was my treat (we're lucky to be doing much better financially than she and her husband do so it's always a pleasure to treat her when we go out) but she insisted on paying for at least my coffee since I had driven her and her kids to and from the airport and turned down any payment for it so I let her buy me the coffee :)  Then we chatted about my trip and the UF Preview experience since her son just went there last week and my daughter is going next week.

  • After I dropped her off at her house, I went to run errands in Clermont, on my way home.  Here is what I did:
    • RaceTrac: 
      • I refilled the Focus's tank for $2.17/gallon since my daughter is driving to her dad's for the weekend, earning more loyalty points in my app in the process and a new receipt with which I will eventually earn a freebie.
      • I charged the gas to my Amex for 2% back in Reward.
      • I went to check if they had any Chicken Bacon Ranch sandwiches and they did so I grabbed one for Youngest Son and redeemed the coupon from my app so I got it for FREE.

    • Kohl's:
      • I was thinking that I'd look for sheets for either my or Greg's bed there, or perhaps socks for me to use in my hiking boots. But then I looked at the exercise clothes section and ended up getting a pair of yoga shorts (kind of like biking shorts) that were on sale and also an Under Armour exercise shirt in a bright pink color.  I redeemed my 30% off discount and the $20 in Kohl's cash from the Discover Deals offers so the shorts ended up being free and I charged the $19.40 OOP to my Kohl's card.  I think I earned something like 19 Yes2You reward points.
    • Aldi:
      • I only wanted some more produce but then I saw that there were two brioche loaves on clearance for $1.99 each so I got them both for Youngest Son's snacks. No baking for me, woohoo!
      • I also got 4 lbs of strawberries (on sale at $1.29 each), a 3-pack of Romaine hearts ($2.29. the price went up by 30 cents since earlier this week), a bag of zucchini ($1.49), 2 lbs of grapes ($1.78) and broccoli crowns ($1.79)
      • I paid for the $16.49 OOP with my Amex for 3% back in Rewards.
      • I submitted my receipt for a $0.10 rebate on zucchini from MobiSave.
    • Goodwill:
      • I wanted a bottom sheet for Greg's bed (queen) and one for mine (full) and I found both :)  They were $3.99 each
      • I also found a diabetic recipe cookbook for $1.99 that has the exchanges and a Betty Crocker "cooking fundamentals" type of cookbook for my daughter to take to college with her, also for $1.99.
      • I used my Goodwill Rewards card to bank some points and paid for the $12.80 OOP with my Amex for 1% back in Rewards.
      • I always decline to round up. I think Goodwill charges already more than another thrift store would.

    • Michael's:
      • I needed to get a new tube of non toxic model cement glue for Youngest Son.  I used a 50% off coupon that I printed yesterday to get it for just $1.25 plus tax.
      • I spotted a Gardening sign that I thought was cute on the clearance shelf. I thought it would be $2.99 but when I asked the cashier to make sure if was indeed on clearance, it rang up for $1.39. Woohoo!
      • I charged the $2.82 OOP to my Amex for 1% back in Rewards.
      • I declined to sign up for the Michael's Rewards program since they give you 25% off on your purchase (items that are not on sale, though) on the day you sign up and I wouldn't have benefited from it today. I'll see if it's worth my while to sign up next time I go there. With my daughter away at college, I probably won't need to go much. She's the artist, not me!

    • Save A Lot:
      • I had decided to get some meat from their 3-day sale, no room in the freezer be damned.  However, the pork loins were very large so I didn't get any.  I did get more ground beef because the 2-lb chubs were on 50% off clearance at $3.00/chub (so $1.50/lb). I got 3 chubs. I will break them into 1-lb portions and freeze them into upcycled cereal bags.  I should be able to squeeze them in the freezer in the corners. One of the chubs rang for full price ($5.98) at the register but I caught it before paying so the cashier adjusted the price. Phew!
      • I also got a package of chicken breasts on the bone for just $0.99/lb. The sales flyer had the family packs on sale for $1.29/lb?!
      • I had forgotten to get tomatoes from Aldi so I got 4 large Roma tomatoes at $0.79/lb.
      • The papaya is on sale for $0.79/lb so I grabbed a small green one which will ripen on my kitchen table while I eat the one I bought earlier this week.
      • Lastly there were pies on 50% off clearance. Since it's Father's Day this weekend, I grabbed a blueberry and a peach pie for just $1.65 each.
      • My OOP was $21.22 and I charged it to Amazon Visa for 1% back in Rewards.  I wish Save A Lot would start taking Amex so I could earn 3% :)

    • Publix:
      • I had brought my bag of recyclables (plastic bags, foam cups and egg cartons) to empty in their recycling bins so I did that.
      • Then I went inside to check my lottery ticket (didn't win anything) and get a couple of deals.
      • The Fresh Express 8-oz bags of spinach are on BOGO at $2.99 this week, which makes them cheaper than Aldi's, so I got 2 bags.
      • My favorite gum, Mentos, was on BOGO sale as well at $3.49 so I grabbed 4 bottles. I chew a lot more gum when I'm on a diet!
      • I needed more cornmeal so I got a 1-lb bag of yellow cornmeal (Publix brand) for $0.99.
      • IHeartPublix had a post about Community Coffee being free if you combined the BOGO sale, $2 printable coupons and a $2 Checkout 51 rebate, but even though it WAS on BOGO sale, the coupon link only led to $1.50 coupons and I didn't have the Checkout 51 rebates in my line-up... so no coffee for me.
      • My OOP was $11.45 after tax and I charged it to Amex for 3% back in Rewards.  I also submitted my receipt to Ibotta for a $0.25 rebate on "any item".
    • Library:
      • I returned the 3 travel books that I had borrowed for our trip.
      • I checked the donation box but there weren't any coupon inserts.
      • I also checked the 2 carts of Friends of the Library books (donations that are sold by the Friend of the Library to generate income for the library) but there wasn't anything that I wanted.

    • RaceTrac:
      • I refilled my and Youngest Son's Sodapalooza cups for free.

  • I was back home before 12:30 p.m., just as the rain was starting. Thankfully it was only a small rainstorm. My daughter helped me carry everything in. We chatted while I put everything away. She liked her cookbook!  She was waiting for her laundry to finish drying before she drove to her dad's. 

  • I reminded her to bring her bike back to her dad's so he can take care of getting the brakes fixed since it's technically his bike and she plans on taking it to college.  I helped her secure the bike rack to the Focus and the bike to the bike rack.  Then she left.  It started pouring right after she left so I hope she's having a safe drive to the other side of Orlando!

  • I made my lunch and then had to fend off the kittens who were trying to eat it while I was typing these latest updates!  Stinkers.  They have food in their bowls!

  • There was about 1/4 cup of loose grapes left in the bag of white grapes that I had bought for the kids earlier this week and I knew that they wouldn't eat them, so I threw them in my salad so they wouldn't go to waste.

  • It's Friday, which means a Law & Order Marathon is running on ION TV. Woohoo!  I turned the TV on to have it in the background until Greg comes home. Crap, I still have to do the dishes... waaaaah.

  • PinchMe emailed me that I've been granted early access to the free samples next week. I put a reminder on my calendar to go claim them on Monday at 9 a.m.

  • I input my receipts into my spreadsheets.  I'm way over budget for the week as far as groceries go (spent $134.11, my budget is $100) but I did stock up on a lot of meat.

  • I took the survey on my Wawa receipt and earned a coupon for a free beverage.

  • I took surveys for 3 different RaceTrac stations and earned 3 reward codes that I will exchange for 3 freebies.

  • I played videos to earn some Swagbucks and met my 1st daily goal of 40 SB.

  • I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards plus extra ones via a couple of promotional emails they had sent me.

  • Kellogg's sent me a new code for a Shutterfly freebie. This time it's for a reusable shopping bag. I will use the code to order a bag for my daughter to give her at Christmas.  I need to find a good picture of the cats first :)

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

  • I was going to cook dinner but we have Southwest Chicken Stew leftovers so I'm going to offer that to the men and I have to make a corn burrito for me as well as cook collard greens to hit all my exchanges for today. However, I didn't eat lunch until 3 pm so it'll be a late dinner for me, I think.  Correction: I felt so tired that I decided to just eat the little bit of stew leftover after I served the men, and a banana. It won't match the exchanges I still have to eat today, but I think I'll be asleep before long so I don't want to have to cook right now!


  • A frugal fail, I guess: earlier this week there was an offer for a free 8 x 10 reprint from CVS, but I didn't jump on it because I didn't think I had any good pictures to print.  And then last night I found one that my daughter had taken of us on our trip and that didn't suck too much. But now the promotional code has expired. Oh well. There'll be another one soon enough and I'll order it then. I'm going to leave myself a note with the exact picture in my phone so I don't forget which one it was!

  • I forgot that Wawa was a gas station and not a restaurant so I charged my panini to my Amazon Visa card instead of my Amex.  So I'll earn only 1% in Rewards, instead of the 2% I would have earned with Amex :(

  • I called Greg on my way to running errands to see if he needed anything. He revealed that he had just dropped his work phone (iphone 7) by accident and that the screen was all cracked. He's checking with the IT department (which is in charge of the phones) but he thinks they'll tell him he has to get it fixed on his dime :(  I had told him to get an Otterbox but he didn't want to spend the money.  To be honest, I had an Otterbox on mine when it fell on the tiled bathroom floor last year and it still cracked so...

  • Once again, I didn't exercise. I didn't make it a priority so this was definitely a failure. I could and should have exercised.


  • I've lost more weight!  I'm now down to 217.2 lbs, which is a loss of 12.8 lbs since May 22, not even a month ago.  I've lost 5.6 % of my body weight.  Wow, maybe that's why I'm tired?  No, I know it's because I haven't been sleeping enough.  Getting enough sleep is actually one of the ways to ensure you are healthier so I need to stick to an earlier bedtime for sure.

  • Breakfast was a Wawa egg white panini without cheese.  How awesome that the Wawa site lets you figure out exactly what you ate in terms of calories and nutrients?! I love it.
  • Lunch was a chicken sandwich (3 oz of grilled chicken breast, 1/2 tbsp light mayo, whole wheat bun), a salad (Romaine, cucumber and about 1/4 cup of grapes, 1 tbsp light balsamic vinaigrette), a cup of papaya and a strawberry shake (1 cup of ~2% milk blended with 1 tbsp stevia sweetener and 1 1/4 cup of strawberries).


  • For a diet plan that seems to work for me pretty darn well so far.
  • For a lovely coffee date with my BFF and the sun shining as we ate.
  • For good deals at all the stores today!
  • For Law & Order marathons on over-the-air TV!
  • That my daughter got to her dad's safely

Our "Mondo grass" or whatever it's called is coming back after completely dying during the drought!  Woohoo!

A pair of mourning doves visited the cardinal feeder tonight.  My lens was all fogged up though.

I won't be posting a Vacation post today. It's 8 p.m. and I'm ready to go to bed!


  1. Yay, the To Do list is back! LOL. I lost the incentive to do mine when you weren't posting yours!

    You had a busy day! I like your garden sign. I might have to steal that quote and make something for my gardener! I have a sign that says Garden of Weed'n. :)

    1. Wow, that's some compliment since you're the one usually who inspires me so much! I do need to try not to list tons of things on my To Do List, but it's so hard.

  2. Wow you had a lot in that post! I have been busy- nothing exciting happening here. I did buy a nice pot for a Christmas cactus at Beall's. I had a spend $10 and get $10 off coupon (I have no idea why they keep sending them to me but I always use them) and it was senior day so this $25 pot (way overpriced but 60% off) cost me less than $2 with tax. Gotta love those bargains. I've been eating leftovers so need to grocery shop this morning after I visit a client. Doctor's visit was OK- my cholesterol is creeping up so she wants me to take something. I'm debating it- I am almost 70 so probably not a bad thing if it gives me a few extra years haha. I didn't weigh- I told the nurse not today and they always listen to me! I know my weight- hopefully it will go down a bit before the NYC trip so I can eat whatever I want there. Will you go to the UF preview or is it just for students? I listened to the 'speech' twice with my older kids (different colleges but basically the same spiel)so when DD went to UF, I stayed home and it turned out there was only 1 other student in her group who didn't have a parent with them and she was from another country LOL. Oh well- DD finally let me live that one down.

    1. Ha, they keep on sending the coupons so you go into their store and spend something, even if it's just $2. I have this love/hate relationship with Kohl's because of that. Having Kohl's cash usually actually stresses me out because I never know what to buy. So now I just keep a list of what I might want to wait to purchase with Kohl's cash once I have some, that helps a lot.

      It's a tough call to decide whether to get on the meds or not, but you'll do what's right for you and your body, I'm sure. Meds aren't inherently all bad, and sometimes you just have got to take them. Is your cholesterol creeping up while you're trying to control it with your diet or are you not necessarily considering cholesterol when you eat? I think it's hysterical that you ordered the nurses not to weigh you!

      No, I won't go to Preview. The parents are invited and apparently most of them go, as you reported. I figured that it was only a grab for money, getting the parents guilted into contributing to the alumni association, and it's funny because my BFF's son attended Preview last week with his best friends' parents and they reported to my BFF that it had been useless for them and had felt like a major money grab. My reasoning for not going also is that my kid is 18 so legally an adult. They won't give me any information about her grades, her health or anything because of that even if I were to be the one paying for her UF education so why would I now want to go spend 2 days at UF for them to give me "parental" information? If there's something I need to know, she'll tell me. But as far as I'm concerned, she's an adult so I don't need to be involved in her things. Fly little bird, fly! Plus, she didn't want me to go, LOL. She's enjoying doing things on her own. It'll be the first time she drives to Gainesville by herself.

  3. You had quite efficient and productive morning with your errands. I couldn't believe that you went all of those places and were home by 12:30. Just think how much you'll be able to do when you get a good night's sleep. :)

    1. The fact that I showed up at my friend's house at 8 a.m. instead of 8:30 a.m. surely helped get me home by 12:30, hahaha. It's a lot of stops but Clermont isn't that big and all the places where I shop are pretty close to one another, another reason why it didn't take all that long. I love shopping on weekday mornings when the stores aren't too busy. It really feels like a luxury! But yes, I hear you on getting a good night's sleep and I got one last night. Wait until you read about all the stuff I did today!

  4. Good shop, and I don't mean just the groceries. Yay for buying yourself some new duds. I really like the garden sign, especially the price. I saw a lot of great stuff yesterday that one could buy for the garden, but I held myself back from paying out the big bucks they were asking. I think now I should check out the Thrift stores for any future garden art, especially now I have seen what you purchased. As usual, you accomplished a lot.

    1. Thanks! Yes you should check out thrift stores and also places like Dollarama. Do you have that near you? I used to read a Canadian blogger who I think lives near Toronto who always got the niftiest things at Dollarama.

    2. Yes, we have a LOT of Dollarama stores close by. They really do have some nifty stuff for the garden, and I go a few times during the year to check them out. But I prefer checking out Dollar Tree first because every thing is $1.25, and although there was a time when everything in these dollar stores were only a dollar, everyone has raised their prices. Dollarama now has a range of prices from $1.25 to $5, so you really need to keep your eye on the prices. And you need to know your prices, because there are times that Dollarama may have higher prices than other places (like WalMart)

  5. Wow, losing 12.8 lbs in less than a month is a HUGE accomplishment!

    I didn't know that Wawa lets you calculate the nutritional values of stuff - yeay! Thanks for the info! I like Wawa and have had their food (and freebie coffee, with the survey coupon), and I just think of it as a food place that just happens to have a gas station with it...hahaha.

    1. Thanks!

      Yes, a food place that just happens to have a gas station with it... and free air for your tires :) I don't get my gas there but mostly because 1) I want the freebies at RaceTrac which are more abundant and 2) I dislike the music they play at their pumps. But RaceTrac matches their prices so it doesn't matter. I looooove their made-to-order food (haven't tried the already made ones) and their coffee is really good. The bakery items are OK, I like Panera better for that. The link for the Wawa nutrition calculator page is:


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