Monday, March 2, 2015

This Week on the Dining Table

The "I Am SOOOOO Over This" Edition ........

We got another 5 inches over the last 24 hours.  This isn't boding well for March. bleh.
Here's what was planned last week.......

1.  Beef Taco Salad
2.  Salmon, grilled asparagus, yellow squash casserole
3.  Ham & Bean Soup/Asparagus Leek Soup, Bread
4.  Pumpkin Ravioli w/Sauce, Salad(use leftover Alfredo sauce)
5.  Leftovers(Chicken w/Zuke, rice)
6.  Leftovers(Chicken Fajitas or Beef tacos)
7.  Leftovers(Chicken Stir-fry)
And this is what actually happened--

1.  Beef Taco Salad
2.  Salmon, grilled asparagus, yellow squash casserole
3.  Ham & Bean Soup/Asparagus Leek Soup, Bread
4.  Pumpkin Ravioli w/Sauce, Salad(use leftover Alfredo sauce)
5.  Leftovers(Chicken w/Zuke, rice)
6.  Leftovers(Chicken Fajitas or Beef tacos)
7.  Leftovers(Chicken Stir-fry)

Everything went as planned for some reason I can't fathom why! lolz
Well except I didn't make the squash casserole so that moves to the coming week.

Last week I made 2 trips to grocery stores(but am holding back 1 trip's spending until March) and I spent  $7.74 OOP on $13.96 worth of reg. retail groceries.  I had 2 transactions at Rite-Aid(but am holding back on 1 done after I closed out the books on Feb.)and spend $.23 OOP on $14.87 worth of toiletries, so $7.97 total spending last week.

My spending for February on food/toiletries was posted on Sunday so go have a look if interested.

Leftovers going into this week are asparagus/leek soup and ham/bean soup.

Here is the plan for this week.........

1.  Beef Stroganoff, rice, veggie
2.  Salmon, Squash casserole
3.  Pasta with meat sauce, salad or soup
4.  Pork filet or Country Fried Steak(diners choice), Steak fries, leftover squash casserole
5.  Pizza, Salad
6.  Leftovers or Soup & fresh bread
7.  Ginger garlic duck & veggie stir-fry, rice

What I need to buy for this menu......not a thing.  The meat for the stroganoff is cubes of beef roast that we didn't eat for Christmas and has been sitting in the freezer.  The duck breasts are from that great deal at Wegman's a year ago December that are still lurking in the freezer too.
The ready made pizza is from the Snack +Ups Promo from Rite-Aid at the end of Jan. before the Super Bowl that we didn't eat yet.  It's taking up valuable real estate in the freezer so it's getting used NOW!
The salmon, pork filets and the ground beef for the pasta sauce I bought last week when it was super cheap with instant discount stickers on the packages.  I also bought the 2 bags of fresh stir-fry veggies last week on discount too that are being eaten with the duck breasts.
Unless there is an awesome deal I won't be shopping this week except too use the last of my $10 Catalinas I earned the week before last.

What is getting fixed and served at your house this week?    

Was last week's plan successful, did you go off plan or did you not even plan what was going to be eaten that week?

Any great deals on food at your stores this week?


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Well I Lied!

Because the weather was nice and sunny though frigid, Hubs and I went out for a bit yesterday.

I had $5 to spend at Kohl's.
I ended up spending a bit more to use that $5 but it was a clearance find or two(or three).

Then we had lunch.....

Of course I used a coupon.  ;-)

Then it was off to the local craft brewery.....


Hey, that looks good, I'll have one of those!

Hubs got an IPA, then a small flight of 3 samples and a Growler fill before we left to go home.
I had considered stopping in at KMart to check out the Winter clothing clearance deals but we decided to head home instead after using my gas points to fill my car's gas tank.

Oh, and the first stop when we headed out was to Rite-Aid.
You see, I had a $1 off coupon for a brand of hand cream Hubs likes.  After coupon and 20% wellness discount I'd still have to spend down the +Up Rewards about $5.  So I also bought some tubes of Cerave lotion.......

1 x Working Hands 20% off=$5.83
2 x Cerave lotion BOGO50%=$7.93

Coupons Used
1 x $1/1 Working Hands ManuQ=$1.00
1 x $7/2 Cerave porducts ManuQ=$7.00
Coupon Total......$8.00

$13.76-$8.00=$5.76 + .41¢ tax=$6.17

I used $5 in +Up Rewards and paid $1.17 on a gift card I need to use up.
I received back a $3 +Up Reward for buying the Cerave items(They cost me .93¢ after coupon but I got back $3 so that was a moneymaker item and helped cover a bit of the cost of the Working Hands cream.)

Since I've closed out the books for February on Friday night I'll put this trip on March's food/toiletries budget.

Today it started snowing way earlier than they forecast so I've been inside doing book work, genealogy, DNA, and binge re-watching Downton Abbey in between popping outside to do a little shoveling.

Yes, just another thrilling weekend here in the armpit of PA.  ;-)



2015 Food and Toiletries Spending.......February Update

 Onward to February's food spending report.......

Here are my FOOD BUDGET spending totals for FEBRUARY 2015.

I have posted February's totals on the Total Grocery Savings for 2015 Page located HERE and have updated the Yearly Totals there.m listing subtotals for each store I purchased from in February.  If you aren't interested in that much detail, just skip to the bottom for the Totals SumMy spending includes Food, Toiletries/HBA, Cleaning Products, Paper Goods & tax where applicable. We are a family of 3(2 at home this month). No kids under 19.


OOP  $8.50
Value  $17.66
Savings  51.87%

OOP  $13.00
Value  $18.06
Savings  28.02%

RITE-AID *(see below)
OOP  $5.29
Qs/Ads/+UPs  $178.04
Value  $183.33
Savings  97.11%
SHURSAVE STORES(small local independent affiliated stores)
OOP  $53.63
Qs/Ads  $42.97
Value  $96.60
Savings  44.48%
OOP  $249.34
Qs/Ads  $273.61
Value  $522.95
Savings  52.32%

My best 3 Store Savings Totals were Rite-Aid at 97.11%, Weis at  52.32% and  the Bakery Outlet at 51.87%.  My WORST savings rate was Dollar Tree at 28.02%.

I shopped at 5 different stores this past month. 

TOTAL Out of Pocket........ $351.98
TOTAL Coupons & Store Sales Savings...$534.79
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased............$886.77
TOTAL Savings of...................................60.30%
TOTAL Savings WITHOUT Rite-Aid.............50.71%

This closes out the February food/toiletries spending.

THOUGHTS & COMMENTS for this month.....
I was on target for a $250 monthly spending until Weis had that $10 oyno Catalina Deal.  Let's just say we are STUFFED to the gills with bacon, coffee, turkey breasts and ground beef now. 8-)
If it's any consolation(and it isn't much)I DID spend less this February than in 2014.

Perhaps spending so little monthly on food for a household is unrealistic given what we eat normally.
We won't give up meat/seafood or dairy here(though we have been eating very little dairy the last 2 years)to keep our food spending super low.  If we just ate veggies, bread and carbs I am sure we could get off spending less every single month.
And it seems that the cost of food rises(or the size of packages shrinks)each and every month after the last.

The monthly savings percentage went down by 13.79% in February to 60.30% compared to January's 74.09% average.
I'm not too concern by that since a 60.30% savings rate is still higher than normal(normal for me is about 40%).
The savings rate for the year so far now stands at 68.24%.  That's quite high all things considered.


I want to continue to eat down some of our stockpiles of food and empty out the freezer a bit more. It's just 2 adults for March except that College Boy will be home for a week this month too.  He is the Wild Card in this.   I didn't get anywhere near a $250 spending month for February so I am upping the budget a bit to $300 for food/toiletries in March.  I shouldn't have to buy anything until about a week in. Let's see how close I can get to that $300 mark without exceeding it(IF I don't exceed it).
If you have other ideas or guidelines you follow please leave a comment and share yours with us all.
*  How much did you spend on food/toiletries in February?
*  Do you track your yearly food spending?
*  What was your savings percentage buying on sale and/or with coupons vs. buying at regular retail price last month, if you track that sort of thing?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Live Long & Prosper

Mr. Spock aka Leonard Nimoy went to that great Sci-Fi series in the sky yesterday.

Leonard Nimoy and his alter ego Mr. Spock were idols of my oldest brother, Dennis.  He was a big fan of the original Star Trek tv series.
Dennis styled himself after Mr. Spock, making many of Spock's expressions his own.

Heck, he even had the first album of music Nimoy recorded/released......

And who can forget THIS classic.....hehehe.....

Another hit from the premiere LP.....

Here's an online friend, Pam, posing for me last July, beside a giant Vulcan hand with Spock's famous quote carved into it during our day out in IL.......

For you young folks who weren't around for the Golden Era of Star Trek, you may have "seen" Mr. Spock on the "Big Bang Theory".......

Here is Nimoy's reading of "Desiderata".  I'd like to dedicate this one to fellow blogger, Wayne the "Cajun", who lost his battle with illness and left us on Feb. 17th.  The world is just a little bit less for him not being in it any longer.......

And I'll leave you with Mr. Nimoy's fun version of the Bruno Mars hit, "The Lazy Song".


See you in the Heavens Mr. Spock.....


The Health Trial is Over.....Well Almost

The recent biannual check-up at my doctor's office necessitated a round of blood work and other lab tests.
It's only February but we are still working on satisfying the high deductible $4K of our insurance plan here.
After the last 2 weeks however we won't be working on that for long! 8-(

The blood work was over $300 alone.  Then I refilled a $350 prescription only to be told by said doctor 3 days later(BEFORE I used any of this refill mind you)that he was taking me off that medication.
Thanks doc!
Anybody want to buy some prescription drugs!? lolz

Once I got in for my appointment the blood work was good(excellent cholesterol levels here!)except for one item so he put me on a new even more expensive drug(with no generic equivalent yet)BUT......he gave me a card with the script and the manufacturer is going to cover the cost of it for the next year.
I "heart" this drug company!
We will worry about the cost of this one drug next year..... ;-)

I also had to go for a spirometry test(haven't been billed for that one yet), a CAT scan of my lungs(ditto on that bill)and a Mammogram.  I know the mammo will be paid 100%(it's considered preventative)but the other 2 will be billed to us at full price.  We've got the money to pay them so that's not a worry and between these, the blood work, doctor's OV charges and that $350 drug refill we should meet our yearly deductible for 2015 now.

No word yet on the breathing test(I suspect it's fine as I haven't had to use the asthma inhalers for a YEAR now!)but the CT and Mammo results already came back with negative results(negative is good).

When I had my heart scare 2 years ago this week, in all of the testing that was carried out, someone noticed a spot on one of my lungs.  Since then I have had to go in for follow-up CTs at regular intervals to make sure it isn't a sign of cancer.  The only way to know for sure what the spot was would be to open me up and visually eyeball it but they aren't going to be so invasive just for that.  As some suspected all along the spot is just a bit of scare tissue and has not grown at all in 2 years since it was noted.  My lung is now in the clear. 8-)

The mammogram came back clean  as well so I have survived to live another year.
I just have my yearly check-up with the sleep disorders doc this Summer but everything is well in "sleep apnea land".

And I am hoping that this new $$$ med along with upping the dosage of another med will take care of the 1 test result that was still out of whack.

The only item left on my medical list is eye surgery.
I have a wicked bad cataract in one eye which will be taken out mid March. 

After that heals it's on to smooth sailing.....Sluggy is taking names and kicking butt again..... and watching what she eats and exercising more.

Yeah, it's always something, ain't it?  8-))


Friday, February 27, 2015

*Fabric Porn*

Ok, so while down in Virginia visiting my brother in January the local fabric store chain was having a clearance sale.
Fabric calls to me when it's cheap......and when it's $3 or less a yard I listen!  lolz

So I bough a few lengths--

This piece, though it's not usually colors I choose(or the subject matter-horses!), the combination of shades and design spoke to me.  I'll probably make a shirt with this one.

 This design was a bit on the large scale size but I like it.  Unfortunately there isn't enough here to do what I want to do, so I'll have to pair it with another fabric or a solid in these colors.  It's bound to be a shirt or a sundress if I figure out that right companion fabric.

Love the color of this one though the fabric is a bit on the "rough texture" side.  Not sure yet what I'll make with it.

This was the "bargain of the day" at $1 a yard.  It's a rayon challis, very nice quality.   And because it is adorned with swizzle sticks it's screaming to become a "Hawaiian type" shirt! lolz

And then last week Hancock fabrics had a good sale.  Unfortunately they don't have a retail outlet located anywhere around here so I went online to shop the sale.

In celebration of keeping our credit card bill under $600 for February I splurged on 3 more pieces of fabric.  These were about double what I usually spend per yard but rayon is hard to find in great patterns/colors, so I still consider them a deal.....

Black and white Ikat type pattern.

A cool batik but rayon not cotton so it has better flow....and it's purple!

I thought this owl pattern was cute in a rayon fabric.  It turned out the scale of the design was a bit larger than I thought or would have wanted.  But I can make this work anyway.

Now I just have to get on cutting some shirts out and sewing them.
Too bad the fabric buying is so much easier/fun.....lolz