Monday, September 15, 2014

This Week on the Dining Table

The "We Harvested the Tomatoes This Weekend" Edition--

Hubs and I got out into our sad, sad garden this past weekend and picked tomatoes.  It turned out to be a bad year for everything because we didn't get much heat so nothing grew much.  Usually we get triple to amount of maters from our plants.  We were lucky to harvest this much this season.

Then I found these 3 bad boys hiding under my morning glories this morning.....

So it looks like I'll be processing tomatoes today.....well at least the one we don't plan to eat fresh.

What was planned last week--

1.  BLT sammies, side spinach salad
2.  Ravioli(freezer), tossed salad
3.  Brats(freezer) on rolls, leftover baked beans, collard greens
4.  Duck breast(freezer), Risotto, sauted Veggies of some kind(depending on what's fresh at the market)
5.  Leftover Chinese take-out from last Saturday
6.  Grilled pork chop(freezer), leftover Collards, fried apples
7.  Leftovers or No Clue Yet(something in the freezer)
And this is what actually happened--
1.  BLT sammies, side spinach salad
2.  Ravioli(freezer), tossed salad
3.  Brats(freezer) on rolls, leftover baked beans, collard greens
4.  Duck breast(freezer), Risotto, California Mix veggies
5.  Leftover Chinese take-out from last Saturday
6.  Grilled pork chop(freezer), leftover Collards, mashed potatoes
7.  Subway sandwiches(for free with card points)
Everything but  leftovers happened.
Last week I made 3 trips to the grocery stores, the local market on Wednesday, Sam's Club on Saturday and Giant on Sunday
I spent $102.66 on food last week.

Going into this week, in leftovers we have.........1 helping of each the ravioli in sauce and the baked beans, 2 helpings of the risotto. 

Here is the plan for this week.........not feeling inspired this week, doing some easy stuff that I already have most of the ingredients.  I will be making relish and processing tomatoes this week so I don't want anything involved on the menu this week.  I've worked tomatoes into 3 of our meals this week(plus an errant mater sandwich for lunch or two!)and I'll can the rest.

1.  Take-Out Chinese
2.  BLT sandwiches(use our tomatoes)
3.  Zucchini and Chicken over Rice(use our tomatoes)
4.  Tacos or Taco Salad(use our tomatoes)
5.  Flounder, Coleslaw, Butternut Squash
6.  Broccoli Cheddar Soup(in crockpot), fresh bread
7.  Leftovers or Greek Hamburgers and leftover sides

Food Waste--a helping of tuna noodle casserole.

What I need to buy this week......fresh produce, lettuce, ground beef.   That's all I can think of right now.
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?
How much did you spend on food so far in September?


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Saturday & Sunday Shopping Deal Updates

On Saturday I went shopping.
First to WeisPMITAMarkets to get this.....

They had some varieties of Cheerios on sale $1.77 a box.  Of course they were out of the multigrain variety I like so I got the honey nut ones.

I paid .77¢ after using a .50/1 IPQ that doubled to $1 off(coupons dotcom).
I will also get back .50¢ into my Saving Star account soon which makes this box of cereal .27¢.
We don't eat cold cereal around here much so this will last me quite awhile.  I can mix it with my multigrain Cheerios.
This is the only item I bought at Weis this week.

Then it was back to Rite-Aid to get some last minute items.

I can't show you one of the things I got since I know that person reads this blog and it's for them for Christmas. ;-)
But I earned $3 +Up Reward for buying it.

I also cashed in a rain check I had forgotten about.  Back when Motrin PM was first introduced Rite-Aid had it on sale for $1 a box.....I think it was $1 after an +Up Reward.  Anyway I still had 2 boxes to buy on this rain check.
Motrin was bogo50% and gave a $2 +Up Reward last week wyb 2.
And even though I was getting it for $1 a box it still gave me the $2 +Up Reward.
I also have a $3/2 Motrin items coupon from last Sunday's inserts to "try" to use.
I didn't think it would take it since I was only spending $2 on Motrin.
But it did!  So I walked out of Rite-Aid with 2 boxes of Motrin for -$1 AND a $2 +Ups.

I guess since I bought something else in the transaction, that Motrin coupon came off because there was other spending to "absorb" it. (I also brought a $1/1 Motrin coupon just in case the $3 one didn't work.)
So my "item I can't show you" only cost me $8.98 if I count that $1 from the Motrin Q toward that spending.  I also used $4 in +Ups on the "item I can't show you" so in the end I paid $4.98 for it.
I'm taking that $4.98 OOP from the Christmas monies and not counting it toward my food/toiletries spending.'

Then this morning I had the last of my $25 +Up rx transfer to spend/roll.

It took me awhile to figure out how to spend that much in one transaction since 2 of the items I was going to buy were NOT included in a couple of deals this week, and it made my brain hurt.
But figure it out I did.  This is the best rolling I could manage this week......

2 x Brookside chocolate on sale=$7.00
2 x Dove men's 'Poo rain check=$5.00 *
2 x Listerine naturals on sale $3.99=$7.98 **
2 x Ghirardelli chocolate bags on sale $3=$6.00 ***
2 x GE halogen light bulbs on sale BOGO50%=$11.23
1 x Colgate Enamel toothpaste on sale=$2.99
1 x Bayer baby aspirin on sale=$2.99

Coupons Used
2 x $1/1 Brookside ManuQ(Sunday's inserts)=$2.00
1 x $1/2 Brookside VideoValueQ=$1.00
2 x $1/1 Listerine ManuQ from Dentist Office=$2.00
2 x $1/1 Chirardelli bar or bag IPQ(HERE)=$2.00
2 x $1/1 GE lightbulbs ManQ(Sunday's inserts)=$2.00 ****
2 x $2/1 GE lightbulbs VideoValuesQ=$4.00
1 x $2/1 Colgate enamel toothpaste ManuQ(Sunday's inserts)=$2.00
1 x $1/1 Bayer item IPQ(coupons dotcom)=$1.00 *****
Coupon Total.....$16.00

$43.19-$16.00=$27.19 + .06¢ tax=$27.25
I paid with $27 in +Ups($25 rx transfer and another $2 +Ups) and spent .25¢ OOP.

I received back $14 in +Up Rewards($2 Dove wyb2, 2 x $3 Listerine, $5 wyb 2GE bulbs, $1 Bayer).
I spet .25¢ out of pocket, brought home $64.18 worth of goods and have $14 in new +Up Rewards to spend later.

After +Ups/Qs, the Brookside chocies cost me $2 a bag, the Dove 'Poo cost me $1.50 a bottle, the Listerine cost me -.01¢ a bottle, the Ghirardelli $2 a bag, the GE light bulbs .23¢ for both boxes, and the Colgate toothpaste and Bayer aspirin cost me .99¢ each.  Of course, this "cost" was taken care of by using +Up Rewards so the real cost was only .25¢ out of pocket.  8-)))

* Even though I had no Qs to use on the Dove men's 'Poo, it was a good deal.  The rain check made it $5 for 2 instead of this week's 2/$7 Deal AND it still printed the $2 +Ups wyb2, so after +Ups I paid $3 for 2.  And if Dove releases IPQs for this item this week, I can print them and take them into Rite-Aid with my receipt showing a purchased this item and get money back for those Qs, which will make my spending even lower.  8-)

** If you buy 2 of the Listerine "Naturals" type of mouth wash the Catalina will most probably spit out a $1/1 Listerine Naturals like it did for me.

*** The Ghirardelli IPQs are good on the bags or the bars.  Buy the bars for $1 each after using the Q this week, or buy the bags for $2 each after using the Q this week.  I could have bought the bars instead of the bags and saved $2 in +Ups that I spent.  They didn't have any of the bar flavors that I like.

**** I used the ManuQ from Sunday's inserts but there is also a $1/1 package IPQ at coupons dotcom.  I also had 2 $1/1 GE bulbs loaded to my Wellness card(Load2Card Qs)but neither of them came off though I bought the correct item.  I had the cashier check if they came off before I handed over the ManuQs for this item.  See what I mean about the L2CQs being weird!?!)

***** There is also a $1/1 Bayer product ManuQ in this Sunday's inserts you could use instead of the IPQ one I used.  There is a limit of 1 offer for this deal and there was no signage on the shelf in my store so be careful.  I had them price check it to make sure it was the correct item that gives a $1 +Ups this week.

I have $36 in +Up Rewards moving forward into next week and I've spent a total of $2.80 OOP at Rite-Aid this month.

I have $19 in +Ups expiring next week so I'll spend some time this week figuring out how to roll/spend those.

Is there anything at Rite-Aid you are going to be getting this week?
I see diapers on a good deal this week, but we don't need those anymore(thank goodness!lol).



Saturday, September 13, 2014

Updating My To-Do List

Here's what actually got done(or didn't) on the To-Do List for this Week--

*  Write 2 Letters  no
*  Clean out my bedroom closet  no
*  Go through my Christmas gift box(yes I just said CHRISTMAS!)  Done
*  Finish going through stuff in garage to put on eBay or send to Salvation Army  working on it
*  Pick out some fabrics to sew into clothes when I go through the tubs.  Done
*  Go through tubs of fabric and list on Etsy  One tub Done
*  Order photo prints from relatives Shutterfly account  no
*  Clean out kitchen island and organize  no
*  Reorganize tubs of fabric I am keeping(and will hopefully use) Done
*  Go through closet in purple room and de-clutter  Done
*  Finish grocery and drugstore shopping for the week  Done
*  Put up Giveaway on blog  Done

Well the weather was cooler so I can't use that as an excuse for not doing everything.  Rats!
How about I got a little blue last week and just sat on my big ass?
Works for me..... ;-)

I am just not inspired right now to do anything, especially outdoor projects.
The yard looks like crap, the garden has been a big fat load of nothing this year and we didn't get to one of our outdoor projects yet and now I need to do some canning so that project won't get "gotten to" before the weather goes to pot.  This means it will hang over my head until Spring....fantastic.....

It isn't helping my mood that it got COLD yesterday and I am freezing!
And it's raining today.
Maybe if the sun comes out tomorrow I'll feel a bit perkier.

Did you get anything of note accomplished this past week?
Tell us about it and cheer me up.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Christmas Funds....Yep, It's that Time Already

                          credit Investopedia dotcom

I thought it was a good time to update where I am in regard to Christmas monies.
After all, Christmas is only 103 days away and the shopping rush begins 75 days from now...yikes!

I don't DO Black Friday btw....ok, sometimes I DO do BF online but never in a store.  I try to do a good part of my shopping by early November or sooner anyway.
Heck Dec. 26th of 2013 was when I bought my first gifts for Christmas 2014. lolz
I pick up deals throughout the year when I see them.  Having extra cash in your budget throughout the year helps you get stuff when it's cheapest.

I try to avoid going into stores(other than Rite-Aid and the grocery stores)between Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

I went through the "gift acquisitions in my closet" yesterday too.  Everything is now in a big box labeled "Xmas gifts" and ready to be wrapped and/or shipped once December gets here.

So far I have in gifts.....

Hubs  Stocking Stuff Done
#2 Son  Stocking Stuff Done
Daughter  Stocking Stuff Done
#1 Son  Stocking Stuff Done(He got his main present already.)
#1 Son's GF Done
Hub's Sister  Done
Brother  Done
Sister In-law  Done
Brother In-law  Done

The left to buy List....
#2 Son
Her BF

This short list will run me about $400 and doesn't include all the other spending categories at Christmas-food, travel, outings, etc.

I have $146.50 in rolled coins to cash in and if I redeem all my c/c points as of now I would get back $875 in gift cards.

Now the problem I have with this arrangement(lots of gift cards, little cash)is that nowadays my kids want cash, not gift cards.  Cash doesn't limit them in where they get to spend it, gift cards do.
At their ages(at least the older two), they should be glad I still buy them stuff! 8-)

I thought about cashing in the c/c points for gift cards and then selling them on one of those sites where you can do this.
But I'd get less than what they are worth(and I'm already taking a "hit" as these are c/c points)and this would require "work" on my part and waiting to see if they sell.  Too big a hassle for me.

Instead I can just request the gift cards to places Hubs and I shop and purchase stuff we need instead of buying gifts.

In 2012 I made a $1,000 Christmas spending budget.  That's for everything Christmas related from electricity for running lights, to special outings to gifts to food.

In 2013 I made a $1,650 Christmas spending budget.  We spent more in 2013 because we traveled during the holidays to go visit #1 Son and we had to pay for gas, meals and motels.

In 2014 I plan to reduce the Christmas spending budget. I have $146.50 and as much of that $875 in gift cards I choose to use saved so far.

We NEVER go into debt for Holiday spending.  And neither should you! ;-)  The best way is to have a budget, plan ahead to save or decide where your Christmas funds will come from and keep what you spend on the low side and commensurate with your income.

I have plenty to cover gifts(with the gift cards)but I need to come up with more cash.

I can yank some of the funds from selling off my fabric stash on Etsy this year.  That would give me another $450 or so.

And there is also $209.18 from blog income for this year I can pull from as well.

That gives me $805.68 in cash(not counting the $875 in gift cards).
Adding up all these sources I can readily cover the Holiday expenses whatever they turn out to be this year.

And just in case we go over I still have a piece of Hub's bonus left that I can spend. 8-)

If we don't travel for the Holidays, I'm thinking of trying for an $800 budget.  If we travel it's going to look more like a $1300 budget.
At this point we don't have plans to travel during the Holidays but that could change. 

Gregory Karp, a personal finance expert, says you should only spend as much as 1.5% of your family's gross income on Christmas gifts.
Take note.....this is for Gifts only.

I think 1.5% of gross income for Christmas spending is a good measure, but I'd say this should be for ALL your Holiday associated spending, not just for gifts.  Gift giving is only 1 piece of the Christmas spending pie.

You can see a set of statistics from American Research Group, Inc. for 2013 Christmas HERE.  Note that this just includes gift spending.

So how much do you plan on spending this year for the Holidays?

Do you budget a certain amount for your Christmas spending?
Or do you just spend whatever you feel like?

And if you budget, what categories do you spend on within that budget?

Do you save all year to cover your Holiday spending?

How do you save for it?


Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Boring Blog Box Giveaway is BACK!!!

While I've been de-cluttering and re-organizing the house since the last kid flew the coop, I've realized I need to do another Giveaway and let some lucky reader win some of my awesome deals!

So here's what's available to win......

Summer's Eve cleansing cloths
Blink dry eye tears
Pantene shampoo
Vaseline lotion(aloe vera)
Dial men's spray body wash
Gear men's anti-perspirant/deodorant
Max-Freeze topical pain relief
Yogi Bedtime tea bags
Clear shampoo sample
Crest toothpaste
Colgate toothbrush
Glade candle(clean linen scent)
Brandied Peaches from TN(from my travels this past Spring)
Scotch tape dispenser
Thera-Rinse mouth rinse samples
Snoopy note cards stationery

Here's more of a close-up of the goodies.......

I'll leave this giveaway open until September 28th, a Sunday, at 11:59pm.  The next day I'll put all the valid entries into a container and draw out a name and that person wins.

There is a limit of ONE ENTRY per Day by leaving a comment on this blog post.

To get a Bonus entry, you can do this once---

Post about my Giveaway on your own Blog or on Facebook with a link to this post, this will earn you 2 additional entries for each action.  Please leave additional comments on this blog post for each additional Bonus entry. 

 Disclaimer--This giveaway is open to those with mailing addresses within the US or Canada only.
If you are in Canada, you will receive a smaller box of goodies, as the shipping rates internationally are ridiculous and I am not taking out a mortgage on my house to pay to ship this stuff.  ;-)
If you need this shipped to Canada, I'll have to change the box and it's contents a bit.  I can ship a plain box weighing up to 4lbs. via 1st class mail, which, while more than the flat rate Priority to US addys, is still affordable.  These prize boxes usually weigh 7 or more lbs. when full, so if the winner is in Canada, I'll let them pick and choose which of the items they prefer sent in their box, until the box weighs 4lbs.  I hate to have to do this(not ship ALL prizes to them)but I would hate it even more to exclude them totally from entering the giveaway.

Please make sure there is a way for me to contact you in your comment.  If you're not a registered Blog User please put your email or email me your email addy privately when you leave a comment or something so I can get ahold of you if you win. If I can't contact you then you can't win.  Thanks!

So let's get this started!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

More Rite-Aid This Week

I still had $5 in +Up Rewards attached to my son's Wellness card I had to use by Friday, so back to Rite-Aid I went today.....

2 x Reach toothbrushes 3 pack(raincheck=.50¢ea.)=$1.00
6 x Palmolive dish soap(on sale .99¢)=$5.94
2 x Garnier shampoo BOGO50%=$6.73

Coupons Used
2 x $1/3 Palmolive dish soap VideoValues IPQ=$2.00
1 x $2/2 Garnier Sleek & Shine products VideoValues IPQ=$2.00
1 x $2/1 Garnier product IPQ=$2.00
1 x $2/1 Garnier product Load2CardQ=$2.00
Coupon Total.....$8.00

$13.67-$8.00=$5.67 + .02¢tax=$5.69

I paid with those $5 in +Ups attached to the card=.69¢ OOP

I was surprised to receive a $2 +Up Reward back on my receipt!

Evidently there is a $2 +UPs when you purchase 5 Palmolive items this week.  There was no signage in the store.

If you look closely above the Up Rewards it says, "Buy 5 Select Palmolive  Get $2+UP".
So even is you just use one of the VideoValues coupons $1/3, and buy 5, after the $2 +Ups back, the 5 bottles will cost you $1.95, or .39¢ each + tax.

As for my transaction, I paid .69¢OOP, spent down $3 in +Ups and brought home items worth $32.10.
This card now also has $6.73 toward the "Spend $15/Get $5 +Ups Garnier/Maybelline" Deal.  This is a monthly Deal.

Now I'm off to figure out how to spend/roll what is expiring next week.