Frugal Living - Challenge 2020 Daily Frugal Challenge

Discussion in 'The Daily Frugal: Living Life Pennywise' started by KmmCo, Jan 2, 2020.

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  1. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    The beans and rice came out okay. I heated up some ham and used the beans and rice as the side. There was so much left after dinner that I just packaged the rest of the beans for the potluck. I will cook a fresh batch of rice the night before to take in.

    *I have the whole chicken to cook for lunch. I will probably divide it up and do a couple of different seasonings so that we have a variety of leftovers.....

    I got my eye exam done yesterday and a "slightly tweaked" prescription. I had to turn in the insurance claim myself and just wait for a check to come to me. I did the claim online and it said 30 days to process it.... I am not getting the new glasses until later.

    Since I was at the Costco eye center, I grabbed two items on the way out. Bananas for $1.42 and a bag of granola cereal for $4.35 on sale. Probably the cheapest that I have ever got out of there....

    At the thrift store I found two guide books for .99 each. One was the Alcan Hiway itself and one was for the Yukon and Alaska. Along with the Milepost that I got the other day in the mail, I should be good to go when my transfer comes through... (I am told the hiring freeze will not affect that, but it remains to be seen....)
     
  2. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Had to hit the store up for milk, so I grabbed some frozen ravioli ($3.29) for dinner. I already had sauce in the pantry. I splurged on garlic bread for $1.79. $7 is on the steeper side of what I spend for dinners, but still a lot cheaper than going out for Italian food...
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
  3. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Lunch today: Salad with some sliced up chicken that I had cooked the other day.

    Dinner tonight will be breakfast for dinner. I have sausage thawed out and will make either pancakes or French toast.

    I have been doing pretty much nothing except relaxing today. The weather is nice out and I might go for a walk in a bit....
    ------------------------------------------------
    EDIT: Pancakes won out tonight.

    I also made 2 loaves of pumpkin bread that will be sliced for DH and I to take to work all week. I had a bunch of cans of Pumpkin pie mix from libbys that I bought last year for .50 each and need to use it all up soon. I googled a recipe to use it to make pumpkin bread...

    I did something useful for my walk and took some books to a neighbors "little library box" so those are out of the house without having to drive to Goodwill.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
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  4. jastwins

    jastwins ※Kaboom!・:・:・゜ Trader Group

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    Just before our winter break, I was asked to chaperone a playoff game held at another school. It was off island and I had to be a bus chaperone with one other person. So happy that I was asked since this gets me 4 hours of chaperone pay.
    This week, I worked at the bank four days and was happy to put in 30 hours. Any pay is good enough when you know the upcoming school paycheck will be for one week. This week, I brought lunch and snacks from home, so no $$ spent that. It was nice to do some shopping and get some frees at my grocery store that doubles dollar coupons. Just wish they had more items on sale and that my coupons could make them free. The most fun I had was at TJ maxx where they had yellow label markdowns and I walked away with items for .70 cents and .30 cents (clothing, makeup and skin care). Some splurges cost a $1 or $2. LOL

    Other expenses included a battery for the van and that cost $140. Crankie fixed it today and it is nice to have this as a back up vehicle.
    The van needs an oil change and so does my other car. Items to put on my list of things to do in March.
     
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  5. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    We've always wanted to get up to the National Elk Refuge in Jackson, Wyoming before the elk migrated away in spring, but the roads can be treacherous and it was impossible while DH was working ... :rolleyes:

    We saw video of all the elk at the refuge over the weekend and on a lark I checked lodging prices. When we realized we could get a great, last minute rate at the inn right across the highway from the refuge we decided to drop everything and take a dash up there while there was a rare window with clear roads, lots of sunshine and it was too cold to snow.

    We did pretty well pinching our pennies on the trip. We used a $1 per gallon fuel reward to fill the tank before we left town.

    Since our room came with a nice little kitchenette but no free breakfast, we planned ahead and brought potatoes, eggs, bread and butter from home. Then we found some red bell peppers on markdown when we got there, so had a nice potato, egg and pepper scramble with toast for breakfast this morning.

    The place was generous with Keurig cups in our room, so DH had plenty of coffee and the office had complimentary Tazo tea -- which was VERY welcome when temps were hovering around zero during waking hours. Normally, I drink iced tea year round, but this trip hot tea was the ticket.

    Dining out in Jackson is anything but frugal, however, there are a few reasonably priced places if you are in the know.

    Yesterday's lunch was the daily special at a downtown pizzeria we discovered a few years ago. It serves HUGE slices of New York-style pizza with a generous salad and soda for $8.

    There used to be a coupon site that offered a two-for-one deal at it and discounts at a couple other favorite restaurants, however, I think the site went under, because the coupons wouldn't come up when I tried to print them and when I tried to check the App, Google said it couldn't be found. :(

    However, we decided a few years back that the special was still a better price on lunch than anywhere else -- even without a coupon -- and that was still the case, even though prices had gone up a dollar or two since then.

    We went with the beautiful salad bar at a reasonably-priced restaurant last night.

    Then couldn't resist an elk gyro at an historic hotel for lunch before we headed home today. You can run up a pretty hefty bill eating in the dining room there for dinner, but the bar has a reasonably priced lunch menu which is also available for dinner -- and WHERE else are you going to get a gyro made with elk meat?

    We picked up Starbucks before leaving Jackson and DH also got a coffee at another Starbucks along the road. We used gift cards earned for hotel stays, so no money OOP - and we had plenty of doughnuts for the road, after DH bought a dozen on markdown right before we left. Guess his purchase wasn't quite as far out as I thought at the time.

    We picked up some markdown stir-fry kits and cauliflower pearls at the grocery store yesterday. Since we had a mini-fridge it was no problem keeping them to bring home. We couldn't leave them in the car, because it got down to minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit last night. DH forgot to drink a few swallows of his coffee in his insulated travel mug yesterday and it was frozen solid when he went to refill it today. :eek:

    We dropped by the grocery again today, because we had a $2 off Catalina coupon on fish and I noticed yesterday salmon was on sale at that chain, but not at our larger store here. The sister store is our tiny one and it has eliminated a LOT of the nice variety of fish it used to carry. Even though the computer said our store sold it, I didn't trust what I read. "A bird (or fish) in the hand ... " In the end we paid $3.49 for fish that retails for $7.99.

    While we were there, we also picked up 88 cent red and black grapes and 99 cent asparagus, not to mention three containers of organic yogurt marked down to 10 cents each. The grapes are on sale here, but the asparagus isn't in this week's ad, so I didn't want to risk the possibility our store might not have it.

    The store was very generous with fuel credits for bringing our own bags, as well, so that was an added bonus. Our store isn't nearly as generous here and our big store doesn't give any bonus points at all for supplying our own bags.
     
  6. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Sounds like a nice little trip. I have always wanted to go ski up there, but that will have to wait till some time when I have time off to drive up. Flying in there is a little too pricey for my budget....
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    *I am making chili con carne tonight by re-purposing some of the red beans left over from the potluck on Monday. I figured they were okay to take home and use as they only sat out of the fridge for the lunch hour and it it was really cold on the commute so nothing got above fridge temp on the way home....

    *I had a separate tub of rice that I cooked on Sunday night with about half of it left. I will make fried rice for lunch tomorrow.

    *Today for lunch I slapped together grilled bacon and cheese sandwiches and some salad from stuff that we had here.

    The only shopping that I have is couple of sale items from the Kroger ad and probably some milk later in the week. I am being creative about using stuff up in the pantry and freezer.

    I did not have a huge amount of $ to add to savings this week for my spring trip. I used most of the extra $$ to actually pay off current credit card charges before the bills close out. I will not have anything to pay in March billing cycles now and both those checks will all be for savings (outside of the amount I normally set aside for the house taxes each month.) Speaking of property taxes, I paid the first half due now and will get the second half paid in the next month or so. It is not due till June, but if I get it done early it is one less thing to deal with from a long distance.....
     
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  7. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    There were definitely a lot of skiers up there @KmmCo.

    Tuesday night. downtown Jackson was crammed with people carrying skies. Apparently, they'd just gotten off a shuttle bus although we didn't see the bus.

    I honestly never saw anyone skiing down the slopes at Snow King the entire time we were there. The runs were well-lit and you can see them from downtown -- just didn't see any skiers on them night or day -- not even tracks where skiers had been. I guess they must have been skiing a slope we couldn't see. :confused:

    Teton Village was packed with people when we drove over there, but we didn't actually see the slopes. Since there was virtually no parking, we never got out of the car.

    We still can't believe how HUGE that place has gotten. The first time we went there -- a little over 20 years ago -- there were only about two hotels and a few condos. Now about all we recognize is the Mangy Moose Bar, the Alpenhof Hotel where we stayed and the Aerial Tram which we rode during the off-season when we wouldn't have to fight skiers for space.

    The only place we actually saw active skiers on this trip -- instead of people wearing ski gear who looked like skiers -- was at Grand Teton National Park. We only drove in the three miles that are cleared at the Moose Junction entrance and the trail head parking lot was PACKED there with Cross Country skiers.

    However, the Visitor Center is seasonal at the park. We love the Park Service movie theater -- after the film, they open the curtains behind the screen and you get a gorgeous view of the Tetons out of a full wall of windows. ;)

    Fog wasn't cooperating this trip, however, so we never even saw the top of Grand Teton this trip -- something which isn't uncommon up there. Of course, the elk that often fill the meadow beneath the Tetons in the park were over at the elk refuge where they could find food. :p

    Antelope Flats (the road to Mormon Row and the historic houses is closed until May and since it turns into dirt road at the end, we wouldn't have tackled it even if it were open. As it was, we had SOOO much salt on the car, DH had to run to the car wash this afternoon while the temps were well above freezing. They're supposed to go back down after today.
     
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  8. Amber SmithKa

    Amber SmithKa Member Trader Group

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    We decided to thaw out some chicken tonight and eat at home instead of driving into town and getting fast food.... for the third time this week :oops:
     
  9. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    That's a good start. Eating at home is not only tastier, and healthier but also a lot cheaper. ;)

    Since you're just getting going again, you might want to check out the "What's for Dinner?" thread where you can tell us how you prepared your chicken. It used to be a really active thread, but not as many people have been posting there lately. We could use some more good dinner ideas! ;)
     
  10. Amber SmithKa

    Amber SmithKa Member Trader Group

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    I absolutely will check out that thread & let ya'll know. Let's get things active again!!!
     
  11. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    The chili came out so good, that I had to get seconds!:D Yesterday was sunny, but the wind made it feel way colder than it really was so the Chili hit the spot.....

    This morning I woke up early so I decided tackle the taxes first thing. 5 hours later I have triumphed. It seemed a little easier this year than last though. I am actually getting a refund of around $750 after subtracting the tax prep fees... Not sure why they charge so much for the online services when I do all the work of gathering up papers and entering the data! (I can't do free file because of the rental/small business income.) It is still cheaper than taking them to someone in person though. I did have a coupon code for $15 off that I used on the prep fees. I was thrilled that I finally got my withholding adjusted closer to where it needs to be - last year I had to cough up a bunch of $$ for both uncle sam and the state.

    The fried rice is pushed off to dinner and I am going to go get a Firehouse Sub for lunch if I can talk DH into it. I need a bit of comfort food after the tax time trauma.
     
  12. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Ended up making a ground beef and rice skillet concoction last night. Onion, garlic, fresh ground pepper, beef broth, a can of mushroom soup, more mushrooms, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce - I added paprika to mine on the plate for a little more flavor. No complaints from the guys over the homemade hamburger helper. It wish I would have had sour cream though to make it taste more like stroganoff though. I need to find a recipe to duplicate the one with the cheesy elbow macaroni sometime.

    I still have enough rice for a stir-fry tonight. I bought a small package of beef stew meat today for around $4 to use with the bag of mixed veggies. I already have enough sauces here and will probably do teriyaki beef.

    *I went to Kroger for butter, brats/italian sausages, and potato chips on the 3 day sale. I grabbed another mark down salad kit while I was there. We cooked up one of the packages of brats for lunch and had salad with it. A couple of the chip bags got opened too... :rolleyes: I wonder how that happened. Anyway, all the butter and the rest of the brats and sausages are in the freezer for later.

    I had money left in the gasoline budget for the month, so I put $25 into the vehicle that DS drives to school. I try to help him out when I can. Most of the time he gases up before I can get to it though. Prices had dropped 4 cents from when I gassed up DH's car a couple of days ago.

    The rest of the budget looks good. I didn't spend a lot on groceries or any other shopping this month. I did get hijacked for 4 boxes of girl scout cookies last weekend and two of them are gone already!
     
  13. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    UGH! Still fighting this bad cold. It is going through all the usual stages, just taking a lot longer to progress to each successive one than usual.

    I always have such a tough time with the sinuses on any cold, because the climate here is much too dry for me. Even with a big pot of water simmering on the stove, it doesn't make much difference. Sure does make it humid in here -- something that I'm no longer used to since I no longer live on the Coast.

    Yesterday was the last day of the mega sale and also a 10 percent discount day on store brands. There was no way I could go out and expose everyone -- not to mention relapsing myself -- so had to put together a scaled down list and hope DH could figure it out.

    He seemed to come through with flying colors and we got cheap organic tortilla chips (ranging from 49 cents to 57 cents per bag depending on coupon), a bottle of dish soap for 49 cents after insert coupon, some frozen chicken and vegetable patties for $1.99 (retail $6.99) Quorn patties $1.49, a box of organic chicken broth for 69 cents, a couple jars of guacamole salsa for 94 cents each and a few other items.

    The previous day I had him pick up some frozen fish fillets when they were $2.99 a bag/box, so we're stocked on frozen food for a while -- if only I had an appetite. He also picked up a couple frees, including a 10-pound bag of potatoes and a bag of beef jerky.

    When @mtka mentioned the Leap Day Beef offer on the freebies forum he ran out for a 12-pack of that and we got the rebate submitted for free beer.

    Might have been able to get a 24-pack had we been able to see stock at other stores, but we couldn't. I could sit home and see our regular store had 12-packs and we needed a few more dollars to get us to the next fuel level. We spent all our $1 off per gallon fuel rewards on our trips to Boise and Jackson last month, but at least we were able to get ourselves up to another 60 cent per gallon reward by the end of the month.

    Other than deals that were too good to pass on which I sent DH out for, we haven't spent much. I've been really grateful he was willing to run the errands, but it still isn't the same as picking the groceries on your own. Now I don't know if I have chicken patties or strips, Quorn patties or cutlets and there were a LOT of different fish fillets to choose from for a change and I just told him to buy three packages without knowing what he got. However, I'll figure it out when I finally get back to the kitchen again.

    Red Robin offered B1G1 gourmet burgers yesterday which normally might have tempted us, but "dinner" last night consisted of a couple Mandarin oranges and a few soda crackers for me. DH had a big pile of whole wheat toast.
     
  14. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Has the world gone bonkers? It seems that everyone ran out to hoard everything from TP to hand sanitizer to cold medicine here. One of my coworkers went to 9 stores before finding TP.... I am glad I don't have a lot of shopping to do this week!

    My work transfer is now officially "In Process" so I should get an offer for a report date from the new location within a couple of weeks. It as been kind of slow anyway lately as people are cancelling a lot of travel plans, so I shouldn't have a problem getting extra time off for my move..... If they want me before April 26 I might have to do a day or two without pay as I will not have enough vacation time earned. Since there is no OT, I am glad that I am working for a guy on Sat of next week for extra pay.

    *got a $ 45 insurance reimbursement check for something I already paid for. I will deposit that for my trip north.

    *Lunch today: tuna salad sandwiches. I put some spinach leaves on mine instead of lettuce, since that was handy in the fridge. Potato chips on the side (from the sale last weekend).

    *I thawed hamburger and italian sausage links this morning - one will be dinner tonight and one for lunch tomorrow.

    Last night I didn't feel like doing much after work so I only got one load of towels washed and left them in the dryer when I went to bed early ... This morning I got the rest of the laundry and dishes done when I first got up. The rest of my weekend is pretty free to do nothing but figure out what I need to prepare for my big trip.
     
  15. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Went to Walmart and Costco today. Spent about $70 total, but some was for loading into the van since my trip is coming up soon. We needed a stock up on ibuprofen, first aid stuff, cold medicine and a few other items from the HBA section. I am taking some of the partial bottles with me and didn't want to leave the cupboards bare for the guys... I got a huge box of the Sweet & Salty Peanut bars from Costco - great for the lunch sack - only a little over $9. I might have to go pick up a few more items another day. It is a good thing I have TP though as none was to be had. The other strange out of stock item was instant mashed potatoes - go figure.

    Anyway, I was quite shocked to find out that I have been assigned a work schedule already at the new location. I have to accept or reject the offer within a week - then the two places get to argue it out as to when I actually go..... Since I already had a vacation scheduled to move, I hope both sides just agree to that as being the best time! I think I will accept it in the morning. Or maybe I should make them sweat until Monday?

    Ended up doing hamburger helper for dinner and will make the italian sausage links into grinder sandwiches for lunch tomorrow. Dinner is a mystery for tomorrow, but I will figure something out.....
     
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  16. jastwins

    jastwins ※Kaboom!・:・:・゜ Trader Group

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    @KmmCo, I give you credit for going on an excellent adventure by yourself. You have planned this for a while and I hope all goes well. I guess when they have your work schedule figured out, you know you're in! Good luck.

    We just watch the news and I feel the media is causing such a panic when there does not need to be. WASH YOUR HANDS and all will be well. There are flu outbreaks every year, so why is this one getting so much attention? Anyway, I am glad I stocked up on Toilet paper and detergent from sales earlier this year. Since stores are wiped out, I do not have to worry. LOL

    Tomorrow, we are going to a new tax accountant and hope that we do not owe as much as last year. We are still paying that off. Our former accountant was the daughter of a guy that we used for years, until he passed away from cancer. We asked her to do revised taxes for 2018 and she just brushed us off saying there was no difference. She lost our business and we were not happy with the way we were treated. Since this tax debacle, we did adjust our withholdings to married (at a single rate) to pay the government more money. Just not sure it will be enough.
     
  17. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Had a nice little phone chat with a guy in Fairbanks that is processing my paperwork. I noticed that I was classified for a job that I need a two week certification course for - he figured out that was a mistake and said the hours of my shift indicated I would be doing the job that I expected to do. I was willing to do the two week class here before I left instead of working, but it looks like not so much now.:rolleyes: I heard the class is pretty boring anyway so I guess that I am not missing much.....

    *I went for my dental cleaning today and they found a cavity:(. Not sure if I can even get in to get it fixed before I go out of town..... I have to call back Monday to see when appointments are available. More $$ out the door. I paid for today's cleaning from my HSA so nothing out of my pocket.

    We grabbed a hamburger out for lunch and stopped into Big Lots and Lowes for a couple of small household items. Dinner will be the Italian sausages that are still in the fridge. I am gonna just watch some youtube and relax for a bit until then....

    Weather is super nice today - sweatshirt weather - this is the time when we always get fooled into thinking spring is coming - then we get clobbered with a really nasty blizzard about the middle of the month......:eek:
     
  18. jastwins

    jastwins ※Kaboom!・:・:・゜ Trader Group

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    My co-worker and I were discussing the possibility of the Covid 19 virus closing our school and this made me realize that I would be without a job if it became a reality. My job is a time sheet position, so if I am not at work I cannot fill out a time sheet. :oops: Teachers would be paid if they taught online and they are protected by the union and my job does not allow for me to join a union. The only other option to work would be my bank job, if they need someone. Here's hoping it will not happen and that we just keep doing our jobs.

    Payday is Friday and I am hoping my extra time sheets are included in this payroll. Oil changes on 2 cars and one inspection will be taking a chunk of my extra pay. Also need to go grocery shopping since my 2 of my girls will be home next week. I continue to bring lunch from home and have used my amazon gcs to stock up on grocery items. After completing a few surveys, I hope to get some extra amazon credits if I "qualified" for them. It is always nice to get that email with the gift card code. :D If all goes well, I have $135 waiting for me and if not, I wasted my time doing surveys. I will keep you posted on how much I get!
     
  19. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Oh boy, had to go to the grocery twice today. The first time something rang up wrong and I forgot the bread too. Second trip was around 5 pm and the store was a madhouse.... On top of that I felt kinda yucky (stomache issue -not virus related). DH cooked lunch and dinner both and I ate what I could of it....

    Feeling better now, but going to bed pretty soon as I woke up to early this morning....

    Still no absolute confirmation on my transfer, but it could get pushed off to May as Colorado is getting hit hard with virus. Someone in the building I work at may be positive and we got info about what happens if we get quarantined as far as pay (all this when we were leaving yesterday). I have not heard any bad news yet and will just go to work on Sat for the shift I picked up unless I hear otherwise....
     
  20. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Lunch yesterday was tacos and we had chili dogs for dinner. Today I felt better and cooked spaghetti with italian sausage chunks (cut from the links) for lunch. I made a giant batch of pumpkin muffins from scratch too. I am making shepherds pie for dinner. I have some brownie mixes that I will make later. We are having a pastry and desert potluck tomorrow at work....

    Just hanging out at the house otherwise. We took the SUV to get a free fluid top off where we do our oil changes and also put gas it. DH had a $1 off per gallon and that saved us $16. I have a few things to get at Walmart but I think I will wait a week or two and see if things calm down a bit.... It is all HBA stuff and not really an emergency anyway - just a few stock up items to replace things we are getting low on like shave cream.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2020
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