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. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Things are staying pretty frugal around here since I haven't been leaving the house.

    I've been checking the Facebook page of our little discount store since they've been getting in a lot of new stock, however, they haven't been announcing anything we really needed. DH wouldn't know if anything was a good deal on the shelf, so there is no sense in sending him unless they advertise something we need on Facebook. They have had gallon jugs of hand sanitizer for $25 each -- limit one per family, but we didn't need any.

    I've sent DH out for some things based on ads, but have been using a LOT of items we already had on hand. We don't need toilet paper, paper towels or cleaning products so why fight for them?

    However, using up items we had on hand was already on the agenda and has less to do with Coronavirus than it does with needing to reduce some of what we had on hand.
     
  2. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    I got both State and Federal tax returns via direct deposit and transfered them immediately to my trip savings account. I am $255 short of my savings goal and will have that next payday!

    Unfortunately being at the top of the senority list means I will be at work even if there is absolutely nothing to do. I would be the very last one to get laid off. Some people would like to not work hard, but I hate to be there wasting time just to collect a paycheck. I can think of a million things to be doing at home - rather than trying to look for something to do - other that wiping everything down with alcohol a million times that is. I think everyone at work has become a total germophobe now....

    I realized when making dinner that I forgot to look for instant potatoes at Kroger yesterday. I have two family size packages of plain and two of the smaller Idaho garlic mashed packages, so I am not completely out. I would like to get a big box though before I leave town (for the guys). My son will eat those for sure even if he can't find other stuff that he wants to make... I have most of a Costco brown gravy mix in the spice cupboard too.

    I managed to put a little cash into the market yesterday at close to the lowest point. It is money that was in my IRA so I am not looking at drawing it out for a couple of years anyway..... Here I am, hoping for better times by then. I think the economy will be pretty slow at least thru the summer because of all this virus fiasco.

    My son is going to be finishing out the school year online after spring break. He got an extra week's break so that the college could get the online stuff all set up. He did go to his gaming club today and said he had lysol wipes and sanitizer in his bag and will not sit too close to anyone.....
     
  3. Lori63

    Lori63 Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Off from work for at least two weeks-since the governor did it I should still get paid. But, I've lost money from petsitting /babysitting because trips are being cancelled left and right. And tutoring :(. Trying not to think about it all. It is what it is :)
     
  4. jastwins

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

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    Frugality disappeared for me on Friday the 13th and continued to elude me on Saturday, the 14th. Friday, I left with D3 to pick up D1 at college and move her back home. As I was driving up to New Paltz, NY, Crankie called frantic that there was something wrong with Rosie and that he was taking her to the vet. Rosie will be fine, but $658, (x-rays, bloodwork, urinalysis & medication) later, she has a very bad UTI.
    I had put aside $2o0 for 2 car's oil changes and one inspection. The inspected car needed an erg valve replaced and when all was said and done, it cost $340 for one car. Also, the van needs new front brakes, but that will have to wait. The oil change on my newer car cost $70 and I paid it all in cash and saved the tax. Luckily, I had extra duty time sheets on this check plus 2 detention pays and a game chaperone time sheet, so there goes the extra cash I made. Just relieved that this will not set me back with my bills, but I was hoping to save some cash from this check and it did not happen.

    I am very happy I stocked up on TP and with D3 bringing home her water, we will have enough to get me through March. The madness in the stores continues and I am amazed at how many people just grab paper towels or Tp.
    Today, in the IGA they had a limit on water...only 2 (jugs or bottles) and I saw my friend and bought 2 for her. City people have invaded our island and did a number on our only supermarket. Some shelves are half empty and they had to limit 2 on eggs and milk. Just cannot wait for this to be over.
    However, my school will be closed for 2 weeks and I can only hope that they pay me.
     
  5. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Hope Rosie gets to feeling better soon @jastwins. I suppose getting a dog to drink cranberry juice is kind of out of the question ...
     
  6. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Oh boy, what a week it has been! Work went to a shortened schedule and I will work mon, tues, wed only. I will get base pay for the extra day off but will lose about $70/week in premimum pay. This is left TBD how long it lasts. I am glad that the decision was made not to forlough anyone completely and am okay with it for a while. My transfer is also delayed till at least June 7. :( The good part is I will have some time off to get stuff done around here. I won't be spending much money either with the "self isolation" mode going on.


    All the short-term renters were kicked out this week after the ski area closed early. My unit was vacated Sunday the 15th. The property manager is not booking again until June 1. I was not expecting more than a couple of nights rentals in April and May, but loosing half the month rentals in March was not a good thing. I am going to take advantage of the time and do some work up there next weekend.

    Today is snowing like crazy and we are just staying in. Lunch was leftover taco stuff. For dinner, I am thawing some hamburger for a big pot of Chili. I think I will do some cornbread with it.

    Tomorrow will be grocery shopping though if I can get out in the morning. I just need milk and fresh produce if I can find it. Panic buying is still going on here and people are emptying shelves early in the day.... I don't get the fuss, but then again my pantry is pretty full and I would be okay for at least a month if we couldn't get out.

    Off to finish up laundry and run another load of dishes.....
     
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  7. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    I never made it to the store today - bad weather and lack of motivation. At least I got stuff in the house done and didn't spend any money today.

    The hamburger for the chili did not thaw in time for dinner so I made a shrimp alfredo for dinner. I used a garden delight veggie pasta and jarred sauce from the pantry. I had some small salad shrimp that I threw in there. I will make the chili tomorrow morning and we will have it for lunch.
     
  8. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Finally made it to the store after unburying the car from the snowbank. I got the essentials: Milk, bread, a little produce, and tortilla chips:D. The shelves are still wiped out of rice, beans, pasta, canned goods, and of course TP. I spent a big $21 for this weekend. There is nothing else that I need to get out for that is urgent.

    Tonight will be Nachos for dinner. I have a lot of the leftovers from the taco meals like sour cream, lettuce, tomato, cheese, etc. I will use some of the chili for the meat/beans portion....

    Tomorrow, I think I will thaw some brats for dinner. I might just do chicken or tuna salad sandwiches for lunch. I found some sliced apples for .50 and we can have those with our sandwiches.

    I got my transfer defered to June and ended up buying a ferry ticket from Washington State to get there. Ouch - I was gonna spend around $1000 on gas thru Canada - but am now taking a 5 night cruise for $2800. (I booked a cabin just for a little privacy at a little extra cost. I didn't want to sleep on the deck for that long.) I am thinking positive and figure I will have some relax time to read and maybe will see a few whales and calving glaciers on the way. There are showers on board and a cafeteria to eat at so that makes life easy. I can also take food in a cooler if I want and they will let you access a microwave in the dining area.

    It is still snowing here and that is definitely keeping people home this weekend. The roads are not bad, but there is no reason to go anywhere in the cold either. Everything is closed other than the grocery stores and gas stations anyway....
     
  9. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Tried to go to Walmart this afternoon. I got a couple of things that I needed and ran out as quickly as I could.... The shelves were pretty bare today. There was almost no meat left at all - looks like people have gone from hoarding TP to hoarding meat. I have plenty in the freezer for at least 3 or 4 more weeks. Hopefully by then the hoarding will stop. I spent around $16 total, half of which was HBA stuff and the rest a few small food items that I ran out of. I used the last of the pickle relish in the tuna salad and wanted to replace that right away.

    I have not been brave enough to even try to go to Costco the last two weekends.

    I have been just watching videos today and doing a little more laundry. I did go for a short walk around the neighborhood since the sun was out. It is still a little cold though, so I didn't stay out for long. Also talked to some friends on facebook about what they are cooking and general discussion about being bored at home. I also got a lot of work done in my home office too like scheduling bill payments.

    The brats are still in the fridge. I decided to just warm up a bowl of chili for my dinner. I got up too early this morning, and am now tired enough that I am just gonna go to bed soon. At least I have an extra day off tomorrow to relax.
     
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  10. jastwins

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

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    I am very relieved to have been assured I will receive my salary while my school is closed. Crankie is off for one week, paid (and may go back for a week or two, then off again.). We just feel fortunate that the companies we work for will pay us. No clue how long we will be home but the school is supposed to update me by the end of the month. Last week, I was able help with distributing work and packing lunches for delivery. This week, I may start providing daycare at our school for 2 children of a nurse from my town. It makes me feel better to do something for getting paid. Never in a million years did I imagine our lives would change like they have in the last couple of weeks.
    I did attempt some shopping today and there are no rolls of toilet paper, no cleaners, no hand sanitizer to be found. The store had a limit of 2 (two only) of any item you purchase. So my 3 kids cannot each have an apple?! A way around it of to buy a bag of apples and not single apples. Did not think of that until I was at the register. Oh well.
    I used a couple of coupons but could not buy more since some items were not available. Not a frugal day but I did find some things I wanted.
     
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  11. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    DH made a shopping trip to a couple stores yesterday. We were getting low on fresh produce again and I had hoped to start juicing to get past this "stuff" I've been fighting.

    I don't think I'm contagious any longer, but I've got chronic sinus problems so the last of this stuff isn't going anywhere anytime soon. I'm not coughing all that often, but when I get on a coughing jag (usually when I move around or lie down for a while) it doesn't sound good.

    Overall, he had a successful shopping trip considering the condition of the stores, however, it seems they are always missing a key ingredient for my plans -- whatever they may be. Guess that is the "new normal."

    This time he got the other ingredients for juice, but couldn't find ANY beets -- which were what I REALLY needed in the juice right now. :rolleyes:

    The website for the one store thought they had one variety and the website for the other thought they had both purple and yellow beets. Since they aren't really a high demand item, I thought surely he'd be able to find them, but I guess people are buying out EVERYTHING. Maybe the computer has been so busy obtaining fast moving items it didn't bother to restock? :(

    He did find chicken, but it was three times the price of the sale chicken for which I'd been hoping so I told him to pass. We didn't need it that badly. We'll get by with canned chicken until stores are somewhat "normal" again.

    On a positive note he did find some green peppers, avocados, yellow squash, tomatoes, lemons and red onions on markdown so my plans for the week's meals quickly changed down a different path than I'd been planning. Fresh produce is the part I miss the MOST when we can't get groceries on a regular basis.

    He found celery, cilantro, green onions, apples, Mandarin oranges, grapes, garlic and ginger for regular prices. Those were all on my shopping list, so at least we've got a good supply of fresh stuff to keep us going. Considering the produce was virtually wiped out in the panic last week, that was encouraging.

    I got a couple nice best customer coupons for celery and cilantro a few days ago, so that saved us 80 cents total on those items.

    The rest of our meals are simply using up a bunch of stockpile ingredients which we needed to rotate out anyway.

    We've got all the ingredients on hand to make bread from scratch, so haven't been fighting the crowds to grab that either.

    We were well stocked on paper and cleaning products before the crisis hit, so it has been such a relief not to be going crazy trying to locate that stuff.

    Since we knew this was inevitable one day, we've been preparing for years. It was much easier to build a stockpile of paper products by picking up one package this week and a couple more another when there was a good sale -- even if we weren't currently out. That has left us without the stress of having to kill everyone in sight grabbing like we've seen on so many videos the past several weeks.

    Overall, the store employees have been really helpful and friendly to him. I can't help but believe they've noticed he isn't getting nasty while trying to fill his cart with non-existent toilet paper and bleach. Even the lack of chicken is something we've just been taking in stride as one of those things that happens.

    He did have a less-than-friendly assistant manager who always seems to have a chip on her shoulder chime in with a few unnecessary comments yesterday, but the rest of the store employees have been great through all this. There is NO WAY we envy them their jobs right now!
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
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  12. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Off to brave the grocery store shortly.... need bread, eggs, and beef if I can find any.

    Anyway, next week we are down to a two day work week. I do get my full base salary no matter what - but am missing out on the shift premiums. At least the gasoline is still staying cheap here and with no eating out I am not spending much. The city here is officially on stay at home orders, so all I can do is go to grocery store and work anyway....

    I have plenty of chores to do today and some small projects to do around the house too. Not sure what I am going to do for the next 4 days that I have off...
     
  13. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Okay, the store is better stocked than last week but there are severe limits on what you can buy. 3 bread items, 3 dairy items, etc. The tough one was only 1 package of beef, so I got a 3 lb hamburger package.

    I am doing sloppy joes for lunch, enchiladas for dinner, and another hamburger meal later this week....

    I did find some marked down chicken breast (1.5 lb packages). I kept one out for tomorrow and put the other one in the freezer. I picked up a few odds and ends that we needed and a lot of produce. Spent $55 but I shouldn't need to go back to the store until next week.
     
  14. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Uneventfull stay at home day yesterday.... I ended up not doing the enchiladas for dinner the other day and made them for lunch yesterday instead. I did some pancakes for dinner last night, just because I was craving them....

    I cleaned out DH's messy car yesterday and then just watched a lot of videos. It started out gloomy in the morning, went to freezing rain in the evening, and snow overnight.... Today the sun is out and I am sure the snow will melt pretty quickly.....

    Baked chicken for lunch today. Dinner will probably be leftover enchiladas....

    I need to run one more load of laundry and do dishes this morning. I hope the weather cooperates in order to get a nice walk in this afternoon. I didn't go do that yesterday becase it was just too cold.

    I am off work the next 2 days, but we are on "Callback" status in order to justify getting our base pay. That makes it hard to start projects if you have to drop them in the middle. I guess I can come up with a list of stuff to do though. I seriously doubt that we get called in anyway....
     
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  15. jastwins

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

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    I was paid on Friday and am very happy that they are paying me. Each morning, I still go in and help in the cafeteria and next week, I am doing the day care for 2 full days. Our school is now closed until April 15 and this will include our Easter break. Normally, I do not get paid for breaks and will double check with the superintendent that I will get paid. Usually, I work at the bank on my break and I am not sure I will be able to help out there since the school still has to provide daycare and meals for kids that require them. It would be better for the school to pay me than working for less in the bank. The way my days are going, I could only work 1/2 day at the bank.
    D1 and D3 go to state schools and have been told that school is closed and all learning will be online. Both girls will get a tuition refund for room/ board and meals. Just not sure exactly how much that is. D2 also had to leave her dorm/hotel in the city and I am not sure if she will get refunded, but I think she will get some kind of credit. D2 is also not sure if she will be working the great internship job she lined up for the summer. The pay is excellent, but with the coronavirus outbreak, it maybe be cancelled or shortened.
    Our only Island gas station has lowered gas to $1.99 for a gallon of Mobil gas. That is the lowest price I have ever seen at that station since we have owned a house here. Just thankful that the owners are taking pity on us and the people that live here. Also, oil prices are way down. I will be filling up 2 cars tomorrow.
     
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  16. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Well, DH went out for groceries today. I'll be glad when I can get back to shopping myself. He called me about four or five times today -- all while I was trying to get some sleep after a sleepless night. But you need to shop earlier the morning to find much stock these days and I couldn't stay awake any longer so just had to wake myself up each time he called. :oops:

    Basically, we needed to restock fresh produce so I added a few additional items to the list.

    I always try to keep his shopping lists short to avoid confusion, but that is difficult when I'm trying to keep the bigger shopping trips to one a week so he isn't exposed as much. He's in the high risk age group and I've got compromised immunity, so it is a Hobson's choice, but fewer trips means there isn't much chance of finding the harder-to-get items, and I could get tarred-and-feathered if a cough slips out in public, even though I don't think I'm contagious any longer.

    Still no chicken or beets and today he couldn't get fresh Mandarins. :( They also still had no toilet paper. We aren't desperate, but I did have one coupon about to expire, so figured it wouldn't hurt to buy one extra if it was in stock -- even though I knew the chances were slim there would be any.

    Thankfully, he called before he bought the other mega sale items, because he had forgotten I'd told him to buy them as fillers ONLY if he got toilet paper. We didn't need the other items he was about to buy.

    He couldn't find the frozen entree for which we had a free coupon either. Guess that one will expire March 31, because I already checked several other stores before Coronavirus hit.

    He didn't know about an iceberg lettuce digital coupon I'd just loaded so I can't fault him on that purchase. He "thought" iceberg was on markdown, because it had a sale tag. The store had just given me a five times coupon and I intended for him to buy two, but he was quite proud that he found a "markdown." Guess one head is better than none, but the iceberg was a little over $1 a head after coupon and then he spent a big price on "artisan" lettuce at another store.

    Meanwhile, he was proud he found a 40 cent coupon on avocados, but didn't notice that they were two for $5 -- $4.60 for two avocados after his "money saving" coupon. OUCH!

    He's trying, but it has just always been so easy to let me do all the math that he doesn't have a clue what things cost. o_O At least he always looks for markdown bags, so we did get some peppers instead of paying full price for those.

    Earlier in the week he picked up celery at the store where I've repeatedly told him I don't buy it, because it is sold "per pound" and too expensive. He paid nearly $3 for a bunch when it was 99 cents a bunch on sale at the store where I've repeatedly reminded him I buy it.

    I had him get two bunches at that store today, because its the lowest we've seen it in ages. I'll have to plan celery soup or stir-fry sometime this week, but I couldn't resist the price.

    We'll survive paying a high price on a few things, and just stock it up to the " high cost of education." :eek:

    Can't complain too loudly, because he did get the reasonably-priced produce I had on the list -- along with a few non-produce items for which I had coupons that were about to expire. The high price he paid for a few items still probably only came to the amount we'd pay for curbside pick-up if we'd had a store employee shop for us anyway.

    We got nearly a pound and a half of black grapes for less than $1 with a digital coupon, 99 cent per pound asparagus, 99 cent celery, restocked on things like cilantro, parsley, green onions, bananas and carrots, got a cheap jar of pesto after coupon and used our two $1.25 coupons on Seapak fish which was on sale. I consider that a successful trip during out current crisis.

    He also used a high value granola coupon and got some very cheap candy bars at the store that was out of chicken, said the chain was out nationwide for about the third or fourth week and said it was impossible to honor the sale. I had two $1 off any purchase digital coupons that were supposed offset the chicken, but since it wasn't in stock it came off the candy instead.
     
  17. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Okay, now it is getting serious - at least 4 coworkers with positive covid tests and several more sick and waiting for test results - one of which I worked closely with 2 days last week..... I am down to one workday next week and am starting my 6 day "weekend". Hoping if any symptom shows up for me, that it is before I go back next Wedensday so that I don't spread it. I have not felt sick but have a slight cough that has been hanging for a few weeks since a cold went around the workplace at the end of Feb. (or was it something else and we just didn't realize it - nobody had fever so we did not give a second thought to it at the time )

    I am glad that I have 7 weeks of sick leave build up just in case. DH not so much, but I have been doing my 6 foot away from him for a couple of weeks now just because of the risky nature of my job....

    Since we are expecting snow tomorrow, I am not going to even try and grocery shop for a couple of days. I managed to get dishes loaded tonight and started a load of towels too. Nothing to do at work means I have more energy to do stuff when I get home..... I am gonna go pull some sausage out of the freezer for "brunch" tomorrow and then head to bed. I heard DH snoring on the sofa already so he must have had a rough day!
     
  18. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    We had sausage patties and scrambled eggs for "lunch" and I am going to go get something out of the freezer for dinner tonight. Laundry is done already, but I will need to run the dishwasher again this afternoon. I took the trash and recycle to the curb, but the pickup will not be until tomorrow. Maybe I can fill them up a little more before then.

    Last night I had the carpooler drive thru for hamburgers on the way home. This is the first time I have picked up to go food since this whole mess started. I still don't know how my check is going to look without the premium shift pays, so I am trying to be cautious about my spending. I am super gratefull that I am getting base pay when not working. This week I worked 20 hours, but next week it is only 10 scheduled on one day. :( Minimizing exposure is what my boss calls it - too late though since people are already sick! (About that carpool - we work together all day in a confined space so we would be exposed to each other regardless - we may as well continue to save on gas. I feel better doing that than taking a public bus with complete strangers.) I am going to miss my carpool buddy though when I move away....

    Right now, I am just planning on projects at home for the next 6 days. Making the assumption that even if I am not sick, I could be a carrier and not getting near another human!
     
  19. Cathy

    Cathy Happy Birthday Cathy!!

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  20. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Dinner ended up being pork chops, baked potato, and some snap peas and carrots. I was just trying to use the fresh veggies up. I did make extra baked potatoes to use later this week for something else.

    I made lemon bars from a mix out of the pantry. We all sampled some before dinner.... YUMMY. I have two more of those mixes and two cake mixes to use up. There are some brownie mixes here too, but DH will actually use those if I don't bake them before leaving town.

    I have corn tortillas and enchilada sauce left from the big can that I opened last week. Tomorrow I will make some black bean and cheese enchiladas for lunch. I think I will get some chicken out of the freezer for dinner....

    DH started an organization project in the living room, so I just stayed out of the way. I cleaned a little more in the kitchen and watched some youtube travel videos. I found a webcam across the street from my future job in AK and got to spy on the building I will work at.... Not much traffic and some light snow coming down is about all I saw.:D The snow is actually heavier here today.

    My shopping list is really short, but I may have to send my son or DH out to get the stuff. I just don't feel comfortable even going to the store until I find out about my coworker's covid test. I do know that the boss was calling everyone that works Sat and telling them stay home because the place is getting deeped cleaned. We have been disinfecting the place daily anyway, so I am not sure if the janitorial staff is really going to do much more. I will keep my eye on the phone to see if I end up on the quarantine list anyway by next Wed.... At this point nobody is complaining about getting two weeks off anyway since it is paid out as "safety leave" and not coming from our paid time off.
     
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