Frugal Living - Challenge 2021 Daily Frugal challenge

KmmCo

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Ate a bunch more leftover odds and ends yesterday. I did make a Suddenly Salad to go with lunch. I added some diced celery and shallots to it just for fun.

I made some homemade cheese sauce for Nachos last night and there is some left. I think I will take out some frozen burritos that I spotted the other day and use it on them for lunch.

My project yesterday was to sort and clean a bunch of canning jars that I got from the storage area.. I have about 20 pint jars and about a dozen quart jars cleaned to use now. There is one more big box that I didn't get to yesterday and it looked like it had both sizes in it too. It has not froze yet here and I am hoping that a lot of the green tomatoes get ripe this week. I will make salsa to can.

I have a dentist appointment on Friday, so on Thursday evening I am gonna make soup. That way I can have it on Friday too for dinner.

Today, I have a couple of small errands to run and am going to do some more cleaning out of my van. Just waiting for DH to leave for work...
 

Gardencook

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Well, I spent a lot of money again today. The grand opening for the new discount store is tomorrow, but we got an email that they had a soft opening today and I thought that sounded a LOT less crowded than tomorrow will be -- plus with discount stores it is a little of this and a little of that. If you miss the small quantity they have it is gone.

If we'd waited till tomorrow and fought the crowds we would have gotten either a free t-shirt or a free hat and perhaps a small free item like a candy or granola bar, but we probably never would have worn the hat or t-shirt and the crowd plus lower selection didn't seem worth the wait.

Did find a few deals, but not as many as we got at the soft opening of the sister store an hour away when it moved to a new location. I suspect the supply chain issues are probably affecting a smaller regional chain just like the big guys. With the new store opening I'm REALLY afraid of what we will lose, because I honestly don't see all of our discount stores surviving in this economy and if history repeats itself the bigger stores will run out the small ones only to desert us in the end. Gotta enjoy the benefits while they last so we stocked up on a few things today.

Health food store teas were one dollar a box and they had a bunch of Traditional Medicinals. I restrained myself, but did buy some of the cold weather sampler we like with a variety of teas good for everything from sore throats to sinus congestion. You could get five boxes there for the price of one in a regular store. I also picked up some normally pricey ginger peppermint tea and cringed that the matcha tea blend I just bought with mega sale and what looked like a good coupon for nearly $3 was only $1 there. Wish I'd known if I was going to like the stuff so I could have decided whether to buy more.

We found the only two single jars of different flavors of Mrs. Dash seasoning they had for $2.00 each. Not a huge savings, but DH has finally come around to watching salt and fat in his diet and severely restricting it so we've been eating very carefully the past several weeks.

They didn't have too much in the way of whole grains like we got at the other store, but I did get some forbidden black rice for $1 per bag and some whole grain rice medley for about the same price.

We got two large cans of the avocado oil cooking spray from Costco for $4 total -- two dollars per can.

We also picked up some of the large Costco bottles of agave syrup for $2.00 each.

They also had some big bags of toasted steel cut oats from Costco. Not a stellar deal when we can get it for about 61 cents a pound in bulk at a store we don't shop frequently. However, this was toasted and came in a really sturdy zip top bag which seemed a lot less likely to get poured on the floor than the flimsy plastic bulk bags. I really need to figure out what sort of container I've got around the house for the bulk stuff, but haven't gotten around to it.

We've been enjoying steel cut oats just about every morning for breakfast with mix-ins like flax, pumpkin seeds, almonds and dried fruit so we've been going through it pretty fast.

They also had a single Costco 20-ounce bag of organic Brazil nuts for six dollars. Sure wish they'd had more of those. I used to buy Brazil nuts occasionally from the bulk bins at a local grocery each month on the day we got a 10 percent discount. At that time I thought they were a splurge at about $6 a pound, but shortly after I started "treating myself," the price went through the roof and now they are about $16 to $18 a pound! I can't bring myself to pay that price.

I found a single jar of a cheddar and kale pasta sauce from Costco, which looked interesting, as well. It was a bit of a splurge at $2 compared to standard pasta sauce, but at least I didn't have to buy more than one jar without trying it like I would have had to do at Costco.

A manager was doing a training session with new employees while we were there and he was telling them that certain customers arrive at their stores every single morning to see if they've put out any new Costco merchandise. I'm afraid that is more dedication than I would have, especially since I'm not willing to pay a huge amount more just because "it came from Costco."

I know our other little local discount store makes a big deal out of a Costco load when he gets it, however, so it must be really popular. He's had a REALLY hard time getting merchandise since the store he used to partner with sold out to the discount chain that is now opening here. The local fellow has been marking the Costco merchandise much higher than he used to though and putting it out of the range we've wanted to pay.

They also had the really good locally baked bread that we always enjoy picking up when we're at the store an hour away for $1.58 a loaf. Its only got four or five ingredients -- all of which you can identify, but we can't normally buy it here and it molds quickly so we can't buy much in the summer heat. Glad to finally have a local source for it.

We also found a couple large bags of what was labeled "whole grain flour" but in addition to grains it had some soy and garbanzo bean flour which it claimed would make very soft chapati bread. It is a brand sold in Indian grocery stores, but since we don't have one locally it seemed like something I'd enjoy experimenting with.

DH found a really good deal on Pennzoil for $2.49 a quart. He said it has been running about $7 here lately.

We also got a three-pack of clear plastic tubs for $7.99 which I plan to use for organizing seasonal clothing. What I'm doing now IS NOT working and while it was 80 plus degrees when we arrived home and up until a couple days ago, we've now got snow covering everything and the short-sleeved tops and sleeveless nightgowns I'm wearing need to be put away for a few months so I can make room in the drawers for winter wear.

Dropped by a couple grocery stores on the way home where we got some produce discounts including a bag with three papayas, a bag with two large grapefruit, bags with three large lemons and some bags with three sweet peppers -- all for 99 cents or $1 each. (One store charges a penny more than the other.)

We picked up a couple bagged salads, some markdown collard greens and I got a single can of Well Yes! Soup for 67 cents after digital coupon.
 

KmmCo

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Yesterday I went to walmart with my $25 gift card from Ibotta. Stocked up on basic pantry items - sugar, flour, canned goods. etc. Spent an extra $6 out of pocket, but I feel better about getting a few items in the pantry before bad weather hits here.

*By the way, there was absolutely no milk of any kind in the store. Supply issues showing up already - another reason to stock up now.

*Speaking of bad weather - snow is coming on Thursday night. I am doing what I can to save the garden stuff. I hung herbs in the garage and also am freezing some. I started boxing tomato vines and have a small container of partially ripe ones picked to sit on the counter for a few days. .I will dig up onions and potatoes tomorrow. Today, I working on freezing as much Kale as I can even though it might survive a bit of snow.I have a few more pumpkins to pull in too. Lots of work today and tomorrow for sure.

* I got out the remaining partial box of super pretzels from the freezer and baked them today. I just had one for a snack with some cheese sauce. I made the cheese sauce for nachos, but still have a little left to repurpose.

*last night I went ahead and made a Bear Creek soup for dinner, because it was cold and rainy. I have the excess for this weekend to eat after my dentist appointment. I forgot that I have one more hamburger helper container left and I will finish that up today for lunch. I know there is a bunch of pasta salad too but it is soft enough that I might be able to eat it this weekend.

*Had to turn the heat on the last couple of nights, but am turning it back off during the day. I hear that natural gas prices are gonna be crazy this year and that is what we heat with here.:(

Anyway, I gotta get back to work. if you don't hear from me tomorrow, it means I am still desperately digging up the garden stuff. So glad that I am not working now or I would have lost a lot of the garden produce.

*
 

Gardencook

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We ventured out of town today hoping (in vain) that Best Buy could "fix" the mess Microsoft has made of my computer AGAIN during the past nightmare month while we were traveling -- AGAIN. It seems like Microsoft waits until we travel to REALLY destroy things when we can't go to a technician.

We spoke to a fellow with Best Buy in Logan, Utah when we were down there a couple months ago. He almost had us sold on the Geek Squad tech support subscription Best Buy sells, but that rapidly changed when we tried to contact the store an hour away today to make an appointment. Best Buy has gone automated like everyone else -- and it is a DISASTER. :( The technician said they've been complaining to corporate about it ever since Covid began, but aren't getting any results.

DH wanted to talk to someone at the store to see if it was even worth the drive BEFORE we traveled an hour up and another hour back, however, when you call your "local" store you are now routed to an automated voice mail system which immediately wants to "fix" your computer "remotely." The automated voice INSISTED we must go through her lengthy steps and finally told us if we wouldn't we had to call back later when we were willing to fix it with "her" help.

As the computer was about to hang up, DH did say "Customer Service," but instead of being routed to our local store like he wanted in the first place he got a woman at a national switchboard who told us we couldn't speak to anyone locally and would have to make an appointment and drive to the store to get the information we wanted. Then when we got to the store we were basically told it would be at least $200 for them to do anything so we might as well subscribe to their service -- i.e. try to "fix" everything over the phone by voice mail the next time Microsoft messes up with its next quarterly cumulative update. NO THANKS!!!

They were telling us basically the same thing the local technicians have said, so at least now we have a second opinion. The tech we spoke with today says he is just as frustrated with Microsoft disasters as we are. I guess we've just got to hope we don't have to deal with the snarky technician who sent the computer home worse than it went in the last time, forcing us to take it back in after which the owner intervened.

We did make the best use we could of the gas we spent getting to speak to a real human at Best Buy.

We needed to fill the tank with a one dollar per gallon fuel reward before we left town this morning. We hadn't needed to fill the tank since Twin Falls when we were driving home more than a week ago. We haven't used much gas since arriving home. I ran into our local store while DH was filling the tank.

They had a five times deal on almonds this week and we wanted the raw, unsalted ones. Our store didn't have five in stock, but it did have four and they were bonus packs with 20 percent more "free." I figured a bird in the hand was the best route, so we got the four 19.2 ounce bags and settled for a fifth one-pound bag of lightly salted ones for our fifth.

We checked the same chain when we entered the other city. They did have a LOT of bags of the raw ones so we could have gotten five there, but they weren't the bonus bags and they were in a really weird spot where I only saw them AFTER we'd gone through checkout. I never would have thought to look there while shopping.

I'm glad I followed my gut. We ended up getting 76.8 ounces of raw almonds PLUS a 16-ounce bag of salted ones for a little less than $25, when we would have gotten only 80 ounces of raw almonds for the same price had we bought them there. I'm sure the four bags we got, wouldn't have been in stock by the time we rolled back into town this evening, so I made the right choice.

We got a few produce markdowns at both stores, as well including grapefruit, oranges, lemons, apples, a couple pomegranates and a couple salad kits.

We got an email yesterday from the produce stand up there saying that due to all the snow, wind and cold weather that has clobbered us the past couple days, they had decided to close earlier in the season than expected. The weather was so bad up there on Tuesday they had to close the stand entirely for the day.

They've now got an end of season sale going to clear out all the produce by Saturday. We were able to pick up some nice spaghetti squash for 39 cents a pound -- FINALLY got the slightly green ones I've been looking for all season! We picked up a 25-pound bag of onions for $6. The last of the season's plums and some Mandarin oranges were $2 each for small tote bags.

We dropped into the sister store to the discount chain we went to yesterday. I didn't follow my gut on the totes yesterday. They had two three-packs for $7.99 each and I only bought one. They worked out well for what I was hoping and I was sorry I hadn't bought the second pack. We went back today before leaving town, but the other three-pack was already gone. I was hoping they might have something similar up there, but they didn't have ANY totes at that store at all.

We ended up leaving the store with only six cans of organic soup for 50 cents each and two four-packs of single serve almond milk cartons for $1 each. They didn't have all that much we needed and as I suspected that store was kind of empty, because I figured they'd rob Peter to get our new store well stocked before its grand opening yesterday.

We stopped at another grocery where we have a couple "unlimited" coupons with limits -- if that makes any sense. :rolleyes: We have a coupon that will get us four cans of salt-free tomatoes for 59 cents and another coupon for 12 cartons of Tillamook yogurt for 39 cents. There are limits on how many you can purchase per transaction, but you can use the coupons each day if you want. The tomato coupon is good all month, so we used it last week and again today. The yogurt coupon is only good for a week, but we can get more in a few days if we want. The coupon on salt-free vegetables was only good for one use, but the store had those in stock so I grabbed them and they also had a few clearance deals including a five pound bag of black beans for $3.99, a bag of teff for $2.99 and a pack of cube steaks for 50 percent off -- which came to less than $4 per pound. I haven't seen a decent price on cube steaks in ages!

We went to a couple thrift stores and did find a set of three nice storage jars -- one of which I intend use for the steel cut oats I mentioned yesterday. The second store didn't have anything we needed.

We also went to Kohl's where they literally had almost NOTHING in my size except some summer shorts, jogging pants and a few athletic t-shirts. I've always done much better at Kohl's and Macy's in Boise and Salt Lake City than our local stores -- I guess because they're bigger cities with better selection. I LOVED our Dillard's store when we had one, but of course, that went by the wayside just like all the other department stores. I've never found nearly as much at the Dillard's where we traveled today so rarely stop there any longer.

On the men's clearance rack at Kohl's, DH did find a plaid flannel shirt which we picked up for a little more than $7 after discount code and a heavy winter coat for $72.

I didn't look that closely at the coat since getting DH to do ANY clothes shopping is a major obstacle. I was just thrilled he was interested today. I guess the bitterly cold wind helped to motivate him to buy clearance winter clothing that must be left over from last year. :p

We thought the 15 percent discount code would apply to the coat, but at the register the clerk said it was a designer label so the code didn't apply. It was so cold when we got home, DH didn't bring it in from the car yet, so I guess we'll have to wait until tomorrow to see which designer label he'll be wearing this winter. When I checked on the computer it looks like similar off-brand coats from stores we've never heard of START at about $70. The name brand ones sell for at least $170 so I guess we got a good deal.

Of course, that purchase earned us $10 in Kohl's Cash which means we should make another trip up there to spend it when it is good. The clerk claimed we are up to more than $6 in reward points now after today's and the Boise purchases, but I suppose those won't get awarded until AFTER the Kohl's Cash dates. I don't know when they issue those things, but I sure hope we can spend both on the same shopping trip since the store is so far away and I REALLY don't like buying everything online!

We capped off the day with a B1G1 meal at a favorite restaurant we don't have here, then fought the wind all the way home since it had really kicked up since earlier today. There is obviously some sort of storm front arriving. :(
 

Gardencook

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This morning was spent in online chat with an OfficeMax representative. We bought two 18-packs of batteries last week with a 100 percent back in rewards deal. We also ordered a two-pack of toner cartridges for the printer and recycled three cartridges. We wanted to buy the ink in store, but they were out when we got there so the store clerk ordered them for us. Staples actually had a better deal, but we don't want to lose our one remaining office supply store after Staples deserted us a couple years ago.

We got an email notice right away about the battery reward but we've gotten emails since that haven't reflected the toner purchase. Today I checked and even though the clerk scanned the coupon and the register said something about 25 percent after she scanned it, apparently there was a glitch and the computer claimed we didn't use it. The representative pushed the reward we should have gotten through, plus gave us a few dollars extra for our trouble. We're supposed to see it in our account in three to seven days.

Went back to the new discount store today, hoping that the clear bins they had quite a few of yesterday were the same brand we got in the three-pack. Unfortunately, they weren't, but we picked up a single one anyway so I could finish my project.

As long as we were there, we walked the food aisles and found a few more things since they are really working hard and putting out new merchandise constantly. Picked up a few more deals including packets of ground cardamom for 50 cents each and a couple more loaves of bread. They had a better variety today so I got two they didn't have in stock the other day.

Before that, we dropped by one of our regular grocery stores where we found a few discounts including a bag with six kiwi fruit for 99 cents and a large, opened bag of cat food for four dollars -- retail $11.

They had a couple pounds of organic extra lean ground beef marked down to $3.99. At first I wasn't going to bite, since I honestly don't know what "organic" means on a meat label as opposed to regular, grass fed or grass finished. I guess I was in a bad mood, because the term sounded like a vague way of not admitting it was regular hamburger in fancy packaging. However, another store in town which normally has good ground beef prices is charging $3.99 a pound for regular ground beef that has a much higher fat content this week, so I decided I'd better get them with inflation the way it is and supply chain problems. I completely forgot that it was a house brand organic and we've currently got an invitation only Catalina deal where we get five dollars off our next order for each $25 we spend. The meat pushed us to the next level and out popped an unexpected $5 coupon.

We dropped by another store to pick up a free half gallon of oat milk using a best customer coupon. We hit quite a few deals there including markdown bags of fresh organic yellow beets, jalapeños, green beans, radishes, bell peppers and summer squash for one dollar each.

Then when I was walking past the onions, I noticed the 3-pound bags of onions that were nearly two dollars last week had a shelf price of 69 cents today. Somewhere along the process the store must have been sent too many and they needed to move them. The onions looked fresh and solid. They weren't looking old in the least and it wasn't a clearance sign on the shelf.

Even though we bought a 25-pound bag of them yesterday, I couldn't pass on that deal -- especially when a report came out today saying Idaho's onion crop was down by 40 percent this year. The Idaho/Oregon border is where a very large percentage of the nation's yellow onion crop is grown.

Before we got to the store, I was wondering if I made a mistake not purchasing two bags yesterday. The produce stand was selling 50-pound bags of onions for $12 and 25-pound bags for $6. I really figured we could use the 50-pound bag without them spoiling, but I didn't have the heart to make DH lug that HUGE 50-pound bag to the car so only got the 25-pound one. This morning I regretted my thinking. We could have bought two 25-pound bags for the same price as a 50-pound one without DH getting a hernia lugging them.
 

jastwins

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@Gardencook, if it works in your favor, you can order online (only certain items) and pick up in store at Kohls. If you order online your kohls cash can be used and your rewards should be in your online KOhls wallet. Standard items they carry can be purchased online (mostly homegoods) but it is a timesaver if you know you are going to be in the area. I ordered d3 a mattress pad cover and picked it up in store one year. That worked out well.
I am checking my online apps to see if I am close to cashing out soon. Ibotta is $3.25 away from cashing out but I am not as savvy as I used to be with IBotta. So many choices on Ibotta and I and I either forget or am not shopping as much due to budget constraints.
Later today, I will do a freezer inventory since I know I froze a bunch of veggies (onions, celery and peppers) and want to make a chili this weekend. WE still have hamburger patties (8 oz each) and I use these to make burgers, tacos or chili. Crankie bought a few boxes of hamburger and suasage at a place called Restaurant DEpot. You have to be a business owner to join and his friend runs a deli so they shop for his store and for the yacht club when they have a party. He goes overboard buying things like those mini butter tubs (500 in a box) and of course there were 450 left over. I am trying to use some of these and not my sticks of butter. I have been a lazy cook this week, so this weekend, I am breaking out the crock pot to cook chili and maybe making a quiche in the oven to use up some veggies. With shortages in the stores, I am glad I have a stockpile of certain items and will not have to go food shopping until next month. Also, we need to defreeze (my word) our refrigerator and ice maker so I want to clear out some food if I can. CRankie made the mistake of buying a Samsung when we built our house. (but did get a five year warranty). The ice maker freezes up and I am so frustrated with trying to fix it. Samsung makes pretty appliances with cheap plastic parts and certain repairmen refuse to service these appliances. Our icemaker stops working and there is ice in my refrigerator. After we empty everything, we turn off the refrigerator and let the the ice formations melt. We save $125 plus hourly labor for the repairman to show up and they bascially melt the ice with a blowdryer?!!! This is tedious and messy but free and it gets our ice maker working again. Over the summer someone (he shall remain nameless) left the icemaker on for a couple of days and it froze up. Crankie loves ice in his drink and I do not care as long as it is cold. I would put the ice maker on for a couple of hours and then shut if off. It worked fine until I went away for a couple of days and DH left it on!!!! Now, we buy bags of ice or I make bags of ice when he brings out the cooler. And, yes, this is how I spend my boring weekends, waiting for ice to melt. ;)
 

KmmCo

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No snow last night. I covered the garden up with tarps, and it looks like it might not of froze too hard anyway last night. I still have a lot of kale, cabbages, and carrots in the garden that I did not harvest. I did not dig up any of the small amount of potatoes either as they should be okay in the ground for a while.

Today is my dentist appointment, so I am restricted to water for a while till that is done. I wish I could have gotten an earlier in the day appointment, but I had to take what was available.
 

KmmCo

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I slept away the rest of the day. I tried eating some applesauce and some yogurt and neither set well on my stomach. I finally managed to finish the rest of the yogurt this morning and I am going to try a bowl of cereal in a minute.

Today, I feel okay so far and am planning on doing some yard work and working on getting my van together for the next trip. Phoenix is still on the agenda for November. I got another form to fill out for the job, but still no information on hours and days off.... I have a place to stay for 10 nights (8 AirBNB and 2 camping). I will wait till I get down there to arrange the rest. I want to do some things like go to Tucson on my days off so I don't want to commit to paying for nights in Phoenix that I won't use.
 
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KmmCo

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Going to have to get the itemized receipts sent from the dentist on Monday. My credit card billings don't match the estimate. I need actual receipts anyway to draw out of my HSA. I am glad that I have a lot of money in there to pay for all this. I am sure that I have paid for a college education for one of the dentist's kids by now! I still have the ability to contribute to the HSA even out of my checking account and will throw a bit in from my temporary job before the end of December. I have to do the withdrawal though to pay my credit card off before that.

*I am still home for 3 more weeks, so no spending except a small amount for groceries. Pantry is stocked with staples, I have some more meat to use up so I can defrost the chest freezer. Dh is making chili tonight. I am going to bake some potatoes that I bought at walmart the other day to make chili cheese potatoes for dinner. I also grabbed one sweet potato and will make that while DH is working this week. He is not a big fan of sweet potatoes, but I like them a lot.

* I saved the cabbage, kale, carrots, and potatoes in the garden from the frost the other night. The tomatoes are in a cardboard box, just hoping for the best. I will keep checking them and rescuing what I can. In the garage, I have onions, shallots, spaghetti squash, one giant zuchhinni, and lots of pumpkins in various stages of ripeness. Also lots of herbs hanging to dry. I will will go through all the produce in the fridge tomorrow and see what needs used immediately. I know DH just opened a big lettuce package that he bought, so I might be doing salad lunches for a couple of days.
 
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KmmCo

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My son showed up just in time for lunch today. I did get him to do a little yard work though, so that was nice. I am guessing he will hang around for dinner too so I put 3 potatoes in the oven to go with Dad's chilli.

I pulled some pizza sauce out of the freezer that a friend gave me, so that will be a couple of meals for me later this week. I have cheese and plenty of veggies to use. I have sausage if I decide I want some meat on it.

One of the ski areas opened yesterday, so I am awaiting the one that I have my pass/condo at to open. I am going to try and get up there at least once before leaving town....
 

KmmCo

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It was a nice day out, so I went for a hike. Saw some bighorn sheep in the place that I went to. I got some great pictures of them too.(free entertainment today}.

*Late lunch was cheesy nachos with my homemade salsa on them. I have not gotten hungry for dinner yet, but will either have the rest of my soup or a loaded baked potato for dinner. My son and I each had half of a big potato, so there is a whole one leftover that I put in the fridge.

I worked on my getting my Sept and October receipts entered into my budgeting app. I did pretty good on my basic budget, but my downfall was the "emergency stuff" like my broken phone and my new tires. The dentist bill is always a shock too Even though that comes out of my HSA savings, I just hate to get those bills..... I have not spent anything since I got home except the $6 at Walmart for the groceries that went above my gift card. I have $40 left in the gasoline budget, but I will probably not fill my tank till later in the week. I am still at half a tank and really no need to go anywhere.

I am kind of a little bored this evening though. I have plenty of chores to do, but am just not enthused today. Can't get interested in my youtube videos either. Sundays seem to be the only day that I lack focus on doing something constructive since I am not working. I need to start formulating a better plan for Sundays....
 

KmmCo

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Did a Kroger run for sodas - 6 pk bottles were 4/$10 on sale. I got one butter with a digital coupon $1.97, a clearance candle $1.20, and 20 oz chicken breast for street tacos (pre-marinated) for $2.99. I am cooking the chicken tonight! My big score was a FREE mini 6 pack of pepsi. I threw it into the cooler in the van for later, along with about 10 bottles of the coca-cola. I was able to do a .10 Ibotta for the receipt - little bits count.

Today was not too exciting as I did laundry, some organizing in my van, and did some other boring stuff like call the dentist. I am going to get my walk in in a bit and that is about all today.

*lunch: frozen beef and bean burrito with some salsa. I still have 4 more burritos in the freezer to get rid of...

I think the chicken tacos will be good for dinner and I should have some left to make bowls or to top salad for a couple of days.
 

KmmCo

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I tried to go for a walk and got kind of rained out after about 20 minutes today. I decided I wanted to make some Cheddar Bay biscuits and I was near Target to I stopped to get some cheese. I also found a markdown boneless chicken thigh package for $3 off so I got it and wrapped it for the freezer when I got home. I packaged up 5 portions that I can use later for myself. Each portion should make enough for 2 meals for me. 10 servings for $4.29 is definitely not a bad deal.

*I made the biscuits then ate 3 of them for a snack this afternoon. I still have 6 more for use with meals later.

* lunch today was some more street tacos that I prepped yesterday for todays lunch. Just heat and eat.

*I think dinner will just be some soup. I am not too hungry after eating the biscuits.....

I need to actually start watching that I am eating enough. I have lost 11 pounds since I quite my job, which is a lot for 3 months. I am happy to get a little weight off, but I won't have any clothes to wear if i keep doing that! My pants all getting loose already.
 
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Gardencook

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I've been trying to post here for days, but Microsoft has been "failing to install" updates for weeks now and won't let me. It started installing an update right at the beginning of our trip to Oregon -- then after at least 20 failed attempts and refusing to allow me to use my computer on the trip it wiped out the entire history of that update and started trying to (unsuccessfully) install another. Today, they changed the number again and have been shutting me down or making my computer completely unresponsive for HOURS upon HOURS each day. If I get two or three hours in the day without problems, I'm doing well. I'm sure it is the same update, but they just keep changing the number on the piece of trash. EVERY three months we go through this and after four or five years and three destroyed computers it is getting REALLY REALLY old!!! :mad:

Anyway, I did try to respond to @jastwins ' post about her Samsung refrigerator last week. I was really relieved to hear what problems she's been having before we replace ours. A Samsung was one of the three fridges that actually fit the hole in our kitchen so we were considering it. I was holding back, because it was new to the fridge market in my book. Guess we'll scratch that one off the list. It was also the most expensive, so I really wasn't thrilled with the cost.

I believe that leaves us with a possible LG and a Whirlpool. Anyone have any thoughts on those brands? The only thing I really know about LG is their televisions are in a lot of hotel rooms and seem to be good -- but the Samsung televisions have had good pictures, as well.

The one we're replacing is a GE and we have had nothing but problems with it the years we've had it, so have already ruled out that brand. Our first fridge when we bought our house was a Whirlpool and it seemed good, but we haven't heard reports in the last several years. The LG is the one we're probably leaning most toward. It is just a tad bit shorter than the Whirlpool and it looks good, so does anyone have any tales to tell?

We haven't been doing any major shopping the past several days. We spent so much money at the discount store last week and the sales at the regular grocery stores haven't been all that great.

At the very end of last week, I either woke up to a bunch of digital coupons or the store stuck them in our account that day. However, I started adding up numbers and realized I could get some pretty decent deals on paper products. Of course, the problem there is short supply, limits, purchase requirements on mega sales and trying to team coupons with all the restrictions. The store we shop most frequently has never really recovered from the shortages since Covid began and I was afraid I wouldn't find half of the items in stock.

We got to the sister store and I was stunned to find they had all six paper items in stock and I was really stunned not to see any limit signs on the shelves as have been there for more than a year.

I still wasn't sure so asked store employees and was told that they didn't have any limits on anything in the store that day, but they expected them to return soon. The coupon I thought would cause the biggest problems required I buy three large warehouse size items and since this is the small store, even if I found two toilet paper, I wasn't sure I could find another large item I was less excited about to fill the coupon requirements. Since the mega sale required you buy six items, that freed me to buy three large packs of toilet paper that have been limited to two -- when they had any -- for months now. They had plenty of them on the shelf that day.

In the end we were able to really stock up on paper products again -- something we haven't done since the pandemic began. For the most part we've been leaving items for others who had less than us, but we were beginning to get low again. We've supplemented with a few packs as "filler items" at another store that was running sales on house brand when everyone else had empty shelves, but I haven't seen those sales in a couple months now.

We got two six-packs of name brand paper towels, one name brand six-pack of mega roll toilet tissue and three large packs of mega rolls of another. After this many months I felt a bit sheepish, but the clerk has been there for years and didn't have a problem with it. She knows we aren't shelf clearers and realized what a problem teaming sales, with coupons and limits has been in recent months.

It seemed like we were getting good prices, but since I hadn't done a stock up in so long I honestly wasn't sure if it was a "great" price. I just figured with all the supply chain issues it was wise to purchase when we actually found things in stock. Then the new ads came out and starting today we could get what the store is claiming is a "great deal," but the large packs of toilet tissue are three dollars higher than what we paid. Obviously, I chose the right time to buy.
 
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jastwins

※Kaboom!・:・:・゜
Trader Group
I had detention duty again today and I get paid $60 for the hour. Someone needed me to cover their day and I usually take these offers. Our school nurse makes my schedule on a google calendar so we know what days we are scheduled.
I was able to get a $25 and $5 cvs gcs and have planned my cvs shopping trip for tomorrow. Keeping my fingers crossed that they have the items I need in stock.
 

flowerkitty

Super Swapper
Trader Group
@jastwins & @Gardencook
The first replacement refrigerator we bought was a Samsung.
The ice maker failed & Samsung would not service it because we were 2 miles beyond their coverage area. Luckily we had purchased the extended warranty & Lowes refunded the price we paid & we purchased a different brand (Whirlpool).
This refrigerator is out of warranty now & there is a problem with the ice maker not functioning correctly ... I just buy a bag of ice every couple of weeks & put it in the bin.
The repair guy that we used to fix our dryer several years ago said that ice maker failure is the #1 problem with refrigerators.
 

Gardencook

Well-Known Member
Trader Group
@jastwins & @Gardencook
The first replacement refrigerator we bought was a Samsung.
The ice maker failed & Samsung would not service it because we were 2 miles beyond their coverage area. Luckily we had purchased the extended warranty & Lowes refunded the price we paid & we purchased a different brand (Whirlpool).
This refrigerator is out of warranty now & there is a problem with the ice maker not functioning correctly ... I just buy a bag of ice every couple of weeks & put it in the bin.
The repair guy that we used to fix our dryer several years ago said that ice maker failure is the #1 problem with refrigerators.

We've actually got the hookups for an ice maker behind our fridge. We have no idea if they are in working order, because we've never tried. I usually need every inch of freezer space and those things take up so much room I opted out when we've had a fridge that came with one. I actually prefer they don't and just use ice cube trays -- when I can spare the space, which isn't often.

We did some shopping an hour away again today and did manage to find a few things to justify the gas up there.

We had $10 in Kohl's cash and used it to get a free 1.5 quart slow cooker which I mentioned on the free thread. DH also returned the shirt that didn't fit him so we didn't lose the money on that.

Our first stop was at a chef's supply store which opened there about a year ago. We've been meaning to check it out, but hadn't ever gotten around to it. They did have a decent (not fabulous) price on grapefruit and lemons -- both of which we needed -- so we figured we'd save a few cents and get to see the store, as well.

We next dropped into a grocery store where we got some nice markdowns on produce and found 93 percent lean turkey for 99 cents, as well.

From there we headed to the discount grocery where we found two pouches of cauliflower rice for $1 each. We bought five boxes of 40-count green tea bags -- two were Bigelow and three were Newman's Own Organics for $1 each. Also picked up some mint Oreos which I really DIDN'T need.

We hit three Dollar Tree stores hoping to find a neat little work lamp I've seen others getting online, but didn't have anymore luck there than at our stores.

Did pick up a couple nice bowls and another lemon/lime squeezer, a few more of the clips I like and since we neglected to put more water in the car before we left managed to find one of the nice six-packs of water we'd seen on the coast, but it was like a scavenger hunt, because there were only a couple shoved clear in the back of a bottom shelf.

Dropped into a thrift store and didn't find much. They are also losing their OfficeMax store up there so we stopped to see if they had any closeout deals, but didn't see anything we needed.

We were hoping to pick up our free 80-count hand sanitizer wipes, but of course, the store we shopped was out of them. We did pick up another four cans of unsalted tomatoes for 59 cents each to at least justify the gas in stopping.

We enjoy getting a meal out when we are up there, but didn't have any really great deals this time. We did have a $2 off coupon for the Sizzler lunch salad bar and it worked with the senior price, so we didn't come out too badly. Sizzler has a really terrific salad bar and you get a baked potato, cheese bread, soup and dessert bar with it so it makes a VERY filling meal. The restaurant there usually has a better selection than our restaurant.

We had a remaining 20 cent fuel reward that was going to expire at the end of the month and gas has been running at least 20 to 30 cents a gallon cheaper up there than down here. We've got a history of gas price-fixing in this town and several owners were convicted years ago. I'm afraid our problem is back once more. :(

At least we were able to fuel the tank before leaving for home. Usually, we've just filled the tank before heading up there so can't take advantage of the lower prices.
 

Gardencook

Well-Known Member
Trader Group
Today we hit a few local stores.

Big Lots offered a free DVD, so we picked up that and also found Hunts salt-free petite diced tomatoes and a couple unusual shapes of DeLallo organic whole wheat pasta. The one looked like it would be perfect for making lasagna soup and the other ended up in the cart simply because it was a shape we'd never tried before. :D

We dropped by a grocery store where we had a $5 OYNO coupon we needed to use and ended up getting some free produce and yogurt using it.

We dropped by the new discount store where we found another three pack of the storage containers I regretting not buying the second pack of last week. The lid on one of these is cracked more than the pack I passed up last week, but they'll still be usable and I haven't found any others in such a convenient size for what we need since then.

We picked up a few groceries there, but not a ton of stuff. I found some more instant oatmeal cups for 25 cents each and picked up them for future travel -- even though we don't have anything planned.

They also had a bag of cheese tortellini for 75 cents and got a couple cans of evaporated milk for 50 cents each.

Our last stop was our regular store where we had some store brand coupons for odds and ends with short expirations. We only got one of each, but the prices were good enough that I figured it was worth it to have them on hand.

We found a nice markdown bag with about five small zucchini and a cucumber in it for one dollar and also got a big bag of chopped kale for $1.49 and a package of whole wheat bagels for 99 cents.

We also did a round of mega sale and got an eight-pack of Lever soap and a Schick razor with two blades for $1.99 each, a box of Quaker instant oatmeal for 89 cents and a decent price on a jar of Best Foods olive oil mayonnaise. Of course the Colgate toothpaste coupon didn't come off -- as usual -- and we had to go to the customer service desk for our two dollars on that one. :rolleyes:

Today's purchases finally got us up to the one dollar fuel reward we aim for most months, but it is hard to do when so many fuel points and purchases haven't been crediting the past several months.
 
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jastwins

※Kaboom!・:・:・゜
Trader Group
Here is your laugh for the week.
I worked an hour at the bank last week. They required me to finish 2 courses by a certain date and I did a third one so I am up to date.
I was there one hour and after my loan pmt, 401 k deduction and taxes, I had .36 cents credited to my account. A credit is better than a debit any day!
 

KmmCo

Well-Known Member
Trader Group
*Made a big pot of pinto beans yesterday and we had those with dinner. (Leftover chicken and Spanish rice.) I still have lots of beans left and will probably do lots of bean burritos for lunches next week for myself.

*yesterdays lunch was just some quick flatbread pizzas.

I got signed up for trustedhousesitters finally and actually got a dog sitting with a local person later this winter and a possible one in Phoenix for a few days when I get there.

Today Dh and I went to sightsee at Estes Park and had lunch out at a restaurant. Expensive day, but fun!
 
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