Frugal Living - Challenge 2021 Daily Frugal challenge

M_Lexx

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It has got slightly cold in the past few days so I'm cooking some in the oven in the morning and roast slow in the late morning/early afternoon. Brownie minis or cornbread on the fast and slow and an easy beef/pork roast to finish and take advantage off the oven heat sort of thing.

I'm contemplating getting a second fridge since ours in the kitchen is grossly outdated and honestly ugly on the outside although pristine on the inside. Today I talked to a second-hand salesman and I can get a fridge for less than $200. Fortunately my neighbor is a most gracious appliance repair tech who can bring back to life most appliances and I will bring him to our next purchase.

Meanwhile I cooked 1.5lbs. of Kroger pinto beans and defrosted 3lbs. ground beef as of morning tomorrow. That will translate to the proverbial cornbread/brown beans, chili and Salisbury steaks. I still have pickled grape, cabbage leaves to stuff.

Point of reference: budget veg.oil 48oz was always $1.64-2.19, now the same is $2.96-4.19. What's that worth in your part of the world?
 

Gardencook

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While DH is away, I've been trying to get some organization done. He's been saying he'd do some things forever, but the stress in our lives never seems to let up and he doesn't get around to it. I've made progress, but still have a long way to go. At least it is a start.

Tuesday, before he left was a 10 percent senior discount day at one store, but the shelves were pretty empty on some of the items. I was able to pick up organic, low sodium vegetable broth, a single tuna-size can of chicken, some potato chips and pizzas, but they were out of the Triscuits I needed to complete another round of mega sale so I could use my last mouthwash and mayonnaise coupons.

I like to pick up denture cleaning tablets when I can get them for a decent price. They are great for getting rid of things like tea and coffee stains on dishes as well as many other cleaning projects. Polident and Efferdent prices have gone through the roof and even high value coupons don't help any longer. The store gave us coupons for store brand which work just as well, but are a LOT cheaper. Unfortunately, either the ship is stuck off shore somewhere or everyone else must have noticed the coupon. I've never seen a shelf of denture cleaning tablets wiped clear just like the toilet paper was a year ago! They didn't have a SINGLE box on the shelf -- including the name brands. :rolleyes:

We went by the new discount store that day, as well. They still didn't have any new bread in stock, so just as I feared, bread must show up when it shows up without any regular schedule. I was hoping I might be able to get a routine going to pick up the stuff we like so well, but I guess not. I had to make a lot of trips for a couple weeks straight, but at least I finally know.

The store has HUGE carts with two child seatbelts in the upper section instead of just one. They apparently didn't get many groceries on the load that day, because all I was able to find that we needed was four cans of organic tomato paste for 25 cents each. They looked rather lost in such a large cart and we felt rather foolish pushing them to the check stand, so DH just took our one dollar purchase in his hands and I pushed the cart back over to the storage area before heading to the car.

Today was a 10 percent senior discount at the store across town and the discount there is good on everything, not just store brands like the other store. Unfortunately, its prices are higher, so I basically just buy sale items and items I can't find elsewhere there. The sister stores on the coast have much better deals and even Boise had some prices I would have snapped up had we been there.

I bought a bag of Mandarin oranges, even though they were very small and 50 cents more than Boise. Grapes were also 50 cents a pound cheaper in Boise, but I just bought some for the lower price at another store before they went off Tuesday.

They did have the large packs of free wipes -- both hand and countertop versions. They also had a good price on yogurt, tomatoes and broth. I had some high value digital coupons for dish soap, shredded cheese and oat milk, but stuck pretty closely to my print-out list of digital coupons. The groceries would have cost us about $55 without coupons, but after coupons and discounts the total came down to about $30.

The store has had good prices on canned tomatoes the past several weeks, so I've been picking up the 4-6 can limit each time we shop there. I've been hoping they'd restock, but I don't know if the computer even realizes they are getting low on the salt-free ones. The first week they had one or two regular cans mixed in and I got one by mistake. The next week I had to be really careful, because there were more mixed in. Today, I really had to dig through the salt-free area to find any and think I just about bought all they had left. I don't know if they are another item that is in short supply and they can't replenish or if the stockers are just getting careless. They seem to keep restocking the regular tomatoes, just not the salt-free ones.

Generally speaking inventory control is done by computers rather than humans at most stores these days, so I sure hope the computer figures out they are out of them SOON, but we are acquainted with the checker I went through today so I mentioned the problem hoping they can get it fixed before the next sale comes around.

I dropped by Dollar Tree after the grocery store, hoping to get some laundry baskets to help with organization, however there were none. At the register, the clerk said she's worked there for quite a while and has never seen that store without laundry baskets like it is now. She wondered if they are stuck on ship somewhere off the coast like so many other things.

They did have bonus-size bottles of Fabuloso cleaner -- 30 percent more -- and everything in our stores is still one dollar. I picked up some square soup bowls that match the ones I got at a store out of town last week. That store only had two left, so I bought a few more today, because DH is great at breaking my large soup bowls.

After that, I dropped by Taco Bell for my free Doritos Locos Taco and got a free senior drink, as well. I bought some other items and made a full meal out of it, figuring that would take care of both lunch and dinner for me today

My computer is shutting down or freezing about every 45 minutes the past several days. It shut down right after I started this post. I let it rest for quite a while, but now it is getting unresponsive again so Microsoft must be trying to install that junk update it has been failing to install for nearly two months now.

They've changed the number on the update a couple time, but the "new" update doesn't ever install better than the old one did and now they are getting desperate and starting over just as soon as the installation fails over and over throughout the day and between all the other updates they do each day.

We still don't have time to be without my computer for at least three days while it is into a technician, however, and it usually only takes a week or two after I get it out of the shop for another Microsoft update to foul it up again. Each day I become more convinced that after nearly 30 years with Microsoft equipment, this will probably be my last. However, I'd better post this before the computer shuts down again. :mad:
 
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KmmCo

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Made it to Meow Wolf today. It is still really busy as it just opened a little over a month ago. We bought snacks/drinks and those cost us $14. The gift shop was stupid expensive so nothing came home with us. Add the $10 for parking and it ended up being a $100 "date". it was fun though.

*lunch: baked spaghetti casserole and garlic toast. I added zucchini to the casserole and it came out good.

*dinner: country fried pork chops. The last of a box of instant potatoes, gravy, and mixed veggies. DH and i both cooked, but there is a mess in the kitchen now that I will probably end up cleaning up.

I got my plans made for my trip to Phoenix. I booked 2 nights hotel in Santa Fe - free with my points certificates. I will camp near Gallup NM one night then drive thru petrified forest NP. I will angle over to Arizona thru Showlow (?) and spend a night somewhere around there, Hoping it is not too cold to camp or I might be doing another hotel., I have a hotel for west of Phoenix on Monday night ($89). I wanted to be close to the HR office because I need to go in and get my paperwork finished and get my photo badge for work on Tuesday morning. HR office is not at the place I will be working at.
I have Airbnb for Tuesday - Sun and have to do an online class on Wed for work training. (i get paid for 4 hours for that, so I hope I can get it done faster!) I don't start work till Thursday night, but need to try and get my sleep schedule in line with graveyards. I will try to sleep at least part of the day Thursday.. That still gives me most of Tues and Wed to do stuff like laundry, meal prep, and maybe even a little sightseeing.
 
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KmmCo

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Woke up to a flooding street because a watermain broke. DH and I washed up in the sink and left the house right away this morning. The guys were still working out there tonight when we got home.

We went to a holiday gift/craft fair and ate lunch out at Chilis. Tonight we did grab some burgers for dinner. I didn't want to cook if I couldn't do dishes. They filled in the hole and left by the time we got home from dinner, but DH is having to flush out the water lines because it is all filled with dirt.....

At the craft fair I bought a chili seasoning, some dried fruit from Mountain Man, and a mini Christmas tree for my van. Spent about $25 on that stuff. Lunch was around $25. Dinner was another $20.

Tomorrow, I am cooking sloppy joes and tator tots.
 

KmmCo

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I haven't been on since Friday. I had a drippy nose and just felt terrible all day Saturday. I didn't do anything that day except dose up with Nyquil. DH cooked on Saturday, but I didn't feel like eating a lot anyway. Thankfully I felt a lot better by the time Sunday rolled around. I couldn't miss my dentist appoint on Monday for sure......

Sunday, I managed to finally cook the sloppy joes and tator tots for my dinner. Our kitchen sink still was not putting out water pressure in spite of the workers coming back on Saturday to readjust the pressure. The bath was fine though. Someone from the water department came again on Sunday and said it was probably our faucet. DH is going to to have to fix or replace it on his day off Friday. The dishwasher works fine, so it is not the line itself just the kitchen sink.

The water main break though did something to the natural gas on the opposite side of the street and the gas company ended up here all day . Monday having the street dug up again. My gas worked fine, but the neighbors across the street had no heat all weekend. Dh got out of the drive before they started, but they blocked my van in the drive while they worked.

Oh, and DH got a flat Sunday night after work. It was repairable for free at Discount Tire. But he had to waste an hour or so putting on the spare Sunday and going over to the tire shop Monday morning.

I made it too my dentist appointment Monday because I had already arranged a ride with my son's girlfriend. I was not sure how I would feel afterward, so I wanted someone to take me. I gave her $30 for gas and her time because an Uber or taxi would have cost me that anyway to go both directions. I am not going back to dentist until middle of January for cleaning. Hopefully no more teeth problems for a while as this one cost me $2700 altogether. I am reimbursing myself from my HSA. It is just getting ridiculous that I have put so much money into my rotten teeth -at least $15,000 in the last 5 years....

*good news is I found tons of bargains at the store today. A bunch of markdown frozen Items that went in the chest freezer. $1.29 Marie Calendar and Healthy Choice meals, a huge bag of chicken nuggets (2 lbs or maybe bigger?) for $2.49, etc. The only thing I thought was not a bargain was some frozen beef patties for around $5 a pound - i am not too keen on those frozen patties anyway so I left them behind. I think this stuff was all just odd and ends of discontinued items. Most of that stuff will just stay in the freezer until I get back home in 7 or 8 weeks.

I also got eggs for .97 for 18 count, sour cream .77, milk $1.97 gallon. I will take some milk and eggs with me when I leave on Thursday. I got two bowl salads for $1 each -had Asian one today and will eat the buffalo ranch one tomorrow. Picked up some Deli chicken salad for $1.99 that will be my road trip lunch on Thursday. There is a nice rest area near Pueblo Co that will probably be my lunch stop.

*what I originally went in the store for was a Kroger peanut butter that was free with a mailer coupon. I picked the honey one and am throwing it in the van to go. DH won't eat the Kroger peanut butter so I usually cook with it or eat it myself. We buy those giant jars of Jif at Costco or Sams Club.

I applied to a housesit in Santa Fe after the holidays. I am going to do a meet up on Friday with the dog/owners while I am there in town anyway. It will delay my trip home if I am picked for it, but it sounds like fun. An old Adobe home near the historic district. One dog and no other house chores to do other than clean up after myself.

I am mostly packed except the last minute stuff to go in the van tomorrow night. I might even load the cooler before going to bed tomorrow so that I can just dress and go in the morning right after breakfast.
 

KmmCo

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Made it to Santa Fe today. Long drive and $70+ in gas..... I did make one stop at a historic site (free) that was fun.

*I had chicken salad on crackers for lunch today - kind of an early stop though. By the time I got to the hotel I was starving and was glad that I had a meal prep to pop in the microwave.

I am tired tonight and am just going to chill at the pool and watch TV. Tomorrow, I am going to see if there are any tickets left to the Georgia Okeffe museum. Slim pickings when I looked the other day, so I am not super hopeful on that. I might just go to the art galleries and shops and call that a day. I decided that I will not try to do Meow Wolf here. I am supposed to meet up with a potential housesit tomorrow afternoon too (for Jan).

That is my excitement today. Yesterday I just spent the day doing chores, food prep, and last minute packing up. Not the most thrilling day for sure. I did sneak in a little youtube too.
 

Gardencook

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We had a turban squash from our trip to Oregon that needed to be used sooner than the rest so we roasted that up a couple nights ago and made it into soup for tonight's dinner.

Much of the rest of the day was a waste -- thanks to Centurylink. Technology is definitely not on our side this week.

I was planning to hit the store across town, but our Internet went down just before I was about to print the store list.

Called the phone company which -- after outsourced tech support made DH jump through a million hoops with our modem -- finally admitted it was a massive three state outage and they "hoped" to have it back in about three hours.

Of course, that didn't happen so six hours later we were finally able to make it back on line. It looks like New Mexico was also out and parts of Oregon were out a day or two ago, so my guess is the outage was a lot bigger than three states and they aren't admitting it.

However, without a list my plans for the other store were shot -- along with the stores I was going to hit while I was out, so I'll have to fit that in with a million other errands tomorrow.

Microsoft had the list of three huge updates they did on my computer yesterday on DH's pending list today, so his computer was ridiculously slow before the outage. Meanwhile, he learned this morning he needed to complete more training for his freelance work TODAY -- which was impossible to do without Internet.

The publication got bought out a while back and the security measures the new company requires are a nightmare to work through each time he needs to do the training. They usually won't let him into the system without calling outsourced tech support. Tonight he was working with a fellow in Shanghai, who finally got him back into the system after resetting his serial number twice and resetting his password, as well.

It is now nearly midnight and he is FINALLY able to get started on the training he hoped to have done 12 hours ago, but he's got to get it done so ... :rolleyes: Once he got back online he wrote and explained why he hadn't gotten the training done. At least he'll get at least some of it done tonight, since they are most likely already sound asleep back east.

Since he didn't have Internet and he needed to run to a store, I had him pick up a gift card for Big Lots. They didn't have a 4x points deal going, but we needed the card since we'll be using a reward coupon there tomorrow. At least we get a few fuel rewards on our purchases if we remember to pick up gift card in advance.

The grocery store gives 2x points everyday and I did have a coupon loaded that would give us $5 off if we purchased a gift card along with a greeting card for at least $2. He was able to find a card for $2.99, so we still came out ahead on a gift card we needed to buy anyway.

Otherwise we haven't spent much this week, because I haven't gone out much. I'm still rather tired from whatever hit me a few days ago. It was a pretty light bug -- if that is what it was -- but I have been pretty tired since then.

Dreading all the stores we need to hit tomorrow. I wanted to get a few of them out of the way today, but now I'm sure I'll have to bump some of them off the list until later. I wanted to print my store list tonight in case we lose our Internet again tomorrow, however, the minute I print a store list is usually when a store adds a bunch of coupons in the morning -- and once again Microsoft cut my connection to the printer, so I've got to restart the computer again and HOPE I can reestablish the connection.

Of course, Microsoft is trying to install the junk update to my computer again tonight. I've had to shutdown at least twice since I was able to get back on, and as soon as I started this post Microsoft shut me down again without warning. By the time it "fails to install" the update, my printer connection will be severed once more.
 
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Gardencook

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Shopping this week has been a REAL challenge!

DH had eye surgery Monday, so I made no plans for the beginning of the week. He sailed through it without even the slightest headache, so I probably could have made plans, but didn't know that in advance.

Monday night I got hit with some sort of a stomach bug -- I think -- so didn't feel great for a couple days. At least it wasn't very severe, but I still stayed away from people for a few days since I didn't know if I was contagious. With all that has been going on, I'm not too sure it wasn't simply stress which was a big problem for me in childhood and college.

I thought about printing my shopping lists Wednesday night to be safe, but didn't because whenever I do the stores add some great digital coupons the next morning and then I don't have them on the list. When we tried to go shopping Thursday, CenturyLink went down for hours so I couldn't print my store lists and regretted not doing it the night before.

Thursday night, I printed my grocery list for one store and held my breath. I had to reboot a couple times to reestablish my printer connection after Microsoft/CenturyLink severed it again. Still left the other store list, because it was more likely to add new coupons.

Friday morning, Microsoft started its continual loop of trying to install the junk update NON-STOP so my computer was USELESS. It shutdown 15 minutes after I signed on without "failing to install" the update, so that meant it started all over again when I signed back in, then disconnected me from the printer AGAIN.

I had to reboot my computer and got the printer reconnected long enough to print a Big Lots email page, but by the time I went to print the grocery list, Microsoft had disconnected me from the printer again and I couldn't get it to work again AT ALL, due to Microsoft.

When I tried to reboot the computer, it was stuck on 20 percent of the garbage update again and wouldn't allow me to shutdown. After an hour or more, it was still stuck on "100 percent" of the installation and wouldn't kick onto the "failed to install" like it always does, so my computer was completely useless. After two hours we finally just had to leave the lights/power on in the house and let the computer work, because if I shutdown, it starts the nightmare all over again.

I had to give up on doing a round of mega sale at our regular store, because it was impossible to print my shopping list -- for the SECOND day in a row! :mad:

It did eventually "fail to install" while we were gone, but started the same process over last night and shut me down again after 15 minutes as soon as I signed on this morning. Still don't have time to go to a technician, however, since DH has surgery on the other eye Monday morning.

We did pretty well at the stores on Friday once we finally got there, but it was more stores than I care to hit in one day.

The first store we got a free large package of hand sanitizer wipes, and three half-liter bottles of mouthwash for 99 cents each after digital coupons. I made a beeline for those, because I was afraid the store would run out, but thankfully they had them.

We got low-sugar Greek yogurt for 68 cents after mega-type sale and digital coupon, half-gallons of oat milk for 49 cents after the same sale and digital coupon, two yogurt smoothie drinks were 2/99 cents after digital B1G1 coupon, a package of store brand "Oreo" copycats was $1.49 after digital coupon, a quart of Swanson no-salt chicken broth was a little more than one dollar after sale and insert coupon, no-salt canned veggies were 69 cents on sale and we got some Snickers bars for 34 cents each after tear pad coupons as "filler" items on the two rounds of "mega-type" sale so I could use the oat milk coupons which were about to expire. Boxed frozen veggies were supposed to be 50 cents wyb two, but the digital coupon didn't work so we had to go to the customer service desk for that. They also had some bakery markdowns which I didn't need, but bought because I was frustrated by all the computer problems.

The subtotal at that store was about $65, but sales/coupons brought it down to about $30 total.

We next went to the older discount store where we found three quarts of no-salt beef stock -- which they don't sell in local stores -- and a few other grocery items that they had just put out in the past week. We didn't actually NEED anything at that store, but they are putting out new merchandise and I don't want the owner to go under due to the new discount store in town so keep trying to shop there. I went overboard on herbal teas the previous week when they were $1.25 and a B1G1 sale made them about 63 cents a box.

From there, we headed to the new discount store which FINALLY got in a shipment of the good bread we've been trying to find for the past few weeks. They also had four-pound bags of basmati brown rice for $2, two-pound bags of jasmine brown rice for $1, a can of salt-free diced tomatoes for 50 cents, a few small cans of salmon for $1 and about five 40-count boxes of Bigelow green tea bags for $1 each -- retail $5.49 at our regular grocery store.

We got a free bag of candy puffs at Big Lots and used a $5/$15 rewards coupon that was going to expire on Sunday. I'd been wanting to get there all week before that, but things kept "coming up." We found another quart of organic low sodium chicken broth on the shelf for a little more than $1 after coupon, bought another jar of beet powder and picked up some DeLallo organic whole wheat pasta in an unusual shape -- which we can't normally buy here. They were also a little more than $1 after coupon.

I had a TERRIBLE time after we got home getting a screenshot to post a Big Lots free candy deal here on HCW and couldn't even attempt it earlier in the day. The picture I wanted had candy puffs in it, but the lag time on my computer wouldn't allow me to get the shot I wanted -- I was doing well to get a shot at all.

Since I couldn't print my list, we simply got some produce at our two regular groceries. The one had blackberries and raspberries on sale for $1.50 each this week. Of course, the raspberries were out of stock just like the blackberries were out of stock last time, but at least we got fresh berries -- something I promised myself I'd buy when I moved away from all the beautiful berries on the coast, but couldn't afford for too many years once I got here.

The other store had a bunch of lemons in markdown bags, as well as a single bag with three sweet peppers and some markdown bananas.

I REALLY wanted to do a round of mega sale, but without a list that was impossible. :( Wish we had gotten there earlier when they would have had a larger markdown selection, but that was tough to do with so many other stops we needed to make before that. I tried to plan the stores in a loop around town to save gas, rather than running back and forth all over the place.

We needed gas so DH fueled the car using a $1 per gallon discount while I was shopping at the last store. Otherwise, we probably wouldn't have needed to go there at all. Fuel prices are really high here compared to a lot of the nation and even about 15 to 30 cents a gallon higher than neighboring cities.

I just hope they have the mega sale items in stock when I try to get them tomorrow since it is the last chance I'll have to do it at a leisurely pace after not doing a single round the first week and a half of the sale. I REALLY don't want to print my list until tomorrow morning, because of the Sunday coupons, however, the mega sale ends Tuesday and DH has surgery Monday and a check-up again Tuesday. I just hope Microsoft and CenturyLink don't stop me from printing or using my computer again tomorrow.
 
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Gardencook

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Had quite a fight getting my grocery lists printed from my computer today, but finally managed it.

The computer shut down just a short while after I logged on this morning. I let it rest, signed back on and it shut down again a short while later when I turned on the printer.

When I logged back in, the computer wasn't connected to the printer again.

I shut down and logged back in only to learn Microsoft had wiped out my Open Office registration AGAIN and I had to sign back into that. Each time that happens the "Recent History" gets wiped out and I've got to go find my shopping lists on the computer again.

When I went to print, Microsoft still had my printer fouled up so I had to reboot again and it FINALLY allowed me to print the two lists that I needed.

It was still unresponsive and I DARED to look and see what sort of update Microsoft was up to today, so the computer shut down again without allowing me to see the update.

I was still doing better than DH who was stuck with the "Black Screen of Death" for SIX hours after he logged in. Last night the update wiped out his registration and wanted to sell him Office and the Cloud once again as if he had just purchased the computer.

He couldn't even get the start button to come up this morning so that he could log out, so he was finally forced to shut it down improperly before we left for shopping.

I let him use my computer to check a few emails before we left, but we didn't have much time because I had wasted so much valuable time getting the printer back in working order.

When he was finally able to get onto his computer tonight, he realized Microsoft wiped out ALL of the apps on his computer, which he had personalized for things he uses every day. Now it will take him forever to find those and load them once again. Microsoft simply goes in on our computers and does whatever it wants, whenever it wants without our consent!

I was so disheartened by the mess they made of the last computer, I've never bothered to put any on the app icon screen on this computer. It just didn't seem worth the effort.

When we FINALLY got going, the stores were pretty well stocked -- thankfully.

I debated on buying a roast at $3.99 a pound on Friday and decided to put it off until today. They were the same price at two different stores, but the store across town usually has better meat and it did last Friday, as well. Our regular store only had two VERY fatty roasts for that price on Friday and NONE today. I'm glad I opted to go with the first store, even though I would have gotten $2 off on a roast at our regular store.

Even at a "decent for today" price on roast, we ended up plopping down nearly $17 for our roast -- which really hurt -- but we haven't had a beef roast in a LONG time.

We did find one without too much fat and I did find one that would separate easily into two pieces -- which was what I wanted. We plan to divide it and have roast beef in the slow-cooker for tomorrow's dinner from the largest piece. Thought that would be easy after DH's eye appointment.

We'll cut the second piece into stew meat and make beef stroganoff from it.

We did end up doing two rounds of mega sale at our next stop. They actually had the unsalted raw almonds in a can at that store! We haven't seen those there in AGES. It seems like the ONLY store where I've been able to find them the past couple years is a single sister store in Boise -- which is a LONG way to go for almonds! We've only been able to pick them up there when we were passing through, but then had to buy other mega sale items to get the correct number and that was a hassle. Sure hope our regular store goes back to stocking the ones we want!

We picked up some Saffron Road Lamb Saag meals even though I only had one coupon and we needed two meals. I sure miss the days when I got coupons on those a little more frequently -- and when the meals were quite a bit larger. They've really gone through shrinkflation the past several years.

Other mega sale items for which I had coupons included a bottle of Bragg apple cider vinegar, Quorn burgers some body wash and pesto -- but the coupon didn't come off that and we had to go to the customer service desk for our $3. The store even had both low sodium beef and chicken broth which really surprised me. I knew they had them at the beginning of the sale, but I was afraid they'd be out by now.

We picked up a free razor, a free single-serve yogurt and a free jar of organic salsa using digital coupons, as well.

We stopped by both of our Dollar Tree stores looking for a couple laundry baskets for organizing. I tried to find them at the one store a little more than a week ago and the clerk said she was surprised, because she had never seen them out of stock. However, they hadn't gotten any new stock and we checked the other store but they were out, as well.

We did pick up some Santa Fe frozen vegetables and taco shells while we were there with plans to have tacos for dinner, but by the time we got groceries put away we opted for Quorn burgers instead.
 
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jastwins

※Kaboom!・:・:・゜
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This past week and weekend was busy with the wake and funeral for my mother in law and getting d3 back to college. I spent over $100 on gas with prices ranging from $3.15 (NJ Costco) to $3.49 at a Mobil near my other house. Ez pass will post a second $25 charge to my account tomorrow. When I drove the girls back to the NYC apartments, I got a $65 parking ticket that I may just have to pay. D1 was in the car and the person claims they did not see her. I can object to the ticket but really do not want to go to court. However, it is beyond me that I was the only one on the block to get a ticket. I ran in to d2's apartment to use the bathroom and it cost me $65 LOL .
This coming weekend, I will be attending a baby shower and that will be more gas and tolls. I ordered the gifts online and had them shipped free to my nephew's new home in Illinois.
I am using my gift cards online and have done about a third of my Christmas shopping online. I was able to order another $10 amazon gift card from the Troop community, $5 amazon from receipt pal and $8 Amazon from Swagbucks. I am trying to use Amazon as much as possible to get my shopping done.
The Financial Horizons community sent a $60 survey about 10 days ago and I am hoping I get to use a TAngo gift card to shop with by the end of this month.
I ended up hosting Thanksgiving and it will be a tough month with 3 days off at Thanksgiving and I already lost a day's pay for Veterans day. UGH. I did not get any extra assignments this year and will miss that money but not the craziness that went along with working those jobs.
My bank needs me to work on 2 courses and I tried today but did not finish and will go again on Wednesday. I wish I could work at the bank the day before Thanksgiving but need to pick my mom and am meeting my sister halfway. I may work at the bank the day after Thanksgiving but that remains to be seen. Today, my coworker helped me use a bank app to submit an expense for my notary license renewal. It was for $60 and that would help with the ticket I need to pay.
 

Gardencook

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When I drove the girls back to the NYC apartments, I got a $65 parking ticket that I may just have to pay. D1 was in the car and the person claims they did not see her. I can object to the ticket but really do not want to go to court. However, it is beyond me that I was the only one on the block to get a ticket. I ran in to d2's apartment to use the bathroom and it cost me $65 LOL .
Your story reminds me of my college days @jastwins. They were pulling the same trick that many years ago.

The parking meters outside the University of Washington Administration Building were only 15 minutes and there was NO parking anywhere else in the area. Parking in Seattle is at a premium -- just as I'm sure it is in New York City.

A friend and I did not get into the dormitories our first year and we were considering renting an apartment together -- which didn't work out because there was no housing available either. :rolleyes:

The catalogs we needed to pick-up were on the fourth floor of the administration building. The university would not send one on request and you had to be accepted BEFORE they would consider allowing you to look at one. U of W had a habit of being a pain on virtually EVERYTHING, and unfortunately it was the only school in the state that offered any of the course work that interested me.

There was NO way we were going to be able to make it across a busy intersection, up four flights of stairs, stand in a long line and get back to the car within 15 minutes so my Mom stayed in the car to feed the meter -- which appeared to be our only option.

A meter maid walked by at the EXACT time the meter flipped over and by the time my Mom could get her door open the woman had already started to write a ticket. It was obvious, this was her regular routine and it was a money-making scheme for the campus police department.

Mom protested, but the woman claimed she hadn't seen anyone in the car and that once she had started writing the ticket, it was impossible to stop the process. The only way Mom could protest was to take a day off work, drive three or four hours each way and appear in court to appeal the ticket. It was obviously fiscally impossible for out-of-towners to that, so the university had a great extra income stream.

It outraged us, but paying the fine was cheaper than the alternative -- and they knew it.
 

M_Lexx

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Fri-Sat I have my first Christmas fair since before COVID-19 and oh boy does it seem strange or what. Usually I'm knitting up a storm hours before the opening but this year I seem to have a 'blah' attitude, I'm going to be there for fun, people and maybe a couple of sales, no expectations nor high hopes. I'm terrible at online sales since most artisans are selling the stories behind, the happy-happy-joy-joy attitude and I prefer to keep stories and such to a minimum since there's enough people broadcasting every meal and the thoughts including digestive processes, every bit behind nasty thoughts, etc. Grandmother used to have a phrase about some folks like that, in lines of 'people living their lives wearing their undergarments inside out, cleanliness optional,' I happen to share the sentiment to a degree.
My favorite (and only) red-headed step-child(c) sent me a couple of links to streams with headlines 'you can make your own broth and stock by boiling chicken/beef/turkey! can you believe it??? refried beans are made with beans, canned or cooked from scratch! a-ma-zing! rent an iron from your buddy and never pay dry cleaners' price for an ironed shirt! omg!' I was not sure what reaction I was supposed to have to it but I opted for bruised ribs laughing myself silly.
 

KmmCo

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Had a very relaxing trip to Phoenix. I stopped outside of Gallup at a campground for $13 then went to Petrified Forest National Park the next day. After coming out of there, I drove to Show Low and found a nice campsite by Show Low Lake for $18. It was pretty cold both nights, but the price was right on the campgrounds and they both had showers/flush toilets.

Last night I made it the rest of the way to Phoenix and stayed at a Baymont Inn. I caught up on Laundry and then I went to dollar tree and 99cents only. $7 spent on some odd and end items.

I was up early so I had my breakfast at the hotel and packed up pretty early. I made it to get my work stuff done around 930 am, which really only took about 20 minutes. After that I drove around to familiarize myself with the area and then went to South Mountain Park to check it out. Got lunch at taco bell and went into a neighborhood walmart for a couple of small items. I also looked at the Salvation Army center that I am going to join. By then it was almost time to head to the AirBnB.

I got my cooler unpacked into the fridge and my wifi hoooked up.

*I got some pretty cheap gas in New Mexico, but here in Phoenix it is pricey. I was pretty empty today and it took $80 to fill my tank up.:( It should last me a few days though now that I am here in town.
 

Gardencook

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DH had another eye appointment today, so we hit a few stores afterward and picked up a few deals.

We were out of celery so dropped by the store which beats everyone else's prices. They are also on the few stores that sell bean sprouts, so that meant I got tempted into buying supplies for egg rolls, however, prices on a lot of items that used to be cheap there have certainly gone up. Many items weren't any cheaper than our regular store which gives fuel rewards.

Our regular store sent me a digital coupon for a box of organic broth that was on the mega sale that was ending today. I had a couple other coupons that applied to the sale and I forgot to check the Mrs. Dash seasonings the other day -- they were also on the sale.

They had a good selection of Mrs. Dash in stock so I picked up four varieties we didn't have along with the other items and then picked up some additional cans of low sodium chicken and beef broth to have on hand.

We got a few bags of markdown produce at it and its sister store -- where we went for raspberries and blackberries, which were out of stock.

Don't know if people were in a panic because of the wild winds today (nearly 60 mph gusts when they "only" predicted 40 mph), but no matter where we went in stores, someone would plop themselves in front of the area we were headed and block us. I don't really think it was the weather, because they were doing the same thing on Sunday. :rolleyes:

I wanted some fresh mushrooms for stroganoff, but I was appalled at the prices and hoped for a package of markdowns at our regular store. However, a woman even plopped herself in front of those when I got there, got on her cell phone and started raving to someone on the other end about how they had NOODLES!

I didn't know noodles were such a big celebration, but apparently she hasn't seen fresh ones in quite awhile and even though they weren't the ramen noodles she really wanted she was tempted to buy some -- but couldn't make up her mind and apparently had to have advice. Whoever was on the other end couldn't decide either, so the conversation went on, and on and on ...

I finally walked away to get bags for my asparagus and when she FINALLY moved, I saw that she had been standing in front of the one and only pack of markdown mushrooms for which I'd been looking. It took a bit of work, but at least I got them.

We went by the new discount store, because we needed bread again. Picked up a few groceries, but again I was trying to control myself. They did have some organic Za'atar which I was thrilled to get. We really enjoy it sprinkled on flat bread in the oven.

While we were there they were emptying boxes which were about the right size for the organizing we needed to do. Boxes are really hard to get in this town, since stores usually send them straight to the crusher. That's why we were trying to get laundry baskets.

We asked the manager if we could have some and he seemed thrilled we'd take them off his hands. That was worth the trip into that store just for the boxes -- not to mention the bread.
 

Gardencook

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Finally figured out what to do about our Thanksgiving turkey today.

One store required $150 purchase and another was offering one free for a $100 purchase, but neither really had a lot of sale items we needed and we almost never spend that much in one shopping trip.

We could get turkey for 47 or 49 cents a pound at a couple stores with a $50 purchase, but even that is a stretch for us most weeks. A final store offered turkey for 79 cents a pound with a $25 purchase -- which is what we've frequently gone with in past years. The past few years we've just gotten a turkey breast instead of a full turkey, but there are NO sales on turkey breast this year AT ALL. :(

I kept adding and re-adding numbers to figure out which store would get us closer, but there weren't that many sales this week. I finally concluded we could get closest at the store across town. IF we got to the store early enough AND they had some markdowns in addition to sales we might be able to get one for 47 cents. That was our mission today.

We did find a package of four eye of round steaks and a package of four boneless skinless chicken breast fillets on markdown and a B1G1 sale. At $8.49 for the chicken breasts (the most expensive) that made each steak/breast about one dollar, which has been my target price per serving for years now.

They also had some bakery markdowns and with the other sale items we were able to reach the $50 threshold without having to buy a bunch of unnecessary items along the way. The largest turkey they had was a little more than 17 pounds, so we bought that.

We got four quarts of organic low sodium beef broth for $1.49 each, more Triscuits, salt-free cream of chicken soup (88 cents) and salt-free vegetables were 69 cents a can.

Just ran out of whole wheat English muffins last night and a store coupon got us a good price on two packs of those. We could get five-pound bags of unbleached flour for $1.29 and we were out of paprika which was on sale for less than our regular store.

It felt good to finally figure out where our turkey was coming from -- although we got some nice produce markdowns at our regular store, so with the sales/coupons we had there, it probably wouldn't have been a big stretch to get to $50 at that store either. Just wish we'd had the freezer space to buy another one!
 
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Gardencook

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We needed to run an errand this afternoon and since we hadn't been to the new discount store for about a week, we dropped in. Of course, that meant I found more to buy, but the deals were really too good to pass.

They had two-pound bags of organic jasmine brown rice for $2 each. I checked at home and our regular store doesn't sell them any longer, but I could special order them for $7.79 each.

The organic brown rice rotini that we can also special order for $3.39 was 75 cents a box at the discount store.

We got three bags -- 3.5 pounds each -- of Bob's Red Mill steel cut oats for $2.50 each -- roughly the same price we'd pay if we bought them at the store with the bulk barrels. However, the bulk bags are flimsy produce bags that tear easily if you don't move them into another container while the Bob's cereal comes in a sturdier, zip-top bag so we won't need to transfer them.

Suspect those were a Costco return, since there were two bags in an unopened box and another bag in an opened box, however, they still have several months before pull-date and when I checked the website of our regular store I noticed that Bob's has cut the size of the bags to 54 ounces -- so two ounces less per bag after shrinkflation.

We got a three pound bag of raw almonds -- also most likely from Costco -- for $5. When I checked the Internet on those, the same brand starts at $20 and goes up from there at competing stores. House brand raw almonds are $6.99 for a one pound bag at our regular store.

A 14-ounce bag of Bob's Hazelnut flour was $2. Not sure exactly what I'll do with that yet, since we aren't gluten-free, but graham-cracker type pie crusts were delicious when I've made them with chopped nuts. I knew we were getting a great deal, since flours like that cost a FORTUNE in the grocery store. When I checked at home, we can get it at our regular grocery -- if we don't mind paying $16.99 a bag! :eek:

We also got a bag of Bob's large flake coconut for $2 -- not nearly as good a deal as the hazelnut flour, but still a good deal nonetheless.

We found a couple boxes of Cascadian Farms cereal that wasn't too high in salt or sugar for $1.50 a box and some single-serve bottles of cranberry juice (high in sugar) for 25 cents each -- so I guess maybe those will cancel each other out. :D

Dropped by our regular store to use a coupon on a gift card that expired today and found some markdown hummus for $1.99 a carton. Definitely not as good a deal as we got the other day, but still half price.
 

KmmCo

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Guess I haven't posted for a few days... I have been doing the work thing at Amazon. Not bad at all. Lost of physical work, but not too challenging to learn. I am excused for the first half of today, but l have to go in second half of shift since it is technically tomorrow. The job is good and I actually enjoy it. They have been feeding us with fast food every night - not the healthiest - but can not turn down free food..... No complaints at all about the job and payday is tomorrow! I already looked online to see how much I will get. My camperforce pay, night pay, and vacine bonus were all on this check. Pleasantly surprised that so far there is no OT scheduled.

I spent my days off camping up north of town. I got to see a couple of nice spots for camping and outdoor activities. Next set of days off, I will go south toward Tucson probably. Just enjoying taking desert photos and doing some walking.

*I discovered 99cents only store for some good deals on some grocery items. I also have been to Walmart a couple of times and to Food City once.

I am back in an Airbnb for the work week as it seems easier than trying to camp...... This one was a little more expensive than the one last week, but it has a full kitchen and is closer to work. I also wanted to be able to do a decent meal today, however I ended up just grabbing a Marie Callender turkey dinner for lunch instead. I did get a markdown pie at walmart and have been enjoying it for a couple of days now.

*spent a fortune at the laundromat on Tuesday. My shoes and area rugs in my van were so dirty that I washed them along with a weeks worth of clothes.

Nothing else new. Just working and sleeping. Trying to sightsee what I can in between.
 

KmmCo

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KMMCO..have you read "Nomadland?" It seems to be a lot like your life...
I saw the movie but have not actually read the book.

* I did take a summer job in Alaska for 2022. Sitka to be precise....

Nothing exciting going on here. Last "weekend" i went to Kartchner Caverns and stopped in Tombstone for fun. This weekend, I am going to hunker down in a State Park for the three nights - just planning to read, hike, and relax. I feel like I just need some down time....
 
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KmmCo

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* I had a lot of odd and end leftovers to eat this week. I also bought some sandwich meat and cheese at walmart this Thursday. I might actually drag out my campstove at the campground and cook some stuff on my days off. It might just be canned chili or soup though as I have plenty of that stuff in the van already.

I actually got a little pension check this week. I was not sure if I would because they finally finished the calculations. I wasn't sure if I would owe a bunch for back insurance premiums, but it looks like I came out okay.... Anyway, I have been trying to keep up with the bills though I have been spending a lot on gas, camp fees, airbnb, etc. I have two paychecks in the bank now and pretty much everything is caught up. The work money is just going to pay those expenses and a few one off things that I needed to take care of this month. Once all that is taken care of, then I will figure out what is left over and put it into my IRA. I came more for the experience than for the $$ anyway.
 
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