Frugal Living - Challenge 2021 Daily Frugal challenge

KmmCo

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Went to Kroger to pick up a free (with coupon) peanut butter for DH. I decided to look around and scored a couple of salads for our lunch for $1. They were the ones in the bowl with a little bit of toppings and dressing. They were not even expired. The reason for the markdown - the package was bulging because they were shipped from a lower altitude. I got chicken BLT for both of us, but there was a spinach salad that looked good too for the same price.
 

Gardencook

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We've got snow in the forecast again tonight -- UGH! Winter weather advisory on top of that. We were in the mid-70s for a few days, but back down in the 50s today and heavy rain started while we were out this afternoon.

We had a pretty productive day today. We made a BIG batch of egg rolls using some of the markdown chicken, a lot of markdown veggies and the specialty veggies we bought yesterday to go in the egg rolls. Used two packs of egg roll wrappers, so we'll have egg rolls to enjoy for more than one meal this week. Tried our first ones for a late lunch when they came out of the oven today.

There were leftover veggies that didn't fit in the egg roll wrappers, so they will go into an Asian soup for dinner tonight. We'll use the stock I made from the carcass of the roasted chicken I got on markdown last week and some brown rice noodles I was thrilled to find at the discount grocery a couple of weeks ago. We can't buy those locally, so I was thrilled to find them.

We've still got a "Just-Add-Chicken" chopped salad that we'll team with some of the markdown chicken for lunch tomorrow. Then we'll have egg rolls on the side of that.

Late this afternoon, we ran some errands and then made a dash to the discount grocery before it closed.

The store had 50 percent off an aisle of specialty items it has been highlighting the past several weeks.

On that aisle we bought bags of red quinoa for 75 cents each, bags of freekeh (a roasted whole grain) for 90 cents each and bags of roasted almonds blended with dried blueberries and dried apples for $1.30.

We needed more regular-sized whole wheat tortillas which they get in occasionally for 99 cents a pack, but they were out.

We did buy a squeeze bottle of Beaver brand Creamy Horseradish for 99 cents. It is a product I've never tried before, although I have used Beaver straight horseradish in small glass jars that isn't made into a sauce for cooking.

We also found a couple more pouches of sustainable tuna for 69 cents each and bought them.

The owner is beginning to fill his new freezers, but the items he is getting are restaurant-size packages that are much too big for the freezer space we have. He had all sorts of gourmet flavored French fries and frozen vegetable medleys today. Would have loved to try the pepper and garlic ones, but no place for us to store a five-pound bag.
 
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jastwins

※Kaboom!・:・:・゜
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Well, another person filed a false claim for unemployment benefits in NYS under my school job. It seems I am the 4th person in my school to have this happen to them. I joined Identity guard last night and will be freezing my credit profile on all three credit reporting sites. In mid March, a charge hit our joint account and Crankie called the bank to report the unknown charge. I thought it may have something to do with our taxes being filed but the bank reversed the charge. Crankie said if it is the tax software people they need to send us a bill and not charge our account. Since they used both jobs on the unemployment scam, I am wondering if the tax software people had a breach.??
Recently, I had the van fixed and was not planning on $700 but it will be good to go for the summer. It needed brakes, inspection and oil changed and Crankie put 2 new tires on for another $250. Also in February , I had to pay for a new registration. Every time I save some money, poof, it is gone. Luckily, I paid in cash and did not have to pay $91 tax.
 

KmmCo

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Today was a dentist appointment for routine cleaning. I used my HSA card to pay the $71 I owed so no out of pocket.

I ate a big bowl of cereal before going and skipped lunch. I am having a snack now and will probably be hungry for dinner early tonight. I still have a lot of pork and will probably do mashed potatoes with it. I am not sure if much of the asparagus is left so I may need to find a veggie too.

I stopped at Dollar Tree on the way home from the dentist and got a few snacks and a couple of craft things. $6 total. I am going to put the snacks in my carry on so that I can have them on my Seattle layover. Airport stuff is so expensive. I spent $3.29 on a bottled soda on my way down here . I ate a cliff bar that I brought with me. I am glad that I thought to throw it in the bag right before I left the house.
 

Gardencook

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The store gave us another $5/$50 coupon which meant we had to save our purchases for one big dreaded trip instead of several small ones. Had a REALLY hard time motivating myself, because I felt it would be a nightmare ... and it was.

People are driving us crazy around here the past few weeks. Some are wandering like zombies and stop at odd times to block everything with no apparent reason in sight. Others crowd in front of you to grab something, even when you were there first. Whatever happened to people staying to the right to avoid collisions?

We've had a hard time avoiding car accidents when people abruptly stop in the middle of the road and can't decide what they are doing. They don't drive shopping carts any differently. It is virtually impossible to get around in store aisles between zombies stopping and vultures jumping in front of you at every turn.

I had to go down the bread aisle three different times in an attempt to find the bread the store didn't bother to stock for the sale. I even went down the aisle with health food breads twice and the bakery breads once looking for it. However, each time I attempted the regular bread aisle there were "zombies" standing and blocking views -- usually moving to block the next spot you moved to when you tried to be patient. I finally gave up the third time when I couldn't figure out what a lady was doing as she slowly moved to block me at every turn while talking to herself and checking a list.

Today was a 10 percent discount day on store brands and the last day of the mega sale. You had to buy 10 items to get the sale price this time around and that is nearly IMPOSSIBLE after "that show," short-dated coupons/limits AND Covid combined.

The store didn't have house brand whole wheat tortillas (as usual) and was out of the loss-leader brownie mixes and the nicely priced bread and mega sale coffee for which I had a high-value coupons. I let one coffee coupon expire Sunday, when I knew I had to get to $50 today and didn't dare buy another nine items that day or chance coming up short.

This store also tells you items are on mega sale on the web site and then removes them from the sale if they think people are getting too good a deal. That meant the wild blueberries, ice cream, frozen pizza, children's 2-in-1 shampoo and several other items were no longer included in the sale. I realized at home that the blueberries were in the ad, so could have argued it at the register -- but who wants to do that when you've already got a list of rain checks you need to request?

Trying to get to 10 items without buying junk we didn't need was tough -- and months ago our main store quit selling the tortillas I REALLY wanted which were on the mega sale. The smaller sister store now sells them instead, but it was tough enough to get 10 items at our main store, trying to find another 10 at the smaller store was beyond comprehension.

I finally managed to find enough items by purchasing some items I hadn't planned to buy till later and picking up a box of high-protein pancake mix for which we had a high value coupon.

It was such a confusing mess I lost count of my progress toward $50 and just had to make sure I stuffed enough in the cart to get us there.

Got to the registers to find them packed. We found one of our favorite clerks -- who is always worth waiting for -- but guess who was a few people in front of us? Yep, the lady blocking us in the bread aisle had all sorts of tales to tell the clerk at the register. She was oblivious to all the people stacked up behind her as she jabbered away. I suspect she was doing multiple purchases, so perhaps that is why she seemed to be checking her list so often and being so specific about which brands of multiple types of bread she was purchasing. Being a couponer myself, I couldn't fault her for the myriad of coupons she used, but I suspect she was buying specific products for several of her friends which would explain why she was buying so many loaves of such an odd assortment of different brands of bread.

When I got to the car, I realized that the high value pancake mix coupon had NOT come off the receipt. I was exhausted, so sent DH back into the store for the $2.30 we were shorted. The customer service desk there is normally very good about such things when I've got the specific coupon printed out on a list, however, today they had a clerk working which we try to avoid at all costs. He used to be one of our favorite checkers, but the past several months he has started to argue over virtually every single coupon you use and refuses to accept half of them. Today he refused to give DH the $2.30 back, claiming that since I wasn't aware the pancake mix was on mega sale and had written down a price 50 cents higher on my personal list, we should have paid that price!

DH came back with an amount that was way too little. I explained the situation and he went back, but the fellow still refused to give us the correct amount claiming since the item was on mega sale we weren't entitled to the full amount of the coupon. That meant I had to go back in and by then there was a huge line at the customer service desk. Thankfully, another clerk arrived and she was much better about refunding the coupon amount when I explained the situation, however, even though three "customer service" clerks couldn't keep up with the line the troublesome clerk STILL found time to come over and try to talk her out of giving us our money!

At the end of it all, we did get a box of frozen veggies for 24 cents and a rain check on the coffee and brownies as well as using a rain check on the crackers that weren't in stock on a previous sale. The store still didn't have the organic refried beans for which we've got a good rain check. I doubt we'll ever see those on the shelf again.

We hauled home another huge bottle of men's 2-in-1 shampoo even though we didn't want or need it. However, it was cheap after coupon and I needed more mega sale items to get us to 10. I really didn't want to buy Quorn patties today and the coupon didn't expire for another two months, but once again we needed more items and they were a good price with coupon and mega sale.

I completely forgot the store brand corn chips DH would have liked to snack on, a bag of regular store brand tortilla chips (although the organic store brand were on mega sale, so I remembered them) and forgot to ask DH how he was doing on coffee filters which would have been discounted, as well. That is one of the few stores in town that still sells the unbleached ones.

We did get the 10 percent off store brands including a package of mahi mahi and reached the $50 minimum after discounts and coupons to get the $5 off our purchases, Thankfully, I found a couple BBQ chicken flatbread pizza kits on markdown in the deli which helped a great deal.

After that, we drove to the smaller store which had a MUCH better price on fresh pineapples. We hoped to get the brownies there, but they were also out. Wheeled the cart past the tortillas I wanted so badly, but didn't want to buy 10 packs or find a bunch more items to get the sale price so we just picked up our pineapples and a bag of discounted stir-fry mix and went to stand in another unbelievably long line. As we were checking out the clerk at the register behind us told our checker "the flood-gates have opened!" Apparently she wondered why there were so many people shopping today, as well.
 
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bugweena

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Yesterday I purchased some $.79/lb asparagus on the last day of the sale. I want to try and pickle some to eat throughout the summer. I've asked my canning group on FB for some recipe suggestions but have only received two so far.

I also purchased some large cans of Folgers coffee that were on sale for $5.99. I used four printable $1 coupons that I've been hanging on to. The cashier grumbled about taking printables but I have used them at this store (near my workplace) before with no problems. She had to go talk to the manager two times. Then she manually took them off. The manager came by and looked at me and I just looked back and smiled thru my mask and said hey, how are you. IDK if they didn't want to take them or thought I was using copies (not) but I would have told them to take off my order if were going to refuse them. My favorite cashier at that store was on break at the time or it would have been smooth sailing. Two grumpy men got behind me in line and finally left since the cashier was down at the manager's office. Anyway, it was a good sale paired with coupons and I am good on coffee for a while. Going to see my mom at the end of the month and see if she wants some of it. Today starts a new sales cycle in my area so will check out the online fliers to see what's on sale this week.
 

KmmCo

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*Lunch today: chili dogs and leftover bush's beans from the other day.

Dinner will probably be another round of BBQ sandwiches since I did not get anything out to thaw.
I paid $1/lb for my asparagas. It was really tasty. There is just a little left over that we can finish off tonight.

I am running some laundry today and that is about it.

I had to redo one of my retirement papers and resend it in today. The life insurance one was filled out wrong.. I am glad that they looked it over so quickly though. That is the huge perk of a government job is being able to keep your health/life insurance at the same rate that you pay when you are working. My pension is not that great at $380 a month after all deductions, but I can safely withdraw out my 401(k) at about $1200 a month. I am too young to get Social Security yet. Since I already worked over 40 years, I am not worried about having a few years with lesser income in the calculations for that. These last couple of years of lower earnings will just get dropped out when they pick my top 35 years to average.

I already picked up a work-camper job in Phoenix for next Nov/Dec. When I get back to AK, I am going to a summer job fair to get some ideas for summer 2022. I am looking at Aramark at Glacier Bay as one of my choices, but also want to see if anything else appeals to me. I have a friend that worked for the railroad for a couple of summers and liked that. I would also enjoy being on the water, but don't know what certifications are needed to do that.
 
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KmmCo

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I changed my avatar to a tree photo that I took last Oct in AK. I downloaded all my pictures today from my camera to a file on the desktop. DH got to look at the ones I took after he left in July, which was a lot....

I got in a good walk this afternoon while the sun was out. I really need to start getting a lot more exercise. Spring is coming and I can get outside more at least.

*Dinner polished off some more pork, the leftover french fries from Chilis. a little bit of salad I had left, and some corn. We still have a litte bit of Bushes beans and asparagus left I guess I will try to get rid of that tomorrow.
 

jastwins

※Kaboom!・:・:・゜
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The other day, I received 2 settlement checks in the mail (for the same settlement) and today I deposited one in my checking account and the other into my Holiday savings. My mom sent me a check to pay for some things I order for her from Amazon. I used my amazon gcs ($47.50)and paid $43.43 out of pocket for a 6 pack of thickener powder that my dad needs for all his liquids. Amazon has the 6 pack for $91 and shipping is free. The box lasts almost 6 months. I will put the extra cash toward my car payment.

Today was a virtual teach day and I did not have to go to school and will be paid for the day. My next paycheck will only be for one week and I worked at the bank for 4 days last week. I tried to save the amount of my car payment from my last check but am ending up with less than the total amount I needed. When we turned in the car mid month, my car payment date changed from the 31st to the 13th. So with my first check I will have to pay both car insurance and my car payment. I should be on track to make both payments this month on time and will put aside money from my 2 nd monthly check for my next months car payment.
 

bugweena

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I winged it with a pickled asparagus recipe. Ended up with 11 quarts. I quart jar broke (I think it was the difference in temperature of jar and water in water bath!). That quart went into the compost bin after I made sure to get the glass out of it. Total was about $12-13 of asparagus for 11 quarts. Now to wait a week or so and see if it is good.....

One local store has tomatoes for $.79/lb so got a few to go with my garden lettuce. I follow a popular homesteading group on FB and YouTube and the lady always says 'store bought tomatoes taste like disappointment.' So true but jut got my tomato plants out so will have to wait until July for homegrown.
 

KmmCo

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Todays big project was to get a haircut.$20 well spent....

Lunch was eat out at Freddies Burgers.
Dinner: not so hungy so I made a cheese quesadilla and some chips and salsa. Tired of eating pork and hotdogs, so I am leaving those for DS.

I am went for a walk this afternoon at the local park. They put in a new sidewalk around the pond there, so it was nice to walk on. Still has a problem with the goose poop but they did get them thinned out a little bit. With fewer geese, there were a lot more ducks in the pond. Heading back to AK tomorrow afternoon. My suitcase is full of snacks to take back with me. I will have to figure out what to cook on Saturday that I want to take to work next week.

I checked in for my flight tomorrow and Notice DEN to SEA is mostly full. SEA to ANC has a lot of empty spots though. Noone wants to go back to the land of snow and cold?
 

Gardencook

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Well, so much for the idea of not dragging too much more stuff home ... :oops:

The discount grocery had an increasing discount sale this week. With a few exclusions (Pepsi products and the new frozen foods) everything in the store was 15 percent off Wednesday, 25 percent off yesterday and 35 percent off today. They'll be 50 percent off tomorrow, but we can't go and I wouldn't want to fight a madhouse anyway so we went today. I was surprised at how few people were there today and how many things I expected to be gone were still on the shelf. They must be waiting for tomorrow. :rolleyes:

For someone who doesn't have a local health food store to shop, we certainly enjoy a lot of discounted health foods thanks to discount stores. I tend to go into sticker shock when I see what the stuff REALLY costs at a regular store. :eek:

We aren't fanatics about health foods, but I figure if we can get organics for about the same price or less than regular, non-organic foods, why not? ;)

Our Dollar Tree never has the two-pound bags of brown rice others seem to find, so I was thrilled to find a new-to-me brand of sustainable brown rice -- two-pound bags were $1.29 with discount. Those weren't out on the shelf when we were there the other day.

Picked up a little more Freekeh (grain) as well, even though it wasn't quite as cheap as Monday when it was a half-off featured item.

Restrained myself from buying more quinoa, even though it was a great price. I suspect it will be gone next week. :(

Organic tomato sauce -- 8-ounce cans -- were 25 cents

Organic Refried Beans were 51 cents a can

Organic Black Beans and a Curry Garbanzo Bean side dish -- 16 ounce cans -- were 37 cents

Sustainable Tuna Pouches were 64 cents each

Gourmet Organic Breakfast Blend Coffee was $1.94 per bag

Three jars of Gourmet Organic Pasta Sauce were $1.16 each

I picked up a 25-ounce carton of Walnut Oat Milk for 64 cents. Had a REALLY hard time passing on 25-ounce cartons of coconut milk for the same price.

We got more Beaver Creamy Horseradish Sauce and a jar of deli mustard for 64 cents today.

We found a couple packs of 200-count unbleached coffee filters for $1.39 each.

We also found a couple more jars of supplements that would be REALLY pricey -- IF we could buy them here -- but our stores don't sell them.

Believe it or not, I really did restrain myself! There was so much more I would have loved to buy, but didn't.
 

KmmCo

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Made it back to AK last night. It was windy and bitter cold, but I didn't have any problem starting the van and getting home. The sun is coming out now and it is supposed to warm up a lot next week.

*I bought $11 worth of chic fila at the Den airport. I ate some for lunch before my flight and brought some home of tonight's dinner. I miss a lot of the restaurants that are available in lower 48!

* In Seattle I went to the airline lounge by using my priority pass. The food was all prepackaged. I grabbed a chicken Ceasar salad and a couple of Grandma cookies packages.. I have half the salad left and a partial pack of cookies that I will take to work tomorrow.

*Lunch today. I threw a frozen pizza in the oven. I was really hungry since I only had a granola bar for breakfast. I do still have some pizza left for more work lunches this week.

I am going to go to a job fair today to scout out some seasonal work for 2022. After that I need to stop by the store. Milk, bread, and bananas are all that are on my shopping list.

I brought my suitcase back filled with food - 33 pounds of it. That should keep me going for a while. Most of it was snack stuff for work like trail mixes, granola bars, candy, crackers, etc. The one thing that I did get at Walmart was a can of Roast Beef Hash and a small jar of mayo. I have not been able to find either one up here. The stores all seem to have 32 oz or larger mayo jars only. I would never use that much before it spoils..... I also got a mexican spice that I can't find up here either. I also brought a cookie sheet back with me from the house. The one that I had here is getting rusty and needs to go byebye.

That is my excitement of today. I am going to go to the job fair then stay home this evening to get ready for the work week tomorrow. I need to iron shirts. I also left some rinsed dishes in the dishwasher when I left, so I will run those tonight along with whatever I dirty up today.
 

KmmCo

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Okay, my 3 item shopping list ended up to be a bunch more.... I spent $18. I found some markdown naan bread that I am putting in the freezer. This makes great flatbread pizzas or I can use it for sandwich bread later. I found a bunch of salad stuff today that looked decent. I got a veggie tray marked down to $3.29, some spring mix for $1.79, and a chicken bacon bowl salad for $1.99 (like the ones I got in CO for a $1). Anyway, I am gonna focus on making meals with the salad stuff this next week.

Instead of sliced bread, I picked up some wheat dinner rolls that looked yummy for $1.89. I already taste tested one with some butter on it....

The not frugal thing that I got was some regular priced honey mustard dressing. My logic being that not only can it go on salad, but I can also use it on chicken or pork as a marinade. I did find a closeout bacon ranch dressing for $1.19 that I picked up for later use. I knew I needed dressing anyway as my bottle of ranch in the fridge is getting low. I put the honey mustard in the fridge and the bacon ranch in the cupboard for later.

I ended up throwing out a half container of leftover soup and a couple of hot dogs that were left in fridge the week before I went on vacation. I forgot about them and didn't get them tossed before leaving town. I did get the containers in the load of dishes that I started today...
 

Gardencook

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Only had a few items on our list today, but ...

The store was out of the bread we've tried to get about three times now. High value coupon is about to expire so I hope we can catch it in stock soon.

It also doesn't stock the cheaper crackers I wanted that the web site said it had -- only the more expensive ones. I decided to mull on that one a little longer.

The shelf for Cottenelle wipes the computer said the store had -- along with most of the toilet paper -- was completely wiped out. Here we go again. :rolleyes:

It was out of the tea variety I wanted, but I was able to buy one I was less enthused about.

Then it was also out of the yogurt we wanted. When we asked if they had more in back, one of our favorite clerks offered to substitute which was really kind, but I knew that would make a mess of the mega sale at the register. I explained, but he said they would make it work anyway. Still hated to put the cashier through it, but didn't want to offend one of our most helpful clerks. Thankfully, we were able to find a good cashier who handled it well.

I feel we're suddenly shopping a year ago amid all the pandemic panic, but at least we didn't need to reach $50 for a special offer today and the mega sale only required five items, not 10 like last week ...

On a positive note, they did have the coffee the store was out of last week and this mega sale it was a better price than if it had been in stock last week -- $1.49 for a can after high value coupon and mega sale. They also had a nice salad on markdown that will be our lunch tomorrow and we found a pricey supplement on markdown, as well.

I thought the bread coupon was the one expiring today, but I realized we still had a few more days at the register. It wasn't until I got to the car that I remembered the peanut coupon was the one expiring today. Rather than look like real problems in the store after the mess at the register on the first trip, we went to the sister store for the peanuts on mega sale. We bought granola bars and tea (still didn't have the one I wanted) to fill out the five. Unfortunately, they also didn't have the bread in stock and want a dollar a loaf more than the other store.

They did have three cute single-serve apple pies on markdown for 25 cents each. DH will enjoy them, but I'm trying to cut back so will probably not try one. They also had a package of smoked salmon on markdown for $2.99 -- half off. Need to get some chowder made before the weather turns too warm.

In a really strange move, that store shut down its deli in the middle of the afternoon today. I don't know if they were having problems, if they decided to shut it down to to a big clean or if they have just decided to shut down the deli before the dinner crowd arrives on Sundays. It seemed very odd, but we didn't need anything from the deli anyway.
 

Gardencook

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I was planning to go to a couple stores today, but DH thought he had an appointment with the tax preparer, so I decided to put it off until tomorrow. He got there to find out the appointment is tomorrow, so now we'll have to work around that since tomorrow is the last day for a freebie across town and they do have a very few sale items we can use.

As long as he was out, I asked DH to swing by and do a round of mega sale since I'm trying to break it up into small batches due to coupon restrictions. I knew they were getting a load of merchandise in overnight and I wanted to get a chance before they ran out again. I tried to make it as simple as I could, only asking him to buy five mega sale items and the bread we've been having such a hassle getting.

He did really well and thankfully, they were back in stock on the items that had been missing from the shelves. Finally got our nice loaf of organic bread for $1.49 after coupon.

We had three stir-fry kits we've gotten on markdown so rather than have him buy something odd he wasn't acquainted with, two of the mega sale items were frozen Asian chicken entrees we've had before. He knew where to look for them. That supplied the meat for our dinner tonight and probably tomorrow night, as well.

The other three items were boxes of tea he's watched me pick up a million times so he knew where they were, as well.

Nice to have a trip to the store result in everything on the list being in stock!
 
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