Thursday, May 12, 2022

Three Cheers for Wags!

 


You all know it's rare for things to go smoothly at Wags. I woke up feeling really rotten yesterday - sniffles, scratchy throat & fatigue. I just wanted to go crawl back into bed. I had $14 RRs expiring and thought to just let it expire. I took some Robitussen and started feeling better as the day progressed. Made my shopping list and headed to Wags. Here's what I got.

2 x Downy $4.50

2 x Tide Simply 4.50 (Tide/Downy are 4/$9 this week)

1 x Loreal age perfect 19.99

1 x Loreal Revitalift B1G50% off 2nd 8.99

2 x Colgate t/p 7.98

1 x Bic razor 6.29

Less Loreal DQ (8.00)

Less Colgate DQ (4.00)

Less Bic DQ (4.00)

Less RRs (14.00)

Less WC points (20.00)

Tax 3.14

OOP $5.39

Earned $10 WC ($6 WYS $22, $4 Colgate)

I keep forgetting to use that $1.60 Wags GC I received for a previous return. I should stick it in my wallet so I don't forget. I opened my last Loreal moisturiser about 2 weeks ago. I could've bought 2 age perfect, but it didn't have enough inventory when I added it to my cart online. The store had enough inventory when I was there (imagine that), but I wasn't going to mess with anything and NOT have the $8 DQ deduct. This is Wags after all...lol.  I was going to buy the Loreal online and do store pickup, because Rakuten has 15% cash back, but that was only an extra $1.xx savings in my pocket and it would mean I'd have to make another trip to Wags. They only have your items ready hours after you've placed order or sometimes things get cancelled. 

I didn't need any of the other items, but needed to use those RRs. I'll submit my receipt to Fetch & PG. 

Number of items purchased : 9

OOP : $5.39

Retail value : $81.81

Coupons used : $16.00

Rewards used : $34.00

Rewards earned : $10.00


I spent down a bunch of rewards, but that's what it's there for, right? It's so I don't have to spend a pile of my own money on my purchases. Is it just me or do those detergent bottles just keep shrinking in size? 31 oz!! WTH?!! And does anyone really pay $6.99 for it at the drugstores? What a rip off! I remember when the small detergent bottles were 50 oz. Then it decreased to 40 oz. What's next? They're gonna reduce it to those mini 9 oz (or is it 7 oz now?) Dawn bottle sizes? This is another reason why I'll keep playing the drugstore game. I'll use all their rewards to get what we need for a fraction of the cost. No way am I overpaying for convenience. 

I'm glad I opted to go shop. The weather's beautiful and I enjoyed getting outdoors after being sick & stuck in bed for so long. CVS sent me a $8/40 Q, but I didn't feel like working out a deal. I'll see if they send me another one next week. 

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, May 9, 2022

Meal Plan Monday

Hi everyone

I'm still sick. I'm actually feeling a lot better than before (I'm eating again and have very little cold/flu symptoms), but I have lots of fatigue, which makes me think I might have Covid... again. Sigh. I'm functioning and tried hard to not take a nap today, but was completely worn out by 12:30. The last time I had covid, I had fatigue for 3 weeks. I sure hope it's not the case this time. I'm over this crap now. I hate being sick! I just want to feel better now & get on with my life. 

Yesterday, I had DH drive me to Meijer for some berries & oranges. I especially went there for blueberries that's on sale this week, but there wasn't even shelf space for blueberries. WTH Meijer?! Then got carry out at Red Robin and back to bed. I did manage to do some cooking yesterday though. I baked bran apple muffins, roasted brussel sprouts, zucchini, colored peppers & potatoes in the oven. I went to the produce market & Sams on Friday and was completely wiped out before leaving the Sams parking lot. Yikes on grocery prices! I spent a little over $200 between the 2 stores. The market prices were crazy, so I opted to buy a few produce items at Sams and Meijer. I had $45 gcs for Sams, but when I checked out, the IGC gc wouldn't scan. Register kept telling me 'item can't be found'. Ugh. I'll try the gc ($25) at Walmart next time. I don't need anything until maybe next week. Big maybe, cause I loaded up on produce. So here's what we're eating this week.

Monday : Steak, onions, peppers, mashed potatoes, gravy, roasted veggies

Tuesday : Baked chicken tenders, potato salad, carrot/pineapple salad, brussel sprouts

Wednesday : Same as Monday

Thursday : Same as Tuesday

Friday : Hamburgers or chicken burgers, potato salad, baked beans

Saturday/Sunday : Dinner out or carry out - depends on how I feel

I also want to make some pico de gallo. We have lots of tortilla chips and I have a pico snack I like to make. I also have lots of pasta that needs to be used, so I'm thinking pesto pasta salad with chicken. Sams didn't have any non GMO chicken breasts, so I picked up the tenders. When I wanted to marinade the tenders last night, I couldn't find the BBQ sauce. I was pretty sure I still had BBQ sauce. This was after I had been to Meijer. Ugh. If I can't find BBQ sauce later, then I'm just gonna use BWW sauce (I have lots of that) and call it a day. 

I'm gonna attempt to do some ironing later. I have 2 baskets piled high Thankfully, I'm caught up on laundry and have everything folded & packed away. I even washed all the bedding. I've done zero work though. I need to get my act together tomorrow. 

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Fajita chicken recipe

Kay, please accept my sincerest apologies. I'm still sick. I've been in bed since Sunday and am still very sick. I know I don't have Covid. Feels like a bad case of the flu, but I'm beginning to think I have bronchitis. At this point I don't even know and I don't have the energy to go see a Dr. All I know is that it's rough. It's been years since I've been this sick. Mask mandates have been lifted, so DS comes home from school with the sniffles & I end up as sick as can be. Yep, been there before. I just sleep most of the day, then toss & turn half the night because my body hurts all over. I'm not eating either. I can't stomach food. I'm living on Canada Dry & DS's drinking yogurt. I've lost 5 lbs in 4 days. Not good for someone my size. I make a pot of coffee every morning, can't wait to have a cup once I smell the coffee brewing, then 5 minutes later, I don't want to have anything to do with it. Nope, I'm not pregnant either. Zero chance of that. The house needs a good clean. Everything's piled up and it's driving me crazy, but I just don't have the energy to do anything. I've even run out of clean pjs. Oy vey, this coming from the laundry nut (yes, I love doing laundry. I like everything clean & fresh. I hate ironing though).  I shower twice a day and grab a fresh sleep shirt every time. Well, I ran out of sleep shirts, because I was waiting on a full load before washing all our pjs. Thankfully I still have 2 piece sets from over a decade ago (don't know why I'm holding on to it, but it sure came in handy). So I just grabbed the tops to sleep in (TMI). I don't like the restrictions of sleeping with a long pants. I did wash the pjs today, so I can sleep comfortably again. I've only been online to print shipping labels for orders. Pack mail, leave it for my mail carrier & head right back to bed. 

Meal planning's gone out the window. DS is happy to have Red Robin tonight. We need fresh produce, so I need to make a Sams & market run. I had DH pick up bag salad, carrots and bananas at Aldi. Then I didn't have the energy to cook the carrots, so that was a moot point. The salad came in handy though.

Kay, I really can't remember the link to my fajita recipe. My friend posted it on facebook years ago and I never bothered to print it, so I'm just going to type what I have in my head. You can amend the spice ratio to suit your taste (that's what I usually do, since we love the heat).


Chicken breasts (I'd say about 2 lbs)

2 tbs Paprika

2 tbs Cumin

1 tbs Chilli powder

2 tsp Coriander powder

Salt  to taste

Sliced colored peppers

Sliced onions

Fresh garlic

Fresh lime 

Fresh cilantro

Olive oil


Mix all spices together. Coat chicken with fresh garlic and 3/4 spice mix. Place chicken on a baking sheet and add peppers and onions around the perimeter of sheet. Sprinkle leftover seasoning over onions/peppers too. Drizzle olive oil over chicken and veggies and bake at 400 degrees for about 30-35 minutes (cook times may vary depending on your oven and thickness of chicken). Once chicken is completely baked, remove from oven and squeeze fresh lime juice over everything and top with fresh chopped cilantro. Serve with tortillas and sides of choice.

You can also cut your chicken breasts into strips before baking and adjust the cook time to about 20-25 minutes.

I've started making my chicken in the instant pot. Add chicken (you can use frozen chicken too. no need to thaw), cover with seasoning and pressure cook for 20 minutes. Then add onions, peppers, garlic and more seasoning and cook for another 15 minutes. This way the veggies don't get cooked to a pulp. The meat is so tender, you just have to use a fork to lightly shred it.  Then top with fresh lime juice & cilantro. I prefer the instant pot ones, because it's so easy to use for all kinds of mexican dishes, especially quesadillas. 

I'm off to bed again. I'll respond to comments once I feel better. 

Happy Cinco de Mayo. Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Let's go Krogering!

 ... and Costo & Wags...lol. Just a quick post, cause I'm sick. I realised that it's been a while since I've shared shopping deals. Just before bed last night, I started coughing uncontrollably and my nose was itching. I told DH that something was triggering my allergies. I woke up feeling really rough today and I'm so hoarse, my voice is gone half the time. DS & I ran an errand and I could hardly keep my eyes open while we were out. Went to bed when we got back & slept for 4 hours!! The only time I sleep like that during the day, is when I have the flu. I don't want to be sick. I just took a flu & allergy pill and hope it's just my allergies acting up. I just want to sleep and feel better by tomorrow.

On to the deals. I had some Wags RRs that were expiring, so here's what I did.

Trans 1

1 x Shick razors $5.99

1 x Colgate t/p 2.99

3 x Oral b t/b 9.00

Less Skintimate DQ (4.00)

Less Oral B DQ (3.00)

Less Oral B DQ (2.00)

Less RR (5.00)

Less WC rewards (5.00)

Tax 1.08

OOP $0.06

Earned $5 RR Oral B and $6 Ibotta. 

What the heck? Where's my Colgate rewards? I'll check when I get to car. 


Trans 2

1 x Shick razors $5.99

2 x Colgate t/p 5.98

3 x Oral b t/b 9.00

Less Skintimate DQ (4.00)

Less Colgate (2.00)

Less RR (5.00)

Less WC rewards (10.00)

Tax 1.26

OOP $1.23

Earned $9 RR ($5 Oral B and $4 Colgate)

I had the exact same items for both transactions. As I unpacked the rest of the basket for the 2nd transaction, I realised that I had 3 Colgate t/p instead of 2. Ugh, this is why I didn't get the Colgate reward in the first transaction. This was totally MY mistake. I can't fault Wags for this.

BUT...my $6/3 Oral Care DQ didn't deduct in the 2nd transaction. Thankfully I paid with WC, so I just contacted CS when I got home and they added $6 WC to my account. Easy peasy. 

The Oral B was a nice MM, but sadly never reset on Ibotta. I still need to submit my receipts to PG. 

Number of items purchased : 11

OOP : $1.32

Retail value : $50.19

Coupons used : $15.00

Rewards used : $25.00

Rewards earned : $20.00

Ibotta earnings : $9.00

So this was basically a MM trip if you figure in rewards. Spent $25, earned $29. Even if the OOP is included, it's still a MM. 



Kroger

5 x Half gallon milk $6.35

5 x 4pk Oikos 19.95

5 x Mission tortilla chips 7.35

2 x Red Gold tomatoes BOGOF 1.00

1 x Oikos single cup 1.00

1 x OM hot dogs 4.29

18 ct Eggs 2.98

Less OM freebie mailer Q (4.29)

Less Eggs mailed Q (0.40)

OOP $38.23

Earned $7.25 Ibotta ($5 Oikos, $1.25 Oikos single $1 Red Gold) and some bonus on Fetch (I can't remember)

Grrr, Kroger's been getting on my last nerve lately. I had a $1 Oikos DQ (works 5 times). When I checked my receipt, I noticed that the DQ didn't deduct. When I got home and checked my account, I saw the DQ was still available. Did Live chat and they said the DQ's not valid on the blended Oikos. Huh? There's a BIG pic of the blended yogurt on the Q, but when I proceeded to read the wording, it did not include the Blended. I will admit that I didn't read the details before going shopping, but the pic is misleading. I'm not too upset about the yogurt, because I prefer Dannon & Sams is OOS half the time. Kroger keeps sending me a hot dog Freebie. We rarely eat hot dogs. Dear Kroger, please send me a free dozen eggs or milk Q again...lol.



I also stopped at Costco for some Lacroix. My store had it for $6.89, compared to $5.99 in other parts of the country. Still a decent deal (slightly higher than the Kroger sale price though). Of course, I had to browse. I found some really good chicken patties and corn salad. The corn salad was good, but I make a better salad. I loved the flame grilled taste, but it still needed a little something sweet (not sugar) like more red peppers. I wasn't crazy about the price, but sometimes it just pays to buy a prepared product instead of spending time making it. 

I was very, very happy to find a little taste of home - Gouda cheese (please excuse the pic. I wasn't wearing  my glasses, so everything was blurry when I looked at the camera).  Gouda is to me what Cheddar is to Americans. The last time I bought Gouda was at Aldi & I did not like it, so I'm excited to try this one that's straight out of Holland aka Netherlands. This is how I remember our cheese looking back in SA. We didn't have grated cheese in stores. You bought it with the red rind like in this pic. I haven't tried it yet, but I know it will be good. This is a 2lb block of cheese, so please don't be alarmed by the price. 

So that was my week. I didn't need a single thing at the stores, but who can resist a good sale - especially since grocery sales are non-existent here lately. I mainly went to Kroger for the sale milk. I was actually running low on milk & eggs and was hoping for a sale. I bought some eggs at Kroger, because their large eggs are the size of Jumbo eggs, so I'm getting my money's worth, not to mention extra protein. 

I'm off to bed and waiting on the flu pill to kick in. 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Monday, April 25, 2022

Menu plan Monday

Well my menu plan got rearranged once again. DH went to dinner with a friend on Friday and brought back a large amount of mexican food. This just after DS & I had already eaten (I had leftovers & DH never mentioned that he was gonna bring back any food). So we have way too much food. There's leftovers & leftovers & more leftovers. The freezer is full. I can't add anything else to it. We ate mexican all weekend. We'll be eating & cooking from the freezer & pantry before I buy anything else. So here's what we're doing this week. 

Monday : Ground beef curry & rice, veggies & beetroot salad

Tuesday : Sweet & sour chicken stir fry & rice

Wednesday : Leftover curry etc

Thursday : Leftover stir fry

Friday : Sams pizza from the freezer or chicken wraps with leftover chicken from Easter.

The caprese chicken has once again moved to the back burner. I don't want to cook any more food, until we've eaten most of the leftovers. I might just make a caprese salad sometime this week. I only need to cook stir fry tomorrow. I prefer making it fresh.

I also made banana oatmeal muffins for breakfast & our mushroom mix. So we can have cereal, omelets, breakfast burritos or muffins for breakfast. Everything's ready to heat & eat, except for omelets. I like to make that fresh. 

I got a $2 box of apples at the produce market last week, so we made apple juice and applesauce. 

I don't need anything at the grocery store this week. I did read that Costco has Lacroix on sale, so I might head to the store for some. I've replaced my soda with Lacroix & have to admit that I don't even miss my diet Coke. 

Have a wonderful week everyone. Those who are currently experiencing inclement weather, stay safe & warm.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

March monthly check in - Finally!

Budget?! What budget? To be honest, I don't even know what our budget's supposed to be anymore.  Lackluster sales & constant price increases mean we don't even have a budget anymore. Okay, that's a lie. I'm still hoping to average $400 p/m. March was a really expensive month, other than groceries too, but I'm thankful that we could just pay cash for those needs. On to the numbers. Brace yourselves!

Groceries/HBA/Cleaning

Produce market : $137.62 (I went to the market twice)

Aldi : $13.71

Kroger : $4.35 (5 half gallons milk)

Sams : $448.40

Walmart : $189.14

Walgreens : $12.71

CVS : $0 (Paid with gc)

Total OOP : $805.93 


Earnings 

$3.20 Ibotta 

Total earnings : $3.20


My earned drugstore rewards are not included in this amount.I count them when I spend it. 

WAGs is the winner this month! Five transactions for $12.71 OOP. You know things are bad when WAGS is the best working store...just saying. 

I stocked up on quite a few things at Sams (snacks & drinks for DS) and more canned goods at Walmart. I can't keep up with prices anymore, so I've been trying to stock up on select items before the price increases again. I hate sounding like a broken record, but it seems prices are higher with every new shopping trip. 

Thankfully the April numbers are much better (although not low enough for me). The good news is that I'm done grocery shopping for the month. We might just need more bananas next week and I'll probably spend a few pennies at WAGS. 

I just have to share. When I was waiting in line (self checkout) at Kroger (this store only has the self checkout section open on one side of the store, so the line was long and went right down the aisle), a man rounds the corner of the aisle with his cart and knocks over a bunch of reusable bags that was on display. Some of the bags got entangled with his feet and he angrily just kicked it back and went on his merry old way. So I walked over to the bags, picked it up and hung it back on the display. I placed the ones that didn't fit, on top of the display. When I went back to my cart, the woman in line behind me thanked me for doing that. It turns out there was a store employee in line behind me. I told her that I hate when people drop or knock things over and not pick it up again, because someone has to come and pick up after them. She said 'yes, people like you'. I said, no, I'm referring to store employees. Employees are people too and deserve the same respect we give everyone else. She just kept thanking me and then complimented my boots...lol. I was fuming at this man, because it's just rude to act like that. Just do the right thing. I always pick things up in the stores, even if I didn't drop the items. It's just the right thing to do. If it was a family member of ours working at the store, would we want people to be so disrespectful towards them? Of course not. The other thing is that there was a long line of people, but nobody bothered to pick up the bags. I wasn't closest to it, but I just needed to do the right thing. Treat people the way you expect to be treated. That's always been my motto.


MONEY EARNED (SIDE HUSTLE)


GCs Earned $35 ($25 Mypoints, $10 Swagbucks)

Personal items (things we've had listed for the past 2 years) : $141.45

2022 Closet cleanout : $25.56

GC earnings (* see more below) : 72.96

4K Challenge: $23.53

Total earnings : $298.50


Our earnings were fairly decent last month, considering the fact that I haven't listed anything new again.

I only purchased a new dress ($10.05) for myself and that 20c Eddie Bauer t-shirt (The JCP items are April purchases). Go me! 

* Anyone remember that I mentioned I'm purchasing discounted gcs and have a plan for all the other earned gcs too? The plan is to buy clearance items with those gcs and turning it into extra cash for Christmas. This way I have more money to spend at Christmas (vs just the earned amount on the gc) and cash gives me more store options to shop at. I haven't done much shopping yet, because sales are still lackluster. I've also cashed in some of my coins at Coinstar and redeemed for a gc. Then purchased some items to resell. Easy peasy. So that's where the $72.96 comes from. 

Point earning sites are bad too. Mypoints & Swagbucks (same company) now expect you to babysit those Encraves (my favorite way to earn, because they used to autorun). I really don't have time to waste to just earn 50c a day. So I'm doing the bare minimum. There goes those Best laid plans again. I need to fall back & regroup. I can do this!...lol


YTD Earnings :

GCs (point earning sites) : $105

Ibotta : $52.72

Personal items : $429.38

2021 Closet cleanout : $140.44

GC earnings : $72.96

4K Drugstore challenge : $83.17

Rakuten : $17.68

Total Earnings (excl Ibotta) : $848.63


EXPENSES (Clothing/shoes/accessories, Christmas gifts)

OOP : $10.25

Christmas gifts : $0

Total OOP $10.25


Total Christmas gc cash saved : $390.00 (this will be used to buy holiday gc gifts and Target gcs)  I didn't even check on this last month, because of those personal expenses. 


YTD OOP (clothing/shoes/accessories, Christmas gifts, discounted gift cards) : $425.82

YTD Christmas OOP : 3.18 (I'm making a note of this to track how much I'm spending on Christmas)

YTD side hustle income (personal, closet cleanout, drugstore, GC) : $725.95

YTD GC bonus/savings earned  : $26.00 (again, just keeping track)

YTD Clothing/Christmas Balance (side hustle income minus OOP) : $300.13


Whoo! We're still in the black for clothing & Christmas expenses. I'm one happy mama. So I'm checking, double checking & cross checking my numbers before clicking Submit Post and I discovered that I'm off by a penny - yes 1c! I cross checked all the numbers again to find that mistake. I'm such a geek...lol, but it would drive me crazy if I didn't find it. When I worked as an accountant, the books balanced 99% of the time, because there's no room for error with me. Can you tell I'm a bit of a perfectionist? Or maybe OCD? 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

This week's menu plan

I'm off my game this week. The holiday threw me off completely. I actually thought that today was Thursday too. I knew that we'd be out for Easter, so I decided to cook & bake on Saturday. I had this grand plan to make a chicken roll & chicken caprese, but we all know about those best laid plans. I got the chicken cooked for the roll, diced the butternut and discovered it was no good. Ugh, I can't make chicken roll without butternut and I didn't have any more left. So I decided to just keep the cooked chicken in the fridge until I could buy another butternut. I then decided not the make the caprese chicken either. I just wasn't feeling it. I did make pumpkin muffins though. So here's what happened this week: 

Monday : Easter leftovers - I just added some veggies

Tuesday : I made a big pot of fajita chicken (can't believe we were out), refried beans & pico and we made nachos with it. Easy peasy. I also made gingerbread waffles last night

Wednesday : Finally made it to the produce market, so chicken roll and leftover veggies. 

Thursday : Leftovers buffet. 

Friday : Italian sausage with onions & peppers on a roll/bun, potato salad, baked beans OR I might just eat more leftovers (there's plenty) and DS can have a burger & fries. 

Saturday/Sunday : Dine out 

The falafel was a huge hit. We still have some left over. The downside. I normally buy the pita pockets at Meijer, but since I was already at Sams last week, I decided to just buy pita there. Big mistake. When I tried to use the pita a few days later, it was all moldy. I was so upset. Thankfully, I always keep tortillas, so I just make falafel wraps. 

We have lots of food to eat, so it's an eating down the freezer & leftovers kinda week for me. I have a good menu plan for next week and already have all the ingredients. I'll move the caprese to next week. 

I'm in a slump. I have lots of blog posts written in my head...lol. but just not in the mood to type. I still need to type my numbers post. I have the numbers all ready, but I just can't bring myself to get it done. I don't know why. I think I need a 'pick me up'. Maybe some chocolate too...lol. 

Have a great evening everyone!

Three Cheers for Wags!

  You all know it's rare for things to go smoothly at Wags. I woke up feeling really rotten yesterday - sniffles, scratchy throat & ...