Wednesday, March 25, 2020

This and that

Hope everyone's still doing well while under quarantine. We're on week 2 and I have to admit that the first week was really hard. The week just seemed to drag on forever. Now that we're past that, things are going better.

We've been taking long drives on weekends, just to get out of the house.

I haven't gone out to shop, except for a few groceries every Sunday. We stopped at a Walmart on our way home on Sunday night and half the store was cleaned out. Wait, what?! We're already on week 2 and people are still acting like the sky is falling. Crazy! I couldn't find a single egg at Walmart. I did find frozen broccoli though and there weren't any limits, so I grabbed 3 bags. I must admit that I'm loving my low grocery budget ($50 or less per week). Just goes to show that we can spend less if we try...lol

DH stopped at Aldi on Monday and while they had limits on items, he was still able to buy 4 dozen eggs. We eat eggs daily and that 4 doz will last just a week. He also brought home wheat bread (I haven't eaten white bread in almost 2 decades) and dried pinto beans.

Yesterday I made instant pot refried beans, pulled a bag of fajita chicken from the freezer (I always cook a large batch when I buy chicken, then freeze in portions. We then use it for all things Mexican, tacos, nachos, burritos...etc). I made chicken quesadillas and we had that with beans & salad.

We still have lots of food. I've actually told DH not to buy anything else, because there's so much to eat. I'm only running low on some produce like onions and carrots, but I'm too afraid to go to the produce market. That place is cramped, so there's no way to practice social distancing. I'll probably just pick up those things at Meijer.

For those who like bag salad, try Walmart. I've discovered that their salad (store brand) lasts way past it's expiration date (like a week later it was still good), as long as the bag is unopened. I like to buy the large bags of Romaine salad and usually grab 2 bags when I'm there. So we're good on salad for at least 2 weeks.

I did some online shopping and only spent $1.74 OOP (WAGS). Got some clearanced Valentines candy that I'm saving for Easter. The 16ct Ferrero was clearanced to $4.69, so I got 2. Bought some other makeup items (that all had digital coupons). Used $20 rewards and paid $1.74, then earned $0.84 from Rakuten.

I also found a new winter coat for DS at JCP. They had it on sale for $22.99, so I grabbed 2. Yes, I got 2, because these coats are so hard to find and it's our favorite. No way am I waiting until one is needed and then pay the $200 retail price. DS is now good for a few years. One coat will be packed away until the other one breaks. Paid with that JCP gc that I redeemed from Rakuten last month.

Did a bit of Kohls shopping too. I received a 40% off mystery code and there were other stackable codes, so I stocked up on more winter essentials. I don't know how I always end up losing my gloves. I've started buying extra pairs, because I'm always misplacing my gloves or losing one or both. I also added a Christmas gift, so that's one more gift off my list. Used more earned gcs. So no money spent.

Received a $10 Pyrex visa card. I had all but given up on this card. I always buy Pyrex storage containers during Kohls BF sale and the rebate normally arrives early February. By early March, I just gave up on it. Then last week, I got the card in the mail. Happy dance!

I started growing some onions from the onion ends. My first attempt, so lets hope it works. I still have produce seeds from last year (cilantro, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, peppers), so I'll get that planted as soon as I get potting soil. I'll have to check the shed, cause I'm pretty sure we still have half a bag.

The weather is finally nice (not for long), so we'll go for walks to get some fresh air & exercise.

DH & I are both still working, so our routine hasn't varied that much.

Hope y'all have a good day. I'm off to clean house and get some work done.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Counting our blessings

These are trying times and I know that many are worried about the virus, the unknown, jobs, paying bills etc. I don't blame people. While there's much to be worried about, I've decided to focus on the positive instead.

1. Thankful that we currently have everything we need & more.

As mentioned before, we have a decent stockpile. I haven't been to any stores since Sunday. I baked some bread rolls earlier this week and made enough food to last a week or more. Yesterday DH stopped at Aldi while he was out and brought home raisin bread (not that we need bread, but I can freeze it for future use), broccoli and carry out. While I'm hesitant to even order any food from anywhere, I did eat the carryout. Not wasting anything.

We still have enough food to get us through another week or 2, before having to go shopping. I'm just cooking whatever meals I can. My friend couldn't find chicken earlier this week. I wish I had known before she managed to find some at one store, because I would gladly have given her some (not that we have much chicken left, but you help wherever you can).


2. Thankful that we're in a position to help others.

I contacted my cousin in NY and some friends of ours to ask if they needed anything. While most said they have everything, I told them to let me know if they run out of personal care items. We're not sure how long this quarantine is gonna last and I know most stores have run out of personal care items and most things are on back order.

3. Thankful that we can pay our bills

Even though DH and I are self-employed and won't get any paid sick leave or paid time off from employers, we're still in good financial state. Thankful that we can still pay all our bills.

4. Thankful that we can still earn a living

Business seems to have picked up for DH and with most places closed, people will shop online. While things have been slow for me, it seems to be picking up again. So I'm thankful that we can still earn a living. So if you're self-employed and still able to earn a living (even if it's less than you normally earn), be thankful that you still have money coming in. There are many folks who have been laid off and are struggling to make ends meet.

I'm glad the government will be sending stimulus checks, because I know that there are many folks who have a mortgage or rent to pay. From what I've read, adults will receive $1200.00 each.

5. Thankful that we have our health.

While we hate being stuck indoors, we're thankful that we're not one of those infected with the virus. DH still deals with customers, so I do a bleach/disinfectant wipe down every day. We also pray for all the infected folks daily.

My friend in CA said that her city has 10 confirmed cases. So staying put is what we're doing. I get so mad at people who don't take this pandemic seriously. Come on folks, the sooner you stay home, the sooner we can get through this, because the virus isn't being transferred to anyone else.

I know that there are many more things that we are thankful for.

Please feel free to share anything you are thankful for. Let's help lift each other up with positive thoughts & words. Remember, this too shall pass.

Stay safe & healthy everyone!

Monday, March 16, 2020

CVS tripping before my shopping break

Yesterday I decided to head to Meijer & CVS to pick up newspapers and roll EBs. The Qs were good  and CVS has lots of good deals this week.

I was pleasantly surprised to see how empty Meijer was when I got there at 5pm. I figured everyone and their mother would hit the store early. The best part is, there were more than enough groceries to choose from. Only the bread and other in-demand items like bleach, wipes and hand soap (this still baffles me. I'm just wondering if people never washed their hands before...smh) were sold out. I even found frozen broccoli. So I bought a few more supplies in case our state decides to go on lockdown. 2 Neighboring states have already closed down restaurants, bars etc, and this morning the same was announced here.

DH went to Aldi on Saturday and said it looked like the store was going out of business. Maybe now he knows to listen to me when it comes to stockpiling, because he now saw the craziness with his own eyes.

I earned a $9 Beauty and $2 Epic Beauty Qs that printed yesterday. I know my Epic Beauty amount is wrong, because it's supposed to be 10% of your purchases during 2 weeks in February and I bought way more than $20 worth of items.




CVS

2 x Kinder candy 2.22
2 x Garnier Treats shampoo/conditioner 12.00
2 x Speedstick deodorant 5.98
3 x Irish Spring b/w 11.97
3 x Schick razors 20.97
2 x Oral b t/b 5.98
2 x Maybelline eyeshadow 8.38
2 x Nexxus shampoo 31.98
1 x Tostitos queso 3.99
Less BOGOF Garnier q (6.00)
Less Garnier DQ (4.00)
Less 2 Schick qs (8.00)
Less Schick DQ (4.00)
Less Schick App Q (2.00)
Less Crest DQ (3.00)
Less 2 x Speedstick qs (1.00)
Less Deodorant App q (1.00)
Less Speedstick DQ (1.00)
Less 2 Irish Spring qs (1.50)
Less Irish Spring CRT (2.00)
Less 2 Nexxus qs (10.00)
Less 3/15 Haircare CRT (3.00)
Less 3/12 Shave (3.00)
Less Maybelline CRT (3.00)
Less 2/8 Bodywash CRT (2.00)
Less EBS (46.00)
Total $2.97
Tax 4.72
OOP $7.69

Earned $34 EBS ($1 Kinder, $3 Speed Stick, $5 Irish Spring, $10 Nexxus, $5 Schick, $3 Oral B, $7 Maybelline)

I should earn another $6 Beauty Rewards. I know that razors & deodorant don't count towards beauty, so I'm hoping for at least $6.

Coupons used : $54.50
Rewards used : $46.00
Rewards earned : $34
Total saved : $119.64 (98%)

When the register total showed $106, I about had a sense of humor failure. I know that anything can go wrong with digital qs, so it's always nerve racking having such a high total and watching it go down. I heaved a huge sigh of relief when my total was so low, because I did not want to fork over $20 again.

I actually had a $1/2 candy CRT, but I didn't take it to the store with me as I wasn't planning on buying candy. I also thought that I had a 75c Irish Spring DQ, but that's actually on my WAGS account...lol (the joy of shopping all 3 drugstores)

My EBs are good for a month, so I'm taking a shopping break. We don't need anything and I'm not taking any chances running to stores and risk getting infected.

Stay healthy & safe everyone!


Friday, March 13, 2020

Why I should trust my gut and not listen to DH

I mentioned before how DH didn't want me to go stock up at Sams. Well, yesterday I was gonna go out to shop for work inventory. My gut, however, kept telling me to go do grocery shopping instead. My friends in neighboring states mentioned that their schools were closed for 3 weeks & I knew we'd end up in the same boat. So I wanted to make sure that we have everything we need, in case we end up confined to our homes. I usually shop on Fridays (instead of shopping the first day of the sale - Sundays like I used to), because the stores are empty in the middle of the day and that way I can cook our meals for the week on Sundays, without having to run to the stores first.

Since I needed to go to the produce market anyway, I decided to just go stock up on some meat and bread at Sams. After the produce market I stopped at Walmart. The place was insane!! This is not how it normally looks. It looked like everyone and their mother were shopping. Got my few goodies (mainly milk & 4 dozen eggs) and decided to throw in a few more canned goods.

Then off to Sams and this was a real shock to me. No chicken (waah, I love their non GMO chicken. I bought 2 packs last week, but figured I'd get some more to last us the next 3-4 weeks). So I opted for ground turkey and found a package of beef. No stewing beef, no bread, tp, pt, water. The seafood and bakery sections were empty too. What the heck?! You'd think the world was coming to an end tomorrow.

This is exactly why I wanted to stock up last week. I'm so glad I just bought t/p last week, instead of listening to DH, cause it's now as scarce as chicken teeth. Not that we have to panic about it. We still have p/t, 30 boxes of Kleenex (man those Kleenex can sure come in handy...lol) and Cottonelle wipes (thanks to Ibotta). I knew that once people start panicking, they'd clear the store shelves and this is exactly what I wanted to avoid getting caught up in. I'm just gonna keep trusting my gut no matter what DH says. He should know by now that when I decide to do things, it's for a good reason. And that the wife is ALWAYS right...lol. I sure am glad that I shopped yesterday, cause stores might look worse today. My friend said the Costco lines were so long, you'd be in line for 2 hours, so she left. I'm glad Sams has self checkout, so it's easy in, easy out.

I take back what I said about 'Aldi shit'...lol I stopped there after Sams and found bread and pie crusts. They sure saved the day. Shhh, don't tell DH or I'll never hear the end of it...lol. Not that we're stranded without bread. I have lots of flour from holiday baking and bought yeast yesterday.I also got 2 large tubs ICBINB at Sams last week. So I can bake bread and muffins. I just don't want to have to bake all the time.

When I got home, I cooked a 40 oz package ground turkey (Sams sells 2 x 40 oz packs for around $13 and I bought 2 packs) and made spaghetti meat sauce. Added some spinach and red peppers to that. I managed to freeze 2 portions for possible spaghetti or lasagna. The rest we'll have over ravioli tonight with a side salad. I portioned and froze the rest of the turkey.

Later I will clean and freeze some of the produce like peppers, onions and some grapes. This way I don't have to worry about anything spoiling.  I just wish we had a stand alone freezer. That would've come in handy right now. Tomorrow I'll make some individual meat pies (chicken or beef) and freeze those too. Our meals might have to get a little creative if we are stuck indoors longer than 3 weeks, but that's okay.

We're all set for at least 4 weeks. We don't need any food, household or HBA products. I just told DH to bring a case of beer when he went out earlier. The good news is that we won't be eating any junk food. We dine out every weekend and get carry out on Fridays, but I'm too afraid to have someone prepare my food, who might be infected without knowing it. Eating at home will be healthier and far better for my pocketbook. I do still have some Sams pizza in the freezer. Once a month, I order 2 x 16 oz cooked pizzas from the cafe. I do this once I get there, then shop and my pizza's ready by the time I'm done shopping. Then we just eat a few slices and freeze the rest for future use. I got 2 pizzas last week. I was gonna order 2 more yesterday, but the cafe was out of pizza too! Crazy!

I don't know how I'm gonna survive not doing drugstore shopping for the next few weeks. Darn! We're getting beauty rewards on Sunday and I have a $9 beauty reward too. The good news is that we can add it to our accounts online. I'll just have to see how things go. I'm wondering if CVS will accept expired EBs now that most people are stuck at home.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

CVS Epic Beauty Event

CVS has a great Beauty Q deal this week -  $20 off $100 CRT (that prints from red machine). After reading lots of posts (shoppers who have already done this deal), I learned that you couldn't use threshold qs/CRTs with this, unless you spend the extra amount eg $3/12 shampoo, you'd need to spend at least $112 before tax. Ugh, and I especially printed my x/XX makeup q on Sunday. Then I read that the register were automatically deducting the digital threshold qs. Ugh, even worse, cause I can't add qs to my account that I've already printed. I did have a 3/15 makeup q on my account, that I immediately added. However, my Digital threshold q didn't deduct.




2 x Garnier leave in conditioner $7.00
2 x Maybelline eyeshadow 8.38
2 x Loreal Elvive shampoo 9.98
1 x Rimmel brow pencil 4.99
1 x Rimmel lipgloss 5.49
1 x Loreal eyeshadow 6.59
1 x Loreal lipstick 9.49
1 x Covergirl mascara 6.79
1 x Covergirl foundation 8.69
1 x Garnier moisturiser 9.29
1 x Garnier micellar cleanser 9.79
2 x LBP shampoo/conditioner 18.58
Less 20/100 (20.00)
Less Ganier face q (2.00)
Less Garnier shampoo q (3.00)
Less Loreal q (4.00)
Less 2 Rimmel qs (2.00)
Less BOGOF LBP q (9.29)
Less Loreal DQ (2.00)
Less Garnier shampoo DQ (1.00)
Less Loreal DQ (3.00)
Less Covergirl face DQ (3.00)
Less Maybelline CRT (3.00)
Less Garnier cleanser CRT (3.00)
Less Loreal Elvive CRT (2.00)
Less EBs (30.00)
Tax 5.94
OOP $23.71

Earned $35 EB ($3 Garnier Shampoo, $5 Garnier skincare, $5 Covergirl, $5 Loreal cosmetics, $5 Rimmel, $7 Maybelline) and should get back $9 Beauty rewards by tomorrow. I've also read that we'll be getting our Big Beauty rewards next week, so I'm hoping that will be a nice amount.

I also earned $1.25 Fetch rewards for Loreal lipstick.The Maybelline & Loreal tracks on Fetch. Well at least they're supposed to. Only one of my Loreal items are tracking and no Maybelline. Sigh. I don't have the time to contact them for a buck or two.

After reworking my shopping list (in store)several times, I finally came up with a scenario (store prices were different and some items weren't available. I also haven't bought any qs the past weekend and the previous week gave us no RMN inserts. Grrrr.  I've decided to do things a little differently, by splurging on myself. Most of my shopping trips are usually for gifts/donations/selling. I decided to just go for it and buy the higher priced Garnier cleanser, instead of makeup wipes (that I have plenty of). Same with new foundation (still trying to find my perfect match). The LBP didn't give any EBs, but I wanted to use my BOGOF q, cause it's a nice big deduction.

When I saw my total was $111.xx, I told the cashier that I'm really nervous, because I haven't done such a big transaction in a very long time. I had banked on paying $20+ tax and heaved a huge sigh of relief when I saw the $23....lol

So last week DH was bitching about stockpiling. So I told him that I'll stop stockpiling and from now on, he's responsible for grocery shopping. I told him that I don't want any Aldi shit (that man loves Aldi, but it's not my favorite store. I'll buy a few select items there, but that's it). I also don't want to compromise on brands that we love. I still want to eat organic meat and my favorite food brands. If we run out of anything in the middle of the week, he has to make a special trip to the store. So let's just see how he does. The first few weeks might be fine, cause I have a decent stockpile, but I'm curious to see the grocery bill once the stockpile dwindles. Then he can see just how much I save by shopping sales, clipping qs and stockpiling. I'm not gonna check sales or clip qs for him either. He's on his own.

I picked up a big pack of Sam's t/p last week. That's how the stockpiling complaint started. I told him I was gonna take $200 and go to Sams to stock up on essentials. I don't want to get caught up in a packed store and empty shelves if people ever start panicking and going crazy over the virus here. I like smooth sailing. So he thought that I was gonna buy $200 worth of t/p (insert eyeroll). Who on earth does that? Well, I would if the t/p was free...lmao

Anyhoo, the Sams t/p is our favorite. Best price & quality. This month they have a $2 off q (making it $18.xx) and when I got the pack, I saw that it was a bonus pack (I've never seen those before). The pack has an extra 1900 sheets which is the equivalent of just a little over 8 rolls. Score!! Which means we got a 53 roll pack for $18. So I might sneak out to see if I can get a bonus pack again...lol

I might go back to CVS tomorrow for more beauty deals. I need to check next week's ads first to see if I need to save my CRTs


WAGS doesn't look good this week, so I'm giving it a miss again and I haven't had a chance to look at the RA ad.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Some shopping I've done this week

I'm still here. I've just been crazy busy, that I didn't even bother to do any drugstore shopping last week. I just stopped at CVS on Friday to print my CRTs. DH has been sick, then DS got the sniffles and now I'm sick too. I hate being sick, cause I don't like playing catch up.

I finally made it to the stores yesterday.



CVS

Cotton ball bag $2.79
2 x Maybelline eyeshadow 8.38
1 x Covergirl mascara 6.79
1 x Covergirl mascara 9.49
2 x LBP shampoo/conditioner 18.58
1 x Venus razor 10.49
1 x Gillette razor 10.79
Less Cottonball CRT (1.00)
Less Maybelline DQ (1.00)
Less Covergirl Q (3.00)
Less Covergirl DQ (3.000
Less 3/15 Covergirl CRT (3.00)
Less BOGOF LBP Q (9.29)
Less LBP DQ (1.50)
Less Venus Q (2.00)
Less Gillette Q (2.00)
Less 3/12 Shave (3.00)
Less EBS (27.00)
Tax 2.96
OOP $11.48

Earned $19 EB ($5 Maybelline, $8 Razors, $6 Covergirl), I should get another beauty reward next time I shop too.

When I saw the total I told the cashier that's not right. Of course I couldn't figure it out, because I needed to study my receipt. There was a long line behind me (unusual for CVS, but the cashier was helping a guy who dropped off a UPS package and it took forever). I was 3rd in line and there were still a bunch of people behind me, so I wasn't gonna hold up the line any longer.

I figured some of my DQs didn't apply. Well, I was wrong. It turns out this was totally MY fault. Ugh! I forgot to give cashier my $3 Maybelline CRT and I still had a $5 EB that I threw back into my purse when I couldn't find Softsoap on the shelves. The main problem was that I got over 20 CRTs. Yes, the list was long. Another pile printed at the end of my receipt. I'm not complaining, cause I love the extra discounts. It just confused the heck out of me. My cost before tax was $8.52. Had I used the EB and CRT, my cost would've been $0.52 + tax. That was the whole plan. Stupid, stupid.

I need to go back and finish the LBP deal. It's spend $20, get $10 EB. Of course my store prices were lower than other locations who charge $9.99 each




Meijer

They're having a great sale this week where select Lysol products are $0.89. I missed out on this sale a few weeks ago and didn't want to miss it again. Of course the shelves were half bare. Good sale + coronavirus. I didn't buy the items because of the virus. I use wipes daily and I always dilute the liquid products.

The Clorox was part of the sale, but the price was slightly higher - $1.38 each. Still better than buying it at Sams Club (where I usually buy wipes). When I got home to compare the Sams prices with Meijer's, I saw that Sams is completely OOS on wipes (online & in store). Crazy. I told DH that stockpilers never have to go crazy and clear store shelves during an emergency, because we always have what we need in stock. Plus we get it for much less too. Win-win

6 x Clorox wipes $1.38 each = $8.28
1 x Meijer wipes 0.89
5 x Lysol cleaner $1.29 each = 6.45
Less MP reward (2.00)
Tax 0.87
OOP $14.49 for 12 items









After Meijer I stopped at Burlington, because I wanted a new blowdry brush. I've seen the brand that I use there before, so decided to just stop by since I was close by. I didn't find the brush, but decided to browse the clearance instead.

As I was walking around, I noticed a Zero Xposur coat on the clearance rack. I checked the price and it was $30. Except it was size Large. Ugh, I'm a tiny girl. So I went to the rail with my size and spotted this Free Country Jacket for $12.99!! No friggin way!! I couldn't believe it. You bet I went home with that coat. Happy dance.

Let me first backtrack. About 2 months ago, the zippers on both my jackets broke. DH was able to fix the one, but the other one is bad, even though I'm still able to close the coat. We only wear the 3 in 1 systems jackets, because it's nice & warm for our cold MI weather and you can take it apart for lighter weather. We've been buying these coats for over a decade and I know that it retails for $200 (I always buy it on sale). The downside is that they are becoming harder to find (don't know why).

A few weeks ago Kohls had a mystery discount and I got 40%. I was gonna buy coats for myself & DS (he needs a spare) and pay with gcs, but I just didn't have peace about it, so I didn't bother to shop. Now I know why. It's cause God had a better deal planned. Now some of you might think I'm crazy, but I always pray before going shopping. I always ask God to give me favor. I wasn't planning on shopping at Burlington. I just wanted to get my brush & go home. The jacket made me so happy, it more than made up for my CVS stupidity...lol

I'll wear the old damaged jacket until warmer weather arrives, then donate the outer one. There's nothing wrong with the inner one, so I'll still be able to use it.

Please excuse the poor picture quality. I need to figure out why my Ipad's taking such poor pictures lately.

I'll head back to Meijer & CVS tomorrow or Friday (depending on how I feel). I know that Meijer gets their new inventory trucks on Thursday morning, so I'm hoping they'll restock the Lysol, cause I prefer the lemon scented one.

Run to Wags for $1 Tide Simply & Crest - Ends 6/30!

  Hi everyone!  Just a quick note. If you haven't heard of it yet, Wags & P&G currently have some great deals running. Sadly, th...