Monday, May 25, 2020

CVS tripping & Ibotta Bonus Round 2

I finally went to CVS on Saturday. I had some great CRTs that were expiring and I desperately needed new moisturizer. The moisturizer I ordered from WAGs online a few months ago, turned out to be bad. I could tell by the color and the smell that it was off. I still used it (thankfully nothing bad happened to my skin), but I really wanted new moisturizer. I also know this was old stock, because it didn't have any expiration date. The new bottles all have expiration dates. It also looks like my moisturiser is being discontinued. I knew it was a matter of time, because I could only find it at a select few stores. Now Target no longer carries it anymore. So I decided to try other types of the Loreal line.

I haven't been to the drugstores in almost 3 months!! I've been suffering from serious withdrawal symptoms. On top of that, our governor extended our stay home order to June 12th! I'm now over this crap. We (MI) were one of the first states to shut down and we've already quarantined for 9 weeks. Now y'all know why I'm so upset. I just want this whole pandemic mess to be over with now. I actually had a meltdown over the weekend, when I heard about the extension. I'm normally a really strong person, but after 9 weeks the lockdown got to me.



CVS

Trans 1

1 x Pantene shampoo $5.00
2 x Pantene detangler 10.00
Less 3/15 hairccare CRT (5.00)
Less $4 Pantene CRT (4.00)
Less $2 Pantene CRT (2.00)
Less $1 EB (1.00)
Tax 0.66
OOP $5.66

Earned $5 EB

Trans 2

1 x Loreal Age Perfect $19.49
1 x Loreal Revitalift 19.49
Less $6 Loreal Age Perfect CRT (6.00)
Less Loreal CRT (2.00)
Less $5/22 Facial CRT (5.00)
Less EB from trans 1 (5.00)
Tax 2.04
OOP $23.02

Earned $10 EB (WYS $30 on Loreal) and $3 Beauty. So $13 EBs earned

While my OOP seems high, I am very happy with it, because it's all things that I needed. I've been out of detangler for a month. When I was at Meijer a few weeks ago, I grabbed a bottle. At checkout I decided to put it back, because I couldn't bring myself to pay $6.xx  for just one bottle. Thank goodness good sense prevailed. Unfortunately the store only had 2 bottles today, so I grabbed the shampoo. I had to spend $15 to earn the EB and the large shampoo bottles were included in this deal. Score!

I'm really loving the Revitalift, so I think I'll use that in future. It's a good thing I coupon, cause I just can't see myself paying $20 for one moisturizer. My old Loreal moisturizer cost $10-11 and that was 4oz, compared to the 1.7 & 2.5 oz I got this time.



Then I headed to Dollar Tree, because Ibotta has another bonus deal available. This time it's $10 bonus for 10 items. Easy peasy when you shop at DT, cause it will be a MM. I was happy to see some items said 'Any Size, Any Variety'.

1 x Oreo $1.00
1 x Hershey candy 1.00
1 x Powerade 1.00
1 x Aquafina water 1.00
1 x Hot Pockets 1.00
1 x kids ice pops 1.00
OOP $6.00

Earned $2.10 (5 items were 25c each & the ice pops 75c. The 10c was for any item)

Well darn! Ibotta only credited 4 of my 6 items. I know that everything qualified, because I had to scan the items when I redeemed it. I also bought the ice pops last week & that qualified without a problem. So I sent it a ticket for the missing $1

I also bought 4 more bottles of Palmolive (bonus size) to add to my stockpile. The shelves were fully stocked, but they had a limit of 4 per customer. No problemo. There's lots of DT stores around here & I've never been a shelf clearer.

When we were at Meijer yesterday, I decided to just buy some more Ibotta rebate items. I was gonna gonna get the rest at DT, but I really don't need any more cookies or candy. Sorry no pic, cause we were out for hours, so I packed everything into the fridge the minute we got home.

1 x Sargento cheese shreds $2.50
1 x Fage yogurt cup 1.29
1 x Kraft Mac & cheese 1.39
1 x Johnsonville breakfast sausage 3.99
OOP $9.17

Earned $1.20

Well, the Johnsonville was a surprise. I didn't know that there was a rebate for it, but when I scanned my receipt at home, I saw a credit for it. So I now have my bonus deal completed without even trying...lol.

Darn Meijer. The Kraft was marked as 5/$5. So $1 each. I didn't notice that it rang up higher, until I scanned receipt. I only bought this item, cause it's the same price as DT. Ugh. Meijer's now acting like the drugstores where you pay more when purchasing single items. I was gonna buy another Taco Bell cheese, but Meijer charged almost $1 more than Walmart for the same item. This is why I started shopping at Walmart more. No bloody way am I paying their ridiculous prices.

So to recap.

Total OOP $15.17

Total Earned (once they add my 2 qualifying items and pay my bonus) $13.30

Total cost after cash back $1.87

I'm ready for Ibotta to send another bonus deal....lol

I have to admit that it felt really good to be back in the drugstore game. I have to check what's good, so I can roll my EBs. I sure hope they issue my expired EBs, cause I don't want to spend too much OOP.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Ibotta bonus & stockpiling

I made my bi-weekly trip to the grocery store. Before going shopping, I checked my Ibotta. I haven't use any grocery store apps since the pandemic started. My Ibotta had a $5 bonus WYB 8 items. Since the cheese was already on my list, I decided to see what I else I could score. I first stopped at Dollar Tree for some juice for DH and grabbed some Ibotta items too



DT

1 x Sour Patch ice pops $1.00 (this started melting in my car, so I placed in freezer when I got home)
1 x Trolli sour candy 1.00
1 x Oreo minis 1.00 (DS already opened this...lol)
OOP $3.00

Walmart

1 x Sargento cheese $2.26
1 x Taco bell cheese 2.78
1 x Cheerios Cinnamon cereal 3.64 (Free after rebate)
1 x Pringles wavy 1.44 (Free after rebate)
1 x Oui yogurt 1.34
OOP $11.46

Total OOP $14.46

Earned back  $13.43 ($1.25 DT, $7.18 Walmart, $5 Bonus)

Total cost to me after rewards $1.03 for 8 items

I'm excited to try the Taco Bell habanero cheese, because we love heat. I love their Breakfast blend one, but Walmart doesn't carry that flavor.

I also decided to use $10 of my grocery budget to stockpile a few things. Sorry no pic. I didn't have the energy to get everything set up for pics. Is anyone else worn out from grocery shopping these days? I was out for 2 hours just shopping at 2 stores. I go to a different Walmart, since the closest ones have customers from an area where Covid19 cases are high. The layout at this Walmart is different from our local store, so I have to search for most things. Then when I get home, I don't allow anyone to touch the groceries. I unload everything, then wipe every item with Clorox wipes before packing it away. By the time that's done, I'm ready for a nap.

6 x Canned peas @44c each $2.64
4 x Canned black beans @ 58c each $2.62
3 x Canned pineapple @98c each $2.94
OOP $8.20



I'm a big fan of Dawn dishwashing liquid. I do use Palmolive when I can find it at a good price. So when I spotted these bonus bottles at DT, I grabbed 2. I knew that the price is much lower than the Dawn I buy at Sams.

90 oz Dawn = $9.88
6 x 16 oz Palmolive = $6 for 96 oz

I tried some Palmolive last night & love the light fragrance, so I'm gonna stock up whenever I find it at DT. The regular green Palmolive soap gives me severe sinus headaches, so I try not to buy that.


Let me tell y'a'll about my new favorite item. I'm a Bisquick girl. When I tried to find Bisquick at Walmart (shortly after lockdown started), the shelves were bare. All they had was some Great Value pancake mix, which I grabbed. This was the best 'buy whatever is available' item I've ever tried. I will admit that I'm a food snob. I've found that the Walmart brand tasted way better than Bisquick AND it costs way less too. So this is our new favorite pancake mix brand. I think it was around $1.32 (I have to check my receipt).

I still haven't been to the drugstores, cause there hasn't been any good deals. Well, CVS has a good ad, but I'm waiting on them to reissue all my expired EBs ($27).

Monday, May 18, 2020

Bug out bags...it's not about bugs

No, this doesn't have anything to do with bugs....lol.

If there's one thing this pandemic has taught us, it's to be prepared. I'm a planner & always like to be prepared for any & everything. Some people think I'm nuts, but guess who's having the last laugh now. Some of my friends have actually told m

While we were rather well prepared this time, there's still some things I need to take care of. One of them being bug out bags. I don't know why I never thought to do this, because I read lots of spy novels and the operators always have bug out bags.

What is a bug out bag? It's a bag filled with essential items to survive, in case you need to evacuate during a disaster. Those of you who live in Hurricane states probably already have such bags packed.

I've searched the web and there are several different lists of things you might need. I've tweaked that list to suit our needs. There's no way I'm packing a tent (well maybe, if I really have to). How on earth would I even fit a tent into my bag? The good news is that I already know what some of the items are and how to use them (thanks to my spy novels). Things like Chem lites, space blankets, water purifying tablets...etc. Those are definitely things I'd like to add to our bags.

So here are a few things that I think we'll need in our bags.

2 Sets of clothes (for both cold & warm weather)
I'd like to get long sleeve thermal shirts, because there won't be room for coats in the backpacks
2 Sets of socks (short & long)
Pair of athletic shoes
2 Sets undies
Hat - beanies (we already have spares that I bought just before the lockdown)
Waterproof jacket
Heavy duty gloves
Reusable water bottle
Toiletries - my list is long, but will be easy to fill from my stockpile.
- Toothpaste
- 2 Toothbrushes each (in case you lose one)
- Hairbrush
- Washcloth
- Hand towel
- Bar soap
- Deodorant
- Sunscreen
- Body lotion (this can double as face cream too)
- Shampoo
- Conditioner
- Disinfectant wipes
- Kleenex
- Toilet paper (never again do I want to run low on t/p)
- Sanitary towels

These will all be trial sized items. I might have to double certain items just so we have enough. I'm thinking splitting the extra items between our 3 bags.

- First aid kits (one for each bag). Walmart has the trial size ones but I don't know if those will work
- Painkillers
I still need to work on what should go into our first aid kits

Snack items like trail mix, energy bars, dried fruit.
I'm thinking I should get a food saver. This might come in handy for extending the life of dried fruit and trail mix.

Oatmeal - can be cooked over an open fire or just add hot water. I hate those instant oatmeal packets, so I'm thinking of mixing my regular oatmeal with dried fruit of choice and a little brown sugar. This way I can also control the amount of sugar we eat.

Instant Coffee
Sugar

I'm thinking of packing the coffee & sugar into ziploc bags, then a small container that can also double as a food bowl.

- Flashlight
- Compass

Cellphone charger  & adapter. Now don't laugh....lol but who knows when you'll get near a power outlet and be able to charge your phone.

And last but not least - Cash, Cash, Cash. You never know when you'll need cash. Not just for a bug out bag, but for any kind of emergency or disaster. Ever thought of what would happen if the power grid went down? There would be no way to get cash from any bank. We've become way too dependent on electronics & the internet. So be sure to always keep a decent amount of cash in a safe place.

DS already has a spare backpack. I need to buy 2 more for myself & DH.

This is just my bare bones list. I'm gonna have to do some serious research to see exactly what we need.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

This & That

Its hard to believe that it's already May. April was a very spendy month for me. I actually broke the grocery budget. I don't feel bad about it, because I've been doing bulk shopping every 2-3 weeks. We were way under budget in March and I know that (other than dairy & bread), we don't need to shop for another 2-3 weeks.

I went to Sams last week and when I got there, there was a long line outside the store again. So I did the only logical thing & went to Ollie's instead....lol I especially went to Sams in the afternoon, hoping that the long lines would be gone. When I returned after Ollie's, there was still a long line (I hate this new normal). So I got in line and chatted to an old neighbor in South Africa online, while I waited. Thankfully the line moved fast.

- There are still meat limits at Sams (I don't mind this, because it gives everyone a chance to grab some meat). However, there was only one package of the non GMO chicken breasts I usually buy. I'm so thankful that I managed to get that. I also grabbed a package of ground turkey (80 oz) and a package of steak.

I managed to get everything on my list, with the exception on t/p. They had 2 packs of Scott t/p left, but those packs were way smaller than the Members Mark ones I usually get and they cost about $3-4 more too, so I passed.

I sure wish we had a chest freezer, because I don't know what's gonna happen with even more meat shortages. We don't eat much meat, but I do like to have some form of it. If I had an extra freezer, I could at least have stocked up with meat from Meijer & Walmart.

- On Saturday I used one of those ground turkey packages (40 oz) for taco meat. I found a homemade taco seasoning recipe online and made my own mix. Thankfully I had most of the ingredients. The recipe I found online was rather bland (we love spice & heat), so I'll go back to buying taco seasoning. I also made refried beans & banana oatmeal muffins

- At Ollie's I splurged on 3 books for myself. I'm an avid reader and haven't had anything new in quite some time. Finding 3 of my favorite authors' books, was like finding gold. Spent $10.59 total.



- I didn't find any gravy at this Ollie's location, but I found this Heinz baked beans for 79c each. Now we love our Bush's baked beans. That's the only brand I ever buy. However, I decided to give Heinz  a try. With shortages on select items, we're trying to not be so picky. The other reason is that 2 cans of Heinz = 32 oz ($1.58) cost less than the 28oz Bush's baked beans ($1.99). If this tastes good, then I'm gonna keep an eye out for the Heinz beans to stock up. Unfortunately these have short expiration dates, so I'm gonna check Walmart's price next time I'm there.

- A few weeks ago, Eddie Bauer offered a $10 q when you text a number of theirs. I've never shopped at EB stores, but signed up for emails a long time ago when I learned that they send out $10 qs from time to time.

Then they had an extra 50% off clearance & free shipping, so I got a ball cap for DS for free.



- I also got myself a nice winter wardrobe for $55.19 and earned $1.04 back through Rakuten. I've had my eye on a clearance blouse for some time, but just never got around to purchasing it. It just never felt right (I trust that gut instinct of mine...lol). Then last week they had B2G2F + extra 50% off clearance sale and I needed no second invitation....lol. I got 13 pieces for that $55. That's $4.17 each (including tax).  That's better prices than the thrift store. Thrift stores have become so expensive over the years, that it's sometimes better to just wait for retailers to have end of season sales. I added the 13th item, so I could score free shipping (free at $49), instead of paying $8.95 shipping. Yeah, I'm cheap like that...lol.

I haven't received everything in my order yet, but this blouse is by far my favorite piece. It's so elegant. The store picture didn't do it justice. The best part is that I already have navy pants and white & blue jeans to wear this with. I can dress it up or down. Man, quarantine needs to end now so I can wear my new clothes...lol

Now I need to pull 13 items from my wardrobe to resell. 13 In 13 Out.

- I sold some drugstore items and earned $88.93 last month. I mentioned before that selling drugstore items won't make me rich, but it's nice to have the extra cash.

YTD drugstore expenses (after cash back) $213.87
April drugstore earnings (88.93)
Total OOP $124.94

I've sold a few more items since the year began, but I'm gonna have to look those number up sometime.

The best part is that we haven't needed to purchase and HBA since this pandemic started. We're still set for several months.

- We also earned $199.93 last month, selling some of our old personal items.

- I ordered a small sewing machine from Walmart, so I can make our own masks. It's just a simple $20 thing and I didn't want to pay shipping. I found some Scott t/p for $9.99 (12 pk), so I added 2 of those. I'm not a fan of Scott t/p, but right now we're not too picky since t/p is still as scarce as chicken teeth. Used $35 gcs and paid $7.81 OOP.

- I've been checking Sams online regularly. They keep saying they have Members Mark t/p (our favorite), but when you check out, the item disappears. Last week I was able to score a pack (happy dance), so I now have a decent t/p stockpile again. We currently have enough t/p to last through end June/mid July (excluding the new ones I just ordered), but I don't know how long shortages are gonna continue.

Earlier this week I hit up Walmart & Dollar Tree. I needed some cleaning items and DH was out of juice. I was pleasantly surprised to see lots of bleach at Walmart. They also had lots of store brand t/p. The bleach was the smaller bottle, but right now I'm not picky. I only grabbed one bottle (even though there's no limits). Same with eggs. I was happy to see how well stocked Walmart was. They even had meat (not much chicken). I grabbed some Italian sausage, bacon, breakfast sausage. I've already cooked the bacon & breakfast sausage. I don't have freezer space for a big meat stockpile.

- I've already started making a vegetarian meal plan, in case of crazy meat shortages. We will survive.

- Ordered 4 reams of printer paper from Staples. It was free after rewards and I was running low.

Now I hope to have a few no spend weeks. Other than bread, dairy & produce, we don't need anything for the next 3 weeks. Well I do need some more work supplies, but that's business expenses.

Black Friday shopping

There's method to my madness. Always remember my mantra when you read about my weird shopping trips. I had a plan for Kohls. I wanted to...