Saturday, June 26, 2021

Kroger freebies & more

Well, so much for being done with grocery shopping for the month...lol Kroger just keeps sucking me in. I learned of some free items at Kroger, so I just HAD TO go shop. I mean, who passes up FREE...lol



4 x Barnana plantain tortilla chips $12.00 F

1 x Barnana plantain chips 3.50

3 x Mentos gum $8.97

2 x Kind energy bars 2.00

2 x Barilla pesto 6.58

5 x Oreo dynasty cookies 9.95 F

1 x Bai strawberry 1.50 F MM

1 x Gallon milk 1.79

Less Kind mailer q (0.50)

OOP $45.79


Earned $20.29 Ibotta and $18.24 KC

Total earned : $38.53

Total cost after cash back : $7.26


Items marked with a F are all Free. The Bai was a small MM. It's on sale for $1.50 and Ibotta credited $1.99 (free after rebate offer)

I totally messed up with the Mentos. These were supposed to be free too. However, I didn't know it's part of the mega event sale (have to buy at least 5 items). I just had my eye on the prize (freebies...lol)This was found at checkout and there were no tags indicating price or sale. Had the limit on these been 5 on Ibotta/KC, I would've purchased 5 and gotten them all for free. 

I really wanted the pesto, because it's something I use often. I don't mind paying $1.29 for it. Both Ibotta and KC gives back $1 per jar. So that's a $2 savings per jar. The limit was 5, but there were only 2 jars on the shelf :(

I can't remember the last time I bought Oreos. Must've been more than 2 years ago. I now know why I rarely buy it, because I was in a sugar coma just reading the label. Yikes! I'll be donating a few packs. I'm hoping that my KC will reset before the sale ends, so I can get more chips and cookies.

I'll never buy milk at Aldi again. Their milk is crap!! I made a bowl of cereal this morning. Poured and heated milk (I can't eat cereal with cold milk. Sacrilege. Colored people in SA eat cereal with warm milk) and saw that it looked thick. What the heck! No, I didn't overcook the milk. Checked the expiration date on the bottle and it is for today. Had to throw out a third of that gallon (what was left), because the milk was definitely sour. When I buy store brand milk at any other grocery store (Kroger, Meijer, Walmart), it's good for at least 2 weeks AFTER it's expiration date. This isn't the first time Aldi's milk goes bad so fast. 

The one thing I enjoy about couponing, is that we get to try lots of new products for free or near free. Things that we would not have purchased otherwise. 

Like Kim, I've also decided to increase our monthly grocery budget by $50-100. I'd like to keep it at $300, but the constant price increases aren't helping. We will see how it goes. I know that I'll probably be over budget next month, because I'm hitting up Sams next week. I miss that place. The good news is that I have enough Ibotta gcs to pay for our membership. We're out of a few things though, so I need to replenish it. 

I also stopped at CVS earlier this week. Sorry, no pic since everything's already packed away. Scanned my card at the red machine and got a receipt that's over 6ft long. I kid you not. I don't know why they have to print a list of all the digital qs. Duh, we can check that on our phones. Such a waste of paper. Anyhoo, I had $34 EBs expiring this weekend (I haven't been to CVS in  month), so I need to redeem them. 


2 x Irish spring b/w $7.98

4 x Crest t/p 15.96

1 x Tide pods 4.94

1 x Covergirl powder 8.49

1 x Covergirl mascara 6.99

2 x Nice n Easy hair color 16.58

Less Irish spring DQ (1.00)

Less $1/5 b/w DQ (1.00)

Less Oral care DQ (6.00)

Less Crest DQ (1.00)

Less 3/15 Oral care DQ (3.00)

Less Covergirl face DQ (3.00)

Less Covergirl eye DQ (3.00)

Less Clairol BOGOF DQ (7.99)

Less Clairol DQ (2.00)

Less Tide pods DQ (2.00)

Less EBS (30.95)

Tax $3.42

OOP $3.42

Earned $19 EBs ($6 Crest, $2 Irish spring, $4 Clairol, $7 Covergirl) + $3 Beauty EB. So $22 earned. 

Not the best deal. It was slim pickings at CVS this week. I'm just happy to have rolled my EBs and now have more hair color for the grays. 

I don't know why the register deducted multiple Qs for the hair color and crest, but I read that there were glitches this week. Not that I'm complaining, but I still have $3 Beauty EB (from last month's trip) that needs to be redeemed by Tuesday. I also received a $6/30 CRT, so I've got to figure out a good deal. 


ATTENTION WAGS SHOPPERS

Please check your RRs. I've learned the hard way that many RRs now say "Store coupon", not 'Manufacturer's coupon'. If it says Store coupon, then you can only use ONE per transaction. WAGS trying to complicate things again. 


On another note, I'm extremely happy with my new Eddie Bauer shorts. They cost $2.50 more (each) than the Old Navy shorts, but the quality is far more superior than ON's (which have gone downhill the last few years). I'm not into rugged clothing, but I love these shorts (they don't look rugged). I'm gonna keep an eye out for end of season clearance, so I can get them in more colors. 

Hope everyone enjoys the rest of the weekend!

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Rising food costs

Does anyone else constantly get sticker shock when you go to the grocery store? I think it's getting rather ridiculous now. It seems that whenever I buy something, there's a nice fat increase added to the old price. I don't keep a price book. Mine is in my head. I know exactly how much the items we purchase regularly cost, so I immediately notice any change in price.

When I last picked up breakfast sausage at Walmart, I noticed that the price had increased from the regular $2.99 to $3.17. Today I figured I'd just pick up another package since I'm already at the store. I reach for the sausage and see the $3.48 price tag. What on earth?! You increased the price twice in one month!....grrrr. We only eat Johnsonville sausage. I'm a food snob and am extremely picky. Food is the one thing that I will never skimp on. So if my favorite brand costs more, I will still pay more. However, I knew that Meijer has Johnsonville breakfast sausage on sale for $3 this week. I didn't want to make a special stop at Meijer, but after seeing the Walmart price, I decided to just make a pit stop at Meijer. Meijer's shelf sticker said "Limited time price". So I bought 5 packages. The Meijer regular price is $4.29!!

When I got home, I cooked 2 packages with some onions & peppers. I also crumbled & cooked another package for when I next make breakfast burritos. All the sausage (both raw & cooked are now frozen). I also picked up more peaches at Meijer. It's on sale for 79c/lb this week. I already bought some on Sunday, which we are currently eating. The 2nd lot has been washed, diced and frozen for smoothies. 

Last year some of my friends thought I was nuts to stockpile 30 cans of baked beans. Again, I prefer the Bush's baked beans. I bought the 30 cans (not all in one trip) and still have about 20 cans left. That will be used fast during summer. Last week Meijer had those baked beans on sale for I think it was $4.20 or $4.50 WYB 2. You had to purchase 2 to get the sale price. Ha! I paid $1.99 for those beans at Walmart last year. In fact, the price is still the same at Walmart (not sure how long that's gonna last). 

Some products have small price increases like 20c+ but I've seen several that increased by a whole dollar. Sure, that doesn't sound like much, but let's do the math. Let's say you purchase at least 20 items at the grocery store per week (might be more, might be less. It all depends on the size of your family). Then lets say there's an average price increase of 40c per item.

20 Items x 40c = $8.00

Now your grocery budget has increased by at least $8 per week. See how much those little bits add up to? In one year your grocery budget would've increased by a whopping $416!! That's a little more than our current monthly budget.  I don't know about anyone else, but there's a lot I can do with $416. 

This my friends, is why I shop the way I do. I'm not cuckoo! I'm just being smart of spending my money. I know how hard I have to work for it, so I'm not just gonna throw it away to please other people. They don't work for my money, so they don't get to tell me how I should spend it either. 

Now I know that the numbers will vary from one person to the next. This is just an example of how much grocery prices have increase over the past year. Our incomes vary, so do our expenses and needs. I just try to save wherever I can, which allows us to splurge on other things that we like to enjoy. 

I'm basically done with grocery shopping for this month. I just noticed that I'm almost out of dryer sheets. Don't know how that happened. I thought I still had a box in the stockpile. I do have to hit up WAGS & CVS next week. I have $16 RRs to use and $3 CVS Beauty Buck that expires the 29th. CVS also gave me a $6/30 Q (I haven't seen this in ages), so you know I have to go shop....lol.

I also need to make a trip to Sams (boy I miss that place. Costco's not nearly as nice as Sams) and the produce market, but I'll wait until the 1st. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

I'm done with spending

I feel like I've been on a spending treadmill the past few months. I'm now more than ready to get off that shopping treadmill. Just after writing the last post about the zipper breaking on DS's winter coat, the zipper on his rain jacket ended up breaking too. I couldn't believe our rotten luck. Now he's had the jacket for about 8-9 years, so I really can't be mad about it wearing out. I remember buying it at Macy's for $20 + tax. It was on clearance for $30 and back then those lovely $10/25 coupons still worked on most brands. The jacket is still in excellent condition, but I don't know how to replace the zipper. I might have to watch some Youtube videos or just sell it if it's too much work. 

So I, of course, had to look for a new jacket. I didn't want any of those thin ones that cling to your skin when they get wet. So I searched for something similar to what he had (which is really hard to find), but it's starting at $70!!! What one earth. This mama's not bonkers enough to spend that much money. More searching & searching and finally found a waterproof jacket for $20 at Costco. Well Costco has this online deal where you get $20 off if you buy 5 items. So I bought him 2 jackets and 3 items to resell. That cost me $54.99 for the 5 items and DS now has a spare rain jacket too. 

Well about an hour after placing the order for DS, I sold 3 things of his that added $66.64 to our pockets. Score!

Then I wanted new shorts for myself. I've searched high and low for cotton shorts. Old Navy had ones that I really liked (I bought some years ago and really liked it). ON is selling it for $15 (limited time deal, so discounts don't apply). Mmmm, not good enough for me. Then I saw that Eddie Bauer has free shipping and they keep mailing me a $10 Q. So I used that $10 Q and bought 4 pairs shorts at $20 each. Now I haven't bought shorts in years. I don't have nice legs (at least I don't like my legs) so I tend to skip shorts purchases. But I needed some new ones. I can't keep rotating the old ones. Besides half of them are too small no thanks to the pandemic. That's my story and I'm sticking to it...lol But that's more money out of pocket. Sigh.

I also finally found sports bras. I prefer the Under Armour ones, because I do mid to high intensity cardio (I'm an action girl) and they provide great support. Once again, I searched and searched online and none of my regular stores where I bought them before had any or they were priced out the wazoo. So I went directly to the UA site and bought some. They cost a little more than I would've liked to pay (can y'all tell I'm really cheap about what I spend, when $22 is too expensive for me for a sports bra...lol. It's not that I can't afford it. It's because I know I can get it at a lower price. However, shopping for anything is so much more different these days). Rakuten happened to have 8% cash back then, so I felt a little better about my purchase. But that's almost another $100 OOP. 

So now I'm done shopping. I tried getting sweatpants for DS with my mystery discount at Kohls, but they didn't have what we wanted. I know we had the same problem last year. So I'll continue to save my Kohls gcs and wait until the stores restock winter items in 2-3 months. 

I'm really over shopping, but I actually feel a sense of relief that we have everything we need & more. I remember doing the same with grocery stockpiling once our state opened after lockdown last year. I shopped hard (remember there were grocery shortages last year) and stockpiled so well that we are still benefiting from it. 

We don't need a single thing! I'm done. Well okay, I'll still splurge at WHBM. I have oodles of gcs after all. As long as DH keeps the gcs coming, I'll keep splurging...lol. That place is my guilty pleasure. Besides, I'm not spending any money there anyways. 

DH and I are both self employed. We know that there are busy times and slow times for business. We are financially independent (no mortgage or any debt), but we still plan & save for a rainy day. This is another reason why I shop the way I do. We've been through that rough recession and now the pandemic. However, it didn't hurt us, because we planned for the future. Now if there's still shortages, a job loss or whatever other natural disaster, we don't have to panic. We've been blessed to always have everything we need. It's all about planning.

Every single penny can now go towards savings. Not that I haven't been saving. I've actually done well with saving this year. I'm just glad that I don't have to worry about any more unnecessary expenses. At least I hope so. 

Monday, June 14, 2021

Eating from the freezer

I really enjoyed not having to worry about meals last week. By doing freezer cooking, we had lots of options. So here's what I did.

Monday : Falafel in pita pockets

Tuesday : I cooked refried beans in instant pot & took fajita chicken from freezer and made nachos. I also made guacamole & we still had pico de gallo.

Wednesday : BWW chicken tenders (freezer), potato salad, carrot/pineapple salad, baked beans salad

Thursday : Chicken patties (freezer). Made chicken burgers with some of that fresh produce I bought and added the leftover salad from night before

Friday : Carry out

Saturday : Carry out. Pre-covid we used to dine out on Saturdays & Sundays. Now we just get our food to go on Saturdays

Sunday : Dinner out


I have no problem making salads or whatever sides, because it's so quick & easy. I love not having to cook a full meal every day. I used to do lots of freezer cooking (to free up time for me to work) before covid hit. Then I slacked, but I'm back in the saddle.





Yesterday I was back in the kitchen again. I decided to replace the pancakes with muffins, because it's so easy to grab & go.  I made a dozen jumbo blueberry/lemon muffins. I love blueberries & I always crush my blueberries when baking, so we can have it in every bite. I love the jumbo ones, because I have this strange love (I'm not callling it an obsession...lol) for eating the bottom half. I can't even explain it. I cut the muffin in half, then leave the tops for the guys to eat. I don't know why I'm so crazy about the bottoms. I spread some butter on it and nuke it. So yummy. I bought these muffin pans years ago to make a traditional South African cookie, but the pans were too big. No problemo. Let's just make extra large muffins. 




I also made 2 spinach & artichoke quiche (added bacon for extra flavor) and 2 veggie pizzas. It's not the prettiest pizza, but it tastes so good. I made some broccoli, carrots & peas to go with the quiche. There's salad to go with pizza. I've been craving pizza for a while now and Sams cafe no longer sells whole pizzas. Costco only has cheese and pepperoni pizza, which I'm not a fan of. I like making my own pizza, because I can add whatever toppings we like. 

We still have frozen breakfast burritos and sausage. There's always eggs and cereal too. Bought another raisin bread, so we're good on the  breakfast front.

There's ravioli and meat sauce in the freezer (not together, so we can also have ravioli with pesto if we don't want meat sauce). We also still have fajita chicken, BWW tenders and chicken patties in case we get tired of all the vegetarian meals. 

For dessert tonight we're having fruit smoothies. I've been craving chocolate cake (my favorite), so I might make some chocolate cupcakes in the near future.

As you can see, we eat pretty well. For years I've heard people state that coupons are just for junk food. This is so NOT true. I'm a big couponer and I can assure you that junk is rarely a part of our diet. We eat very little processed food  and I mainly cook & always bake from scratch (I grew eating scratch made food). I do buy my pie crusts, because it's only $1.50 for 2 perfectly rolled shell. I can make pie crusts, but this is a time & money saver. I do make my own pizza crust though. 

The pandemic has forced us to buy more canned veggies, due to lockdown. However, we eat fresh whenever it's available and buy organic or non GMO meat. I think our budget is really low ($300 per month for a family of 3. This includes food, HBA & cleaning materials. That's $100 per person per month or $3.33 per person per day

) considering the way we eat. It's all about putting in the time & energy to search for & shop the best deals.

I'd really like a roast beef soon. We haven't had any in a long time. Every time I want Italian Sausage, I only find brats whenever I'm at the store. DH made a vegan dish with fennel not too long ago and all I could think of was Italian Sausage (no I didn't eat the vegan dish. This girls needs her meat & dairy, but the fennel smell was so good). I'm gonna buy a few packages when I eventually find it.

Bon Appetit everyone!

Friday, June 11, 2021

There's method to my madness

I know that there are many who think that all I do is shop, shop, shop. Even my DH sometimes thinks I'm nuts, because he doesn't quite understand my way of thinking. I'm a planner. No, I'm not one of those 'the sky is falling' people, but I like to be prepared for things. I don't like last minute business & the stress of running around for things. I'm a smooth sailing kinda girl.

Several events of the last year has made me shift my shopping thinking. We have a very good food/hba/cleaning stockpile, so I've purchased less groceries the past few months. However, everyone seems to focus on groceries & not really think about other things. We've seen prices skyrocket in all areas (not just groceries). This is mainly due to the pandemic. Then the catastrophe in the Suez Canal happened. Then the southern gas pipeline hack happened. Now there's drought out west. All of these have and will continue to contribute to price increases, because supply is low while demand is high. 

Has anyone noticed that clothing stores don't have the great sales they've had in the past? What about all those great clearance sections in store. I've noticed that Burlington no longer has clearance racks. Marshalls/TJM have limited clearance. Kohls, Macy's etc have oodles of clearance, but the prices are still shocking. Well Kohls USED TO have tons of clearance. When I stopped there last weekend, I was shocked. Their clearance sections were half the size it was before. I've also seen many empty areas in the store. I've never seen anything like this before. 

We all need clothes and shoes, whether you're a minimilast or whether your're a fashionista who loves a full closet. It's especially essential when you have kids. They grow fast, they don't take good care of their clothes, they need select items for sports or special events. You get the idea. 

The majority of apparel & footwear are imported. Covid has been wreaking havoc in India, who manufactures lots of clothing for the US & other nations. That's just one country, but most of the world is still crippled by the pandemic. The backlog in the Suez canal has cost Billions per day. So retailers are stuck with limited inventory and can charge the consumer whatever they want. 

While we have full closets, I've decided to continue stockpiling for ourselves. I've always stockpiled clothes, because I hate paying full price for anything. I don't even want to pay half price. I still have oodles of gcs to my favorite stores. I received more for Valentines & Mother's Day. My guys know that I prefer gcs, because I'm going to find what I want at ridiculously low prices. So that's what I've been doing. Buying things that we need in future at 80-90% off. I've decided to just take out cash for things for DS. 

I'm not gonna lie. This takes a bit of work. I check all my favorite stores every morning. It doesn't take much time, because I know what I'm looking for. I do the same for DS and select items for DH. Now, I really don't need a single thing (okay, I still need sports bras). I can go without shopping for a year or two and still have plenty to wear. However, I have this sense of urgency to stockpile. I trust my gut instincts, because I know that's God nudging me in the right direction. So I'll continue buying for both myself & DS. I don't know where I'm gonna wear all my fancy schmancy clothes to yet...lol

Why am I shopping like this? I know that it saves us Thousands of $$$ every year. About 2-3 months ago, the zipper on DS's winter coat broke. It's not something that could be fixed, especially not when you're on your way out. We just grabbed a new $200 coat (same as the one that broke) that I got for $22 early last year and went on our merry old way. 

I needed to replace my athletic shoes. I pulled  a new pair from my stockpile (purchased BF 2019). Paid for it with gcs and stacked the coupons/rewards. Last year, Kohls didn't have the shoes as part of their BF sale, so I'm glad I always buy extra. I still have one new pair in my stockpile. 

DS needed new quarter socks. Pulled some from the stockpile. 

I pulled some new summer outfits that I bought with gcs at beginning of the year. Now that we're fully vaccinated, we can go out again. There was one year that I didn't stock winter clothes for DS (I can't even remember why I didn't do it) and I cringed when I had to pay full price for new pants, shirts, hoodies. NEVER again!

But, I don't just stop there. What happens if your coffee pot broke first thing in the morning? I only drink one cup of coffee per day, but I NEED my coffee fix. I've had rotten luck with constantly breaking the glass carafe. I have a coffee machine with built in grinder and I love that thing. So I've made sure to buy a spare carafe when Kohls sent me a 40% off coupon before. I also have an el cheapo coffee pot that was around $2-3 during a BF sale one year. Just in case the coffee machine breaks.

When our governor prohibited us from buying gardening supplies last year, I didn't get upset. I just pulled out the leftover seeds from the previous year and planted produce again. Easy peasy. 

When our state opened after lockdown last year, I went out and bought a spare blow dryer. I have thick curly hair. I hate the hair straightener, so I still blow dry my hair the 'old fashioned' way. One winter I was in the middle of blow drying my hair, when the dryer croaked. I almost cried, cause I was stuck with a mess. I bought the dryer, because everything was so scarce then. Now we have all the price increases. Sure, it's $2 here, $5 there, but all those little bits add up. That's money we could be saving instead. 

My favorite part is that when disaster hits, I have peace of mind. I don't have to panic, because all our needs are more than met. My guys don't know or realise how much time & work I put into this. To them, everything is just there when they need it. I wouldn't have it any other way. To me it's not work. I look at it as investing in our future (providing while saving).


So here's how much I spent the past month or two. 

First, I finally found DS a wool coat. I've been searching for one for more than 2 years, because I love my wool coat so much. I got a $398 Cole Haan coat for ......... $33.74 plus tax. I couldn't believe it! That's more than 90% off. This is not the exact coat that I got for DS, but it's similar. I now love his coat even more than I love my old one ...lol I like that it's almost knee length, so it keeps a larger portion of your body warm. 

OOP : 418.18

Potential earnings : $250.00

Total cost to us : $168.18 (that's around $5.10 per item)

I paid $418.18 in cash for our purchases (I didn't have gcs for these stores). 


DS

Wool coat

Corduroy jacket

6 pk socks

1 Pair shoes

2 pks undies

3 Jeans

2 Sweatpants

12 T-shirts

2 Polo shirts

2 Casual shirts


ME

4 T-shirts

1 Shorts

1 Sweatpants


Most of the items will go into the stockpile. I found DS's favorite underwear on sale and had to stock up again. There is no way I'm gonna pay $42-$50 per package. $18 per package was the pre-pandemic sale price, so I'm happy to get it at that price again. It's also hard to just get the pure cotton ones, so I get those whenever I can. We don't like microfiber or polyester. All of the items we bought are name brand items. 

As for the potential earnings. I included 14 items in this purchase to resell (I have to offset some of our expenses somehow). We might get more than $250, but for now I'm just sticking to that amount. I also listed 2 items that we replaced, from DS's closet. Those 2 items alone will add  around $40-50 to our pockets. I never return items to store. I pay so little for things that when something doesn't fit, I just resell it for profit. Easy peasy. 

I needed some nicer t-shirts for going out. I'm using 2 now and added the other 2 to my spare closet. 

I still need to find good winter sweatpants for DS. The ones I bought wasn't thick enough, but he can still use it. He's in good shape now. I don't need to buy anything else, since I did a good stock up. 

I'm still tracking our purchases and will continue to update you with money earned from selling our old clothes/shoes etc. By the end of the year, you'll be able to see how much/little it cost us to wear name brand clothing. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

June grocery shopping & cooking

I decided to get a head start on this week's grocery shopping so I could do meal prep over the weekend, so I headed to the stores by the end of last week. It's been a long time since I did breakfast freezer cooking, so I decided to fix that. I don't like cooking in the morning. I just want my coffee and food to heat & eat. 



My first stop was the produce market, since we were low or out of many things. I absolutely love fresh produce. It's what we mainly eat with some type of protein. The produce store did not disappoint at all. As I entered the store, I saw strawberries & blueberries. My 2 favorite things to buy. Blueberries were $1.50/pint, so I bought 4, because this is my absolute favorite berry. The grocery stores are charging more than that for a 6 oz container. I saw pint blueberries for $2.99 at Aldi. 

For those who are not aware, the market fills big boxes of 'what they consider' not perfect produce and sell it for $2/box. I was surprised to see so many available boxes, because the store was fairly busy. Look at how good these apples look. Thus far I've only found 2 badly bruised apples in one box, that went to the squirrels out back. The pears are still hard, so there's plenty time to eat them. I'm guessing they were making room for new inventory. 

The lemons were marked down to $1/bag. There's 6 lemons per bag. I'm gonna make some lemonade with it. DH & DS will eat some of the apples, but I'm not a fan of red apples. So I made some applesauce and apple/carrot juice (I had a bag of 'expired' carrots in the fridge, so I juiced it). We love the fresh apple juice. This is why I bought 2 boxes. You can't find fresh squeezed apple juice for $4 anywhere. I've made 4 litres thus far and still have a more than one full box of apples left. The best part - no added sugars. Hooray!

Look at the size of this cucumber. This thing measured 20 oz long and it's thick. Not to mention it tastes delicious! These were 50c each. They had a ton of small cucumber in that area, but I decided to dig through the pile and found a few large ones. I understand why they were 2/$1 (baby ones), but I always look for the largest size produce when I pay per item, instead of by weight. Well, I left the market $67 later. I'm not even worried about that number. My cart was overflowing and I know I would've paid at least 3 times as much at the grocery store. 

I stopped at Walmart for some odds and ends for breakfast and my BWW sauce (paid with a gc). Then to Aldi for bread. Would you believe that I buy 3-4 different kinds of bread at Aldi, every other week? We all eat wheat bread. DH like ciabatta, DS likes Chocolate Brioche & I like raisin bread. So I buy one of each. I'd say we're a little spoiled...lol Paying $6-9 every other week is a steal. How much is a loaf of bread at the regular grocery store these days? Last I checked it was over $4 each.

When I got home I cooked a package of breakfast sausage with onions for the freezer, the hashbrowns (I buy the O'brien ones), some of which were added to burritos. Crumbled and cooked another package of sausage. Then I chopped up some veggies and made 14 breakfast burritos for the freezer. The burritos are loaded with veggies & protein. Now we can just grab one from the freezer to heat & eat. We still have muffins that I've made the past 2 weeks & cereal. So there's enough breakfast foods to last the next 2-3 weeks. All we have to do is make eggs when we want some. I also haven't made pancakes in almost a year, so I'm gonna freeze some blueberries and make lemon blueberry pancakes to freeze. I really need another freezer. I could cook our meals for a month or 2 and not have to worry about slaving over a stove every day.

I finally found some thick bunches of cilantro at the market (their products vary from week to week and I haven't been able to find any the last time I shopped), so I made pico de gallo to go with that Mission Tortilla chips I bought a few weeks ago. Most of the peppers are diced and frozen. I wanted to make stuffed peppers, but didn't want to turn on the oven in this heat. I made a double batch of falafel instead.

I bought lots of zucchini. I know that I wanted zucchini, but can't remember what I wanted to use it for (in my old coupon group we called it CRS - can't remember s#*&) No, it's not for baking. Zucchini bread is just too bland for me. I wanted to cook a meal with it. I might have to google recipes to see if a lightbulb goes off.

Today I'll make some beetroot salad. I must have my beets. I'll eat them with just about anything. My father always used to ask me whether I'm eating the actual meal or beetroot as my meal, because I'd fill my plate with it...lol

I also went to Meijer to get some 79c Kraft salad dressing. I had to hit 2 stores, because the shelves were completely bare at the first store. The 2nd store only had a few bottles, but I managed to get 5 for the sale price (I needed 5 to get the discount). I also got my Chick Fil A sauce, because Walmart was out of it. 

I tell ya, the budget is already broken for this month - or at least it will be. I made a Costco trip yesterday. I also stopped at Ollies afterwards. Come out of Ollies to see my car keys laying on my seat. Of course the car was locked. I had to wait 2 hours in the heat for DH to come get me. Long story. I'm so glad I made the falafel, because I didn't have to worry about dinner then. We just filled pita pockets with falafel & salad fixings. I didn't make the sauce yet, so we just used some CFA sauce on it. No money spent on take out. 

I need to go to the drugstores. I don't even have a plan yet, other than WAGS. As for groceries, we're good for a coupla weeks. I might just need bananas & onions next week. 

Friday, June 4, 2021

May month end check in

I don't know about anyone else, but it seems like this year is flying by. I can't believe it's June already.

Here are our numbers for May.


Groceries/HBA/Cleaning

Sams : $120.06

Produce market : $51.97

Aldi : $13.02

Costco : 16.98

CVS : $16.70

Dollar Tree : $5.12 

Kroger : $53.42

Target : $14.54

Walmart : $15.76

Walgreens : $36.58

Total OOP : $344.15


Earnings 

Ibotta : $27.80

Kroger Cash Back : $9.00

Mypoints : $13.50

Total earnings : $50.03

Total cost after earnings : $294.12

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


Our grocery spending would've been way less for the month. However, I decided to do another Sams shop before our membership expired at the end of the month. Now I can hold off on renewing that membership for a while. It might be hard, because I usually buy meat & yogurt at Sams. My OOP for Sams before the last trip was $11. That 2nd trip added over $100 to our budget last month.

I did get a Costco membership for business though. When I signed up, I googled promo codes. So I added promo code and it only deducted a penny from my membership order. I just though 'oh well, at least I tried' and moved on from it. About 2 weeks later (day after I picked up my membership card in store) a $15 Costco gc arrived in the mail. Happy dance!

I bought 2 Spinbrushes at Walmart and earned $12 in points and another $1.50 for completing a Swago board. 

I've shopped Kroger a lot last month. The ME sale was really good. They had 18ct eggs for 99c with DQ, Mega Stack Pringles for 99c, Oscar Mayer hot dogs (we love the smokies) $1, so I stocked up.

Dollar Tree has the big bags of Snyders Pretzels again, so I bought 3. I actually went to DT for a birthday card, then end up buying extras. Does that happen to anyone else? 

We've been doing really well with shopping less, while eating down the pantry and freezer. I still have a balance on that gc we received, so that should help cover some of June's grocery spending. 

I've noticed that my BWW Carribean Jerk sauce has been hard to find. Walmart seems to only have a bottle or 2  in that flavor (I've been to 2 different stores), but several Asian Zing & Mango Habanero (which we don't like). I've been stocking up on the Carribean Jerk whenever I find it, because it's our favorite flavor. I sure hope that it doesn't get discontinued.


MONEY EARNED (SIDE HUSTLE)


GCs Earned $75.00 ($50 Mypoints, $25 IGC)

Personal items (things we've had listed for the past 2 years) : $165.06

2021 Closet cleanout : $65.05 (one of the items was DS's)

Big goal : $120.76

Drugstore items : $16.59

Rakuten check (I keep forgetting to deposit check. I mean it only takes a few clicks) : $14.71

Total earnings : $457.17


I've listed another 6 items from my closet and 4 from DS's. Now I'm up to 48 of my own items listed. 12 More to go. The sales are slow though. I've only sold 9 items (plus one for DS) thus far. I'm happy with the extra money though.


YTD Earnings :

GCs (point earning sites) : $295

Ibotta : $95 (redeemed) + $236.50 = $331.50

Personal items : $306.49

2021 Closet cleanout : $137.63

Big goal : $583.94

Drugstore items : $70.09

Total Earnings (excl Ibotta) : $1407.86


YTD EXPENSES (Clothing/shoes/accessories, Christmas gifts)

OOP  (May) $284.77! 

This was totally planned. I switched things up and am currently working on a post explaining it. 

YTD OOP : $806.60 


This number is mainly DS and some gifts. My gosh! I think I only picked up one item for myself. A pair of sweatpants for $5 and of course my sunglasses. 


YTD side hustle income (personal, closet cleanout, drugstore) : $514.21

YTD clothing/christmas gifts expenses : $806.60

YTD Balance ($292.39)


Oy vey. I'm not mad at the number after switching strategies. I just want to get out of the red. 


I have to tighten my belt for June, because I've already spent a considerable amount at the produce market yesterday. I did our monthly stock up and left with an overflowing cart. Uh oh!...lol I'm excited to eat so much fresh food though, cause we were running low or out of our favorites.

Happy weekend everyone!

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...