Tuesday, March 29, 2022

I'm still here!

Hi everyone

I'm still here. I've just been very busy. I can't believe it's been almost a month since my last post. Between Jet Lag Savings Time (I always feel jet lagged for a whole week after we change the clocks) and work, I'm pooped. I've started treating my business like a job, so I've been getting up earlier (5:30) and my body's totally hating me for the lack of sleep. I slept well last night & woke up exhausted & with a monster headache this morning. I couldn't understand why, because I slept for 8 hours. Had an upset stomach and eventually decided to take a Tylenol for the headache (I rarely use any kind of pill, unless it's prescribed for an ailment). I'm about ready to go crawl into bed. 

I haven't been feeling well for weeks now and finally realised that it's my anemia. This is so strange, because I eat iron rich food and take a supplement daily. The problem though, is that I don't eat much. I'm a small woman and eat small portions (half an American sized meal, because that's how I've always eaten), so I know I'm not getting enough nutrients. I thought that maybe the supplement's not good anymore (I've had it for almost 2 years now, but it's good thru 2023). So I went to Sams for a new bottle and they didn't have any. Then I decided to just buy a multivitamin, cause I'm lacking B12 now too (sigh). The multivitamin does absolutely nothing for me. So I now need to eat a lot more red meat, because that's the best way to get iron. This means another increase in the grocery budget. I've made peace with the fact that grocery prices will continue to skyrocket. I try not to be shocked when I notice new increases, but alas...lol. It is what it is. Here's a few things I've done lately.

  • Did Wags shopping only. I had $8 RR expire yesterday, cause I just didn't feel like going to the store. I know, it sounds crazy, but right now I'm just focused on work and feeling better. I haven't been to CVS in a while, because they're on my *&^# list. The last trip was so bad, half my CRTs didn't deduct. I was not happy. Thankfully I paid with a gc, but I was still not happy. This has never happened in all my years of shopping at CVS. 
  • Paid 20c for an Eddie Bauer t-shirt, after my $10 reward. Earned 10c Rakuten, so my t-shirt only cost 10c. They sent me another $10 reward (because I redeemed the last one before a specific date). Now I'm just hoping they'll do another free shipping day. 
  • Received a $30 WHBM semi annual reward that I also need to redeem by this weekend. There is absolutely nothing that I need, but I will find something to spend this on. I'm not going to throw away good money.
  • Did a 2nd run to the produce market. The grocery stores didn't have any good produce deals, so the market was the best bet. It was again very pricey, but I had a light bulb moment. Most of the market items get cleaned and frozen, so most of it lasts for at least 3-6 weeks. After doing the math, I figured that I was only spending around $15 p/w if I only shopped once a month. That's actually a great number, since we eat lots of fresh food and we have all kinds of fruit. I'm always happy to find guavas, because I love that stuff (I grew up eating lots of tropical fruit). If you've never had any, please try it if you can ever find it somewhere. It's delicious!
  • Cooked all our meals for the week on Sunday. 3 Hours in the kitchen and I cooked a big pot of meat sauce. I used some to make lasagna for dinner and froze 2 more portions for other meals. I didn't have any garlic bread, so I sauteed some garlic in olive oil, then toasted the leftover brioche rolls and topped it with garlic. Easy peasy.
  • Also made chicken pot pie. I had leftover filling, so I picked up more pie crusts at Aldi and made mini pies for DS to grab on the go. A big pot of morrocan lentil soup, cranberry almond muffins, blueberry pancakes and waffles. I got a little smart. I now make up a big pancake batter, then turn on the waffle maker and my pancake pan at the same time (I have a griddle, but I prefer using my small pan on the stove, because it makes the perfect size pancake). Cooking both pancakes & waffles at once, reduces the time I have to spend cooking it separately. I also sauteed fresh mushroom, peppers & onions that we add to our eggs or omelets in the morning. 
  • I've been having sticker shock at restaurants and fast food places. We do still get fast food when I'm too lazy to cook on Fridays (my day for sourcing inventory. By the time I get home, I'm too tired to fix anything for dinner). I knew that this would happen, due to gas & grocery increases, but it's still shocking to see. I hate paying that much, especially for things I can fix myself, because my food tastes better. So we're cutting way back on fast food again. I'm not skipping restaurants though. I'm picking up more pizzas at Sams on Friday and will add a salad. I saw they had pizzas on sale for $6.99 when I picked up vitamins, but DH was waiting in the car to go to dinner, so I couldn't wait at the cafe for them to bake the pizzas. 
  • Bought a $100 dress for just under $10. Did I need the dress? Heck no! Did I want the dress. Of course...lol. That dress will go into the spare closet for a future event. Sound crazy? It might to some, but I know that when I need to go out, I'll just haul out my $10 dress. No need to go pay an arm and a leg for just one event. This is how I always shop. Trust me, that dress will come in handy sometime soon. I'm experienced at this...lol
Not much else to report. I hope everyone's healthy & warm. I'm already missing those 50/60s temps we had recently. It's gotten icy cold here again. 

Friday, March 4, 2022

February monthly check in

Hi everyone

I apologise for the lack of posts. I'm been running around a lot lately. I'm still trying to play catch up after being sick, but I now have a bunch of appointments to attend. In a perfect world, I'd have all my appointments scheduled in one week, so I can get it over & done with. I like to have my life simplified. I would just like a week or 2 to stay home to work and declutter without interruptions, but that's not gonna happen. I'm hoping that I can get back to normal by next month.  Most of my appointments should be over with by then. 

Well, the good news is that we mainly stuck to the budget last month. Here's how we did. 


Groceries/HBA/Cleaning

Produce market : $61.04

Aldi : $54.31

Kroger : $6.79

Meijer : $35.56

Sams : $99.44

Walmart : $33.92

Walgreens : $28.72

CVS : $0 (Paid with gc)

Rite Aid : $2.12

Total OOP : $321.90


Earnings 

$7.25 Ibotta 

Total earnings : $7.25


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


Once again, Sams was intentional. I did really well at the beginning of the month, but then did a last trip before month end. I need to go back this month, because Sams was out of the non-GMO chicken breast the last time. I don't buy regular chicken, so I need to go check if they have non-GMO in stock again. The low Sams number was due to $75 gcs that I had to spend. So thankful for those gcs. 

We stuck to the budget for the most part. I did another Meijer trip for sale soda (big mistake). Well, it was a great deal on the Mountain Dew Spark. On sale for 3/12, earn $2 each Ibotta and $1.50 Fetch. So I spent $12 and earned back $7.50. Great deal right? The downside, I didn't bother to check if this was diet soda. I was in a sugar coma after reading the label. So we tried it and I got an upset stomach after the first few sips. My body can't handle this much sugar. The other bad part is that it tastes awful. Like  bad candy. On to Plan B. 

The Aldi number was high because of the samosas (8 boxes) I bought. No regrets. 

I'm budgeting $400 for this month. I'm hoping for a much lower number, but I need to stock up on chicken since Sams was out of chicken and I read about bird flu somewhere. Chicken is our main meat source, so I need that. I also need to pick up a few more things at Sams. Nothing major, but with constant price increases, I don't know how much I'll be spending. I noticed that the kitchen garbage bags have increased by a whopping $5!!! Not $1-2. I can understand small increases, but $5 on one item is crazy!


MONEY EARNED (SIDE HUSTLE)


GCs Earned $45 ($25 Mypoints, $10 Microsoft, $10 Swagbucks)

Personal items (things we've had listed for the past 2 years) : $165.49

2022 Closet cleanout : $34.32

Big goal : $0

4K Challenge: $44.07

Rakuten : 17.68

Total earnings : $306.56


I was pleasantly surprised by our personal earnings this month. I didn't expect that, but I'm thankful for it - especially since I splurged. 

Nothing listed from my closet this month, since I spent the better part of the month in bed being sick (back). 

I did splurge on myself to the tune of $177.63. 

Purchased another Christmas gift for DS and paid with a Macy's gc. I know! Who talks about Christmas in March? I'm up to 2 gifts for DS now and only spent $3.18 OOP thus far. I call that a big win, especially since one of the gifts is a collectors item. 


YTD Earnings :

GCs (point earning sites) : $70

Ibotta : $49.52

Personal items : $287.93

2021 Closet cleanout : $114.88

Big goal : $0

4K Drugstore challenge : $59.64

Rakuten : $17.68

Total Earnings (excl Ibotta) : $550.13


EXPENSES (Clothing/shoes/accessories, Christmas gifts)

OOP : $177.63

Christmas gifts : $0

Total OOP $177.63


Total Christmas gc cash saved : $390.00 (this will be used to buy holiday gc gifts and Target gcs) 


YTD OOP (clothing/shoes/accessories, Christmas gifts, discounted gift cards) : $415.57

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) : 480.13 

YTD GC bonus/savings earned  : $26.00

YTD Clothing/Christmas Balance : $64.56


Yay! We're finally in the black again. I'm very happy with that number. It's not much, but I'm making progress. 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Meal Plan Monday

I'm so not in the mood to figure out meals for the week, so I've made an easy menu. Besides, who feels like cooking during summer.  ...