Wednesday, September 27, 2023

This week's drugstore shopping

Firstly, I need to clarify. When I asked people to please give credit to others, I was referring to bloggers. Quite a few times I've seen bloggers mentioning things on their blogs (that they've learned from others), without giving credit to the person they got the information from. It's a simple matter of mentioning the blogger or linking to their page. It's as if they're are passing the information off as their own ideas (might not be intentional). I don't make money from blogging (You'll notice that I don't have ads). By linking to fellow bloggers that we learn things from, we are not just acknowledging (thanking) them, but also driving more traffic to their blogs. Why not help them earn a little more too. Nobody's obligated to share information with anyone else. Many bloggers have a wealth of information, so let's be thankful for them. Please don't be offended by what I'm saying or get mad at me. I'm just a firm believer in doing the right thing. 

I only shopped at RA this week. Here's what I got:

2 x 92 oz Tide $25.98

1 x Downy 12.99

6 x Crest toothpaste B1G2nd 50% off  24.69

Less Tide DQ (3.00)

Less Downy DQ (3.00)

Less Crest DQ (2.00)

Less 4/10 Mailer Q (4.00)

Tax 3.58

OOP $55.24 - Paid with BC, so zero $$ spent

Earned $35 BC ($15 WYS $50, $20 - 2 x $10 WYS $30 P&G) + $5 BCC (Bonus Cash Challenge) Crest

Total earned - $40.00

My OOP would've been lower, because I have a $3 Tide pods DQ, but I won't waste good money on pods that limit the amount of loads I can use it on. I can get 2-3 times the amount of loads by using liquid instead.  I don't even know what this Downy is for. I had to google it. Why are manufacturers forcing so many different products on us? It's all just a money making business. I wonder why I'm not getting $ off CATs at my stores. Everyone else are reporting getting those (I've shopped different locations). 

RA has been luring us in with those $15 WYS $50 BC deals every week. However, I found that only one of my local stores are great. I've had this deal go south at 2 other locations. At one store the manager refused to scan the Q (the reason she gave was completely wrong. She had it mixed up with the $ off Qs where your total has to be over the Q amount after DQs. The BC deal doesn't work the same way. Whaddya know. The RA rookie (me) was actually right πŸ˜‚ I contacted CS both times and they added my BC to my account. I was beginning to think I'm at the wrong store, because this crap normally happens at Wags. The funny part is that Wags has been working well. Imagine that! πŸ˜‚

Anyhoo, the RA deals have been great. I'm over the Duracell batteries now. We have lots of free batteries. BF might think that I've lost my bloody mind with all this shopping. I will just tell him that we'll never lack anything. Need deodorant? toothpaste? body wash? batteries? electric razor? hairdryer? snacks? office supplies? πŸ˜‚ Just check the stockpile, cause mama aka the shopping fairy provides everything 😁 Mama provides scratch made meals, dessert, lunch, clothes, shoes, accessories etc You name it, I've got a deal on it πŸ˜‚ I'll provide things before he can even think of needing it πŸ˜‚I need to get a wall sign that says 'There's method to my madness' and hang it in my pantry/stockpile room when I move πŸ˜‚ I actually do have a spare hairdryer and a few other items (not much). I think I paid $5 for for the hairdryer/blow dryer at Wags a few years ago. Call me crazy, but I'm so very thankful that I bought all these things years ago, because we are now having to pay exorbitant prices for poor quality products aka junk, cause they don't last. I'm glad God made me buy these things, even when it didn't make sense to me. It all makes sense now! We can seriously go for a few years without buying/needing anything other than groceries (well besides things I need for my house). That gives me peace of mind. Things are so bad in the world and it's going to take years before it gets better. 

Well, RA has another $100 GC MM deal next month (starting Sunday). Check your ads for gc selection. I'm in. I'll take that free $100 any day. I haven't spent a single penny OOP at RA in ages and have managed to add to my stockpile and earn Ibotta & P&G rewards. The funny thing is that Staples sent me a Q (about 2 weeks ago) for $5 off a case of printer paper (which I need), but I forgot to use the Q then didn't want to pay full price. Now I can just buy a Staples gc, earn the free BC and use the gc to buy my paper. 

I had some RRs to burn at Wags last week, so here's what I got.

2 x Tresemme shampoo $12.00

4 x Crest t/p 16.00

3 x Musketeers chocolates 2.97

Less Tresemme DQ (5.00)

Less Crest DQ (6.00)

Less RRs (13.00)

Tax 1.68

OOP $8.65

Earned $7 WC (WYS $25) + $11 RR ($6 Crest, $5 Tresemme)

I bought the candy as fillers (it was the lowest priced item I could find), so that my DQs would all apply. It worked great and I gave the cashier a candy bar. I planned on the OOP, so I could earn the $7 booster rewards. 

Wags has their bonus days event again next week. They haven't given a list of events/deals yet, but the ad doesn't look as promising to me. I do know that I need to stock up on cleanser. I keep running out of cleanser, because the drugstores never keep much in stock. I'm now using face scrub. I don't like to use scrub daily. The deal isn't the best yet (B1G2nd 40% off), but I need the items and I have tons of rewards to still use. 

I went shopping yesterday and whoa on the grocery prices! There seem to be price increases every time I go to the store. I'd sure like to know how much 'regular folks' (people who don't shop sales and/or coupon) spend on groceries. The drugstores pay for 99% of our HBA and cleaning supplies, so I mainly spend money on groceries. I'm at an average of around $500 p/m (2 people. that's about $8.33 per person per day), but we do eat very well. I absolutely will not skimp on food. You can take everything else away from me, but I refuse to fill our bodies with junk. I know that some people spend more than our daily amount on just a fast food or takeout lunch. DS doesn't eat school lunch. He prefers to take his own food, because he gets much better food at home. I'm so thankful for coupons & drugstore deals. I might seem over the top at times, but we are well provided for, while saving ourselves $$$. I don't want to know what it would cost us if I didn't coupon. 

That's my shopping report for the

Have a great evening peeps!

Monday, September 25, 2023

Menu Plan Monday & Jockey

UPDATE : Try code JOCKEY20 to score an extra 20% off your purchase. I don't know how long the code is good for. 

I know πŸ˜‚ Food & undies don't go together, but I don't have the time to write 2 separate blog posts. It's been one of those days when things go wrong, that's why this post is so late. 

Monday : Roti & chicken curry (uh oh. somebody forgot to add salt to the curry πŸ€¦πŸ˜‚)
Tuesday : Beef stir fry with brown rice
Wednesday : Same as Monday
Thursday : Same as Tuesday
Friday : Mexican night. Maybe carry out for DS. Will see what he prefers

Lunch : Chicken with salad. 

Breakfasts : PYO - Eggs, cereal, toast (wheat bread, raisin bread, chocolate brioche), bagels with cream cheese, breakfast sausage, breakfast burritos, flat banana oatmeal muffins πŸ˜‚ (we'll still eat it. not wasting anything)

There's always a wide variety of fresh fruit, veggies & salad fixings available

I didn't cook yesterday and the muffins flopped. I think the baking powder was bad (I used a new container), even though it only expires next year. DS needs to get back to baking so we can have fluffy muffins again. I make darn good muffins myself, but there's nothing I can do about bad ingredients. The muffins never rose. This is my 'no fail' banana muffins. They always turn out great. 

I made roti, cause it's one of DS's favorite meals. I wasn't in the mood to make it (it takes work), but it turned out great. Probably cause BF knows how to make my day πŸ˜„πŸ’“ This day was crap, but he always makes me feel better. Then I checked my RA account and saw that they added $20 BC for the latest cluster. Then my rotis turned out great (I'm not too good at making rotis), so things were getting better. 

I wanted to make lasagna for tomorrow, but then realised that takes work too (we make ours with bechamel sauce instead of ricotta & other cheese), there's more carbs involved, so I settled for stir fry. Besides, I can eat it for breakfast too after my workout. Can't do that with lasagna. Well I can πŸ˜„, but it will defeat the purpose of that workout. 


I'd like to say a big Thank You to the Anonymous commenter who mentioned Jockey undies on one of my older posts. I wore Jockey for many years, but then stopped for some reason. I think it was because of the quality. Well, after she mentioned Jockey, I decided to check it out again, because the ones I wore before were 100% Cotton. After some searching, I ended up on the Jockey website. Guess who found the lowest price ever on Jockey undies. $6.99 for a 3 pack. That's the lowest price I ever found Jockey for. I'm going to add bullet points below, so the details are easier to read. 

  • Only select styles & sizes are on sale. I've seen both Regular & Plus Sizes on Sale, so click through to see what's available.  

  • Search by your favorite style or just search All Women's Underwear (the site is a bit weird about displaying ALL sale items).

  • Click on the item and then click on the tab that say More Colors on SALE. Easiest way to see the sale items. 

  • Shipping is free at $59, so purchase enough sets so you don't have to pay shipping. 

  • You can join their Rewards program. It adds up fast. When you reach a select level, you'll qualify for FREE shipping. 

  • Don't worry about that Spin & Win wheel. Those Qs don't work on sale items. 

  • However, they had an extra 20% off code when I purchased my items. You might want to wait, but I would advise against it. Sale items usually sell out fast - especially at this price. 

  • Yes, I'm advising you all to stock up now, before Jockey ends up using microfiber, polyester or recycled fabric on their undies too. Ya never know.

  • Don't forget to go through Rakuten for extra cash back.

  • This is my favorite brand to wear. Y'all know by now that I'm a Cotton girl 😊 You bet I stocked up. I don't want to wear that cheap junk fabric they're forcing on us now. I have standards πŸ˜‚

Also, I'd like to respectfully ask everyone to please give credit to fellow bloggers when you learn something from others. I always give credit where credit is due - even if I get information from an Anonymous commentor.  I've noticed that some bloggers don't do this when they learn something from myself or fellow bloggers. I'm not asking this for myself. Anyone who knows me know that I shy away from that whole 'pat on the back, spotlight on me' business. I'm asking this, because we learn so much from each other. Its the right thing to do. Without this great community, we would never have half the information that we do.

Question - times are tough & we're all trying to save wherever we can. Is anyone interested in some good, easy, newbie friendly drugstore deals? I can try to post the good deals at the beginning of the week if anyone is interested in saving a few dollars while stockpiling every week. Well, here's one or 2. 


Arm & Hammer detergent $1.99 each. Some stores enforce limits, but you can check different locations if you'd like to stock up. I've been spoiled with free Tide (my preferred brand) at RA πŸ˜‚ I might have to get more this week. It's FREE! Sluggy will understand 😊I need to post my drugstore hauls sometime.

There's also a glitch on Dial foaming hand soap. Buy 2 @ $5.00, earn $4 RR. Glitches don't last long, so I'm not even running out for this deal. Besides, the big Softsoap refill bottles last way longer. I use a big bottle for an entire year by using a foaming dispenser. Those bottles normally cost around $4-7 (depending on where you shop), but I got mine for free with drugstore rewards. 

Have a wonderful evening peeps!

Friday, September 22, 2023

This & that

As I mentioned before, Friday was a good money day. Here's what I received

  • $10 BC from RA after that big cluster at my local store. Manager was wrong & I was right. Whaddya know. Had another cluster at RA this week. 

  • Received $20 Chicos semi annual reward. What to buy?

  • Received $10 PG rebate from a Wags or RA deal (can't remember which store)

  • Redeemed for $20 Walmart gc from Ibotta and used it at Sams. I always get Walmart, because it works at both stores. I don't know if a Sams gc will work at Walmart.

  • Redeemed for another $5 PG gc. I've been getting Target, since they still have a wide variety of retailers available (not just coffee places) and I can use it towards Christmas gifts. There's was something else I received, but I can't remember. 

  • Found that it's cheaper to order Arby's for DS online, than go through drive-thru. Arby's sends mailer Qs from time to time, but those Qs are one time use. We used to get the bacon chicken swiss. Then I saw that they have 2/$7 original chicken sandwiches in the app. So I signed up and they also give you various offers like $$ off . 

    Well, as I checked all the ad-ons, I noticed that a cheese slice costs 79c each. WTH?! I buy cheese at Sams and it comes to around 15c/slice. So I add my own cheese, cucumber and sometimes red onion to the sandwich. I also keep a bottle of Arby's sauce. So the carry out costs less and DS is still happy. Score for the mama.

  • Ordered a Christmas gift for DS, so I'll just take $26 out of my Christmas fund (or just keep track of my spending and deposit all the money once my shopping's done). He's already given me his Christmas shopping list, so I'm just waiting on good deals on those items. 

    BF should give me his Christmas list too, cause I hate last minute shopping. Otherwise, I'll just throw on a pair of 4" heels & put a bow on myself πŸ˜‚ Easy peasy!

  • I'm a bit stressed (maybe a lot) because we have 2 months to figure out our birthdays. Actually, we have less than a month, so that I have time to plan & execute. I'm stressed, cause I'm having a milestone birthday. The last time I had a party for a milestone birthday, was my 21st. I did have a big party for my 24th birthday. That was many moons ago. We always had family get togethers for our birthdays. We loved making a whole day of family time out of anyone's birthday. My mother's family has always been very generous. Her one sister would order & pay for custom cakes for our birthdays. The rest of us would all plan the menu and figure out who makes/brings what (our family's huge).  The men handled all the booze and we'd all hang out till late. It was always one big potluck party. 

  • I decided to stock up on more underwear for DS. The ones I bought recently were from 2021, so not the best older quality, but still good enough. I didn't want to buy more, but my gut kept telling me that once that old inventory's gone, I'm gonna be stuck buying the cheap, poor quality ones. So new undies it is. 

    Please pay close attention when purchasing clothing or ordering online. I'm seeing a lot of retailers now have clothes, underwear & sleepwear made from recycled fabric. YET!!!!! The prices keep increasing. As my friend Lori mentioned in the comments, 'it's a good thing we have everything we need'. We have lots of good/great quality clothing that I bought at 80-95% off. I'm so very thankful. Please be mindful of your purchases. Buy quality items, even if it costs a little more. Buying quality means the items will last so much longer. 

    I also ordered this shirt for DS. If you're familiar with the brand, you'll know that it's a bit pricey. The thing I love about this brand, is the cuffs.  Many of their shirts usually have a different print when you flip over the cuff. So unique! 

  • Look at the price of this shirt. I paid $20 for it! That's 90% off! DS knows that it's best to leave the shopping & styling to mom, since I'm the resident shopping queen & fashionista πŸ˜‚Plus it's in my favorite color and I love paisley. DS can wear it (untucked) with jeans and loafers or boots or with chinos and dress pants (tucked) and boots. I love these Chelsea boots. They easily double as dress shoes. These are genuine leather boots. I paid $80 for it & he's worn it for a few years already. I always save our boots or high end shoes boxes. People will pay a little more if you sell your shoes with the original box. 

    Notice how I placed the boots on top of the shoebox paper? I'm such a germaphobe πŸ˜‚ (I'm just protecting the cover from the germs/dirt on the soles). I'm not one of those people who have you remove your shoes before entering my house though. I absolutely hate that! We don't do that in SA. South Africans would feel insulted if you asked them to do that. We know that people & relationships are far more important than your house or any other material thing. Besides, most people know to wipe their feet before entering your house and/or not make a mess. We had rugs both inside & outside the front door. Tons of people visited us, but our house was always spotlessly clean. I swear my mother would've made a good drill sergeant πŸ˜‚ I'm a little worse than her though....shhhh don't tell anyoneπŸ˜‚ I'm a bit of a perfectionist, but I'm no Suzy homemaker (no disrespect to those who are homemakers and like to clean). I had a maid (it's what we call them in SA)/housekeeper & gardener. I went out & brought home the bacon. I'll gladly put in 12-16 hours at the office, than clean house every single day (not that I'm afraid of cleaning or mind getting my hands dirty). Everyone in my family (male & female) had chores & we all knew to keep the house clean (I did most of the cleaning & cooking though). So that's what we did. 

  • As I was browsing New Arrivals at WHBM, I noticed that waistcoats (vests as Americans call it. A vest is an undergarment/underwear to me. We wore it as kids. Looks like a tank top) is in style again. I'm not referring to the vests people wear as outerwear. I'm referring to the waistcoats that's part of men's 3 piece suits. I LOVE waistcoats. It's so sexy when a man removes his jacket/blazer and and you see the shirt & vest (got to have a tie with it). Throw in some cuff links too. Whoa baby!!πŸ˜‚ My father used to dress like that and so does my BF 😍 It's so classy!

    Well, guess who owns 2 vests/waistcoats? I've had them for about 25 years. Bought it in SA and never got rid of it, cause I love these items. I'm now soooooo glad that I held onto them, cause they're back in style and the quality of new items is so poor lately. 

    Way back, I used to wear blouses with ruffle cuffs to work. My colleague had the ruffle front shirt/blouse. We'd add a black blazer (we wore suits to work - corporate job) to that (buttoned) and you'd see her ruffle front sticking out and my ruffle sleeves sticking out from my sleeves. It was very trendy back then. You can do the same with a vest. Here's a look of what I'm referring to. This blouse contains both our styles. I have a few blouses with drama/unique sleeves that I can do the same with. 

  • The zipper on my bra mesh bag broke. This is the 2nd bag it's happened to. So I grabbed all my bras, placed it into a pillowcase, tied the end and threw it into the wash. Easy peasy. I'm going to see if I can sew snap buttons onto those mesh bags, so I can still continue to use them. I really like those bags, because it's lined. The zippers are a problem though. 

  • I noticed a hole in the side of my athletic shoes, so I pulled a new pair of shoes from the stockpile. Well, the new brand (different from my regular brand) isn't my favorite. It's not as comfy as my old shoes and it made my feet sweat within half an hour. I don't have sweaty feet. I'm so glad I still have 2 new pairs of my old brand in my stockpile, but I'm saving that for nicer weather. Now I need to search for an altogether different brand. Sigh. I'm so very happy that I bought DS several pairs in our favorite brand. He's good for several more years. 

  • I know I'm in the minority, but I'm not an Amazon shopper. I know that Amazon is way overpriced on many things. Well, I bought some bathroom accessories from Macy's about 2 years ago (I didn't buy the whole collection) and the collection is now discontinued. I found the rest of the items at Target (3rd party seller) and decided to wait for a price drop. Well, the set went OOS too 😭 Then I saw that the same seller had the set on Amazon too, so I added it to my cart. Well, I just couldn't bring myself to order the set. 2 Days ago, I decided to just buy it before it sells out again & noticed that it is now $10 less than before. Sometimes procrastination works in my favor. I didn't think twice about ordering the items. But as I checked out, it displayed shipping options and I clicked on Free shipping. Except, it came up with Prime and I don't want Prime. I don't even shop on Amazon. Ugh!  So I had to go back to my cart, mess around with that and back to checkout. Got the right Free shipping option and checked out. Phew! I don't fall for that Free trial. Amazon has my CC info and will just start billing me once that trial ends. No thanks! One less thing for me to worry about. 

That's all I can think of for now. 

Have a wonderful weekend peeps!

Monday, September 18, 2023

Menu Plan Monday

Feels like I just posted a menu plan. The days are flying by again. Not cooking all my meals last Sunday really threw me off. I couldn't find puff pastry sheets at Meijer, so I bought the shells. I knew this was a mistake, but bought it anyway. Yeah, I only got 3 individual chicken pies/rolls out of those. So I stopped at  Kroger the next day, found puff pastry and made my chicken rolls. This was Wednesday. Cooking every single day isn't in the cards for me, unless I'm making slow cooker meals. I got my act together this week and made some things to eat.

Monday : Pesto chicken casserole, pan fried potatoes with onions & peppers, veggies

Tuesday : Slow cooker beef, onion & peppers in gravy, mashed potatoes, veggies

Wednesday : Same as Monday

Thursday : Same as Tuesday

Friday : Carry out for DS, Mexican for me

Breakfasts : Carrot ginger muffins, omelets, breakfast sausage, bacon, toast, cereal, lemon blueberry pancakes, bagels with cream cheese. PYO (pick your own) breakfast

Lunch : Leftovers or protein from freezer with salad

There's always a large variety of fresh fruit, veggies & salad fixings available. 

I'm really in the mood for comfort food. I almost bought a roast today, but decided against it. 

DS once again didn't want to bake and the muffins aren't as light & fluffy. They taste great though. 

I haven't made tomorrows main dish yet. I'll just throw everything into the slow cooker tomorrow morning, bake more chicken breasts - I marinated the chicken earlier so it needs to sit overnight (I do all this before DS leaves for school) and make mashed potatoes in the evening. Other veggies are already cooked. 

I've been making myself nachos or burritos with the taco meat and homemade beans and pico for Friday dinner. I just pull the taco meat from the freezer, thaw and assemble my meal to heat & eat. Easy peasy.

I bought a pumpkin pie at Sams last week. I do this every year, because I've got to 'taste test' the pie (that's my story & I'm sticking to it πŸ˜‚). Well, the pie didn't taste as good as it normally does. There's definitely not enough spices in the pie and I hate just eating plain pumpkin (I'm not even a pumpkin spice fan. I don't mind it, but it's not a big deal to me. I need my pumpkin pie though). I can't quite determine what is missing (it's not just one spice), but it wasn't that good. I cut that big pie into 12 small slices and froze half of it. That keeps me from eating the whole pie & gaining weight.

I need to write some more shopping posts (I'm behind). I'll try to get those done this week. I had a good money day on Friday. Don't you just love it when the mail brings cash or rewards. I don't even know what to buy myself, because I don't need anything. I guess this is a good problem to have πŸ˜‚ More on that in another post. 

Have a wonderful week peeps!

Friday, September 15, 2023

A tale of twins

Hi everyone

I'm taking a break from the normal shopping/cooking posts today. After mentioning twins the last time, I went and did some research. I never thought much about twins, other than the fact that I've always wanted to have a set of twins (until the Dr told me that I might be expecting twins when I was pregnant with DS), because it's cool πŸ˜‚, especially since we had lots of twins in the family.

Well, I learned some interesting things. It turns out that twins genetics are carried by females & not males. So if twins run in the father/husband/male partner's side, it won't influence your chances of having twins (not unless you carry the gene). Also, older females (over 35) are more likely to have twins, due to hormonal changes as you near menopause. 

Identical twins come from a single egg that is fertilized by a single sperm cell, which then divides into 2 embryos. Fraternal twins are 2 different eggs, each fertilized by a different sperm cell. So I'm guessing that older females are more likely to have fraternal twins. 

Okay, some of this don't make sense to me, because of my own family's history. I mentioned before that we have twins on both sides of my parents' families. 

Mother's side

I have 2 sets of twins cousins. One of the twins (female) had a set of twin male babies. I have no idea where the twin gene comes from on this side of the family, because it's 2 of my mother's brothers who had twin children. 

Father's side - the more influential side πŸ˜‚

This is the side I know more about, because my grandmother was a twin. She had a twin sister. They were Rachel & Anna. I don't know anything about grandma's twin's family tree (we do know the family, but I don't know if they have any twins). 

So, the twin gene skipped 2 generations in my father's family. No twin children or grandchildren for my grandmother. I wonder if it's because males dominate that side of the family (there's way, way more males than females. I actually knew that I was having a son, without checking the gender when I was pregnant - genetics & gut feeling) Mmmmm - food for thought. 

I have 2 cousins who each have a set of twins. 

Cousin 1 - Female. Has twin boys

Cousin 2 - Male - Has 4 daughters. One set of twins and 2 single daughters. One of the single daughters has a set of twin boys. 

This is where science gets confusing for me. I don't know about Cousin 2's wife's family history, but I don't think they have any twins in her family (nobody's mentioned it). So how is it that my male cousin ended up with 2 generations of twins? I can understand his single daughter having twins, because the twin gene is carried by women and my grandmother's genes were obviously passed down to some of us females (mind you, both cousins who have twins are my father's brothers' children. So the gene can be passed down to a female through a male parent, but the male himself can't have twin children - at least that's what they/experts say. Guess we proved them wrong πŸ˜‚)

There's more! My oldest brother is married to a twin. They have 2 sons, one of which has a daughter. Yes, single kids, single granddaughter. So they have twins genes in both of them (SIL is a twin and my brother has twin genes from both parents' families).

So how is it that my male cousin has 2 generations of twins and my brother who has an abundance of twins genes, don't have any? That thing about only females carrying the twin gene doesn't add up for me. Not according to our family history. One thing's for sure though. Twins don't always skip a generation. Sometimes it skips two and sometimes twins will end up having twins. We're proof of that πŸ˜‚ I wonder if there is testing available that will tell you if you're likely to have twins? 

Well, it was at least interesting to learn about how twins are created. Sadly, my grandmother didn't live long enough to see all/any of the twins that come from her genes. She was aware of our other gene though, but that gene comes from my grandfather (DS, my middle brother & I got this gene. My nephews & nieces all have this gene and so do some of our cousins. My immediate family got a heavy dose though). 

The other thing I'd like to learn more about is what nationalities we are, since we are of mixed race (more research to do. Someone once told me that I have an inquiring mind. They're right, of course 😊). I know that there's DNA testing available for that, but I don't trust sending off my personal info to those companies. Wasn't there a breach of some kind at 23&Me? (I could be wrong, but I know I've read some negative things about that kind of testing before). 

I've tried to research our history, but don't have nearly enough information about our family. My paternal great grandfather is said to have been American (looks like I came full circle, cause guess who's American too 😊). We're not quite sure about this, but my mother told me about it before I moved here. I only have one cousin left who knows about this, but those who knew have all confirmed it. I have a theory about this (there's more involved). I'm not doubting that he was American, because my grandfather had a very American name (It's not common for South Africans to use). My father was raised with very strict British ways though and so were we. That's where the confusion comes in. I still have that theory 😊

I know a bit more about my mother's family. Definitely a good/big mix there. The European gene dominated in my maternal grandmother's family. I've met some of her sisters when I was small and they were all light skinned (like Hispanic whites) with sleek hair. My grandmother (who I loved dearly) always complained that she got the worst hair of her sisters. I feel her pain, because my hair is like hers πŸ˜‚ (neither kinky, nor sleek. I've got curly hair), while my mother & one of her sisters had much nicer hair (sleeker). I'd like to know more about our genetics, because my mother spoke German (which she learned in high school - I think). This wasn't so unusual, because German was offered in high schools (to whites & coloreds - people of mixed race) back in the day. Please remember that it was compulsory for us to speak both English & Afrikaans (Dutch) - which we learned from the time you start talking, so we had our education in both languages. I learned German when I was in Primary school (middle school). One night after I got home from German school (I attended the German school to learn the language - long story), I was in my parents' bedroom and I remember my mother started speaking to me in German. I had to pick my jaw up from the floor, because I never knew that she spoke German. We all knew that my father was the smarty pants, so it was a huge shock to me. I don't even think that any of my siblings know that our mother was fluent in a 3rd language (I told y'all we're private & like to keep a low profile). I remember her mentioning something about a street name's meaning while we were out one night. I never knew that we were surrounded by streets with German names.  My young mind never made the connection (because Dutch & German languages are so similar), that I assumed that it was Dutch. I know better now πŸ˜‚

So, back to our heritage. We know that we are part Dutch (always South African of course, but we have a mixed bag of genes). However, the French & Germans (big German population) settled in CT too. So we might have some other European genes mixed in too (I do know a small amount of French too - not much. French is way different from other European languages. Most European languages are similar, so it's easy for me to understand. That's why I understood half those Swedish Christmas cookie names that Kim wrote about. It's because I know both Dutch & German). So, if anyone knows of a safe company to do DNA testing with, please feel free to let me know in the comments. 

Besides Kim, does anyone else have twins in their families? Do you know where the gene comes from? 

Now you've all learned a lot more about me :) There's still many more layers to me.

Have a wonderful weekend peeps!

Monday, September 11, 2023

Menu Plan Monday

Hi everyone

It turns out we got school germs after all. Saturday morning DS woke up with a runny nose & I had a scratchy throat and sore/stiff body. So we stayed home for the day. I tried to take a nap, but had so much on my mind, I just tossed and turned in bed. We had vitamin C loaded smoothies after lunch & guava juice with dinner. Saturday night we both took flu pills and had an early night. DS slept for 12 hours, but I woke up hours before him (habit). Yesterday, he felt a bit better, but not 100%. He didn't want to bake muffins or go out (I normally take DS out to dinner on Sundays), so we decided to go to Romania (remain here - stay home πŸ˜‚ It's a Cape Town thing). I really didn't mind, because I was in a fog all day. I did a bit of cooking, baked the muffins and samosas, did laundry, then went back to bed and slept for a few hours. Then we had an early night again and feel a lot better today (all that sleep helped a lot). DS feels great, but I'm not 100% yet. 

I made an omelet for breakfast and could tell that something tasted off. It was the cottage cheese. I stopped eating the omelet and settled for toast. I now think that it was probably the cottage cheese (not the black beans) that made me sick the last time. I don't even like cottage cheese (I only eat it for extra protein in the morning), so I'm happy to skip it. I'd rather eat an extra egg or yogurt (which I love). Here's our menu plan for this week:

Monday : Chicken curry and rice with beetroot salad

Tuesday : Chicken roll with salad and veggie side (pick your veggies)

Wednesday : Same as Monday

Thursday : Same as Tuesday

Friday : Leftovers for me. Carry out for DS

Breakfasts : Bran apple muffins, french toast, eggs, toast, cereal

Lunch : Protein from freezer with salad or leftovers

There's always a wide variety of fresh fruit, veg and salad fixings available. 

I didn't finish all the cooking yesterday, because I need puff pastry for the chicken roll. I need to head out to the stores in a little while, then I'll complete the cooking later. 

I cooked a lot on Labor day, so there's other things to eat too. I made a big batch of beef pie filling and froze that in portions. I made a big pie for dinner last week and also mini ones for school lunch. I can just pull filling from the freezer any time I want to make more individual pies. I have some pie crusts. Same with taco meat. I made a big batch, beans in the instant pot, fresh pico, so I made some burritos to freeze. I had burrito and salad for Friday dinner. No money spent and no junk eaten. 

I have to admit though, that I'm getting a bit tired of figuring out meals. Does anyone ever feel that way? I hope the BF knows that he's gonna have to give me meal ideas in future, even if it's just his favorites. I really don't mind doing the cooking, but I'd like input on the menu. 

Have a wonderful week peeps!

Friday, September 8, 2023

This week's odds & ends

Hi everyone!

It's been a crazy, rough week with back to school & appointments and things going wrong. The holiday threw me off too. I spent most of Labor day cooking, then washed my car. The drugstores were a pain too. I might need a break from them, but I have oodles of rewards to use. Sorry, no pics. I've had a sinus headache for most of the day. I just want to go sleep so I can feel better, but I can't take an allergy pill (Wal-act) until bedtime, because it contains sleep aid. 

  • Received a $5 reward from Chicos. I don't even know why I receive so many rewards, cause it's not like I've shopped that much (with my own money) this year. Next month it's semi-annual rewards, then birthday rewards. I don't even need anything. 

  • Bought sale peaches & strawberries. Still had some kiwi too, so I washed, sliced & froze everything for smoothies. I haven't seen really good peach/nectarines sales this summer. Meijer usually have it for 69c/lb for weeks on end, but not this year. 

  • Stocked up on some canned goods and cereal at Walmart & holy sticker shock moley. I can't keep up with grocery prices anymore. You know things are bad when Meijer has lower (regular) prices than Walmart on some things. 

  • Did my annual Dunkin Donuts coffee stock up at Costco. They have it on sale once a year, so I always buy 2 containers (45 oz) for $15.89 (got 3 this time). This is enough to last me a year, cause I mix it with some decaf that I buy at Sams (Costco doesn't sell decaf, just regular). Meijer has the 30 oz DD on sale for $16.99 next week (reg $18.99). Walmart's regular price is even higher. This is why I stock up at Costco. I get 1/3rd more for the same price as Meijer's sale price. Crazy. I don't shop at Costco much, but the membership is worth every penny (their fee is much higher than Sams too). They didn't have my regular guava juice, but guava/passion fruit/orange mix. Yummy!! I love passion fruit (granadilla as we call it), but it's so hard to find here. 

  • I'm so annoyed at my realtor. I gave them all the specs for what I'd like (sq ft, exact location, etc) when we started this journey. I keep getting notifications of houses that are older or too small or not in the areas I want. One is for a neighboring city that's not the nicest area. I never even told them that I want anything in that area. I've told them about it numerous times, but I still get notifications. I hate having my time wasted like this. We currently live in a very nice area (best part of our city) in a nice size house. Why would I want to live in a smaller, older house, just because it costs less? I have very high standards. When I do a job, I deliver in the best possible way, so I normally expect others to work the same way as I do. I can understand if someone makes a mistake once or twice, but please don't keep making the same mistake over & over. It drives me nuts!

  • I'm so far behind this year. Someone mentioned purchasing Christmas gifts & I'm over here having a panic attack πŸ˜‚ I normally have 70-90% of my Christmas shopping done by this time. This year is different, because I don't even know who's supposed to be on my list other than DS & BF. I already know what DS wants, so that's easy. I have no clue of what to get BF. I have some ideas for other things/surprises, but not Christmas gifts. I'm gonna need some help from his family or he can just tell me what he wants. I'm easy. All I want for Christmas is to be in my new home with my guys. If BF just wrapped his arms around me and told me how much he loved me, my Christmas would be complete. I really don't need any more stuff. I just want to be happy. I would like a stocking though. I've never had a stocking and want to experience what it's like.

    There's so much I need to get done. It's all 3 of our birthdays. BF & my birthdays are less than 2 weeks apart. How cool is that? We could just have one big celebration for both of us (the frugalistas will like this 😊) or we can just celebrate every day from my birthday until his πŸ˜‚πŸ₯³ Plus it's our favorite holidays too, so how do I plan for all this? I mean, the planning & shopping is no biggie. That's my area of expertise. I just need his input on things, so I know what to do. 

  • Drugstore report. CVS was fun and worked better than expected. RA was a cluster. I was in shock, because RA normally works great. Wags was fine, but something did go wrong. I stopped at 2 stores today to check their 90% off summer clearance. The first store had a whole aisle of empty shelves. Somebody cleaned out the clearance section. Like seriously?!  I only found 3 baby things. The 2nd store had already begun to replace the clearance section with Christmas goodies. I was in such shock, I forgot to purchase the Wayfair gcs I wanted - at both stores. Ugh! I'll have to write another post about the drugstore deals. It wasn't pretty.

  • I found another great sale (sorry can't mention store in case they read my blog) and wanted to order some items as a gift. I'm just unsure of how they would feel about receiving a gift from me. I don't want to ruffle anyone's feathers though. I'm a giver. If there's an occasion or I see a need, I just go ahead and try to bless others. Heck, I don't even need an event or excuse. Sometimes I just give, because I want to make someone's day.  My family understand this & they love it, but not everyone's as receptive. So I don't know what to do. My thing is 'when in doubt, don't do anything'. I'm torn though.
I think I need to make a to-do list (I usually just file everything in my head) and then tackle those tasks. I hate being this unorganised. I like to have all my ducks in a row & get holiday shopping done early, so I can enjoy a stress free holiday. Besides, I like to find the best deals too. 

I will respond to comments & catch up on reading everyone's blogs soon. I think I'm going to sleep for an hour or two. I hope I'm not getting sick, cause back to school usually brings school germs. 

Have a wonderful weekend peeps!

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Snickers wasted


Hi everyone

Every time I think the Wags ad isn't good, some great deals pop up. So what's a girl to do? 🀷 Besides, I had RRs to use before it expires this weekend. Here's how my week went.

Trans 1

4 x Dawn $23.56

4 x Snickers 7.96

Less RRs (10.00)

Less WC (20.00)

Tax 1.41

OOP $2.93

Earned 2 x $5 RR (Dawn)

Trans 2

3 x Snickers $5.97

Less WC (5.00)

OOP $0.97

I originally wanted Cascade liquid (stopped at a different Wags while I was out earlier this week), but you can't find that or Tide/Gain at any store, so Dawn it is. The Snickers (10 oz bag) are on sale for $1.99 this week. I'm so used to buying everything on sale, that I actually got sticker shock when I saw the Snickers original price ($5.49). Is that how much regular folks (non-couponers) pay? Asking for a friend πŸ˜‚

I received a $9/40 paper booster and decided to work on a Plan B, because I had a $15/40 Digital booster too (that would give me $24 back). Can anyone say Double Dip? 😁

So to my local store I went. 

Trans 3

4 x Dawn $23.56

3 x OS deodorant 18.00

1 x Snickers 1.99

Less 3 RRs (13.00)

Tax 2.49

OOP $33.04

Earned $24 WC ($15 WYS $40, $9 WYS $40) + $15 RR ($10 Dawn, $5 OS) + $5 WC (see below). 

Total earned : $44.00

Ugh, Ibotta pulled the OS deal before I went shopping. I'm so bummed, cause I was counting on earning an extra $6.

Uh oh. Here we go again. Cashier scanned all my RRs and the register rejected it. Then it showed that it rejected everything. Deja vu? The same thing happened a few weeks ago and I learned afterwards that it was the Revlon RR that the register wasn't accepting. This time it was the $5 P&G Q (I vaguely remembered someone mentioning it in our coupon group). So the shift manager couldn't figure it out. I told him to just scan the rest and return the $5 RR. I mentioned to him that it's the system (which it is. I don't hold this mess against employees. I feel bad for them having to figure it all out) and that he will see the Catalina machine printing the exact same Q. It was like magic to them, cause voila, that's exactly what happened πŸ˜‚ Wags should just make me a District Manager now πŸ˜‚

I knew that the OS Q wouldn't apply, because the store didn't have 3 matching scents available. This was strange, because I actually checked inventory online before going shopping. My store had 3 Captain in stock, so I was very happy. Well, there were only 2 on the shelf.  I just contacted CS when I got home and they added $5 WC to my account. I'm not happy with paying an additional $10 OOP, but such is Wags life. 

The Snickers (for Halloween) and some Dawn will be donated to school next week. I'm only keeping one bag of Snickers, cause I don't need the temptation. I keep telling myself I'll only have one, then I have to go back for another & another. This is why I rarely keep candy in the house. 


2 x $25 Staples gc $50.00

2 x Revlon lipstick B1G75% off 2nd $13.11

Tax 0.79

Less BC (13.90)

OOP $50 Gcs

Earned $10 BC (Gcs)

Earned $6 Ibotta (Revlon) + an additional $5 BC Challenge (Revlon)

Oh yeah. Give me RA all day long. I'm loving the BC Challenges. I've earned a total of $40, which will be added to my account tomorrow. I'm now excited to see what the new Challenges will be (you get to choose which ones you want to do). 

Staples (online)

2 x 6pks tape $50.18

Less 10/50 Q (10.00)

Tax 2.41

OOP $42.59 Paid with the Gcs from RA.

I had a $10 off $50 Q expiring today. So I earned an extra $10 on my gc purchase at RA, then also used a $10 Q Staples emailed me. In the words of Staples 'That was easy' πŸ˜‚ For those who buy tape, please be sure to check the length. I see that Staples show you the unit cost (per roll), but they don't tell you that some rolls are half the length of others. I always buy the 109 yard rolls. So be sure to check that you're not being tricked into paying more by purchasing the 54 yard rolls, because it seems to cost less per roll. Does this make sense? I'm not sure if I explained it well enough. Again, I was shocked by the price. I always order tape from Staples and used to pay around $16 per pack. Now it's $25! Shocking! And when did printer paper get so expensive? I miss those days when we used to pay 1c per ream. I was going to order a case, but noticed that the current sale price is $10 more than it was last month. I still have one ream left, so I'll wait for a better price. 

That's my drugstore shopping for the week. 

Have a wonderful weekend peeps!

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Why I shop the way I do

Hi everyone!

It's been a crazy busy week, running errands almost every day. I'm ready to just stay home for a day or two and get some things done. 

Firstly to answer Anonymous commentor. It takes a while for me to find the post  you commented on since it's so old, so I'll just repond here:

Store clearance prices are usually much lower than online prices. So if you've purchased your items online, you might find the exact same item at sometimes 50% less than the online clearance price. 

Okay, I've decided to talk about shopping again, because things are going crazy in the world again - not that it ever stopped, but the bad stuff's hitting the fan again. Last week I read about how the Panama Canal has a huge backlog of shipping vessels, due to drought. Some might wonder how the canal is affected by a drought. Well, drought affects the water levels in the canal. If the levels are too low, ships will experience difficulty sailing through the canal (I don't know the correct nautical terms, so please bear with me 😊). What does this mean for us, the consumer? It means shortages - Again! As if things aren't bad enough with the ever increasing grocery prices. 

BTW, when that container ship got stuck in the Suez canal, I actually had the answer to the problem before the experts came up with it. Trust me, I don't know much of anything about ships, but I've read enough Cussler books to give me an idea of how ships & submersibles work. 

Some states have also enforced the mask mandate - Again! WTH? Aren't we supposed to be over covid? Okay, I know that it will linger for years, but I didn't expect it to get to this point again. I've been couponing for roughly 15 years. Back in the day, I used to leave grocery stores with a cart full of items for $5-10 OOP. I kid you not! Any serious couponer will tell you that things were good before that stupid TLC show. I've seen a lot of changes over the years (not for the better). It got to the point where I stopped buying newspapers (for coupon inserts), because the coupons weren't worth the paper they were printed on. It's especially hard to find any decent food coupons, since everything is digital - which leads to limits. So, let me give you an idea or insight as to how & why I do certain things, to help offset those high grocery prices. It's not like we can't do anything about the price increases. We just need to get creative about shopping (for things we need) - save in other areas to help offset the grocery costs. 

As you all know, I do a lot of drugstore shopping. Well, I took a break during and since the divorce. Then I decided to get back into it, because house prices & interest rates are crazy high too. I've decided to just stock up to save some money (long term), because prices will just continue to increase. Why wait to pay even higher prices than the current ones. 

A few weeks ago, I opened a Crest toothpaste and thought to myself that the tube looked rather small. So I checked the size and saw that it's 2.7 oz. Huh? I know that this can't be, because store sales usually state sizes that you should purchase and they normally start at above 3 oz. So I got the old tube out of the trash can (oh yes, I did πŸ˜‚, well it's the kitchen one, so no harm) and saw that it was 3.8 oz! (I knew that I wasn't going crazy πŸ˜‚). What a rip off!!!!  These small tubes retail for around $5 at the drugstores and the size has decreased by a whole ounce. This is why many brands now have new packaging. I noticed the size difference when I bought Dial b/w last week too. New packaging, but the bottle is a few ounces smaller. Y'all don't fool me. I have a photographic memory. I can easily tell when something looks different - no matter how small the change might be. 

So, if stocking up on sale items every week helps save us money, then I'll do it. Besides, I donate quite a bit, so there's others who benefit from my shopping too. I'm not a hoarder. There's always method to my madness. If my family lived closer, they would've been able to 'shop' from my stockpile whenever they needed or wanted something. In fact, they're the only people who don't think I'm crazy πŸ˜‚ They know that I know what I'm doing and they trust it. 

I'm so happy to see that Walgreens has the Wayfair gc deal next week. They had the same thing last year and I made over $100 profit. So back I go again. I have my eye on a few things at Wayfair, so the gc deal will come in handy. See, you can save on furniture too. I don't overlook any category. I'll earn a $10 Wags gc for every $40 Wayfair gcs (buy 2, earn $10. Minimum Wayfair is $20) I purchase. I'll take that free money & keep rolling it into more deals. 

Think the grocery stores are the only ones ripping us off? Guess again. Clothing retailers are doing the same thing. I've read so many bad reviews about poor quality & sizing at different retailers. Think China products were cheap junk? The stuff we get lately are of an even worse quality. I already hate polyester, but that cheap matte jersey fabric is the pits. Yikes, whoever came up with that? But, but, but. Retailers aren't even running decent sales anymore. Their prices are now even higher than before, but the quality has gone wayyyyyy down. 

Well, Ms G isn't worried about that, cause guess who has a closet full of good quality clothing that were all purchased at 80-90% off. I still buy things. Why? Who can beat a decent sale. Besides, stores keep sending me free money. WHBM just sent me $25. When I checked my account, I saw that there's a free $35 available). I recently purchased 4 pairs of shoes (don't fall off your chairs πŸ˜‚) for $60 total, 2 of which are genuine leather. Retail value $436!!! Now, that might seem excessive to most. I'm not afraid of a good sale. My kinda shopping is not for the faint hearted. Why 4 pairs? It was on sale. So what do I do with it? Well, if I like it, I'll keep it. Nobody's going to give me genuine leather shoes at that price. That shoes will last at least 10 years. If I don't like anything, I'll just sell it at a profit. Sometimes I'll just buy an extra item/pair or 2 to resell, so I can earn back the money I spent. That means I get my items/shoes for free. Yes, it takes a bit of work, but it's worth it, especially if it pays for my splurges. Who doesn't like free stuff?

When I first started packing, I decided to sell some of the things I didn't like as much. One of the items I paid $15 for and sold for $50! So guess who has an extra $30-35 (have to pay fees) in their pocket just for shopping 😁 I shop the same way for DS. It's fun. I get my shopping fix without breaking the bank. 

Also, if I need to attend an event, I don't have to run out and spend a fortune. I just run to my 'store' (spare closet πŸ˜‚) and pull new items from it. Easy peasy. I just bought a lace dress for $29.99. Retail value $225! I would never ever pay that price. I have never ever even paid $100 for a fancy dress. No way!! I love formal events (I attended many in SA) and I purchase timeless classy dresses.... at 90% off! Nobody will ever know I paid so little when they see me in my new duds.

Let me show you how the stores are fleecing us. I bought this exact dress for $39.99 during the semi annual sale. Look at the current sale price. 

WHBM lace dress

But wait. When I checked their new items/looks, they had the dress for $150. This is the same dress They just have it on a different model. Look at the price difference between the 2. So, it might not be exactly the same, because I can't see both sleeves details up close, but who's gonna notice a minor detail like that? They look the same to me and I paid $40 for mine. Well, there will be others who are paying so much more. Do you now see why I'm not afraid to buy clearance items I like? If I change my mind about it, I can still sell it at a profit too - especially since it's now only available at full price and petite sizes (sale). 

I was going to sell some of my boots (I love boots and have a lot of it).  I got everything ready to photograph and list, when I decided to do some research. These boots are genuine leather and the brand is hard to find. Lately, everything's made of cheap material, so I decided to just keep my boots. I bought them on clearance a few years ago and they will last me 10+ years. Some of them still look almost new. 

Last week Tommy Hilfiger sent me a $20 Q, because they miss me. I've only shopped their site once (because I can get lower prices at department stores), because it's the only brand of undies DS likes. I stocked up during a big sale about 2 years ago. So, I decided to see if they have any undies in his size on clearance. They did, but it was 'stretch', which means it's not 100% cotton. I also checked the boxer shorts, cause he prefers to sleep in those. Well, more bad reviews on everything. We've bought this brand for years and this is the first time I've read anything bad about it. They did have cotton undies, but it was full price. No way am I paying $42.50. So I checked other retailers, including Marshalls (I used to find it in store at Marshalls before) and saw that they had old inventory at $19.99. I know it's old inventory, because DS has that exact print/design. Why am I excited about old inventory? Because it's a far better quality than what is currently being sold. Needless to say, I stocked up for him. We're not going to waste our money on inferior junk. So, I used that $20 Q to buy myself 3 packs of socks and paid $3.61 (incl tax) OOP. I wasn't going to look a gift horse ($20) in the mouth. 

More poor quality. Check the latest appliances

I mentioned before how I got the last 2 carafes for my coffee machine at Kohls. Well, when I was shopping a while back, I decided to see if they got any more carafes in stock (I love my coffee machine). I was pleasantly surprised to see they restocked, but I noticed that the reviews (you can tell by the number of stars) were bad, so I read the reviews. People were complaining about the numbers (water levels) wearing/washing off on the carafe after a few uses. I have never had that problem and I've had my machine for years. Then I checked to see if the machine was back in stock and that also received bad reviews. People mentioned that it stopped working after a number of months or uses. That made me thankful that I have an old one. 

So, if you have any old (pre covid) appliances, apparel, shoes etc, hold onto it. and use it until it breaks. I know I mentioned this before, but newer readers might not know about it. I'm thankful that God directs my steps and makes me buy things even when it doesn't even make sense to me. That's just God's way of preparing me for the future (making sure we have everything we need, no matter what happens in the world). 

I know that my shopping seems excessive to many, but I've learned to trust my instincts. I know that it ALWAYS pays off in the end. 

I'll be back with this week's drugstore shopping post soon. Just a heads up in case anyone wants to try and can find inventory in store (my store's wiped out of almost everything)

Tide/Gain/Cascade/Dawn - only the ones priced $5.49 are Buy 4, get $5 RR (mix & match), but you also earn $5 for spending $20 on P&G products. So you'll earn a total of $10 back. You can then use that $10 to buy 4 more of those items and it will print another 2 x $5 RRs. That's called rolling. You can keep doing this deal over & over with your newly printed RRs. 

Trans 1

4 x P&G items @ $5.49 = $21.96

Pay $21.96 + tax

Earn $10 (2 x $5 RRs - prints at register). 

Trans 2 and more

4 x P&G items @ $5.49 = $21.96

Less RRs from trans 1 (10.00)

Pay $11.96 + tax

Earn $10 (2 x $5 RRs - prints at register). 

Have a wonderful week peeps!

Friday, August 25, 2023

This week's drugstore shopping

Hi everyone

Just a few shopping deals I did.

The above is last week's RA deal. I feel like I need to shop RA every week, because I always have rewards expiring. I don't want to waste any rewards, so I'm trying to roll it into new rewards by purchasing things we might use

2 x $50 GC $100.00

2 x Listerine 21.98

1 x Listerine 8.69

1 x Revlon mascara 12.99

Less Listerine DQ (1.00)

Less 7/35 CAT (7.00)

Tax 2.20

Less BC (46.28)

OOP $91.58

Earned $28 BC ($12 Listerine $16 GC) + $13.50 BC Challenge ($10 for 4 visits, $3.50 Listerine) + submitted for $10 Listerine rebate

Total earned $51.50

As I was leaving, I noticed that there's no Revlon lipstick on my receipt. Well, the lipstick got stuck under the payment screen, so cashier missed it. So I returned the mascara, but only received $10.90 + tax credit because the 7/35 Q applied to it. Then the cashier rang the 2 Revlon items, but it didn't ring as B1G50% off. So she went to the shelf and the sign said it's for face and lip items only. So I just left the Revlon. I added it to use the 7/35 and complete my BC Challenge plus there's Ibotta rebate on it. Good thing too, cause Revlon is B1G75% off next week. 

And whoo-hoo for paying a reduced price for my gcs again, thanks to Qs.πŸ₯³

This week at RA

2 x Tide $39.98
1 x Gain detergent 10.99
1 x Gain softener 10.99
1 x Downy 5.49
Less Tide DQ (4.00)
Less Tide mailer Q (2.00)
Less Gain DQ (2.00)
Less Gain DQ (2.00)
Less Downy DQ (1.00)
Less 7/35 CAT (7.00)
Tax 3.39
OOP $52.84 - Paid with BC

Earned $20 BC ($10 WYB $30 P&G - limit 2) + $12.50 BC Challenge ($7.50 Tide, $5 Gain) + $2 BC (you earn everyday points on your purchases and mine is set to automatically convert to BC once I've earned enough points) + Submitted for $10 Tide P&G rebate and scanned for P&G points
Total earned : $44.50

This was the mother of all Tide deals. Meijer has the same size Tide on sale for $15.99 next week and Kroger for $10.99. I scored Tide and Gain for a whopping $8.34 after rewards!! I only added the Downy, because you had to purchase Tide + Downy/Bounce to qualify for the rebate. 

I tell ya, I'm loving RA these days. I don't have to spend any money OOP and I get to pick up things we need/use. The only OOP I spent was on gcs. I've earned a total of $158 BC to date, just for purchasing gcs (plus another 3% from my CC). So that's a FREE $158!! Why not take the free money for gcs we will definitely use. Plus I paid less OOP for some of those gcs thanks to coupons! Some of that BC has been turned into Ibotta deals and then I used the Ibotta earnings to shop at Sams, so more free groceries. Okay, this might all be confusing to some of you, but there's Method to my madness πŸ˜‚

Then it was time for my favorite (sarcasm) store. Surprisingly, this week went well at Wags (no aggravation. Phew!). I had a bunch of RRs that were expiring and the deals didn't look to good. 

Trans 1

3 x Dial b/w $10.50

4 x Crest t/p 16.00

Less Dial DQ (2.00)

Less Crest DQ (6.00)

Less RRs (12.00)

Tax 1.59

OOP $8.09

Earned $9 RR ($4 Crest, $5 Dial) + $7 WC (WYS $25)

Total earned $16.00

Trans 2

3 x Dial b/w $10.50

4 x Crest t/p 16.00

Less Dial DQ (2.00)

Less Crest DQ (3.00)

Less RRs (10.00)

Tax 1.59

OOP $13.09

Earned $9 RR ($4 Crest, $5 Dial) + $7 WC (WYS $25) + 6 WC (see below)

Total earned $22.00

For some strange reason I only received $4 RRs instead of $6 for the Crest. Others have reported the same and nobody knows why we didn't get the right amount.

My $6 Crest DQ didn't deduct. I knew this would happen, because you have to buy identical items/scents to use multiple item Qs eg $6/4 (of course Wags never has enough inventory on their shelves πŸ™„) I contacted CS and they added $6 to my account. This actually worked out better for me, because the system applied a $3 Crest DQ that I didn't know I had. 

Trans 3

3 x Dial b/w $10.50

Less RRs (4.00)

Less WC (5.00)

Tax 0.63

OOP $2.13

Earned $5 RR

I use the b/w as foam bath. I just dilute it with water & get a whole tub full of bubbles (it foams better when it's diluted, that's why I do it). I almost ran out of Crest a few weeks ago (shocker), so I'm stocking up. 

BBW who? πŸ˜‚ I've been getting super cheap Dove & Dial b/w at the drugstores, so that's what I'm using. I still love BBW, but their prices have gotten ridiculous. I didn't even shop their semi annual sale this year, because I didn't want to pay $5 for a 10 oz bottle when I can get 22 oz Dove for pennies at the drugstores. I still have some BBW products that I purchased last year. 

So to recap this week's shopping (excl last week's RA trip)

Total items purchased: 22

Total Qs used : $31.00

Total rewards used : $83.84

Total rewards earned (points + rebates) : $87.50

Total OOP : $23.31 ($1.06 per item)

Retail value : $160.98

And this is why I'll never ever give up on drugstore shopping. It was a good week!

Wags has Dawn on sale again next week, but I'm just interested to see if Cascade is included. I don't need any more Dawn. I'm going to do Revlon at RA next week, if the Ibotta deal is still available. I was going to order packaging tape and printer paper from Staples, but I saw that RA has a gc deal next week. So I'll take that extra $10 they're offering, then use the gc to buy what I need. Easy peasy! 

I need to figure out CVS, because I have $5 EB expiring next week. Other than that, I don't need anything else. 

Have a wonderful weekend peeps!

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Odds & ends

The week sure flies by when you're busy. I've had a rather productive week so far, so I'm happy. What's new at Casa Goose?

  • I finally found some guavas at the produce market (they only have it during summer - not every year though). Need some vitamin C? Eat a guava. Guava is one of the richest Vitamin C fruits. This is one of my favorite (if not favorite) fruits. That explains why I rarely got sick in SA. I was eating healthy without even realising it 😊 Our guavas don't normally have blemishes/bruises like these (so we eat the skin too) and are pink on the inside. These are white on the inside, but the flavor is still the same. Can't find guavas - try guava juice (I normally get some at Costco). I used to drink guava juice every day in SA. We had a guava tree in our backyard that never bore fruit, but my dad refused to get rid of it. I should research growing one indoors here (MI climate is too cold for outdoor guava trees). If I can find litchis again (they haven't sold it in years), I'll be a happy girl. 

  • I've discovered that Sams' kiwi price is similar to the produce market, so I've been buying kiwis at Sams instead of making a trip to the market every 2 weeks just for kiwis & peppers. The Sams ones also stay fresh for longer. When I was at Sams earlier this week, I saw that the kiwi packages had $1 off, so I bought 3 packs (around 14 per pack). We eat kiwi daily (another vitamin C rich food which is again a normal thing for me), so these will only last 2-3 weeks. I've peeled, washed & diced one package to freeze for smoothies.

  • Received my final bill from my attorney last week & I'm not a happy camper. I'm so mad at the ex for making me spend this much unnecessary money (he could've avoided it by just doing what he was supposed to). This case cost me almost as much as the divorce did (maybe someday I'll share how I did a frugal divorce. Ms Goose got skills πŸ˜‚). 

  • Received my new lamps and one arrived damaged. So I tried to get hold of CS, but you need to text them. WTH? Well, they ask you a truckload of questions (all automated), before asking if you need assistance. Ugh! Then I received a message that they have a huge backlog and someone would contact me within 12 minutes. Cool, cause I don't have to wait around for a text message (unlike Live Chat where you can't exit until you're done). That was last Thursday. By Tuesday I have still not heard anything. So I went through the whole text song & dance again and finally got a live person. He was extremely helpful and set up my return and said he'll just reorder a new one. He offered me 10% off the new lamp, but I'd have to contact them again to have the discount applied. I thanked him & told him to just ship the new lamp without discount. A $5 discount isn't worth the time I'd have to waste going through that whole song & dance again. I'm now awaiting notification of the shipped item (which he said would happen as soon as UPS scans the returned item). Well, UPS collected yesterday. Sigh! Does anyone provide good service anymore?

  • I redeemed another $5 P&G gc. I just keep checking their site, cause gcs are hit & miss. 

  • Should get a big fat Rakuten check this week (it was mailed last week). Whoo-hoo!

  • I only need to earn another $35 for my Ipad to be completely paid, by selling my old stuff. Well, my Rakuten check will more than cover this portion, but I've got a few more things to list.

  • DS's collectibles have been selling well. I'm not sure if I should list more or just save the rest. BF has a family member that can benefit from these items. Even if I sell half the collection, there will still be plenty left to enjoy. I figure he might enjoy some of the older items, because our collection is almost 20 years in the making. It's HUGE! I'm still adding clearance pieces, because I know they'll be valuable when they're NLA. I'm just uncertain about selling some and investing the money or saving it and let the collection increase in value. The truth is that the value will increase by much more, compared to the compound interest if I sell and invest. This should be a no brainer, right? πŸ˜‚

  • Stopped at RA & Wags while out running errands yesterday and spent a whopping $2.13 OOP. That was fun! I'll try to post this week's shopping deals tomorrow.

  • I really wanted some National Coney food when DS & I got home from being out & about this afternoon. So I went online to check the menu & prices and after adding what we wanted, I saw that the total was $28!! (excl tip).  I really wanted fries and some kind of junk food. I was hungry. Then I thought we could get Red Robin instead, cause I have lots of discounted gcs. I then remembered that we have fresh taco meat (I always set a portion aside before freezing the rest, for immediate consumption). So I made taco meat quesadillas and we had fresh pico & sour cream with that. My body & wallet were both happy.

  • I had a similar experience at the mall a few weeks ago. I passed Cinnabon (we all know how good those suckers smell). I haven't had any of their items in years and thought I'd treat myself. That was until I checked the menu. Almost $6 for one cinnamon roll?! No friggin way!! I decided to just get a Sams chocolate muffin when I got home, because I paid less than $5 for half dozen jumbo muffins at Sams the day before. I wasn't being cheap. I'm just more mindful about impulse purchases, because I still have to pay for a house. Does anyone else do this?
That's all I can think of for now. 

Have a wonderful evening peeps!

Monday, August 21, 2023

Menu Plan Monday

I'm behind with cooking this week. We attended an event on Saturday. I was looking forward to something special at the event, but that didn't happen so we left early so I could go 'lick my wounds' in private (everything's fine again). DS wasn't feeling the event either and was very happy to leave early. By the time we got home, my stomach was upset. This is what happens when you drink on an empty stomach (I know better). Some people do stress eating (is that what its called when you eat if you're upset or stressed?). I do the complete opposite - I don't eat and I drank quite a bit (I don't drink much either. 2 drinks is normally my limit). Went to bed and had a lightbulb moment at 3 am. My brain normally runs 100 miles per minute, so things sometimes click while I'm asleep (this is normal for me), because my brain is more relaxed. Well, that kept me up for hours and I fell asleep again when the sun came up. Next thing I knew it was 9 am. My stomach was still upset and I just didn't feel like going shopping or cooking or back for another day at the event, so I washed all the bedding and puttered around the house then took a 3 hour nap. I didn't plan on sleeping that long, but it felt good. Well, guess who was wide awake & not so bright eyed & bushy tailed by bedtime? So I watched tv until late. 

Today I was in the zone. Look out world when I'm like this πŸ˜‚ I hit 4 stores in under 2 hours and even Wags worked great. Well, something went wrong, but it was expected (more on that next time). Then came home and did all my cooking and cleaned the kitchen in less than 3 hours. Go me! So here's our plan for the week. 

Monday : Beef pot pie, salad & veggies

Tuesday : BBQ chicken breasts, potato salad, baked beans salad, carrot pineapple salad

Wednesday : Same as Monday

Thursday : BBQ chicken wraps and same salads as Tuesday

Friday : Leftovers for me. Carry out for DS

Breakfast : Cereal, eggs, omelettes,  french toast (chocolate brioche or raisin bread), bagels & cream cheese, banana oatmeal muffins, breakfast sausage, bacon (pick your own breakfast)

Lunch : Protein from the freezer & salad

There's always a variety of fresh fruit, veggies and salad fixings available

I also made taco meat & frikkadel to freeze and fresh pico. DS likes the frikkadel, so it's best to just keep a batch in the freezer to heat & eat.

How do I cook so much in so little time? I'm a multitasker. I normally have 3-4 things going at once. I work better that way. I had the beef for the pie in the instant pot (I like my meat melt in the mouth tender, so I cook it in instant pot first), the taco meat on the stove and carrots cooking on the stovetop. I only have 2 burners to work with so this is all I can cook at one time. While that cooked, I prepped onions & cilantro for the taco meat and pico. Yep, I add veggies to my taco meat for extra flavor. I'm calling it  'Not Your Mother's Taco Meat' πŸ˜‚ After that, I cleaned and marinaded the chicken and placed in fridge. Once the taco meat was done, I prepped the beef mix for the pie. Pie into the oven, so I helped DS prep the muffin mix (might as well bake since the oven's already on) and added peas to the carrots. Then fried the frikkadel while the muffins baked and finished the pico. Is anyone confused yet? πŸ˜‚

Well, the food's all done, kitchen's clean (I still need to mop the floor) and the dishwasher's running. I'm not even hungry, so it's only DS for dinner. Tomorrow morning I'll bake the chicken, fix the salads and prep some of the produce (salad fixings and some things for the freezer) I bought today. I might make breakfast burritos too, cause I don't like to cook breakfast in the morning & eggs don't fix themselves.  I like to cook early so the house has all day to cool down. 

Bon Appetit Peeps!

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Menu Plan Tuesday

Hi everyone

I'm feeling a bit better today. No, I am NOT pregnant. There's 0.000000000% of that happening right now.  In fact, I didn't even get morning sickness when I was pregnant. I got sick exactly 3 times during pregnancy & it was either late at night or the middle of the night. I remember the doctor telling me that I could be having twins, because it was very unusual to get morning sickness at night. I've always wanted twins (twins run rampant in my family), but being a single parent with twins scared the living daylights out of me. 

I have a very strong stomach and rarely toss my cookies (so I know I'm sick when I feel this way). As I was finishing breakfast, I got this huge wave of nausea and felt like throwing up. I hightailed it to the bathroom, but nothing happened. I was eating a breakfast burrito from the freezer and I think the black beans might have gone bad. I didn't freeze the burritos immediately after making them. I had it in the fridge for a few days before freezing. Big mistake, because beans don't last too long. I was so glad that DS didn't have a burrito for breakfast, because he would've gotten sick. He has a weak stomach. I ate apples & raw carrots (fiber) and drank lots of water.  I knew that I'd feel a lot better once the junk is out of my system (TMI), so I decided to help things along, cause my stomach was upset all day. Needless to say, I got rid of the rest of the burritos (there were only 3 left). I don't like food waste, but I'd rather throw out bad food than get sick. I'm so glad I cook our meals on Sundays, cause I didn't have the energy to fix dinner yesterday. 

On to the menu plan.

Monday : Chicken stir fry with brown rice

Tuesday : Beef stroganoff with brown rice

Wednesday : Same as Monday

Thursday : Same as Tuesday

Friday : Leftovers for me. Carry out for DS

Lunch : Leftovers or freezer chicken with salad

Breakfast : Orange blueberry muffins, omelets, toast, cereal, french toast (we have chocolate brioche & raisin bread. Both make good french toast), breakfast sausage, bacon. Pick your own breakfast.

There's always a huge variety of fruit and veggies available.

I haven't made stroganoff in years, so I forgot that I needed noodles to go with it. No noodles, so we'll have it with rice. I'm used to eating rice with many meals - it's what South Africans do. 

Here are some food prep pics. I like to slice a pepper and red onions. This way it's easier to fix your salad instead of having to wash & slice things for every meal. These can be used for omelets too, so it does double duty. I only slice one pepper at a time, because I like the pepper to be crispy fresh. Cucumbers are sliced fresh too, to retain it's freshness. If I have an abundance of peppers and onions, I slice and/or dice lots of it to freeze for omelets or other meals that require those items.

I also sautΓ©ed mushrooms, garlic & parsley for omelets. 

The culprits that made me sick😠 I love all kinds of cheese, but I don't care for cottage cheese. My friend told me to add it to omelets (for extra protein), so that's what I did. Then I decided to add it to burritos too. Coupled with the black beans, we got lots of protein & iron from the burritos. 

There's no right or wrong way to make burritos. I like to add things that we enjoy. These had crumbled breakfast sausage & veggies. I squeeze sausage (raw) out of the casing and then diced it fine while it cooks. Next time I'll make bacon, mushrooms and other veggie ones. I bought tortillas over the weekend to make more burritos, but I'm a little turned off them right now. 

Bon Appetit peeps!

Monday, August 14, 2023

This & that

Hi everyone

Menu plan post to follow tomorrow or Wednesday., cause I have an upset stomach. I think I have food poisoning, because I almost tossed my cookies while eating breakfast. I just opened a Canada Dry to help ease the nausea. 

Thank you for the housing input everyone. I have some good news. I received an email from my realtor on Saturday about another house in the area, but he also included a complete breakdown of costs. It turns out that my (buyer) closing costs is a lot less (less than 5 figures) than what his assistant told me. Hallelujah!! This made me very happy, but also annoyed me a bit. I really liked that other house (except for part of the exterior). Had she given me the correct information, I would've gone to view the house. I'm a professional. I hate when people give me half assed or wrong information. I like things done right, but I also do my due diligence. Anyhoo, I'm just happy to learn that the extras won't cost me that much more. I might still go view that house. I still don't want to spend that much, because I still want to have a decent financial safety net. 

On to other things:

  • I bought myself new nightstands at Wayfair. I've had my eye on these for months and it's currently on sale. I was going to wait until Labor Day to see if there's a better price on it, but when I checked the site (I check for price drops daily) on Thursday, the pic was gone and when I added an extra one to my cart (I've had one in my cart so they could send me price change notifications), but number added was faint (like it was OOS). So I panicked. I was able to add the extra one to my cart though, so I decided to just see if I can check out. I hauled out my gcs and redeemed for another $75 one (10% off) through my CC. I was able to add all my gcs (one of the  RA ones kept saying it's invalid. WTH?), but it eventually accepted it after several attempts (the numbers weren't wrong, because I double check things before hitting Apply). However, the CC one wouldn't work at all. Ugh, this is a multi store card (they didn't have regular Wayfair ones on sale). I never buy the multi store ones, cause I've read horror stories about it before. Well, it looks like I need to shop through the gc link they provided. No way, I've already got everything in my cart on my desktop and the gc was on my Ipad. I wasn't going to log into all sorts of things and miss out on my nightstands. There were 2 others I had my eye on before & both sold out. I was determined to get these nightstands, so I paid the rest OOP. Ouch! Not a problem, because I still have my eye on a headboard at Wayfair, so I can use the gc on that. 

    I have no clue what furniture costs here, because we never bought new furniture (other than when DS's room was remodeled). I'm just surprised that one nightstand costs almost as much as my big vanity. I actually did pretty well (I think) on furniture purchases. Here's what I spent on a vanity & 2 nightstands:

    Gift card purchased OOP (Wags & RA) $321.00
    Cash OOP $350.00
    Total OOP : $671.00

    Earned - these are all extra points and gcs that I earned for purchasing gcs.
    Wags - $60.00
    RA - $16.00
    CC (3% on RA purchase) - $2.43
    Total earned : $78.43

    I've already rolled my drugstore points into new items and more points. It will take me a long time to spend it down (cause I keep rolling it into deals that earn new points), so we're basically keep getting free HBA with the drugstore earnings.

    The best part of Wayfair is that my items always arrive within 2 days. I received my nightstands yesterday and am very happy with my purchase. Well, the boxes were so badly damaged in transit that I was afraid the items would be damaged too. Thankfully, there's no damage. Phew! These nightstands were worth every penny. They are beautiful. Simple, understated beauty (that's how I like things). Now I just need to find a bed set (frame, box spring & mattress). I'm hoping to still come in under budget.

    So, on Thursday night I decided to search for lamps for my bedroom (I'm a decisive woman. I know what I want. I'll have a visual of what I'd like, then I'd start searching for things). I do an online search, then click on Images, so I can easily see things I like. Well, I didn't exactly find lamps for myself, but I did see that DS's lamps (I fell in love when these lamps when I first saw it. If you've watched my videos, you will understand my love for all things blue & nautical) I've wanted, was back in stock (store never notified me). So I pulled out a Home Depot gc and just paid tax OOP. I earned these gcs from the bonus offer when I opened a new CC. In fact, these gcs were on sale too, so I was able to stretch my bonus even further. Who would've thunk that drugstores would help you furnish a house. I bet nobody thought to do that before πŸ˜‚ I know! I'm a strange bird, but it works πŸ˜‚

    I did end up finding some lamps for myself, but I'm not completely sold on it yet. There's no rush. I need to focus on finding a good bed first. Also, can anyone recommend a good furniture store(s) for living room furniture. I've checked a few, but haven't seen anything I like.

  • Madewell sent me a $10 reward, so I ordered a t-shirt. Paid $0.42 OOP and earned $0.21 Rakuten. 

  • Loft first sent me a $15 off any full price item reward. I thought "this must be a mistake, cause I don't pay full price for anything" πŸ˜‚ Then they sent me a $20 off anything and reminded me that I still have a free shipping code. So I bought a pair of jeans and 2 tops and paid $5.81 OOP and earned 25c Rakuten. 

    Retailers are definitely struggling, because I haven't shopped at these stores for over a year (I've never shopped at Madewell, other than with the rewards they send me), but they keep sending me rewards. I'll take the free money any day. I can still make money on these items after I'm done wearing it. Yeah, I love free money! 

  • I've been rolling my drugstore rewards into Ibotta offers and had $60 to spend at Sams last week. It was very nice to pay less than $40 OOP for my groceries (including meat). 

    I then earned another $20 gc and used it on groceries this week. My grocery shopping for this week came to a whopping $56.68. We didn't need much this week and there's lots to eat.  I only shopped Sams and then stopped at Aldi for bread, broth & onions. 
That's all I can think of for now. I'm off to bed so I can feel better.

Have a great day peeps!!

This week's drugstore shopping

Firstly, I need to clarify. When I asked people to please give credit to others, I was referring to bloggers. Quite a few times I've see...