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!!

Friday, August 11, 2023

This week's drugstore shopping

Hi everyone!

You know you have a problem when you are swimming in Wags receipts. Well, it's a good kinda problem I guess - at least if you're a couponer. This is the deal I did at Meijer last week. 

1 x Downy $10.99
3 x OS b/w 22.17
Less Downy DQ (2.00)
Less OS DQ (5.00)
Tax 2.00
OOP $28.15
Earned $10 CAT & $4 Ibotta (OS)

I then used the CAT on groceries this week. Meijer was loaded with Captain b/w. They have the same CAT deal running this week & next and the DQs have reset (this never happens at Meijer), so I might go back & do this deal again. I'm thinking P&G sales must have slumped since they eliminated their Q flyers, because they've run major sales at both Meijer & Wags. This is unheard of. 

Then off to my favourite (sarcasm) store this week. 

Trans 1

3 x OS b/w $21.00

2 x Dawn 2.48

Less OS DQ (5.00)

Less RRs (15.00)

Tax 1.41

OOP $3.48

Earned $11 RRs & WC ($6 WYS $22, $4 OS, $1 Dawn) + $4 Ibotta (OS)

Total earned $15.00

Submitted to PG, since I have enough items (5) to earn the max points per receipt.

Trans 2

3 x OS b/w $21.00

2 x Garnier 8.00

Less Garnier DQ (3.00)

Less RR (15.00)

Tax 1.74

OOP $12.74

Earned $15 RR & WC ($7 WYS $25, $4 OS, $3 Garnier) + $4 Ibotta (OS)

Total earned $19.00

 My $5 OS DQ never deducted. Ugh. It's always something at Wags. When I contacted CS, they insisted that it's because I didn't have enough number of items to match my Qs. Duh, I bought 5 items and used 4 Qs). Nope, she said I should added 2 more items, since the DQ is $5/3 (insert a million facepalm emojis). Lawd love a duck! Look at that first transaction. I used the exact same amount of RRs (3) + DQ and my OS applied. These are 2 different accounts, so I couldn't show it to CS. I didn't have the energy to argue. I knew that they had technical issues again, because I checked all DQs before going shopping. The OS wouldn't apply on my desktop, but it shows on my phone. Very strange, but you can't explain that to CS, cause they just make up their own rules as they go along. 

Wags, once again, only has one bottle of Captain b/w on the shelf. WTH? I'm stocking up on Captain, because it's our favorite. From the looks of it, its not available everywhere so I'm making sure we have enough in case this scent gets discontinued. In the meantime, DS can try other OS scents. My guys have more than enough HBA. They'll be swimming in OS, unless the BF wants a different brand, but I can find deals on whatever he wants πŸ˜‚

Then I went to RA to make myself feel better & they made up for Wags crap in spades! 

2 x 16 ct Duracell batteries $15.98

1 x Revlon mascara 11.49

1 x Revlon lipstick B1G50% off 5.24

2 x $50 Wayfair gcs 100.00

Less $6/30 mailer Q (6.00)

Less Duracell DQ (6.00)

Less Revlon eye DQ (3.00)

Less Revlon lip DQ (3.00)

Less BC (55.87)

Tax 2.80

OOP $81.64

Earned $46 BC ($15 WYS $50, $15 Duracell, $16 Wayfair) + $6.10 Ibotta ($3 Revlon lip, $3 Revlon eye, 10c any) + $2 Fetch (WYS $20+ at RA)

Total earned $54.10

Would you look at that! I paid $81 for $100 gcs, cause my BC applied the Qs value to my gcs. Whoo-hoo! Happy dance!

Just last week I thought that I should just buy batteries at Sams, because those DT Energizer batteries run out fast. I replaced my t/b batteries with it and within a week, it was running much slower. So I was very, very happy to get Duracell for free. It's Buy $25 get $15 BC (limit 2) and it tracks. So I decided to go back and get another pack. I didn't want to do another $50 order, because the free items are things we don't use and I didn't want to be stuck with it. 

Have you ever had a day when all shopping just goes smoothly? Yesterday was that day! Even Wags worked slick as snot (color me surprised πŸ˜‚)


1 x 16 ct Duracell batteries $17.99
Tax 1.08
OOP $19.07 (paid with BC)
Earned $15 BC 

Also received a $7/35 CAT for next week


Trans 1

2 x Colgate t/p $8.00
2 x Garnier 8.00
Less Colgate DQ (1.00)
Less Garnier DQ (3.00)
Less WC (10.00)
Tax 0.96
OOP $2.96
Earned $8 RR ($5 Colgate, $3 Garnier)

Trans 2

2 x Garnier Whole Blends $8.00
2 x Crest 10.00
Less Garnier DQ (3.00)
Less Crest DQ (3.00)
Less WC (10.00)
Tax 1.08
OOP $3.08
Earned $6 RR ($3 Garnier, $3 Crest)

Why so much Wags shopping? There's quite a few double dip boosters available next week (preview) and I also received $9 WYS $40 CATs, so I need RRs to help lower my OOP. 

I also stocked up on a bunch of things at Kroger. I was very happy to see 5 lb blueberries for 3.88. I bought 3, because you all know I much I love blueberries πŸ’ž and my favorite (Dannon) yogurt on sale and Barilla pesto for less than $1.99 after Ibotta, Fetch & KC. I can now make lemon blueberry pancakes & orange blueberry muffins.  I'm worn out from shopping. 

I was so annoyed with my realtor this week. I found a house that I really liked, so I immediately texted and asked them to schedule a tour for Wednesday or Thursday. The house is gorgeous and very modern and big enough for all of us. It checked almost all of my boxes, I liked it that much. The crazy part is that since I asked realtor to make an appointment, I just had an uneasy feeling about the financial side. My gut just kept telling me that this is a bad idea financially. We got an appointment for yesterday, so on Wednesday I asked my realtor to send me a breakdown of fees I need to pay, since I'm a first time buyer. So they sent me a list, but it's not with any numbers, just a list of possible things I'll have to pay (on top of purchase price). Wait a minute! Nobody told me that I have to pay closing costs (Boom,  there it is! My gut was right all along). Before I started house hunting, I asked the ex about this, cause he had bought  & sold a number of house over the years. He told me that sellers pay closing costs. So I did my own research and had to swallow my pride and ask the ex for help with this. I had no idea that I would need an additional $20k (give or take). Are you crazy?! I've already increased my budget by $100k (that's not a typo), because I've come to the realization that I won't find what I'm looking for at my old budget. Now I need to add another $20k. I must have a lot of money trees in my backyard (snark). I don't want to go broke buying a house. I'm not that dumb! I told the realtor to cancel my appointment so I could fall back & regroup. 

I'm a planner. I like to have all my ducks in a row. Give me all the details and numbers upfront before I commit to purchasing something. I hate last minute 'surprises', especially $20k ones. Well, I at least now know what I need to budget for, so I know what amount I'm willing to spend. I need to move, but I'm not going to overspend just so I can get my dream house. I can use my skills to decorate a lower priced home nicely. Besides, I have good taste πŸ˜œπŸ˜‚ I just bought another piece of furniture with that Wayfair gcs (more on that next time). 

Have a wonderful weekend peeps!

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

More Cape Town videos

A few more videos to show you around Cape Town.

Simons Town

This is the Indian Ocean side. The water is much warmer on this side, so far better for swimming, surfing. & sharks. You'll find beaches all the way around - Fish Hoek, Simons Town, St James, Muizenberg, Kommetjie - to name a few. These towns are also loaded with restaurants - mainly seafood. 

The Naval base is located here. South Africa is a small country (compared to the US) and have a small military. 

The dog, Just Nuisance, in the video was an enlisted member of the Royal Navy. He used to accompany drunk sailors back to base after a night out on the town. You can read a bit more about him here

Greenmarket Square

This is in downtown Cape Town (city center) - near those restaurants you saw in yesterday's post. There's more shopping squares nearby with flower sellers, fruit/veg vendors. These vendors are all pretty common. You can buy your fresh produce on your way to just about anywhere (same with fresh fish - catch of the day. Fisherman will load up their trucks with their fresh caught fish and park on busy roads. They'll gut the fish for you and all you have to do is wash, season & cook the fish. It doesn't get any fresher) and they are far cheaper than the grocery stores.

Kirstenbosh Botanical Gardens

Protea is the country's national flower. They can last for months.

The Afrikaans version of the song 'Sugarbush I love you so' in honour of our national flower (protea - sugarbush). Afrikaans music is known as Boere musiek. 

There are lots of Concerts in the park at Kirstenbosch during summer. You just bring your blanket and/or chair, some snacks and adult beverages and can camp out to enjoy live bands - usually jazz. We love our jazz. Okay, I love jazz πŸ˜‚

Grandwest Casino

It is much more than just a casino. Inside is also an ice rink, nightclub, games center & some restaurants. You can bring the whole family. Just drop your kids & maybe spouse πŸ˜‚ at the games or restaurants, then head to the casino section for some gambling. I won lots of money there. I rarely gamble, but I'm lucky 😊

No filming allowed in or around casino.

Canal Walk - Century City  

Luxurious shopping mall. The ex always raved about this place. He can't get over how beautiful it is or the fact that the floors are mainly marble. We currently live near an upscale shopping mall, but it doesn't compare to Canal Walk. The food court is filled with restaurants and some fast food places (see 8:13). There's also a middle eastern shawarma restaurant downstairs, where they carve your meat right off the rotating broiler.  You also find the higher end restaurants throughout the mall. 

There's tons of other shopping malls & centers throughout the city, but Canal Walk is the main attraction.

Cape Point

The southernmost tip of the African continent. This is where the Atlantic & Indian oceans meet. A definite must see.

Table Mountain

And last, but definitely not least, the iconic Table Mountain. Named so, because when the clouds cover the top of the mountain, it looks like a tablecloth draped over a table. There's a restaurant and souvenir shops at the summit. 

I've always wanted to go abseiling and skydiving. I'm an action girl. I'm more mature responsible now, so abseiling is out. I might still go skydiving some day. Who knows πŸ˜‚

There you have it folks. I just gave you a free tour of Cape Town πŸ˜‚ I've been to all these places, so I can assure you that it's the best parts of the city (there's so much more to see and do there). It's not all beauty though. Like many other countries, you'll find the poor, run down areas too. However, Capetonians have been blessed with so much natural beauty - oceans, mountains, fauna & flora. We are truly blessed.

And that my friends, is Cape Town South Africa.

Hope you enjoyed it peeps!

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Why I'm a food snob

Hi everyone

I think I need to explain more about my weight loss. I've always been underweight for my height. My mom was petite & skinny and so am I. My sister on the other hand, was a fat baby (she takes after some of my father's family). She was so heavy that my mom had to get a stroller shortly after her birth, because she was too heavy to carry. So, genetics plays a big role where our weight is concerned. I'm not just all about the skinny. Some of my siblings (and other family members) are heavier and I still love them all the same. I am now 20 lbs heavier than I've always been and my body's feeling it, so it's time for change. 

Linda asked about obesity in SA. It's not as bad as it is in the US (not everyone's thin though). In SA we eat a lot healthier. However, we don't think about it as eating healthy (at least not when I lived there). Our food is a lot purer. We don't eat much junk or processed food and the portions are a lot smaller (you'll find the same thing in many European countries. Look at the French. They eat & drink to their hearts' content, but most women are slim). Our foods also contain less sugars. We also walk a lot. We don't get into the car to go to the local store or places close by. In fact, people chose to drive less, because it cost less to use public transportation. Who knew that we were actually doing ourselves a favor by walking almost everywhere. 

I've never ever gained weight living in SA - not even when I was pregnant. If you saw me from behind, you wouldn't have known that I was pregnant. I just had a big ball (belly) in the front. I remember coming home from work one day and 2 teens walking up from behind me. As they passed, they stopped to exclaim about how they didn't know I was pregnant and that they hoped to look like that when they fall pregnant someday. Little did they know that I power walked and ran up and down the office half the day. πŸ˜‚ No rest for this girl. I prefer being busy.  We used to get 3 or 4 months maternity leave (I can't remember the correct amount. I think it's 4 months. One month before giving birth & 3 months after. Paid leave, or if the company doesn't pay you, you can claim unemployment. Same with if you're employer paid you less than a certain amount {not full salary} then you can still claim unemployment too). I worked until a week before my due date, cause I didn't want to sit at home and twiddle my thumbs (which is exactly what I did for the week before I was due. My mom wouldn't let me lift a finger). 

So anyhoo, back to food. I used to always eat what I want. I never had to worry about getting enough protein or other nutrients. I always had a bowl of Bran Flakes and coffee for breakfast. Then I might have a sandwich sometime during the morning and then a pot pie or burger with fruit & yogurt for lunch (lunch is at 1 pm). Then chips as an afternoon snack. Then dinner at 6 pm (we still eat dinner at 6). So I'm trying to go back to that, except for breakfast, because I need the nutrients. I lived a very active lifestyle in SA. My family was involved in a lot of things and we were always on the go, doing something with someone. I've had the complete opposite experience here and my body's paying the price. Thankfully, the BF and I have very similar family lives, so I'm excited for that kinda lifestyle again. 

I don't count calories. Food & our lives are meant to be enjoyed. YOLO! I do weigh myself daily to see where I need to make changes. I don't want weight loss to be a chore for me. I still want to enjoy some things. So far, the eating habits are working for me. Heck, I can lose weight without a workout. I just need to close my rings every day and eat smaller amounts. Easy peasy. I even throw in ice cream sometimes and still manage to lose weight. Okay, I have a high metabolic rate too. Luck of the draw I guess. 

So, to give you an idea of what we eat like in Cape Town, check this restaurant food link (pics)

Then please watch this video to give you an even better idea of our restaurants. South Africans take our food seriously. We cook with fresh herbs & spices and most things are grown locally. Cape Town has a similar climate to California, so HP will understand a little better. It is also surrounded by 2 oceans, so there's fresh seafood aplenty and you all know which continent is popular for hunting. You can go to a 1 or 2 star restaurant & the food will look & taste like it comes from a 5 star restaurant. We're food snobs πŸ˜‚

Now you have a bit of an inside look as to where I spent most of my life. I used to work in Bree Street. Our office building had glass elevators, so you could see the mountain (Table Mountain - one of the 7 wonders of the world for many decades) and the V&A (Victoria & Alfred) Waterfront, the harbor's right next door.   I used to party at many of the places shown in the video. Clifton beach  (4th beach, there are different numbers for different areas) is where I spent most of my childhood with my family. I could've said Mazeltov (wedding) & lived in one of Cape Town's most affluent areas (next door to Clifton) - Bantry Bay (see 17 seconds).  I find it amusing that many Americans look down their noses at me (some have insulted me too) and expect me to be poor, dumb & uneducated. They have absolutely no clue of how & where I lived before. Never judge a book by it's cover. However, I still prefer to keep a low profile. Their loss if they want to act snobbish towards me. 

Constantia is one of the oldest wine areas in Cape Town (founded in 1652). Cape Town's vineyards are older than even Napa Valley. The Dutch brought vines with them and the French worked to cultivate the vineyards. (Cape Town was settled by the Dutch, then shortly thereafter we had a German influx and then the French Huguenots). Napoleon Bonaparte used to import wine from Groot Constantia (Cape Town's oldest vineyard) while he was in exile. This wine was banned from Europe, because of it's high sugar content. I'm not much of a wine drinker, but I do know the difference between wines and how to pair it with food. I grew up in wine country after all. Another story about that below.

Here's another video of the wine route in and around Cape Town. Franschoek means French Corner. Lots of great wine and food to be had anywhere in & around Cape Town. 

One of my close college friends lives in Hermanus (outside CT). We spent a vacation at her house during whale watching season. What a magnificent sight that is. There's also a restaurant built into the side of the rock (cave) at the ocean, called Bientang se grot (Bientang's cave). Mmm, it always had an Afrikaans/Dutch name, but I see they changed it to

Then we get to my favorite part of the CT - penguins. It's my absolute favorite animal. These babies are just adorable 😍 I wouldn't have minded having one or 2 as pets, but alas. Boulders Beach is situated right next to the naval base (I grew up near the naval base & DS's father was in the army & navy). I can watch these furry creatures all day long. 

The long road you see winding around the mountain is called Chapman's Peak Drive. You can take the scenic drive from the Atlantic ocean to the Indian ocean and vice versa. It's a really stunning drive with great views of the oceans & mountain. 

The other story (I'm not sure if I told this before). We once went to Easter brunch with the ex's friend, his wife & mother. The mother was  real snob, because she grew up in a local affluent neighbourhood. They were at the restaurant before us and when we got there, I asked the wife what she was drinking. She told me it's a mimosa. So the mother pipes up to me 'it's champagne & orange juice'. I just rolled my eyes inwardly & cringed, because this woman just called sparkling wine champagne and did she just try to educate ME about wine πŸ˜‚). However, I just smiled politely & thanked her. That's what my upbringing dictates. 

PLEASE NOTE: This post is in no way meant to insult and look down on Americans or anyone else. I'm merely trying to give everyone a better insight into my life (I'm a very private person, so please enjoy it when I open up a little bit. It won't happen often) and give you an idea of what life is like in a small part of Africa (it's nothing like the crap/misinformation they show on tv).  Hopefully you've enjoyed learning a little more about me & where I come from and a little history. Please understand that I've lived most of my life in Cape Town, so I'm a bit set in my ways. 

I know that my good friend Lori will enjoy the food in Cape Town. How I wish that I could take you there to experience it. You'll find farmers markets galore. 

I might have lived a more upscale life in CT, but deep down inside I'm a simple girl. I grew up in a simple middle class family and we were always taught that family, respect & good values are of the utmost importance and when I look back at my life, I realise that we were always happy and we were loved. So I would never trade that for any amount of money or upscale life. Family, love & happiness are far more important to me.

Enjoy the evening peeps. 

Monday, August 7, 2023

Menu Plan Monday 08/07/23

I hope everyone had a good weekend. I'm still here plugging along. 

I've been craving falafel for months, but could never find the Brownberry pita pockets that I like to use for this. I guess it's been discontinued, because I checked several stores. However, I decided to try Aldi mini naan bread & that worked perfectly. I can use that naan with curry too when I don't feel like making roti (roti is a lot of work). So here's what I made last week. 

Nekkid falafel

Here's what DS ate. Mini garlic naan topped with tzatziki sauce, salad greens (I didn't have any lettuce) & tomatoes

My plate, because I'm trying to lose weight. The tzatziki sauce works well as a salad dressing too, so that's what I did. You'll notice that I eat a big salad. I do this to fill up so I don't get hungry again after dinner. This girl likes to eat πŸ˜‚ I've gone back to my South African way of eating smaller potions. American servings are twice the size of SA ones, so it's easy for me to go back to my old ways (I'm not judging Americans). On a good day, I lose 0.6 - 0.8 lbs per day. I do eat carbs - bread (I don't deprive myself), that's mainly for breakfast & sometimes lunch. I just limit the amount of carbs I eat. I eat a big nutritious breakfast, because I work out in the morning. So far, it's working for me...until weekend πŸ˜‚ I need a weekend intervention, because I eat junk and don't feel like exercising. 

What's for dinner this week? 

Monday : Ravioli with meat sauce, cheesy garlic ciabatta bread, salad
Tuesday : Andouille sausage & cabbage stir fry with mashed potatoes
Wednesday : Same as Monday
Thursday : Same as Tuesday
Friday : Leftovers for me. Carry out for DS
Weekend - dinner out

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

Breakfasts : Breakfast burritos, omelets, breakfast sausage, bacon, bagels, lemon blueberry muffins, cereal. Pick your own breakfast. Everything's cooked/baked. We can just pull some things from the freezer to heat & eat. I love this kind of cooking/eating. 

Lunch : BBQ chicken breast with salad or leftovers. 

I made meat sauce to add more protein & iron to our meal. My sauce is always loaded with veggies, so we get lots of good stuff into our bodies. 

I'm really in the mood to bake. Besides muffins, I haven't baked since last winter. I'm just in the mood to make something decadent. 

I'm pretty sure I posted the falafel recipe before, but feel free to ask if anyone would like the recipe again.

Have a great week peeps!

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

This week's drugstore shopping

Well, I wasn't in the mood to go shopping. It looks like I'm getting sick again. I struggled to get up when the alarm went off the past 2 mornings. I went to bed my usual time and slept through the night., so it felt weird to be so tired. This morning I ended up with a scratch throat too. I'd like to think that it's just allergies, but I know that my throat isn't affected by allergies. I'm about ready for bed now, so I'm gonna take a Wal-act later and go to bed early tonight.

I had a $5 EB that was expiring and CVS also sent me a $5 Q good for this week only. I wasn't going to let the $10 go to waste. So off to the drugstores I went.


3 x Crest t/p $11.97

Less DQ (2.00)

Less Q (5.00)

Less EB (4.97) adjusted down from $5

Tax 0.42

OOP $0.42

Earned another $5 EB. 

Wags should invest in self checkout, because I was in & out of CVS in no time. 

Well, Wags sure was fun today (sarcasmπŸ˜‚). I decided to roll my RRs from last week, because next week's ad doesn't look good.

Trans 1

2 x Cascade $10.98

3 x OS b/w 21.00

Less OS DQ (5.00)

Less RRs (21.00)

Tax 1.92

OOP $7.90

Earned $22.00 ($10 WYS $30 PG, $7 WYS $25, $5 OS RR) + $4 Ibotta

Total earned : $26.00

The silly register kept rejecting my RRs. It doesn't give an explanation of why it rejected it. Long story short. After lots of time wasted (again), the manager manually entered the RRs. Sigh.

As I said to Linda, Wags is like having a crappy job. You don't like the job (shopping at Wags), but you need the paycheck (good deals).

Trans 2

1 x Cascade $5.49
1 x Cascade pods 5.49
3 x OS deodorant 19.50
2 x Kit Kat 0.58
Less RRs (16.00)
Tax 1.83
OOP $16.89

Earned $11 ($5 OS RR, $6 WYS $22) + $6 Ibotta
Total earned : $17.00

Will submit to PG for another 500 points. Almost enough for another $5 gc. Please be aware that PG now only allow 6 receipts to be submitted per month. You have all month to submit them, so do what I do. The point limit per receipt is 250 points (5 items). So only scan the ones that have 5 items immediately, then wait until the end of the month to see what the next best receipt is eg 200 points (4 items). I'll scan them in order from highest to lowest to earn the most points back. 

There's currently a deal for PG Spend $30 earn $10 deal. Well, I didn't earn it on either account. I contacted CS when I got home. The first one added the $10 in no time. The 2nd CS rep (2 different accounts, so I had to contact CS twice) told me the deal is only valid online. There's some confusion about this on my coupon group. Nobody really knows if it's just online or in store too, so I'm not going to fight Wags on this. 

Silly me also didn't clip the $5 OS DQ on this account. Ugh. Totally my own fault. 

I don't normally buy pods of any kind, but my store didn't have any more Cascade liquid. I really wanted the liquid, cause this is a great price on it. 

I've noticed that Wags shelves aren't as well stocked as before. It's almost as if they're trying to limit customers from doing deals. I've noticed that they keep 1 or 2 items per scent/fragrance. This happened with the Dove too. I could be wrong. There's no Captain b/w to be found. In fact, I've noticed that only the grocery stores usually have it in stock, but not drugstores. Well guess whose grocery store has a CAT deal on PG items this week πŸ˜‚ Meijer has a PG Spend $30 get $10 Cat deal (it happens every month) and I need Downy. Only Meijer & Walmart sell the regular Downy. So I'll just grab myself some Downy & Captain b/w at Meijer & use DQs. Easy peasy. Ain't no stopping me from getting my favorite. 😁

The Kit Kat was clearanced to 29c, so I splurged πŸ˜‚ It's not bad, but not great either. I've had churros before, but the Kit Kat has a light caramel flavor to it. I love caramel. I know that Americans don't really eat or care for caramel, but I grew up with that stuff. It's delicious!

I might go back for more Cascade, cause spending less than $3 on 4 bottles OOP is a great deal. (I've compared the unit cost {I'm such a geek} against other stores online and Wags currently has the best price.  I don't mind burning points on this deal, because I have oodles of points to spend. I don't like keeping so much in my account, so I'd rather use it on things we need. I'll see how I feel. It's been reported that the PG deals end later this month, so there's still time to shop. 

That's my drugstore shopping for this week....for now πŸ˜‚

Enjoy the rest of the week peeps!

My blog has moved

Hi everyone I have decided to move my blog. I tried to sign up for ads several years ago, only to to discover that the ex already owned an a...