Wednesday, November 29, 2023

My Birthday Freebies

PSA - Target has 10% off their store gcs 12/2-12/3 only. Limit $500.

I will admit that I scored really good deals for my birthday this year. Without further ado, here's what I 'bought' with birthday & other rewards. Please excuse the poor photo quality. Someone changed all the lightbulbs to those yellow ones and I can hardly see. Not everything is pictured. I was still awaiting delivery of some items when I took the pics. 

3 x Jeans

4 x Shorts

3 x Tops/Blouses

1 x Shirt

5 x T-shirts

1 Blazer

2 x Dresses

1 x Sweatpants (DS)

1 x Hat

Total items = 21

Total OOP : $24.73 (see more below)

Retail value : $1407.94

I had to pay $8 shipping at one store or forfeit my $45 reward. This was a no brainer for me. Just pay that shipping cost. You also have to spend at least 1c over the Q value at some retailers, so I went ahead and made them happy 😂 Even DS got a free item with one of my rewards. 

I'm a little disappointed in the blazer quality. The quality's not as nice as my teal blazer in the same style. The color is beautiful though. It's a rich/deep green with a navy blue lining. I can at least still roll up the sleeves for the surprise lining color. That's my favorite part of these blazers. 

The hat is 100% wool. Well it's made in China, so I'm taking that with a pinch of salt 😂 I love wearing hats 💖

This was not a birthday reward, but about 2 weeks ago I spotted this Lace dress on sale for $34.99. I ordered the exact same dress in Indigo a few months ago & it was cancelled as OOS 😭 So when I saw the black one on sale, I just had to have it. Never mind that they didn't have my size in stock. They only had 2P and I wear a regular size 4. No way! I WANT this dress. I normally go a size up when I order petite, but there wasn't any 6P either. Imagine my surprise when I tried on the dress and it was a perfect fit. Whoo hoo! I paid $37.08 OOP, but I'm not even worried about that. I received a $15 Rakuten check and made over $200 on our personal items this month, so that more than covered the cost of the dress.  So this was my birthday treat to myself 😉

I really struggled to use my $50 birthday reward. There just wasn't anything that tickled my fancy. WHBM sent me another $5 reward, so I had $55 to spend. Days before BF, they had an extra 30% off clearance for rewards members. So I added  a few things to my cart (totaling around $50), but their weird math turned it into me having to pay $7.xx OOP after rewards. Huh? I thought I was shopping at Wags. Confused much. So I decided to just wait until BF, because everyone runs good sales then. Wrong! Not WHBM. They increase their prices instead. Sigh! So I was a little upset with myself for not purchasing those items earlier in the week. So BF & Cyber Monday came and went and I needed to spend $50 by the end of the month. Then yesterday, they had a different sale and I spotted this LBD . I am totally in love with this dress. It is so me!!! 😍😍😍 You can give me sheath dresses, heels (pumps), boots, blazers and hats any day of the week. THIS is my style. Total OOP $1.05!! Heck yeah! I checked out as fast as I could. I have so many shoes, jackets and wraps I can wear with this dress. Let's hope they ship it soon, cause this is a MUST HAVE for me!  I've included a photo of my order, just in case anyone ever thinks I make up numbers 😂I really should know by now that when I don't find anything I like, it's because there's something better for me. The LBD is proof of that. I friggin LOVE this dress (It's rare for me to love something at first sight, cause I'm extremely picky). I can't wait for it to arrive. Let's hope it fits 🤞

I didn't redeem any of my food rewards or all my other clothing rewards. Some were just not worth it and I couldn't find good enough deals for others. 

Happy Birthday to me! 🥳😂

Have a great evening peeps!

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Quick check in

Hi everyone

I'm still here. DS is still home with his injury. We were both hoping he would be recovered and back at school yesterday, but no such luck. I finally started getting better sleep this weekend - if you can call waking up at 6am better 😂 Well, it sure beats being wide awake at 4am. 

Yesterday & today were icy cold and windy. I kept most of the blinds closed to help keep out the cold. Brrr. I didn't feel like going out in the cold, but needed to do grocery shopping yesterday. I wanted to get some blueberries at Aldi since they have the lowest price, but got serious sticker shock. $4.99 for a pint. WTH are they smoking? There's no way I'm paying $5 for just one pint. That's just crazy!

I also saw 2lb organic strawberries for $12.xx at Sams Club. Who on earth pays that much for strawberries? What makes it worth $12? I'll take my chances with the regular strawberries. Thank you very much. This makes me even more determined to get a freezer once I move. 

When I got home, I still had to fix dinner. I didn't cook on Sunday, because I needed some ingredients. Then sanitize and pack away all groceries. This germaphobe still wipes down all groceries. I can't unlearn it. I actually remember my mother teaching us to wipe or rinse certain grocery items when I was young, especially the milk. So this whole sanitizing groceries is nothing new to me. 

  • I did zero grocery shopping last week. I went to Sams the Friday before and bought 2 pumpkin pies. I've been eating pie ever since. By the time Thanksgiving rolled around, I was out pied 😂 I froze the leftover slices. Thank goodness I didn't gain any weight from all that pie. 

  • I did zero BF drugstore shopping. None of the drugstores had any freebies. I remember going to all 3 first thing in the morning years ago, cause they were loaded with free items. I miss those days.

  • I'm practically done with Christmas shopping. I'm just working on BF's stocking stuffers (I'm making progress), then I'm done shopping. I need to figure out what else to add. DS is easy. He only wants one thing in his stocking. He's definitely his mother's child 😂 If you give us one meaningful gift, we're happy. We don't need a bunch of stuff. I really don't need anything. If I just have BF & DS with me (and I can put smiles on their faces 🧧🧧) for Christmas, then my holiday is complete. I'm outshopped and I picked up so much free stuff for my birthday. I didn't even redeem all my rewards. I'll write a post tomorrow. I did really well this year. 

    Between working the deals, using earned & discounted gcs & rewards, adding extra clearance items to resell to recoup some of our cash, earning freebies on some purchases, I came in under budget. Yay!! And thank you Rakuten for those 12-20% cash back offers. It makes shopping so much more fun. 

    I had to make myself a list of retailers I shopped at, to ensure that everything gets delivered. Then I can start wrapping. 

  • When I was looking for a gift at one store,  I noticed that the price of something I purchased 2 days prior, had been reduced. So I did Live chat and within 3 minutes my refund was issued for the price difference. Many retailers are good with price adjustments. So when I make large purchases, I add the items to my cart again (after checkout), just in case the price gets reduced. Some stores will actually email you about a price drop. 

  • I bought my/our bedroom lamps for $14.90 OOP, thanks to reduced gcs redeemed with my CC points. I've had my eye on these lamps since Spring or Summer and the price was finally low enough to purchase. I haven't told BF about it yet, but I know he'll like it (we have similar taste). I want him to see the finished product (the entire room). That way he'll be able to see how I can easily decorate a room without breaking the bank. I'm a simple, clean lines girl. Less is more, but the room will still have warmth.
  • I don't know what's happening with L'oreal skincare. They keep having big sales and I can hardly find the cleansers anymore. I'm still buying it every time I find it. I stocked up on moisturiser at Target, because they have 25% off this week and I also had a 5% off birthday Q. Rakuten had 15% cash back (rare, since Target is usually only 1% back), so I bought 3 sets (day & night cream). 

    While I was checking out, I noticed the OS Captain (b/w) is clearanced. Target displays your previous purchases at the bottom, asking if you'd like to purchase it again. Well, as I was packing 2 days ago, I thought to myself that I need an OS b/w intervention 😂 cause I have a lot. I'm hoping the Captain isn't being discontinued, but I'm now thankful that I stocked up when I did. BF & DS have nothing to worry about. I have them covered for at least a year.

  • I'm in baking mood. I'm ready to bake holiday cookies, but it's way too early for me. I like to take one day shortly before Christmas to do all my baking. I need to make a list of ingredients I need.

  • I'm pooped. I've done nothing other than clean, laundry, cook and take care of DS the past few weeks. Every day feels like groundhog day. I take him for a drive sometimes (since he can't really go anywhere), so he can get sun and fresh air. 

I need to go deposit all those bills I saved ($1, $5). I'm thinking of rolling the leftover cash into next year's Christmas budget. That will give me a head start on Christmas savings. 

Is anyone else done with Christmas shopping? 

Have a wonderful evening peeps!

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Latest odds & ends

Hi everyone

I apologize for my lack of posts and response to comments. DS sustained an injury at school (not going into detail) and I've been taking care of him round the clock (well, except for when he sleeps). I haven't been sleeping well either and I am plumb tuckered out. I'm awake at 4 or 5 am every single day (I'm worried about him), no matter what time I go to bed. I am just physically drained, but I just want him to get better. He's in very good spirits and was acting all goofy with me last night, but he wasn't feeling too well today. 

For the first time ever, I don't even have a Thanksgiving plan or food. We have lots of food, but I haven't purchased or prepped anything for the holiday. I'm going to try and find a pumpkin pie. DS can currently only eat select foods, so it's no use cooking for just myself. All I need is pie 😊 Right now, I'm just focused on DS's recovery. I hate seeing him suffer. I'm sure all mom's feel that way when their children are ill. 

What else has been happening. 

  • Received a $50 WHBM Birthday reward. 

  • Ordered 3 free pairs of jeans with another reward. I need more jeans like I need a hole in the head, but it was the best thing to purchase with free money. 

  • JCP sent me an email about a $20 reward expiring soon. Puzzled me didn't even know I had a reward. They never notified me of it before. You bet I used that free money 😂

  • Krispy Kreme has gotten stingy. They used to offer a free dozen original glazed donuts for birthdays (since the pandemic started), but I only received an offer for 3 free original glazed donuts this year. Not that I need the donuts. I should tell BF to pick it up for himself before the 1st (all he needs is my phone number at checkout), since I'm trying to look good for him 😂 I don't need the temptation

    I have lots of other offers to redeem. I should probably just do a post of freebies I received. I'm over shopping. I feel like I just got a free wardrobe for myself, I got so much stuff. 

  • Red Robin has also gotten stingy. You can now only redeem your birthday offer in store. I like to dine out, but prices have gotten ridiculous. If you add in the drinks and tip, you end up with a hefty bill. I like to pick up our food, because I fix a side salad for each of us and save my fries for DS to enjoy the next day. We always have a variety of drinks available and it's much less than the restaurant prices. Add in the 20% tip and that Free birthday burger is now costing way more than expected. 

    I'm not a cheapskate or stingy. I gladly tip over 20% when I get great service. However, I'm trying to watch my spending cause I have a house and furniture to pay for and everything is crazy expensive these days. 

  • Well it looks like my Loreal Revitalift Cleanser has been or is being discontinued. The Wags cashier told me that they're getting new Loreal cleansers, but they no longer have shelf space for the Loreal. When I checked online, it says that it's no longer sold at my local store. Meijer has had different Loreal sales every week, so I've been stocking up whenever I can find it. They only have 2 on the shelf at a time. Very strange, because Meijer normally has lots of inventory. It seems like only Meijer, RA & select Wags still sell this item. Even worse, Wags now charges almost $10 a tube, whereas Meijer's price is $6.99. What a rip off!!

  • I went to the dentist 2 weeks in a row. I decided to just get the filling they recommended the last time, so it doesn't get worse. The dentist (different person from the last time) did a very thorough job though and I told him so. Well, I couldn't feel my top lip and nose for over 4 hours. Have I mentioned how much I hate needles? I'm not afraid of it. I just don't care for it. Once the anesthesia wore off, the rest of my teeth hurt. I couldn't fall asleep that night.

    So after the dentist visit, I decided to stop at RA because I had $80 BC expiring that day. Yikes! Stopped at my local RA and the store is already closed. WTH happened to closing down sales?! So I drove to my favorite RA and they are permanently closed too. *&^#@% Did RA bother to notify us about these store closings so we could spend our BC? Heck no!! So I drove to a store about 4 miles from my house (this is far for me 😂 cause everything's on my doorstep) and decided that if it's closed too, then I'm just going to shop online and call it a day at RA. Parking lot is full and the store is open. Phew! Walk in the door and there is one of the cashiers from my favorite store smiling at me. I asked her if everyone's been transferred to other locations and she said Yes. I was so happy to hear that they didn't lose their jobs, cause RA has been struggling for years. I'm going to try and keep my BC low, because there are very few RA's around here and I don't want to lose any money/BC. 

  • A few weeks ago, I realised that I was on my last RR gc. So I added some discounted gcs to my Costco cart the Friday night, but couldn't bring myself to check out. The next day, I used the last gc and reminded myself to check out, but still couldn't bring myself to do it - gut feeling. The Sunday morning I received a Costco email about new offers and the RR gc was an extra $5 off (one day only). I immediately went ahead and checked out a bunch. 25% off is far better than 20% off. My gut never lets me down 😊

  • Purchased another Christmas gift for DS and 2 gifts for BF. I'm so far behind this year, but I'm slowly making progress. BF also has a birthday coming up and I have no clue what to get him. 

  • I haven't really done any other drugstore shopping. The deals have been lackluster. I did go to Wags, because the OS b/w were on sale again last week. I just did a small transaction.
2 x OS b/w $14.98
Less DQ (3.00)
Less WC (10.00)
Tax 0.90
OOP $2.88
Earned $4 RR + $5 Ibotta

I did the same transaction twice. One on each account. 

What on earth? I thought the OS was on sale for $7. I checked the ad when I got home and saw that it stated $7-8.29. WTH?! They used to have fixed prices for the weekly sale items. Oh well, $1.49 per bottle is still a great price and I have points to burn. I was very happy to find 2 bottles of Captain, because some locations usually only keep one bottle on the shelf. If you mix & match the scents, your DQ doesn't deduct. Ugh! 

Does anyone else hate not having a paper ad in their hand when shopping? My favorite RA used to prints a few copies of the ad for those who can't look up deals on their phones. I love this! Wags wifi doesn't work half the time, so it's not easy to pull up the ad or DQs on your phone. Plus it drains my phone battery. 

I checked the Kohls BF ad and there isn't a single thing I need & they're only offering $10 KC, instead of the usual $15 (I've seen lots of changes at various retailers this year and it's not good!). I only ever shopped Kohls BF online and the drugstore freebies. There is no way on earth that I would join the BF craziness (getting up extra early, standing in long lines, fighting other people for items).  The deals aren't all that good anyway. This is the first time that I don't need anything. I used to stock up on our athletic shoes, but that style is no longer available. Besides, DS has 6 pairs in his stockpile. I'm so very thankful, because it's been discontinued an I'm not liking the new brand I'm trying. I can only wear it for short periods, because it hurts my arches. 

I have a lot of blog reading to catch up on.

Have a wonderful week peeps! Stay healthy, safe & warm. 

Monday, November 6, 2023

Menu Plan Monday 11/06/23

Hi everyone

Here we go again with jet lag savings time. Can we just leave the clocks alone, cause I'll feel jet lagged for a week again. I woke up (early) yesterday to a text from someone close to me (in SA), about a death in their family. So I was dealing with that first thing in the morning. 

I spent a good part of the day doing my weekly cooking. I considered taking a nap, but decided to just have an early night instead. I was out of sync from the time change and had back pain. So I grabbed a good book & took an hour long aromatherapy bath to relax. That helped a lot. 

Woke up an hour early this morning (as expected) and my phone lit up at 5am. Not again. So I grabbed the phone (I can hardly read anything on my phone without my glasses, but managed to make out the name). It wasn't my family or BF, so I heaved a sigh of relief (and decided to read that text later) and tried to get back to sleep. I knew I was fighting a losing battle 😂

The school bus arrived 15 minutes early, but we were ready. I've always stressed to DS that we have to be ready early, in case the bus arrives earlier than expected. Mama knows best, cause the bus arrived early on quite a few occasions. 5 Minutes after he left, I received a text from school to say that school is closed for election tomorrow. Ugh again. I have a dentist appointment tomorrow. Why do they tell us things at the last minute? I hate last minute things. I'm a planner. Then I heard from BF and my day was right side up again. He knows how to make me feel special 💖 And how was your Monday? 😂

On to our menu plan.

Monday : Beef pot pie & veggies

Tuesday : Chicken a la king, yellow rice & veggies

Wednesday : Same as Monday

Thursday : Same as Tuesday

Friday : Mexican - burritos, nachos or quesadillas with beans, pico, guac

Breakfasts : Cranberry almond muffins, bagels, cereal, eggs, toast or french toast (wheat, chocolate brioche bread), breakfast sausage, cranberry orange pancakes

Lunch : Leftovers or protein from freezer with salad

Dessert : Still sticking to no dessert

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

I was so happy to find fresh cranberries. I prefer to bake with fresh instead of dried or canned (too much sugar in the canned cranberries). I've never made cranberry almond muffins (I normally make cranberry lemon muffins, but forgot to buy lemons to zest) & they were a HUGE hit. I've outdone myself. Since I was on a roll, I made cranberry orange pancakes too. I left some out for the week and froze the rest. I'm thinking we should probably just bake holiday flavored muffins until the end of the year. We can add our favorite gingerbread and pumpkin muffins to the rotation. I think we'll also add our Bran apple (it's Fall after all 🍎🍏) to the mix.

We've been doing really well with eating at home on Fridays. I just get fries to add to our meal & DS is happy. 

Have a wonderful 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...