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Archive for November, 2010

heart attack

November 29th, 2010 at 01:25 pm

My brother died of a heart attack and it was instantaneous. That information gave some relief to my dad who had been thinking he might have lied on the floor for hours before dying. If you have to go, that is one of the better ways in my opinion. My brother was only 44, but he had abused his body for so many years it just couldn't take it any more. There was no alcohol in the house so maybe he had quit this last time around.

My parents, my sister and I went to his house yesterday for about 3 hours and started going thru paperwork and packing up things to donate or put in a garage sale or something. I had not been there in about 8 years, since he lives way out in the country. It's a modular home that was only 11 years old. It looked horrible, like it was 50 years old. Because he smokes the walls all had a thick yellow border where the nicotine accumulated. It was gross. He's been sick so the house was in bad shape. My dad has been supporting him for years. The house is only worth about $60K and that's if someone put in a lot of work to fix it up. I think it was $115K when he bought it and he added a double car garage. He still owes about $80K. Dad is just going to give it back to the bank to let them deal with it. The same with the credit cards where he owes around $24K. Any company that gives someone without any income credit cards kind of deserves to not get paid back.

My brother has been basically the same size for the last 30 years so he had tons of clothes. He never threw anything away. We probably packed up at least 150 shirts to give to the Rescue Mission. Some really nice jackets too. They will be happy. He was so small though, they might need to give the clothes to teen-agers. 125 - 135 was a good weight for him, but he frequently got much lower when he was sick.

I packed up the pantry and a double-wide closet of shirts and the paperwork from the desk. After that I was too tired to do any more. I'm still more tired that I would like and can't do anything for very long before I'm exhausted. I'm still taking 1 or 2 naps everyday, but I am getting better

Mom and I walked at Walmart this morning and I was able to complete the entire route for the first time, although much slower. Afterwards I was so tired I didn't know if I could even move. They had cans of Swanson chicken broth for .50. I got 12 cans and used 3 $1/4 coupons, making them .25 each. I spent $3. Actually mom and dad got them for me and carried them to the car and into the house. I was too tired.

I finished reading the library book The Valcourt Heiress by Catherine Coulter. Romance - ok.

waiting for 2011

November 27th, 2010 at 01:33 pm

This has been a seriously bad year, especially for my parents. First there was my several hospital experiences with them having to make life and death decisions for me. Then my sister is getting a divorce from husband of 20+ years. And yesterday my dad went to my brother's house because he hadn't heard from him in a couple of days and found him dead.

He hasn't worked in almost 11 years and was often sick. Mostly from drinking. My parents have supported him for years. I haven't heard what he died from yet. I know he was sick last week and he frequently lost huge amounts of weight from drinking so much and then not eating. He looked like a skeleton the last time I saw him, which was months ago.

He kept saying he had stopped drinking and my dad believed him, but the signs were always there so it was hard to believe it. I hope they don't determine he died from drinking and it was something else. A small blessing to my dad.

The biggest thing now for my dad is that all hope is gone that my brother would eventually change his life and get a job and stop wasting his life. The possibility of a better future for him is gone now.

I don't know what's going to happen next. The family is going to meet this evening at my parents to talk about some things. I feel I can't wait for this year to be over and a new one to start with hopefully a better future.

On Thanksgiving day my sister and I went to the Golden Corral for lunch. The rolls, baked potato and pumpkin pie were very good. The turkey and mashed potato had no flavor, but it was swamped. I felt like it wasn't worth the 11+ price tag. We went and saw Harry Potter afterwards. Very good movie.

I finished reading the library book Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts. Romance - very good.

more pop, hot chocolate and veggies

November 24th, 2010 at 01:25 pm

I went back to Walmart two more times for more Sierra Mist, hot chocolate and canned veggies. I now have 7 bottles of Sierra Mist, 7 boxes of Swiss Miss hot chocolate, 8 cans Green Giant green beans and 8 cans Green Giant corn for the food pantry.

I finished reading the library book Of Masques and Martyrs by Christopher Golden. Paranormal - pretty good.

Penny Experiment

November 22nd, 2010 at 01:57 pm

I spent the last couple of days reading Jeffrey's $1 a day coupon challenge over on Grocery Coupon Guide. I'd seen it referenced a couple of times on this site but just hadn't got around to reading it. It was very interesting. I think I could do that, but I like to eat out a couple of times a week and would have to change the challenge a little so those times were exempt. I couldn't do it next month - too many social events. Couldn't do it in January since that's my bday and expect to get lots of free meals, so that would be cheating. Maybe next March or April, I might try it.

The problem like Jeffrey said would be the luck of finding sales and coupons to combine at the right time. The other major problem is getting a baseline of food, especially condiments that add so much to the flavor of what you eat. I'll think about doing it sometime next year as a challenge.

From reading the $1 challenge I was taken to the Penny Experiment. Another site hosted by Jeffrey. He found a penny and is trying to use it to donate $1 million of food to food banks. He asks others to donate also and post the donations on his website. I'm going to start doing that with all my food pantry donations.

Today I went to Safeway and picked up 3 more of the Thanksgiving coupon books. I'll use those coupons to get more free stuff to donate.

I went to Walgreens and got the following to donate:

3.98 - 2 small boxes Wheat Thins
-2.00 - 2 $1 q's
-2.00 - .99 in-ad WAG q
------
.02 moneymaker

I had to absorb the .02 cents and they were out of the .39 cent mushrooms so I got a can of the .39 cent mandarin oranges

Total spent .37 - all donated to food pantry

I picked up another prescription at King Soopers. Spent $1.60 and used another $25 pharmacy coupon, so another $25 was added to my King Soopers card for free groceries. I have over $75 on my card still.

While there I got the following

1.59 - 1/2 gal milk
.94 - 5 bananas
.19 - 2 stalks celery
-----
2.72
-1.00 - ecoupon from cellfire $1 off anything
-----
1.72 - used my pharmacy rewards, so free

I finished reading my book Curse the Dawn by Karen Chance. Paranormal - pretty good.

The Cheapskate Next Door - book review

November 21st, 2010 at 02:57 pm

I really liked this book. I got it from the library. It didn't have any new earthshaking savings tips, but had a lot of funny stories about people who are cheapskates and how they live. It's written by Jeff Yeager who wrote The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches. It deals with people he met while traveling the country touring for his first book. Lot's of good quotes and lots of good stories.

Walgreen's had canned mushrooms on sale this morning for .39/can. That's a very good price. I'm completely out so I got 3 cans. I paid using a gift card that I bought with RR - so no cost to me.

I went to Walmart and got several items for the food pantry. Safeway has a Thanksgiving coupon book out right now and all the coupons came from it.

6.00 - 6 Sierra Mist Cranberry splash
-6.00 - 6 $1 q's
-----
FREE

6.00 - 6 Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate
-6.00 - 6 $1 q's
------
FREE

4.80 - 8 cans Green Giant green beans
-2.00 - 2 $1/4 q's
------
2.80 - .35/each

4.80 - 8 cans Green Giant corn
-2.00 - 2 $1/4 q's
------
2.80 - .35/each

I spent $5.60 for all of it and my dad is delivering it tomorrow since I can't lift a lot yet.

I got several free things this week

Sample Tide detergent
Sample Gain trash bag
Sample Wisk detergent
Trial Size Dove deodorant
Sample 5 Mega Red pills
3 Suave deodorants
2 Mars Simply Caramel candy bars
6 2 liter bottles Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash
6 boxes Swiss Miss hot chocolate
$5 Walmart gift card from the Monopoly game came in the mail.

post-retirement budgeting

November 20th, 2010 at 01:16 pm

When I was working I needed to manage the inflow of new money - making sure it was supporting my goals and was available when needed to purchase things. I had reserved funds that were being built up to make future purchases. Now that I'm retired I don't have the new money coming in every 2 weeks. Now there is just a big pot of money and the only new money comes from interest, dividends or capital gains on that money.

I no longer keep my reserved funds spreadsheet. I do however continue using my tracking spreadsheet, with some slightly different categories. My goal now is to make my money last throughout my retirement, while still living a comfortable and enjoyable life. To accomplish that I want to spend less than my investments appreciate each year.

If I need to make big purchases I can, just not all in one year. I plan ahead on when I think I will want to make a big purchase and then try to cut back on other things that year. For instance next year I want new carpet, so I hope my health expenses are not as high as they are this year.

I don't have a budget per say, it's more of a guideline, that I'd like to spend about this much on this category. For example, I'd like to keep my overall month to month spending between $1250 and $1500. On top of that I might add some higher one time expenses like property taxes, health care expenses or a new TV and keep overall expenses at less than $20K for the year. I usually decide at the beginning of the year the amount I would like to spend for the whole year. This year it was $18K, but I will go over that because of the unexpected medical expenses.

Each month I track the following categories. These are the ones that interest me and that I like to understand where the money is going.

Groceries - $80/month includes food, personal care, cleaning, paper products and pharmacy items.

Eating out - I budget for this category because it can get completely out of hand if I don't watch it. The goal is to only eat out only 2 x's a week and spend less than $100/month. When it gets too high in terms of either money or number of visits, I really start watching it and cutting back. This is more for health concerns than money ones. I love eating out and don't want to completely cut it out, however I think I eat healthier when I limit it.

Utilities - $380/month includes HOA, electric, heat, phone/internet and TV.

Gas - $40/month

Xmas - $600/year - many months have no entries in this category or the next 2.

Gifts - $500/year

Insurance (house and car) - $760/year

Health - $400/month for insurance and prescriptions and then whatever deductibles/copays I need for the year. This category will go up next year.

Charity - $20/month budgeted for food pantry donations, plus whatever else I do thru the year such as Toys for Tots, etc.

Misc. - I have a hugh misc category because I want to track how much I'm spending, not necessarily what for. So this includs everything else I spend money on from property taxes to car repairs, new TVs and computers to clothes and housewares, car licenses, entertainment etc. No set budget, just keep it reasonable and within the overall guidelines of monthly/yearly spending.

I used to track books too, but since I get most of them free thru swagbucks and credit cards rewards, the few I spend money on just go into the misc category now.

Each day that I shop I come home and write the numbers in my spreadsheet, then once a month I enter them into the computer and see what it totals up to. If the total is over $1500/month I try to find out why. Property taxes were due, health care costs whatever. If there's no obvious reason I try to see what category I'm overspending in and watch it for awhile. As long as I don't go out of my goal of spending less than my investments make for the year I don't worry about it too much.

I know myself well enough to know I'm not spending frivously so whatever I bought was for a reason and as long as I don't get ridiculous it's not worth worrying over.

I finished reading the library book A Mighty Fortress by David Weber. Sci/Fi - excellent.

pre-retirement budgeting

November 19th, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Before I retired I had a spending plan. This method of tracking spending evolved over a number of years. Basically the plan was to have money available as it was needed to buy the things I wanted. It was based on what I had spent the previous years, what I made, what my goals where and what I wanted to buy that year. It was frequently modified as I recieved raises, my expenses changed or my goals changed.

My paycheck was directly deposited into my checking account every other week. Once a month I would make deposits to my savings account. As money accumulated it would be moved from savings to either stocks or paying down my house. My spending plan was based on recieving 2 paychecks a month. Those 2 months a year when I got 3 paychecks a month, the money was allocated to investments - either stocks or prepay the mortgage.

I kept $3-5K in my checking account as a baseline. I knew all my expenses could be covered for a couple of months with that and I didn't have to worry about running over. I also kept 3 - 6 months of expenses in my savings account. Once it got to 6 months I frequently put half in savings bonds or some other investment.

Before my check was deposited in my checking account I had the full amount I was allowed to invest in my 401K taken out off the top. I invested the full amount allowed every year since I was 30. I also took out short-term and long-term disability, health insurance, and an amount for flexible spending on health care items based on what was used the previous year. I tried to make sure my tax deductions were set up so I was as close as possible to owing $0 when taxes were due.

At the beginning of each year I would set my financial goals. The major one was saving for early retirement and I tried to increase the amount saved by at last $1 each year. After that I kept a list of short-term goals such as things I wanted to buy when I had saved up the money; New chair, vacation etc. I would pick what I wanted to buy for short-term goals at the beginning of each year. I generally allocated about $100 a month for that. So my goals might be

1. completely fund 401K
2. completely fund Roth IRA
3. put $5000 toward prepaying mortgage
4. put $600 in vacation fund
5. Buy new chair $400 - 500
6. buy $5000 in stocks with any extra money

Once the goals were decided, I started figuring out how to make room in the budget to fund those goals.

Most of my monthly fixed expenses were paid automatically in one fashion or another. Monthly fixed expenses were taken off the top of the budget and included the mortgage, HOA, heat, electric, phone/internet, and satellite TV.

After monthly fixed expenses were occasional fixed expenses: house and car insurance and property taxes. Based on the previous years amount I determined how much was needed each month and it was set aside in my checking account until needed. I had a spread sheet I called reserved funds where this money was tracked month to month. Accross the top of the spreadsheet was listed Jan - Dec. Down the side was each category I wanted to track. Categories included Emergency fund, car insurance, house insurance, property tax, xmas, gifts, short-term goals, maintenance/repair, new car, investments and miniatures.

Then each month I would add or subtract to each column based on whether I was saving money for something or had spent money for something that month. That also let me know that $4500 of the money in my checking account was reserved for other things and don't touch.

After fixed expenses came items I was saving for. These were tracked in the reserved funds spreadsheet. I bought my car new and expected to keep it at least 7 years. I was putting aside so much per month so that I would have the total amount when needed. At one time I was putting aside money for my neices collage also at so much per/month.

I had a category I called Maintenance/Repair which was for car repairs, appliance breakdowns, etc. This was funded monthly until it got to a certain dollar figure. After that I didn't put money in the fund until I spent some and had to restore that money.

I decided at the beginning of the year what gifts to give and how much to spend and tracked that amount each month in two categories xmas and gifts. The xmas fund might build up for several months before I ever spent any of it, but was there when needed.

Short-term goals was another fund and might include more than one goal, for instance a new TV and a vacation. New carpet and a new computer.

Investments was another category and could include more than one thing. For example I might put aside $500 a month to fund next years Roth IRA in January and also put $500 a month towards pre-paying the mortgage.

Miniatures was my hobby, but I didn't spend money on it every month so a certain amount was set aside each month and maybe the entire amount would be spent in one month of the year.

The savings/reserved money categories included the following:

Car Insurance
House Insurance
Property Taxes
New Car
Collage fund
Maintenance/Repair
Roth IRA
pre-pay mortgage
new carpet
vacation
miniatures
xmas
gifts

After those categories came the few variable categories that I wanted to track and a large miscellaneous category. At one time I tracked clothes, but after a couple of years I saw that I spent between $300 and $600 in clothes every year and it was all needs. I don't care about clothes so since I knew I was only buying what I needed I quit tracking it. Entertainment was another category I stopped tracking after a couple of years. I did it, I just didn't think it was excessive and knew it wasn't a category I cared about that much.

I want to know how much I'm spending, not necessarily on what. I only track categories that I'm interested in learning how much I am spending in that category. Pre-retirement those categories included groceries (all cleaning, paper products, pharmacy and personal care items were included in this category), restaurants, neices, gas and books. Everything else was tracked under misc. Amounts of planned spending in these categories where based on what had been spent the previous year and if I was happy/unhappy with what I was spending in each category. These were categories that could easily get out of hand when I didn't pay attention to them, which is why I tracked them, it helped to keep them under control.

I used a spread sheet to track monthly spending. Accross the top were the categories I was interested in. Down the side was 1 - 31 for each day of the month. If I bought groceries on the 6th then I would put the amount in that column/row. Then I would the total the amount in each category at the end of the month. It was a simple way of tracking for me. I still use this spreadsheet for tracking, but some of the categories have changed.

Basically that was it for the spending plan. Seems more complicated than it was. Anytime I got my 3rd paycheck a month that was invested wherever the decision had been made at the beginning of the year. Sometimes money built up from unusual sources or bonuses or whatever and I always had a plan for unexpected money, usually savings or pre-pay the mortgage. Ocassionally some of it was used for fun.

I will do a seperate post on me spending plan post retirement.

I finished reading my book All the Wyers of Pern by Anne McCaffrey. Sci/Fi - very good.

misc mail and shopping

November 18th, 2010 at 05:00 pm

Dad took me to run some errands this morning and to the grocery store to pick up prescriptions. Walgreens first. My king size automatic on/off heating pad quit working Tuesday and Walgreens has these on sale so I got one for $28 with a $5 rebate, so final price $23. I also got 3 jars of Skippy peanut butter for $1.50/each - 3 .60 coupons so final price .90 each. One goes to my neice, dad wanted the other 2 so I sold them to him for $1.75. The change worked out better than $1.80.

At King Soopers I picked up 2 prescriptions and used another $25 grocery coupon so $25 more in free groceries added to my card. I also got paid to buy 3 Suave deodorants that will go to the food pantry.

2.64 - 3 Suave Deodorants @.88/each
.18 - tax
-----
2.82
-3.00 - 3 .75 q's doubled
-----
.18 moneymaker

I got a coupon from cellfire for $1.00 off anything for adding 10 coupons to my card so I got 2 Mars Simply Caramel bars for free.

I also got some bananas free using my pharmacy grocery rewards.

Spent $5.85 on the two prescriptions, have another to pick up next week and another coupon for $25.

Cellfire let me win another $1 off anything coupon today, so I'll get something else free next time.

I got 3 free samples in the mail today: Wisk, Dove deodorant and 5 Mega Red pills.

Walked a little at Walmart and picked up a free footlong Subway ham sandwich for lunch and dinner. I still have about $3 left on my gift card from xmas.

I got a notice of a $40+ per month increase in my health insurance for next year, that's over 10%.

I finished reading the library book 10 things I love about you by Julia Quinn. Romance - ok.

heat and rest

November 17th, 2010 at 04:50 pm

I went to bed at midnight last night and woke up at 9. I got up and turned the heat up and went back to bed for a 1/2 hour. I had to turn the heat on the day before my surgery, Nov 9, which was very late this year. We had a long Indian Summer, but we got snow that day. Since I've been home from the hospital I'm keeping it higher than normal, because when you have a bunch of holes in them it hurts to clench your stomach muscles from the cold when you walk from the bed to the bathroom or around the house. Normally I don't notice that slight clenching of muscles. I sure do now Smile

I took a long hot shower, got dressed and ate breakfast. I sat down in my chair and dozed off until 11 when mom called to go walking. We went to Walmart and walked about a 1/3rd of our usual route. I was exhausted. Came home, changed clothes again and sat in chair and dozed until 3:00 pm. Ate lunch, watched the news, came up here to work on the computer a little and ready to doze off again. It's ridiculous. I'm fortunate that I'm in a position where I can do this and don't have to rush back to work and try to cope with getting better and doing a job.

I got a sample of Tide detergent and a Glad trash bag in the mail.

I finished reading the library book Sword of Orion by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Sci/Fi. Not that good, in fact I'm not going to bother reading the sequel. I really love thier Liaden Universe series, but haven't found anything else of theirs that I like.

I can't believe they took the whole thing

November 16th, 2010 at 01:27 pm

I had my kidney surgery last Wednesday. It was supposed to be a partial kidney removal, but once they got inside the position of the tumor to the other organs made it imposible to do the partial kidney removal and they had to take the entire kidney. The surgery took 4 hours and then I had a very hard recovery. I was in recovery for another 4 hours. I was panting and it was very hard to breathe. Some air got trapped outside of my lungs and they had to make sure that disbursed. This is similar to what happens to divers who go too deep and then surface to quickly. It's very painful.

On top of that the anesthesia caused me to have nausea and I spent quite a bit of time throwing up. Throwing up with 6 holes in your stomach is very painful. I was finally taken to my room but it was so late my parents weren't allowed to bring my case to the room - so no earplugs to help me rest.

They gave me pain ball that inserted pain medicine directly into the incision site and I also had a morpine button to push as needed. It really didn't seem to work. I didn't expect to sleep that first night and I didn't. The next day was slightly better, they took the catheter out in the morning and I was able to use the restroom by myself. They gave me liquids and introduced solids later. I was able to handle a small amount, but wasn't very hungry. Because the surgery was more invasive than orginally planned I ended up spending two nights at the hospital.

They gave me pain meds instead of the morphine button the second day and that was great, it actually took all the pain away. But they came in and said they were taking my morphine button away and giving me the meds so they unhooked the morphine and then forgot to give me the meds. So about an hour later I asked if they planned to give me the meds and they totally forgot. They asked what my pain level was and it was a 5 by then so they hurried up and got them.

The second night was a nightmare. I had my earplugs by then so was actually able to fall asleep now and then, but I swear they had a camera on me and as soon as I had 10 to 20 minutes of sleep they would come in and wake me up. I just do not understand the hospitals mindset, how can waking someone up to do a blood pressure check every two hours be more important than letting them sleep and allowing them to relax enough so their blood pressure becomes normal. I live alone and having people just walk in your room when your are sleeping is alarming. I frequently woke up when they came scared to death. That can't have been good for my blood pressure. Needless to say I was exhausted the next morning an begged the doctor to let me go home.

I went home Friday and slept most of the rest of the day, most of Saturday and a good portion of Sunday. Now I get up and do things for a few hours and then get tired and doze off for an hour or so in my chair then I'm up again. I'm just letting my body tell me what it wants to do. Not eating a lot, not hungry. I walked a little bit in Walmart yesterday, about a quarter of the usual walk. I'm down to taking pain meds about twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed.

I expect everything will be back to normal in a couple of weeks. If I ever have another surgery though (my mom says I'm not allowed to have more surgeries Smile ), I will go back to the first hospital I went to with the original kidney stone. It is better in every way except for the gift store. It is more efficient, the nurses are better, they pay attention to privacy, it is cleaner, the food is better, just all around better.

Mom liked the gift store at the second hospital better and made 3 trips the 3 days I was there. Dad said I needed to go home so she would stop spending moeny.

The first day after the surgery I had a liquid diet for breakfast, then they brought me lunch. A hugh chicken breast with no flavor, 1/2 mashed potatoes with no flavor, green beans (didn't try them), a large roll, a large salad with dressing, juice, and chocolate pudding. A huge amount of food. I ate half the chicken breast, the potatoes, the juice and 1/2 the roll. Then they asked to make out menus for dinner and the next day. I did that, but they called me before dinner and said they lost them, what did I want for dinner.

The next morning for breakfast they didn't bring what I ordered instead for someone just out of surgery, with diabetes and high blood pressure they brought a fried croissant with egg, cheese and ham inside, two fried potato cakes, juice, an apple danish, and a bowl of oatmeal. I scooped the egg and cheese out of the croissant and ate that and 1 of the potato pancakes and the juice, then I was full. Dad got the danish.

Ah well, it's behind me now. I'm in my own home, with my own bed, my own chair, my own food. Now if people will just stop calling me as soon as I doze off :0

I only a read a couple of books, just didn't feel like doing anything. I read the library books Big Jake by J. D. Robb. Mystery - very good and Veil of Night by Linda Howard. Romance - pretty good.

pre-op

November 9th, 2010 at 12:18 pm

I'm spending most of the day getting ready for my surgery tomorrow. Picking up the house, doing laundry, packing and groceries.

I went to Rosie's this morning and purchased 10 $10 gift certificates for $80. I used my Discover card so will get another $4 back in rewards.

Next stop Safeway

3.98 - 2 jars Kraft light mayo
-1.00 - q
-----
2.98 - I was almost out. Used to get this free all the time, but have had to pay the last 2 or 3 times.

1.98 - 2 Tide trial size
-1.98 - 2 q's
-----
FREE

4.99 - 2 Oscar Meyer carving board turkey breast BOGO
-2.00 - 2 $1 q's - were right on the package
-----
2.99

Went to King Soopers for 2 more of the Mega deals, plus milk and bananas. Prior to coupons the price was 42.11. $10 in Mega deals discount, 17.98 in coupons and 14.13 in pharmacy rewards. 0 out of pocket.

3.96 - 4 Propel waters
-1.98 - 2 BOGO q's
-2.00 - mega deal discount
------
.02 money maker

.99 - 1 Chunky soup
-.99 - .50 q doubled
-----
FREE

8.04 - 6 cans Hormel chili
-3.00 - 3 .50/2 q's doubled
-3.00 - mega deal discount
-----
2.04 - food pantry

10.00 - 2 6 packs Olay bar soap
-10.00 - 2 $5 off wyb 1 secret deodorant
------
FREE

3.96 - 4 cans Swanson chicken broth
-1.00 - q
-2.00 - mega deal discount
-----
.96

4.58 - 2 Secret deodorants
-1.00 - mega deal discount
------
3.58 - bought to get the free Olay deodorant, 1 goes to grandma and 1 to mom

4.30 - 2 Stouffer's frozen dinners
-1.00 - mega deal discount
-----
3.30 - I used to live on frozen meals, but I hardly ever eat them anymore. I got these in case I don't feel like cooking for a while after the surgery.

I finished reading my book One Enchanted Evening by Lynn Kurland. Romance - very good.

more xmas shopping

November 8th, 2010 at 05:01 pm

My youngest neice had the day off of school for a teacher workday today. My sister had to go to Boston so my mom had her for the day. We all went xmas shopping. She's a teen-ager and it's hard to get time with her anymore, so mom and I team up to get both of us in.

First stop Walmart. Neice wanted a new camera which mom got for her. I got her the Toy Story 3 DVD. I got a robe for the hospital for me and the new Toby Keith CD. Spent $57.32

Then we went in town to the mall. At Wet Seal I got her 2 pair of jeans and 3 shirts for $67.65. That finishes her off for me except for about $15. I will get her an Itunes gift card.

We went to several other places and mom finished her shopping for her also. Then we went to Red Robin for lunch. Neices choice. I spent $10.70 on lunch and then saw they had their cupcakes back. These are so good so I bought one for each of us and spent another $7.

I have 3 more gifts to get, but they are all gift cards so that will be easy. Then I'm done.

I finished reading the library book Daring a Duke by Claudia Dain. Romance - very good.

On the road again

November 7th, 2010 at 01:42 pm

My sister and I took the 2 hour drive up to visit my neice in college again yesterday. I took her another bag of groceries that I got free in the last week. Included was a toothbrush that she was happy to see, she said she just put that on her list of things to buy. She got sick on Halloween and was really happy that I brought her Contact last week since she didn't have to buy that.

We went to Sears where they were giving a presentation of a new product called Mr Sticky. They announced they were giving out free stuff. So my neice wanted to see what it was. They gave out a small piece of cloth that you can use to clean your glasses. It works well, but not worth listening to a sales pitch.

Next we went to Sam's club to try to get my neice on her parents card, but you can only have 2 cards per house, so they need to rethink that and see if one them needs to be taken off. Plus in this day and age they still automatically put the husband down as the primary owner, regardless of the fact that my sister filled out the form and paid for the card. He wasn't there so they couldn't do anything without his sayso. Sexism prevails. She's been running into that problem alot lately since they are getting a divorce. But she does all the bills and phone calls, and she's the primary bread winner, so even though she's the one paying the bills and setting up the service, he's still listed as primary on everything and she can't make changes unless he says so.

At Sam's I picked up an Avatar DVD for my youngest neice for xmas and a fleece lined hoodie for me. The DVD was $20 and the hoodie was $15.

We went to Red Robin for lunch since that was neices choice. $10.70 and then to a local farmer's market that she wanted to check out, but not alone. I got a small bottle of Black Bing Cherry Cider - $6.99. This was really good. Smooth not too tart.

Before we left we went back to Sam's where sister used her card to get gas for neice. It was $2.54/gal which is .25 cheaper than down here.

This morning I made a really indulgent breakfast. French toast with vanilla and cinnamon and real maple syrup and hash browns. Yummy!

I got the following stuff for free this week. It was a very good week for free stuff.

Curel lotion sample
3 tubes Crest toothpaste
$25 free groceries from pharmacy rewards
1 roll Basic paper towels
4 Propel water
Secret deodorant
6 pack Olay bar soap
4 bags Ricola cough drops
3 tubes Colgate toothpaste
2 cans Multigrain Pringles
3 boxes American Beauty pasta
1 24 ct Advil
2 boxes Ronzoni spaghetti
3 Colgate toothbrushes
3 Honest Tea
3 cans Chunky soup
2 pouches Idahoan potatoes
microfiber glass cleaner cloth
$50 check from credit card company for rewards

I didn't forget about writing a post on budgeting as someone asked for, I just haven't got around to it. I probably won't now until after my surgery on Wednesday, but I'm still planning on it.

I finished reading my book Stalking Darkness by Lynn Flewelling. Sci/Fi - pretty good.

target deals

November 5th, 2010 at 07:00 pm

I had to go in town for my surgery pre-op appt today. It took 2 hours. I went to Target where I had 2 $1 off produce and $1 off bakery item coupons. I got 3 potatoes, 5 gala apples, a loaf of french bread and a package of 6 Kaiser rolls for $2.17. The apples were organic and on sale for .50/lb

We went to Rosie's for dinner and they had a deal where you can buy $100 of gift certificates for $80. My dad did it since we go there frequently. 20% off is a great deal. We also got a free meal since they punch a card everytime you go and we had one completely punched. I spent $8

I got a check for $50 from my credit card for my rewards today.

I finished reading my book The Renegades of Pern by Anne McCaffrey. Sci/fi - pretty good.

$88 in free groceries

November 4th, 2010 at 04:42 pm

I had an excellent run at the grocery store today. I bought 64 items. $88 pre-coupons. After coupons it ws $6.81 and I used my pharmacy rewards to pay for that. The entire order was free. King Soopers is having their Mega sale - buy 10 get $5 off, or .50 per item. I did 5 of these deals saving $25 off the top. The receipt says I saved $123.11.

First thing I did was pick up 2 prescriptions and used my $25 coupon. The prescriptions cost $8.12 and they put $25 on my King Soopers card.

I had coupons for everything except for 3 items. Bananas, potatoes and Magnesium Citrate which I needed for my surgery next week.

Here are the details:

3.00 - 3 tubes of Crest toothpaste - raincheck
-3.00 - 3 .50 q's doubled
-----
FREE - 1 to each neice, 1 to food pantry

.99 - 1 roll Basic paper towel
-1.00 - .50 q doubled
-----
.01 moneymaker

3.96 - 4 Propel water
-1.98 - 2 b1g1 free q's
-2.00 - Mega sale discount
-----
.02 moneymaker

5.38 - 2 boxes Quaker instant oatmeal
-4.00 - 2 $2.00 q's
-1.00 - Mega sale discount
-----
.38 - both boxes go to mom

2.98 - 2 bags Simply potatoes
-1.00 - .75 q/wyb 2 doubled
-1.00 - Mega sale discount
------
.98

2.29 - Secret deodorant
-2.00 - q
- .50 - Mega discount
-----
.31 moneymaker - goes to younger neice

5.00 - 6 pack Olay bar soap
-5.00 - $5 q wyb 1 secret deodorant - see above
-1.50 - ecoupon
-----
1.50 moneymaker

4.00 - 4 bags Ricola cough drops
-2.00 - 2 $1/2 q's
-2.00 - Mega sale discount
-----
FREE - 1 to neice, 3 to food pantry

9.90 - 10 cans Swanson chicken broth
-2.00 - 2 $1/5 q's
-5.00 - Mega sale discount
-----
2.90

4.50 - 3 Colgate toothbrushes
-3.00 - 3 $1 q's
-1.50 - Mega sale discount
-----
FREE - 1 to each of neices

2.98 - 2 cans multi-grain pringles
-1.00 - $1/2 q
-1.00 - Megs sale discount
-1.00 - $1/2 ecoupon
-----
.02 moneymaker - both go to neice

3.87 - 3 boxes American Beauty Quick Cook macaroni
-3.00 - 3 .55 q's doubled
-1.50 - Mega sale discount
-----
.63 moneymaker - 2 to food pantry, 1 to neice

3.00 - Advil 24 ct gels
-3.00 - free item q
- .50 - Mega sale discount
-----
.50 moneymaker

2.58 - 2 boxes Ronzoni Great Taste spaghetti
-2.00 - 2 .55 q's doubled
-1.00 - Mega sale discount
-----
.42 moneymaker

4.50 - 3 tubes Colgate toothpaste
-3.00 - 3 .75 q's doubled
-1.50 - Mega sale discount
-----
FREE - all to the food pantry

2.97 - 3 cans Del Monte tomatoes
-1.00 - .75/3 q doubled
-1.50 - Mega sale discount
-----
.47 - food pantry

3.75 - 3 bottles Honest Tea
-3.00 - 3 .50 q's doubled
-1.50 - Mega Sale discount
-----
.75 moneymaker - go to dad

5.36 - 4 cans Hormel chili
-2.00 - 2 $1/2 q's
-2.00 - Mega sale discount
-----
1.36 - food pantry

4.47 - 3 cans Chunky soup
-3.00 - 3 .50 q's doubled
-1.50 - Mega sale discount
-1.00 - ecoupon
-----
1.03 moneymaker

4.00 - 4 pouches Idaho potatoes
-2.00 - 2 free item coupons
-1.60 - 2 .40 q's
------
.40 - food pantry

So the food pantry gets the following

1 tube Crest toothpaste
3 Ricola cough drops
4 Hormel chili
3 tubes Colgate toothpaste
2 boxes macaroni pasta
2 boxes spaghetti
3 cans tomatoes
4 pouches Idaho potatoes

mom and dad get:

2 boxes instant oatmeal
3 bottles tea

Nieces get:

deodorant
2 Crest toothpaste
2 Colgate toothbrushes
2 cans pringles
1 box macaroni

Plus I got 100 gas points for my 2 prescriptions and 88 points for the groceries.

I finished reading the library books In Other Worlds by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Sci/fi - very good. And Burning Up - paranormal short stories - very good.

1/2 priced candy

November 3rd, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Monday we walked at Walmart since it was too cold to walk outside. They were putting the candy on sale, so I got 2 bags of snickers for $2.50 and 2 bags of Payday candy bars for $2.50. Paid $5.15 with tax. One of the bags of Snickers will go to neice. Went back today and they had M&Ms added. Got 2 large bags for $4.75. I also got 10 cans of Del Monte green beans @.60/each - 2 $1/5 coupons or 10 cans for $4.

Even though I vote by mail-in the voting place is in the church behind me. Yesterday every parking spot was full all day long and they were parking in the street. After 4 pm there was a line out the building. I noticed they were still there after 7 pm and they had to let the polls stay open late. Busiest I've seen it since I moved here 9 years ago.

I got a check from my health insurance company for $8.12 I've met my co-pays and deductibles so they are giving me some of my out of pocket costs back. My deductible was $2000 and my co-pay were $2500 if I used in-network providers. So my total out of pocket cost for my health issues aside from insurance will be $4500 this year.

I got a sample of Curel lotion in the mail this week.

I finished reading the library book Mountain Passage by Jason Manning. Western - ok

I finished reading my book Shalador's Lady by Anne Bishop. Sci/Fi - excellent. This is the second time I've read this one this year. I got if from the library when it first came out and when I went to the outlet mall they had the hard copy version for $7.99 so I bought it and reread it again. Unfortunately I have lent some of the others in the series to my friend. I would like to reread them right now. She may get them back to me in a year or two. She's had some of my books for 10 years now.