Memorial Weekend Laptop Fizzle

On one of the past few days DH was wasting time on my precious laptop, surfing youtube and he picked up a virus. He didn't let me know right away, just after it got annoying when he tried to search and google would come up with a totally weird place in UK. Anyway, by the time I became aware of the problem it was a few days and there were no uninfected restore points on the system tools to go back to an earlier date.
 
I should have backed up my drive but I didn't. I did move all my files, music and pictures off and then tried to figure out my best option. I was planning on reformatting some day anyway, so that's what I did. I just re-installed the XP operating system, but what a pain now. I have to use my other hard drive to transfer at least an Internet browser onto the laptop so I can download some programs.
 
Needless to say, I'm backing up my main desktop so I don't have a problem if I ever have a virus or breakdown. And I told DH no more random surfing on youtube.com. So it'll be a while before he gets my laptop back.

$5 of $30 competitor coupon

In Tampa, there is a $5 off $30 Sweetbay coupon peelie on the front of both local newspapers. Good for use at Publix. Expires 6/6.

The Versatile Blogger

A big THANK YOU to The Trials of Big J and Little J who awarded me with the "Versatile Blogger" Award! Visit her fun blog HERE.
Part of the responsibility of accepting an award is to share the love - 
The rules for " The Versatile Blogger" award are:
1. Thank the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic!
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.
( Rules are flexible, in case you're not good with rules!)

So here are seven interesting things to know about me:
  1. My name is Marie.
  2. I grew up in the same house my whole life in a suburb of Minneapolis, MN. At the end of our street was a lot of property that had fields, trees, a fossil creek and later on, nice walking paths. We called this "General Mills" because it was owned by GM and was adjacent to one of their manufacturing plants and you could smell Trix and other cereals in the air when it was being manufactured. Many of the workers would walk on the paths during their breaks in their white lab coats. We played in the fields all the time and walked our dog there almost every day.
  3. I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science in Food Science. My first job was a temp job at Pillsbury's Research and Development Laboratories working for $4 an hour. Within a couple months one of the scientists hired me as a food technologist. It was the best job I ever had; making cookies, pizza, popcorn, salsa, meals, brownies, cookies, toaster strudels and biscuits. I had to buy a chest freezer to keep all the giveaway products from the pilot plant tests. Everyone there was a stockpiler and hoarder, trading cookie dough for pizza.
  4. I worked as a Food Technologist, and later as a Food Scientist for Pillsbury and then Sandoz Nutrition for many years. Then I met my DH and we moved to Florida, and I continued work in the food industry, but to work on the flip side of the fence for the ingredient suppliers.
  5. After 911, jobs in the manufacturing industry were getting less stable. Companies were failing and getting bought out and merging. I was laid off from several jobs in the ingredient and pharmaceutical industry and decided to get out and into something more stable. Thus the boring government job I have worked for many years, and will probably retire here. I work for Child Support Enforcement as a Government Analyst. I just analyze cases and make lists for staff to close or work cases, I also do some process improvement work as I am a certified quality analyst too. Dull.
  6. I've been with DH for twenty two years, and he's the life of my life. We both grew up in MN and moved to FL when we were young enough to enjoy all it has to offer. My parents and our families still live in MN and no one will probably ever move. That's just the way Minnesotans are. They love it there.
  7. I started this blog to share frugal stuff with people who may be interested. I have another personal blog but everyone up North doesn't really care how much I save at Publix because they don't have Publix up there.
Now for the drum roll and who I would like to share the love with. I follow many blogs that entertain or teach me things everyday. I'm going to list some great blogs that don't necessarily have to do with being frugal, but are worth the read. I would like to pass the Versatile Blogger Award to these blogs, check them out-
  1. The Thrifty Little Blog
  2. Maximum Chaos
  3. Moneyapolis
  4. Thrifty Florida Mamma
  5. Frugal For Life
  6. Four Hats and Frugal
  7. Frugal Racing Fan Mommy
  8. The Coupon Momma
  9. Frugal Dr. Mom
  10. Becoming Minimalist
  11. The Obnoxious SAHM
  12. Frugal Hacks
  13. Frugal Floridian
  14. Blogger Chix Designs
So Thanks again for visiting, and please take a minute to visit them too. 

Even Pros Can Make Mistakes

Well we just did our last weekly shop of the month and there is so much that we like, it was a pretty big shop. I usually don't like to get much over $25 per shop, opting instead to go multiple times so I can use a $5/$25 competitor coupon for each order. But to tell you the truth, I'm getting a little tired of all this shopping. I wasn't totally on my A game and made a mistake in the store that ended up costing probably about $5.23. I picked up the Planters Deluxe Mixed Nuts (with sea salt) and apparently they weren't BIGI, so of course then I paid for the 3rd can of nuts AND the 4th can. Anyway, DH talked me out of going to exchange for the correct item - he said are you really going to go in and ask for $5.23 back when you only paid $10 for $140 worth of product??? I actually used a gift card I got from overage earlier this month so it didn't really even come out of any budget or anything. The silly receipt is 44 inches long so it would kinda be embarrassing to show them my error. Oh well, I can live with it.
 
Anyway, the moneymakers this time were the Vivarin and the Sominex (in the front of the picture) and 3 schick razors, plus I would have made $0.71 for each 4 cans of nuts if I hadn't screwed up and got the "deluxe" nuts. They better be good. The savings basically were from lots of stacking of Publix Q's and Target Q's with MQ's. So here's my shopping list, I actually make this spreadsheet and try to go with it, but I have to fly by the seat of my tight pants sometimes. Today was one of those days, and thats when mistakes happen.
 

27-May


67


137.22


28.70


99.98


tax


8.90


73


-93.51%


Product


qty


price


subtl


-B1G1


-Q


total


Q#


Q details


corn


2


0.25


0.50


0.50


romaine


1


1.99


1.99


1.99


tomato


1


0.75


0.75


0.75


cucumber


1


0.43


0.43


0.43


bananas


2


0.30


0.60


0.60


mushrooms, sliced


1


1.99


1.99


1.99


Yokisaba noodles


6


0.60


3.60


3.00


0.60


3


$1/2 MQ 5-16ss or 4-18ss


garlic clove


1


0.10


0.10


0.10


sour cream, breakstone


1


0.99


0.99


0.99


texas toast croutons GAB


4


0.99


3.96


2.00


1.96


4


$0.50/1 x6/30


water 2.5 gal


1


1.99


1.99


1.99


milk


1


2.39


2.39


2.39


Planters Flvr Grv nuts BOGO


4


2.99


11.96


5.98


5.99


-0.01


4


$1/1 MQ print+ B3G1 free TQ


Planters nuts BOGO 9.25oz


4


4.29


17.16


4.29


9.29


3.58


6


$1/2 3-7ss+$1/1TQ+B3G1TQ


Chobani Greek Yogurt


9


1.00


9.00


9.00


0.00


12


B2G1free+(2)$1/1 MQ x5/31


Fisher Fushion Nut Snacks


3


1.00


3.00


3.00


0.00


3


$1/1 MQ


Morningstar veg patty BOGO


8


3.99


31.92


15.96


15.00


0.96


15


$1/1PQ+$1/1 MQ


Toy for birthday present


1


6.99


6.99


6.99


Kleenex hand towels 60ct


4


2.49


9.96


8.00


0.70


2.66


8


$1/1 TQ+$1/1 MQ


Qtips BOGO


2


2.47


4.94


2.47


1.70


0.35


1.12


4


$0.55/1PQ+0.30/1 MQ 5-23rp


schick razor 2pk


3


0.99


2.97


6.00


0.21


-2.82


3


$2/1 5-23ss


Phazyme, Sominex, Vivarin


6


3.19


19.14


27.00


-7.86


9


$5/2 PQ+(2) $2/1 5-16 MQ


$/$$ coupon


0.00


0.00


10.00


-10.00


2


$5/$25 competitor


hamburger buns


1


0.89


0.89

Does Couponing Make You Fat?

As I pull on my pants each morning, lately the button seems a little harder to get closed. My tummy is a little more jiggly, and my boobs are bigger. I hate to step on the scale because I told DH and myself that I'm going to lose some weight as swimming season is here. But it hasn't been happening. I did step on the evil scale earlier this month and weighed about 12 pounds more than I want to be. According to my favorite weight log site www.fitday.com, I'm about 15 lbs over the desired weight. Either way, I don't like it.
 
I usually have no trouble losing weight quickly and maintaining the loss, but this past year has been different. I'm a firm believer in the thought that you can't improve what you don't measure. So I log my weight into www.fitday.com  (its free BTW) and I know that I used to weigh my goal weight last year in April 2009. I gained about 20 lbs by Christmas and then lost 15 after New Years, but now its creeping up again. My bike riding has been pretty consistent with about 380 miles ridden each quarter (I ride about 15 of 20 weekdays to work each month.) It did drop off during the winter when we were remodeling the bathrooms and kitchen so I could meet with the contractor each morning, and have the car to pick up supplies. I rode about 150 miles the 4QTR, and 200 miles the 1QTR of 2010. This lack of exercise probably contributed to my weight gain, since my body is pretty responsive to exercise.
 
However, now I am riding almost every day, and walking an hour a day, and still not losing weight. I eat the same breakfast and lunch I've had for years ( I know boring!) cereal with a banana, and a lettuce salad w/ chicken, plus a yogurt. So dinner is the change. And guess what we now eat for dinner? Yup, you guessed it - all that prepackaged, processed food that we get cheap with coupons. Frozen fish fillets, Curlys BBQ pulled pork, Zatarains Jambalaya with Premio sausage, Steamfresh meals, TGIF appetizers, Contessa frozen pasta meals, etc..
 
Since I've been couponing over a year now, I have it down to a point where I don't really even have a grocery budget, I spend less on food for the month than we spend on our cheap SERO cell phone bill. But, its taking a toll on my health and beauty. I'm trying not to buy the junk food, but when its free with coupons I can't resist. I tell myself I'll give it away, or serve it when we have company so that we don't eat it. But its just so darn convenient to open a package and have a quick meal.
 
So, the struggle continues. The evil scale vs the full freezer.

Twitter Hop Thursday

Welcome to Twitter Hop Thursday, hosted by Simply Stacie, The King's Court IV, Little Yaya's and Blessed, Review Retreat and Moms Wear Your Tees!

Would you like more Twitter followers and to be introduced to more cool people to follow? Come and join us!!

You'll have to click on one of the hosts because I'm at work and of course the Linky Tool is blocked here. I'll update tonight and follow you back!

Chobani and A Printable Coupon Tip

Save your Chobani yogurt coupons because they'll be on sale at Publix starting 5/27, if you have the coupons they'll be free.
 
Chobani Greek Yogurt $10/10
$1.00/1 - Chobani Greek Yogurt, Any Size – Tampa Bay Wine & Food Festival Booklet (no longer found, they were on turnstiles a few weeks ago)
B2G1 - Chobani Greek Yogurt PRINT
Here's the tip - The manufacturer site prints e-centives coupons which allow 3 prints (This tip works with Target printables too!). A way to get around this is to switch users on your PC and it will allow you to print 3 more for each user. For Windows XP, Just go to control panel->useraccounts->create a new account->enter a name for the account->then make sure "computer administrator" is checked, and then click "create account". Log onto that account, go print more of the coupons you want. Log off that account back to your original.

Nazi Cashier

So last night we went for a nice motorycle ride to Publix to do a short coupon run. We went to the one in Cross Creek neighborhood in hopes that there would be some Shick Hyrdo Edge 3 razors, Nivea Body Wash, Fisher Fushion Snacks and some Sorrento Cheese Sticksters. You know, all the free, cheap or moneymakers. I was disappointed to see they were out of the usual razors and body wash, but was able to score some Fisher snacks and a few packs of cheese sticks. I had to pull out my reserve Purina Dog snack coupons and get a couple Tbonz (2/$4) snacks as a moneymaker to help pay for the bread and produce. We finally found enough stuff to bring the total over $25 so I could use my $5 off $25 competitor coupon too.
 
So we have a choice of 2 lines open, the express lane or the Nazi Katherine cashier. Guess who we had to go to? Yup. So, we're checking out and DH gets rid of the bagger so he can bag himself. He likes to use the excuse "I'm on a motorcycle and have to pack it so it fits". It works. Anyway, I'm watching the screen, its all cool and I hand over my Q's and first off she's saying the Save-A-Lot coupon is not a coupon, so I have to point out the bar code. duh. She sets it aside, even though she's verified my order exceeds the minimum needed. Then she gets to the end and has the two store PQ's for $2.50 off Purina snacks and she starts beeping her way back through my screen to look at the price. Then she says, "I can only give you $2 off since that's all you paid". She didn't realize I already used the MQ that stacks with it for $1.50/2, and I'm not about to point that out. I said "Publix gets reimbursed the full amount from the manufacturer so you need to credit me the full value of the coupon". She objected. I said get the manager. We wave one over. She explains her side to him. DH nudges my arm and tells me to cool off. Be nice.
 
So the manager is getting ready to tell me no, but one look at me and my determination, and he waves it off and tells the nazi to take the coupon. She objects and he tells her "Kathy, stop with the explanations, just take care of the customer". So she enters my coupons and my total is $3.43 which I pay with my free gift card. As she is printing my duplicate receipt for the cheese rebates, I told her she should lighten up, its not like the money is coming out of her pocket. She glared at me and told me to have a nice evening. I did. Saved a total of $43.86 (92%). That brought my savings over $1000 for the last 30 days and it cost me $0 since I've been using gift cards I get from overage.
 

Donate & Get a $10 Publix Gift Card

Publix
 
Finally a blood drive where I can get a Publix $10 gift card! This weekend 5/22, Monday 5/24 and next holiday Monday 5/31, Florida Blood Services has a promotion where you can donate at Manatee, Pasco, Hillsborough and Pinellas locations and get either a $10 Publix gift card (at Publix locations), or 10 free Hooters wings (at Hooters locations), or a free footlong sub (at Subway locations).
 
If you are able and willing, please give the gift of blood.

Twitter Blog Hop

Welcome to Twitter Hop Thursday, hosted by Simply Stacie, The King's Court IV, Little Yaya's and Blessed, Review Retreat and Moms Wear Your Tees! Would you like more Twitter followers and be introduced to more neat blogs and businesses out there?


1. Add your Twitter to the MckLinky (you only have to add it to one and it will appear on all).
2. Click on the Twitter hostesses and follow each of them on Twitter. We will follow you back.
3. Follow as many people on Twitter as you like, but make sure to leave comments with links so they'll know where to follow you!

Spread the word and add this McLinky to your blog! Write your own post or copy and paste this one. Below the MckLinky box, you'll see "Want to be a part of this Blog Hop? Click here for instructions and code...." Have fun Twitter-Hopping along!