Thursday, January 30, 2014

Still Stuck At Home....

And so it goes, day three of being snowed in. Thing 2 is totally over the snow and spends most of her time curled up on the couch. Can't say I blame her as I've pretty much been doing the same thing. My office was closed yesterday and today. Roads are still a mess. I'm bored and should really get a lot done, but dang it, it is COLD!

As far as I know, all of my friends that were stranded finally made it home yesterday. That is definitely a blessing. I'm getting irritated listening to the national media (Today Show, I'm talking to you!) as they say we had plenty of warning --- maybe Atlanta did, but even our Meteorologists in Birmingham are saying they totally blew this forecast. We were supposed to have a "dusting" -- yes, I know the North still thinks that's all we had, but that snow turned to ice fast on the pavements (remember our pavements are designed more to weather 100 degree heat, not freezing temps -- totally different composition), we don't have have snow tires or chains. Very few municipalities have sand trucks, much less salt trucks. Heck, I don't even own a pair of boots beyond "cute" ones.

So, here I sit, the Princess is supposed to work at 11 a.m. today. Right now, we don't even know if her restaurant is opening. We are within walking distance, but as of this time, no one is answering the phone, so I don't know if they plan to open. I won't let her drive there. Not sure she could get off of our street without sliding, so driving still isn't really an option. 

So, here we sit. Still stuck, but maybe just maybe we might get out IF the temps rise like they are supposed to. Here's hoping. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Unexpected Snow Day!

The last couple of days, South Alabama has been bracing for snow and ice. Every forecast said that we weren't going to get anything other than a light dusting. Around 9:30 or so this morning, it started snowing. I was like "Meh, it won't stick around". By 10, it was building up in the parking lot. Uh oh. At about 10:08, my supervisor came around and told everyone to pack up, clock out and head home. Office was closing for the day. The weather forecasters had it way wrong unfortunately.

As I got out to the main road, I could tell that road conditions were going downhill fast. I said a little prayer for safety and another one of thanks for a short commute. Then I headed on home. As I neared my neighborhood, the roads were completely white and it was coming down good. But we were all safe and sound.

So, we are all here, staying warm and even venturing out to play a bit. Roads around the city have gone to hell in a handbasket. I've got co workers that haven't made it to their homes yet. I've got friends that hiked miles to get to their own homes. Alabama is not well equipped to deal with snow when we are expecting it. When it hits the largest metro area without being expected... well, its pretty much a disaster!

I probably should have taken advantage of the unexpected afternoon off and gotten a lot of stuff done. Instead, I've been watching the news and playing in the snow and playing on facebook, pinterest, google+ and all that other stuff. And I'm okay with that.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Watch Those Receipts!

When I was shopping at Target the other day, I picked up a black cami/tank top for the Princess. She needed a new one, and it was marked down 30%  so I added it to my cart. I had picked up quite a few other things and my total at checkout was just about what I thought it be, but nevertheless, I quickly scanned the receipt out of habit before I left the store.

While scanning, I noticed that the tank top had rung up as $9 instead of the $6.30 that was on the tag. I dug through my bags to be sure I hadn't gotten one that had NOT been marked down by mistake. Nope, there was the bright orange clearance sticker. So I took the tank and my very full cart over to Customer Service to get the price adjusted.

Yeah, it was only $2.70, and yeah, every single thing in my cart was either clearanced or sale with coupons or both, but in my world, $2.70 is $2.70 and it was worth the hassle of standing in line and getting my $2.70 back. The lady in Customer Service was as friendly and nice as she could be and handled my issue as quickly as possible and I was on my way.

Don't ever be worried about causing "a problem" when something doesn't ring up right. Yes, it can be a pain sometimes, but mistakes happen and as long as you are nice, 99% of the time, Customer Service will be, too. It is YOUR money and you worked hard for it.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

24 Cent Jammies

So, today I decided to run to Belk to peruse the clearance section. I had $10 in rewards from my Belk Credit Card (yes I pay it off every month), and I didn't want to let them expire, plus I had a clearance shopping pass (good for an additional 10% off). One of the things on my list of stuff I probably need are another pair of winter pajamas. So, I headed over to that department to check out the 75% off rack. I found an adorable pair of Chip & Dale pjs -- originally priced $76. After doing some quick mental math, I figured I'd be paying about $9 out the door. That I could live with.

I tried them on and took them up to the register. When I presented the reward certificate, the salesgirl told me that it was double reward days, so my reward was actually worth $20, but I needed to spend the full amount. Wowza. I ran back over to the other 75% rack and grabbed two pairs of undies and took them back up. After all the discounts were applied, I paid 24 CENT for an expensive pair of jammies and 2 pairs of undies.

Not a bad shopping day!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Home Again, Home Again

It was a wonderful four days and three nights --- awesome views, relaxing fires, great company and copious amounts of vino. It was awesome. But then I came home a day early.....

Monday night before I left, the Princess hit her head on the window sill in her room. We put some ice on it, and she showed no real signs of a concussion. So, I left town as planned on Wednesday morning. Apparently, Wednesday she threw up a couple of times, but didn't connect it to her head bump. She got a headache later in the day too. Thursday morning she called me before I was even awake, she had thrown up more, and now was worried because she was dizzy too. Since I was a good 4.5 hours away, a friend of mine took her to the doctor. She was diagnosed with a concussion.

I thought I should come back then, but they both told me she was fine and to enjoy my trip. Well I worried, but stayed where I was.

So, fast forward to yesterday, and she calls me, but I was having a hard time understanding her. She felt awful and wasn't talking very coherently. Screw that, I'm coming home. So I threw my stuff in the car and made the long trip (through Atlanta traffic -- ugh!) home. She was feeling better by the time I got there, but I decided that since her symptoms had gotten worse as the day went on, a trip to the ER was in order.

We got there and thankfully they were not busy at all. We were seen almost immediately. They pumped her full of fluids and meds for the nausea and then did a CT scan. Thankfully it was all clear, so we just have to wait out the symptoms -- which can last either a short time or a long time... there's just no way to tell.

So here I am, having coffee with my pup on my couch a full day earlier than planned... but that's okay... knowing the Princess is okay is much more important.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I'm Outta Here....

Heading off in the morning for a five day and four night vaycay in the mountains of Georgia!!!!

A girls' trip with my Mom, Sis, 2 Aunts and 2 cousins. Expecting good food, lots of wine, lots of silliness, hopefully no drama and lots of relaxing. Maybe we will even get some snow --- although that snow that's kind of predicted for tomorrow can certainly stay up in the sky until I'm sitting in front of a fire all snug as a bug.

Y'all have a great rest of the week and weekend!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Trying Out The Cartwheel

So, I got my act together this weekend and tried out the Cartwheel by Target app. My savings from the Cartwheel itself weren't huge -- $7.55 -- but I wouldn't throw away $7.55 either. I have certain price points that I basically try not to budge from in order to keep my budget under control. On most items, I know what is a "good" deal for the things we regularly purchase. Normally, I don't purchase a lot of prepared frozen meals like Lean Cuisines -- however, the Princess works nights and will often get off work at 9:30 or 10 starving --- even if she had dinner before work (which would be at around 4). Having the Lean Cuisines in the freezer is at least a more affordable option than hitting up a drive through! So, here is what I picked up:

3 24ct Double Roll Up & Up Toilet Paper
10 Lean Cuisines
4 Up & Up Facial Cleanser Wipes
2 Archer Farms 18ct K-cups
1 Airwick Color Changing Candle
6 Glade Candles
5 Market Pantry Mac & Cheese
1 2 Pack Champion undies
1 Up & Up Dryer Sheets
2 Smith & Hawking Hummingbird Feeders (gifts for upcoming birthdays!)

So, I ultimately spent $112.58, from what I can calculate on my receipt, I saved $61.61 total and I have $10 in gift cards for a future trip! However, I did not think to make note of the non-sale prices of the Lean Cuisines, Toilet Paper or Face Wipes, and those were actually some of my most significant spending amounts (the Target receipt is not nearly as easy to figure out your savings as the Publix receipt). I do know that they all ended up being well below my standard price points and I guess that's what matters in the long run.

So, I think I will continue using the Cartwheel App --- it has some nice benefits, and if you can really combine the offers with coupons you get some significant savings. And if it is for items you need anyway, well then its a no brainer for sure!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Shopping the Deals Once Again

It is sometimes very easy to get out of the habit of coupon shopping. Aldi can make it so easy, but I start seeing the grocery budget creep up when I go onto auto-pilot like that. I also start noticing less of a variety. Not that I'm saying Coke 12 packs should be a regular staple around here, but I'll be honest -- we both like bubbles, so they are a nice treat -- especially when they are FREE, thanks to the awesome promotions My Coke Rewards put out in December. (Since we don't drink a lot of Cokes, I have several friends save them for me).

Anyway, I went to Publix this week to try and get back into the coupon game. I had two free product coke coupons and Publix was running a Buy 2 Get 1 Free Promo, so they were all free. I also had a BOGO Coffee-Mate coupon and there was a Publix Coupon for $1 off 2 -- making it $1.50 for both! That's a fantastic savings on something I'm rather addicted to! So here is what I got:

2 Velveeta Skillet Singles
2 Ragu Pasta Sauces
2 Coffee Mate 32 oz.
2 Stayfree Pads
3 Juicy Juice
1 Flat Out Wraps
2 V8 Fusion
2 Diet Pepsi 8 packs
1 Simply Potatoes Shredded Hashbrowns
6 Dannon Greek Yogurts
2 Sprite 12 Packs
1 Vanilla Coke 12 Pack
2 Muellers Pasta
2 Palermos Frozen Pizzas

Spent: $35.63
Saved $69.95 or 66%

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Do You Cartwheel?

Today I downloaded the Cartwheel for Target App. In theory, I like the idea of this one better than Ibotta. Seems like less work. I often would forget to scan my receipts and the bar codes of the products once I got home. So I like the convenience of it.... however, I'm still not really sure how it works.

I like that you can use it with manufacturers coupons, Target coupons and still get the Red Card discount. I do wonder how often I'll use it. I think one of the tricks to using that kind of app is to use it ONLY on stuff you are buying anyway. Otherwise it will just cost you money. I also still have $75 of a $100 gift card left, so I'm thinking I might try it out some using that. We are hitting a real money tight, so I foresee a lot of groceries coming from where they are "free" in the next month.

Have you tried it out? What do you think?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Not Wanting The Cold

We are about to get some seriously cold weather. Down in the single digits. I know that is probably just another winter's day to some people, but down here in Alabama -- well, that just doesn't happen every year. Or even every couple of years.

Some are calling for snow -- most likely a dusting, but apparently there is no bread and milk to be found on any grocery store shelves anywhere. Sheesh.

I have two main worries -- freezing pipes and black ice on the road when I go to work. Going to try and head off the first by leaving the faucets dripping tonight. And hopefully just be really really careful when I drive in the morning.

Other than that, pretty much business as usual. Just snuggled up with a warm pup.