Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Thursday, February 7, 2013
This was my first shopping trip this month.
So here is my strategy:
First, I go through the store checking the day's markdowns. I found several well-priced organic markdowns for products I really enjoy – silk protein drink, gluten-free veggie burgers, organic cheese. In the back markdown rack, I found gluten-free chocolate Chex cereal still with many weeks before expiration, breathe right strips for a quarter a pack,, and tea. I also found some excellent salami, artisan cheese, a little produce, and even some cocktail sauce. These items were all half-price, And that isn't even reflected in the beautiful receipt attached.
Then there are my manufacture coupons. One thing I dislike about Kroger is it will not allow you to use a coupon on a marked-down item. I would have only saved one dollar more, but it's still a dollar. Best coupon of the week was for Colgate toothpaste – I got three tubes for free. I also saved on frozen vegetables, dishwasher tablets, dish soap, and Worcestershire sauce.
Add to that the reduced weekly sale items. i. bought lunch meat, frozen vegetable Blends, and canned fruit -- that took off another $18.
All in all, I got 58 items for $62 and I saved roughly 60% off the projected total bill, or about $100.
I spent two dollars and two hours to put together the coupons for the whole shopping trip, and I saved a dead president!
If you're wondering how I choose coupons, I do have a strict rule: I will not buy a product that is not gluten-free or healthy, and I won't clip coupon for something I won't buy. I rarely stray from this process.
One thing I did see today that I've never seen before – Kroger sells stalks of celery for $.79 a pound. I needed about three big stalks for something I'm cooking this weekend – they cost me $.18. You really can't beat that!
I was reminded of one thing Today – that idiotic show about extreme couponers has made it tough for thoughtful, frugal couponers like me. I am not shelf clear, and I don't want the store to owe me money when I'm done. I just want the help coupons bring to our food budget. I also think it is unfair that stores don't allow coupons on markdowns. But I'll deal with that another day.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Monday, February 4, 2013
I've learned a lot in the first month. Ive also come up with a plan that I'm trying to stick to every day. And you know what happens when you make plans? God says, "HA!"
In this first month, I've had to deal with medical issues, medical bill mistakes, coordination of my retirement check, and other general amounts of paperwork I've also gotten my new home office space in order, and I've started to work on my blog again. I've worked on some PR projects (pro bono) and have also written a lot of letters of recommendation. And I've spent a lot of time streamlining my mail, unsubscribing from lists, etc. That is a lot of hard work, let me tell you!
I set three rules for myself in retirement. I got the idea for this from my Daddy, who has been retired for almost 30 years!
1. Get up every morning and do what needs to be done. For me, this is usually some kind of house chores to keep Casa Del Whack running. On Tuesday and Thursday it means conveying Jeffrey to work in the morning. Mostly it means keep busy doing stuff. I have a to-do list that is quite impressive :-) And it isn't all done yet.
2. Get some kind of exercise every day. For me this was supposed to include aquacize, but that has been delayed sadly by various colds, flus, and infections. Instead, though, I've been walking the dog every day, and generally keeping busy.
3. If I don't feel well, truly don't feel well, it is OK to rest. And I have. I no longer have to feel guilty about being sick. I felt that for almost three years, and I don't now. If I can't make something, then I don't.
This, oddly, has been the most difficult part of retirement -- giving myself permission to do what I need to do to reclaim my health. That means rest. And I still am largely exhausted most of the time. For instance, I spent 5 hours the other day riding back and forth to Locust Grove, and when I came home, I slept for three hours. I did very little to exert myself, but everything still tires me out.
I've also been cooking, freezing, canning, and preparing food.
Most of my bizarre culinary exploits are chronicled on Facebook. Im still there a lot, and also on Twitter, but I've dumped LinkedIn. Simplicity.....
Right now, my biggest challenges are getting the paperwork together to see a new specialists at John"s Hopkins. There is a specialized vasculitis clinic there, and they have giant cell arteritis trials that I might be a a good candidiate for.
Here are some additional answers to questions I've been asked:
1. No, I don't miss teaching per se, but I do miss my students, colleagues and friends on campus. But they know how to find me, and I them. I really don't miss bikers running over me on the sidewalk, skateboarders on the sidewalk who try to hit me, and students who are just rude to people and the lovely GC Campus. Today is actually the first day I've had a twinge of missing teaching class -- I always always love the day after the Super Bowl for the advertising discussion. (And in this order: Dodge Ram, Taco Bell Old People, Clydesdales, Oreo, Pistachios). And GoDaddy, I HATE YOU.
2. I was really worried that my retirement check wouldn't be enough to live on. Turns out it's just fine. I'm good.
3. Yes, I'm still crazy coupon/stockpile/markdown lady. That makes no. 2 work even better.
I hope you have a great day, week and month. I sure hope to!