Sunday, February 21, 2010

Grocery Goddess

Oh yes, you get it two weeks in a row. Maybe, if I'm good, you'll get it three weeks in a row. Bonus? There are pictures again (in no particular order, and not including anything purchased at Safeway). We got our camera back! And it WORKS! Yay!

I actually bought so much this week I had to spread it on the dining room table, and I have it grouped roughly by food category (frozen, non perishable, etc). I will still be listing purchases by store, however. This was a fantastic week for stocking up on meat and seafood, which is precisely what we did.

Sunflower Farmer's Market:
  • 1 lb baby carrots, $1.50
  • 0.93 lb almonds, $4.64
  • Green leaf lettuce, sale $0.88
  • 1 lb shrimp, sale $2.97
I saved a total of $3.23, including an extra $0.10 by bringing my own bag, for a grand total spent of $9.89. (Percent saved: 25%)

Albertsons: (seriously the place to shop this weekend, by far)
  • Cheerios cereal, reg. $4.89, sale $2, plus $1/1 coupon, final price $1
  • Multigrain Cheerios cereal, reg $4.89, sale $2, plus $0.75/1 coupon, final price $1.25
  • Honey Kix cereal & Lucky Charms, reg $3.79/$4.79, sale $2, plus $1/2 coupon, final $1.50 ($3 total)
  • 2 Nature Valley Nut Clusters, reg $4.39, sale $2, plus 2 $1/1 coupons, final $1 ea ($2 total)
  • 5 Del Monte canned veggies, reg $1.79, sale $1, $5 total
  • 2 Progresso soup, reg $2.29, sale $1.50, $3 total
  • Yoplait Delights yogurt, reg $3.19, sale $2, plus $1/1 coupon, final $1
  • Daisy Cottage Cheese, reg $3.59, sale $2.50
  • 2 Van de Kamps Fish Sticks, reg $7.99, BOGO, final $3.99ish each, total $7.99
  • Fryer Chicken, reg $1.39/lb, sale $0.77/lb, final $3.51
  • Pork Roast, BOGO, reg $10.64 (the free one was $3.71, it was all that was left), final $10.64
  • 3 Tilapia Fillet (16oz pack), $7.99 ea plus B1G2 coupon from Albertsons ad, final $2.66 ea, total $7.99
  • Curel Lotion, reg $7.99, sale $6.99, plus $1/1 coupon
  • 2 Kotex pads pkgs, reg $3.89, sale 2/$6, plus 2 $1/1 coupons, final $2 each, total $4
  • St. Ives Face Scrub, reg $4.49, sale $3, plus $1/1 coupon, final $2
  • Degree Men's Deodorant, reg $3.79, sale $3, plus $1/1 coupon, final $2
I also saved $0.20 by bringing my own bags (wahoo!). M total saved was $67.46, total spent was $64.09.
(Percent saved: 51%)

King Soopers:
  • 3 Healthy Choice frozen meals, reg $2.07-$2.75, sale $1.88 ea, total $5.64
  • 2 dozen store brand eggs, reg $1.39, plus store coupon for free dozen, plus coupon from Facebook for BOGO free dozen eggs of any brand, final cost $0
  • 1 box Gorton's Fish Sticks, reg $6.99, sale $3.49, plus "doubled" $0.55/1 coupon, final $2.49
  • Tropicana OJ, $2.89 plus $1/1 coupon, final $1.89
  • Newman's Own salad dressing, $3.99, plus $1/1 coupon, final $2.99
  • 2 Starkist Tuna pouches, reg $1.99, sale $1, plus $1/2 coupon, final $0.50 each, total $1
  • Softsoap Body Wash, reg $3.60, sale $2.99 plus $1/1 coupon, final $1.99
  • Huggies Baby refill (for 3 boxes worth) wipes, $5.49, plus "doubled" $0.75/1 coupon, final $4.49
  • 6 Dannon yogurt cups, sale $0.50 ea, plus "doubled" $0.60/6 coupon, final $0.40 each, total $2
  • 2 Thomas' English Muffins, $3.60, BOGO sale, total $3.69
  • 2 pks Pork Loin Chops, BOGO, final cost $2.33ish each, total $4.67
  • 3lb California Cuties Clementines, reg $4.99, sale $3.88 plus "doubled" $0.55/1 coupon, final $2.88
  • 2.49lb bananas, $0.49/lb, total $1.22
Once again I saved $0.20 by bringing my own bags. My total saved was $28.08, total spent was $35.49.
(Percent saved: 44%)

  • Double Stuff Golden Oreos, $3.29, plus manufacturer coupon for free DSGOs, final cost $0
  • 2 gal milk, $2.19 ea, total $4.38
  • 2 lb butter, reg $2.99, plus store coupon, final $1.99 ea, total $3.98
  • 2 Oroweat bread, reg $4.19, sale $2.50, plus store coupon, final $1.99 ea, total $3.98
I brought my own bag but they didn't give me any off for it. They also have a new policy where they will not accept internet coupons for free items (so that egg coupon that I used at KS would not have worked at Safeway) and they were not going to accept my Oreo coupon until I pointed out that it had been mailed to me and was printed on check paper so it was clearly not a forgery or a copy. Something to keep in mind about Safeway.

My total saved was $9.69, total spent was $12.39.
(Percent savings: 44%)

The final breakdown:
Total Saved: 108.46
Total Spent: 121.86
Percent Saved: 47%

This is way more than I usually spend in a week, but this was a huge stocking up trip. I can't complain about the 4 huge boxes of cereal I got for $1.50 each or less, or all the free meat/seafood. I don't expect our next couple of weeks will consist of much more than produce and milk. Yay!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Depression, and What it Really Means to Me

I am setting aside the anxiety and OCD issues that accompany my depression, and just addressing the depression in this particular post. Warning: there is some swearing and some generally awesome bitchiness here. If you don't want to read it, stop NOW.

If you've ever been depressed- truly depressed, not just sad for a few days because you broke up with a boyfriend/girlfriend or didn't get a job- maybe someone has said some pretty stupid things to you. I've had people say them to me. These are people I am close to, people who are educated, and people who know me. Yet they still think it's helpful to say these things. (And no, I have never actually responded in the ways listed below. I just want to sometimes.)

Why don't you just snap out of it?
Um, really? Gee, I hadn't thought of that. I wish I could snap out of it, just like all those people with diabetes just snap out of it. 

Have you tried St. John's wort?
Yeah. Okay. I don't really know where to start with this. Lets go with the fact that a plant has variable potency from plant to plant, there isn't an agency that controls the distribution, dosage, etc and takes into account this variability, and also, why would I take a plant that may or may not have the right amount of the right KIND of biochemical regulation that my brain needs to function properly when I can take a scientifically tested and proven medication instead? 

I think my spouse/friend/cousin is depressed. He/she/it cries a lot because someone just died last week/they lost their job/they broke up with someone/their pet hamster died. What do you suggest they do?
I'm not a doctor but I suggest a good fuck. Really. Unless they are seriously depressed, can't sleep, can't function normally, and feel like they are being kept prisoner by some psycho sad person in their body for like more than a few weeks, then they are probably just SAD. It's part of the human condition. DEAL WITH IT, you fucking pussy.

Okay. That was cathartic. Well, not really. See, I ran out of my meds on Sunday. Grandma died on Tuesday. I'm PMSing like nobody's business. These three things combined make me one hot fucking mess. I haven't really allowed myself to cry yet for my grandma, because I am afraid that if I start I won't be able to stop. I haven't been able to sleep well since Monday, and I am tired all.the.fucking.time. C tries to help but he's suddenly become Mr. Horny and it's driving me crazy. Thank God I've started spotting so I don't have to have sex with him right now. Yes, that's how I feel. Did you miss the part about me being out of my fucking mind with depression right now? I actually cried on the phone with the insurance company last night while I was trying to 1, find out WTF happened to the PCP I had picked out, and 2, get an appointment for today to get my meds refilled. I forget how much I appreciate being *normal* until I run out of meds. Yes, it's my fault. I should have paid more attention and taken care of this shit last week. Whatever. It's too fucking late now.

I did meet with my new Kaiser doctor today for the sole purpose of getting my meds back on track. Whee. I wish I'd met with her under better mental health circumstances, because I'd have liked to seem like a nicer person than I feel like I am right now, and she seems very nice, but whatever. I had to do this stupid "are you depressed" questionnaire. Um, YES I am depressed, you stupid asses! I ran out of the medication I have taken (almost) every day for the last 4 years for my depression and my grandma died this week. Of course I am depressed. Your stupid fucking questionnaire isn't going to tell you a fucking thing that I couldn't tell you in about 30 seconds about my medical history. Also, the MA made me weigh in when I got there. Yeah. Nothing boosts my mood like getting on a scale fully dressed with my shoes on and weighing in at 4 pounds MORE than I actually weigh naked, and then it being in my fucking medical record now that I'm overweight. It recorded my BMI at 25.2, which IT ISN'T any more. I know, I know, it's a seriously stupid thing to get pissed about. But I have busted my ass (well, sometimes) to lose that 7 pounds since Christmas and to have the fucking doctor's office screw me over on that and make me out to be fat is NOT cool right now. Yeah I said 7, I gained back 2.

Of course, J is being a normal 2 year old and throwing occasional (daily) fits. I am in the worst possible mental state to deal with that. So I yelled at him today for crying because he didn't want to put his coat on so we could go to the doctor. Go me. Great mothering, stupid. Then of course, he cried harder and I started crying. This is such a fucking joke.

My Zoloft had better start working soon. I can't take much more of this bullshit. I doubt it will really kick in until Sunday though, it usually takes a couple days to get me back to normal if I miss a dose or two, let alone 5. Whoever in the cosmic scheme of things invented depression needs to have their fucking balls cut off with a pair of chicken scissors. Oh yes, I went there. Yes I did. Thank you Mr. Sigler for that bit of imagery.

And on that note, I bid you adieu. I can't really see myself benefiting from further internet ranting right now.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Goodbye, Grandma


Goodbye, Grandma Margaret. I hope your journey Home was swift and painless. Say hi to Grandpa and Aunt Janet for me. I love you and I'm so glad J got to meet you, and you him.
April 28, 1931 - February 16, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

Win an Awesome Raincoat for the Kiddo!

Rachel at With Roots and Wings is giving away one Agoo MED Rain Jacket. Check it out!


Just popping in to give a few quick updates:

J practiced saying "seatbelt" all the way to Grandma B's house yesterday. I think he was teaching Buzz Lightyear to say it, in between Buzz flying around J's carseat.  It was really cute listening to him say "seat. beewwwt. seatbet. bewt. BEWT." His mastered version came out as "seatbewt."

I am down a grand total of 9 pounds! Yay! Of course, that's pre-PMS bloat, so we'll see...I need to keep exercising. Really. Maybe J and the dogs and I will take another 1.9 mile walk this afternoon.

I submitted a short story to my favorite horror podcast magazine!! Squee!! The worst that can happen is that they will reject it. I am just proud of myself for taking that step.

I am considering starting a literature blog. Of my writing. Hrmm. Perhaps just of my writing that's been published (which is nothing at the moment so that wouldn't be very exciting). Or something. Anywho. If you have any thoughts on that feel free to comment.

I also need a pseudiddlyeudonym. Thank you, Flanders. My last name, love it though I might for it's connection to my husband, is not so conducive to being pronounced by the masses. Which could happen. You know, like if/when I ever get published. Or write a children's book. Which I guess is getting published. People tend to look at 4 syllable Polish names and go "Bwhalahw?" even when they are 100% phonetic and then turn them all into Kowalski. Which is not my last name. This will be addressed at a later date, on aforementioned literature blog. I will keep everyone posted when that blog comes to fruition. That blog will not be replacing this one.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Being A Grown-Up

When I was a child, I used to think that grown-ups could do whatever they wanted to, whenever they wanted to.

Now that I'm a grown-up, I know better.

Being a grown-up means that you have to do things that you really don't want to, because it's the right thing to do. Today I went to visit my grandma. It breaks my heart when I visit her, so I don't like to visit because it's too painful to me. The fact that J is terrified of my grandma doesn't help make me go, because trying to deal with a screaming toddler while Grandma doesn't understand why he's screaming because she can't hear well enough for to tell her just doesn't work well.

Anyway. She was curled up on her bed, not asleep, but in a pretty hazed-out morphine high. I held her hand, she squeezed mine back. Her eyes didn't focus on anything, didn't even look up at me. I watched her lay there, sometimes closing her eyes like a small child trying to pretend they're asleep, curled up like a mouse that's been too long in this world. After a few minutes, I kissed her cheek and said goodbye. Her skin was soft, like warm silk over her too-bony cheek.

The hospice care woman was there when I left. Grandma hasn't been eating. She's getting morphine every 4 hours because she can't swallow her Oxycontin. The pain in her legs is so great that she really can't move or anything even with the painkillers.

I cried as I was leaving, silent tears streaming down my face. I have a feeling this is the last time I'm going to get to see her.

But that's what grown-ups do. They do things that hurt and they do things they don't want to, because they need to be done.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

And the Winner Is...

The winner of the $50 Safeway Gift Card, provided by MyBlogSpark and Safeway (chosen by as comment number 16) is NW Coupon Lady! Congratulations! I have sent you an email and you should have your gift card in a few days! 
Thanks to everyone else who entered!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Prayers for Jennifer Daugherty

A mentally disabled 30 year old woman was beaten to death by some "friends." This is an outrage. I am asking all of you who read this to send prayers/thoughts/good juju to her family members, and please don't let this case be forgotten. It deeply saddens me that nobody is making any noise about the severity of what happened. That's why I am posting this here.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Fitness Diaries, or What A Slacker I Have Been

I took the last 2 weeks off to celebrate C's 28th birthday and my 27th. Partying with cake and rich food does not mesh well with calorie tracking, and besides that, the only exercise I've been doing is getting laid. I'm sure you all really wanted to know that ;-). Anyway, the good news is that I'm still the same weight I was last time I updated, so I've maintained my 7 pound weightloss well. I need to do my strength training tonight, which will happen in just a little bit, after I do some more cleaning of our messy house in preparation for hosting book club on Friday. We're reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and I must say it's pretty entertaining. Having never read the original Pride and Prejudice, I have no idea about details about the unzombified version. I will post a review at some point, probably this weekend, sooner if I finish the book before then.

Oooh, and with our tax return money C and I got a Bissel Little Green floor cleaner.
*Swoon* I love this thing. I don't know how I've owned dogs for 5 years without it, let alone how my husband and son have not completely destroyed the carpet between their attempts at adding new mystery stains on a weekly basis. Anyway. I am quite impressed with this little gadget, and they have them at Costco for under $60. The most similar thing to it at Target goes for about $80, so it's a good deal.

The next thing we're going to get is a Dyson. Eeee!! (Wow, I am seriously a dork. Oh well.)

Win a Wilton Valentine's Day Gift Set

Debbie Sutherland over at Frugal Living and Having Fun is giving away a Wilton Valentine's Day Gift Set so you can make V-Day goodies for your loved ones!

Good luck!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Grocery Goddess Returns with A GIVEAWAY!!

That's right, folks, I'm having a giveaway! Thanks to the marvelous folks at MyBlogSpark (and Safeway and FiberOne) I am hosting my very first giveaway! Spread the word, yo.

Through MyBlogSpark, FiberOne and Safeway gave me the opportunity to try the new FiberOne Yogurt (for free!) and to blog about my opinions of it. I also got a bonus $50 Safeway gift card for participating. One lucky reader will also be getting a $50 Safeway gift card, but more on that in a moment.
The FiberOne yogurt comes in several flavors, including Vanilla, Strawberry, Peach and Key Lime Pie (though the Safeway I went to didn't have the last one). I chose Vanilla, and while I was initially put off by the fact that the box proudly proclaims that it contains aspartame, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I am ridiculously sensitive to artificial sweeteners and I can taste them no matter what anyone else says about how they taste just like sugar. The same does hold true for this yogurt, but it's less of a kick-you-in-the-mouth fake sweetener taste and more a subtle aftertaste. The texture and overall flavor of the yogurt were actually pretty good, and honestly, for only 50 calories a cup you can't beat it (plus it has 20% of your daily fiber requirements, so that's cool). By the way, if any of you are interested, you can get FiberOne yogurt at Safeway (and affiliate stores: Dominik's, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Vons, and Genuardi's) for 2/$4 with your Safeway card (through next Tuesday, 2/9). I think they're 2/$5 without the card, so still not a bad deal. The FiberOne website also has a coupon for $2 off the purchase of the yogurt, so this is a fantastic deal! 

With my $50 gift card, I was able to do the vast majority of our grocery shopping for the week (I still went to Target and Sunflower for a few items) and then some, and I still have some left on the card. Go me! I was super proud of this, so pay attention :-).
  • 2 Sweet Baby Ray's Barbeque sauce, on sale for $0.99 each
  • One box Nature Valley Granola Bars, $1.50 with purchase of 4 total participating items, plus coupon for $0.40/1 which doubled to $0.80, final cost $0.70
  • One bag Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters, $1.50 with purchase of 4 participating items, plus $1/1 coupon here, final cost $0.50
  • Two boxes Cheerios cereal, $1.50 with purchase of 4 participating items, plus 2 $1/1 coupons (I was actually able to print my email coupon twice), final cost $0.50 each
  • 1 can Safeway pineapple, on sale for 10/$10, final cost $1
  • 1 can tomato paste, $0.99
  • 1 bottle Kikkoman Soy Sauce, on sale for  $1.99
  • 4 cans Campbell's Chunky Soup, on sale for 4/$5, plus $0.50/4 coupon doubled to $1, final price $1 each
  • 3 packages of Mission tortillas, Safeway coupon made them $0.99 each
  • 1 package corn tortillas, $2
  • 1 graham cracker pie crust, $2.39
  • 1 box Annie Chun's Pad Thai Noodles, $3.25 plus $1/1 coupon, final price $2.25
  • Caribou Coffee, $9.99 plus $1/1 coupon, final price $8.99
  • 1 80 ft roll Reynolds Aluminum Foil on sale for $3.49, plus Safeway Coupon for $0.50, plus coupon for $1.25/1, final price $1.74
  • Lucerne 2% milk, $1.99
  • Lucerne Reduced Fat Sour Cream, on sale for $1.29
  • FiberOne Yogurt, FREE after coupon
  • 1 small bottle orange juice (I know, impulse buy, but I am recovering from being sick AGAIN and I was thirsty), $1.79
  • 1 California Pizza Kitchen pizza, on sale for $3.99 (with purchase of 3 total participating items), plus $1/1 coupon, final price $2.99
  • 2 Freschetta Pizzas, same deal as CPK, plus 2 $1/1 coupons, final price $2.99 each
  • Suave body wash, on sale for $1.99, plus $0.50/1 coupon doubled to $1, final price $1
I also got $0.30 off for bringing my own bags. My grand total spent was $47.48. My savings? $42.80, or 48%. GO ME!

When we lived in Washington, Safeway was actually our preferred store. After Trader Joe's, I mean. *Sigh* Oh, TJ's, how I miss you. Anyway... once we moved back here we realized that King Soopers generally has better prices than just about anyone, and we only go to Safeway for specific items that are on sale. This week I was impressed by the store-wide price reductions in order to be more competitive, and as you can see, if you stack coupons with sales and store coupons you can make out like a bandit. This was a great chance for me to get re-acquainted with Safeway. I realize that the food groups are not all well-represented here, but as I said, I picked up other items elsewhere.

On to the giveaway!
The folks at FiberOne and the Safeway family of stores (Dominik's, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Vons, and Genuardi's), through MyBlogSpark, would like to give one of my readers a $50 gift card of your very own!

To enter:
1. Post a comment here sharing your favorite or best tip on keeping your family's budget under control.
2. You can get one extra entry if you post a link to my giveaway in your own blog! Post the link to your post in a separate comment.

This giveaway will end at 9:00pm Mountain Time (11:00pm Eastern Time) on Friday, February 12. The winner will be announced on February 13. Good luck, everyone!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Fitness Diaries Update

On the Fitness Diaries front, things are progressing. I've been *terrible* the last two weeks (I place 100% of the blame on PMS, the arrival of my monthly visitor, a sinus infection and it's subsequent vanquishment by antibiotics, and my birthday. Why, no, I don't have a problem with accountability...). I have managed to lose a total of 7 pounds (YAY!) since Christmas, which I think is pretty darn good. I've also lost 2 inches off my waist (and my pants are fitting much better!) as well as 1 inch off my hips. I have not done a damn thing in the way of exercising in the last 2 weeks, but I've managed to stay pretty well on top of my caloric intake and food group goals. Of course I took this weekend off (Friday through Sunday) because Friday I turned 27 (eee!) and I just wanted to let it all go for the weekend.

I really need to just quit making excuses and do my strength training and my cardio. I think jumping rope may be out because it's really high impact and it totally kills my knees. I'm going to try it with knee braces but I'm not terribly optimistic about the outcome. I may just resort to walking up and down our one staircase (to the basement; spooky. Ok, not really).

Ahem. Anyway. Thus begins a new month, and hopefully at least 7 pounds of weightloss this month too. Oh, and did I mention I am back in the "normal" BMI category? YAY!