Thursday, June 30, 2016

July Giveaway Anyone? Another Sluggy's Boring Blog Box Giveaway!

Summer is here so let's have another Giveaway!
This is the fifth  Sluggy's Boring Blog Box Giveaway for 2016.
Hey, it's one way to empty my toiletry stash. lolz

Here is what you can win if your entry is picked.......

1 x Absorbine Jr. Topical Pain Reliever
1 x Vive L'Oreal Shampoo
1 x Nivea Body Wash
1 x Olay In-Shower Lotion
1 x CeraVe Lotion
1 x Colgate Toothpaste
1 x Rite-Aid Toothbrush
1 x Simple Exfoliating Wipes
1 x Ace Heating Pad(disposable)
1 x Sucrets Cough Drops
4 x Hershey Dark Chocolate w/fruits/nuts Squares
9 x Lindor Truffles(Milk, Dark and Xtra Dark)
3 x Mardi Gras Bead Strands from my Lousiana Trip

Over $50 in regular retail of toiletries(and chocolate).

Here are close-up photos of the potential winnings.............

I'll leave this giveaway open until Friday, July 15th, at 11:59pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time, so that gives everyone a full 2 weeks to enter this one.  On the 15th I'll put all the valid entries into a container and draw out a name and that person wins.

You may get ONE ENTRY EVERY DAY by leaving a comment on this blog post until the Giveaway ends.
Tell me what here is the thing you most want to win in your comment, or what your Summer vacation plans are, or tell me whatever you feel like telling me in your comment.  8-)

You can also get 3 BONUS ENTRIES by posting this Giveaway on your own Blog OR if you are a Follower of this blog.  Please leave 3 separate entries for these bonus entries with either a link to your blog post where you talk about the giveaway OR the name you follow under so I can verify your entries.

  Disclaimer--This giveaway is open to those with mailing addresses within the US only.
I sent the last box to Canada and I found that the rates have gone way up since the last time I mailed anything to Canada!
Ouch.  As I can't afford to spent $25 to ship a prize anymore I have to keep these giveaways to US readers only now.  Sorry but that's how it has to be. 8-(

Please make sure there is a way for me to contact you in your comment.
If you're not a registered Blogger User with your contact information on your User page, please put your email addy in your comment or email me your email addy privately when you leave a comment so I can get ahold of you if you win. If your Blogger associated user profile is a GOOGLE one with those Google Circles nonsense I CAN NOT CONTACT YOU as Google Circles doesn't show your contact info.
I again had to disqualify some entrants in the last giveaway because their profile is linked through Google and not Blogger.  Please check your profile!  And if you ARE entering through a Blogger profile PLEASE have contact info(email addy)in that profile.  If I can't access your email addy I can't contact you so email me your email addy privately or add your email address to your User Profile.  If you have sent me your email addy privately for a previous giveaway I still have it on file so no need to resend it for this giveaway.

If I can't contact you then you can't win.  I have had to disqualify more readers than I care to due to this issue and I sure don't want it to happen again.  Thanks!

So let's get this started!


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

2016 Food and Toiletries Spending......June Update

* I've closed out the June books a couple of days early as I am done shopping.  Anything bought in the next 2 days will come out of July's funds. *

Onward to June's food spending report.......

Here are my FOOD BUDGET spending totals for JUNE 2016.

I have posted June's totals on the Total Grocery Savings for 2016 Page located HERE and have updated the Yearly Totals there.  I am listing subtotals for each store I purchased from in June.  If you aren't interested in that much detail, just skip to the bottom for the Totals Sum.  My spending includes Food, Toiletries/HBA, Cleaning Products, Paper Goods & tax where applicable. We are a family of 5(3-5 at home this month). No kids under 20.


OOP  $11.00
Value  $39.51
Savings 72.16%

OOP  $65.52
Value  $111.64
Savings  41.31%

OOP  $40.63
Qs/Ads $16.32
Value  $56.95
Savings  28.65%

OOP  $292.96
Qs/Ads  $180.15
Value  $473.11
Savings  38.07%

My best 3 Store Savings Totals were Bakery Outlet at 72.16%, Maine Source at 41.31% and Weis at 38.07%.  My WORST savings rate was at the Shursave Market at 28.65%.

I shopped at 4 different stores this past month.

TOTAL Out of Pocket..........$410.11
TOTAL Coupons & Store Sales Savings...$271.10
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased............$681.21
TOTAL Savings of...................................39.80%
As I did no Rite-Aid shopping this month 39.80% is also my total w/out Rite-Aid.

This closes out the June food/toiletries spending.

THOUGHTS & COMMENTS for this month.....
I went into June wanting to do a $400 food budget for the month.  I ended up going over by $10.11.
That's not bad considering we have 5 eating/living here(for 3 weeks out of 4 weeks of June)and I have no clue what my grocery/toiletries budget needs to be yet.
I am still feeling my way to what I need to put toward these bills each month going forward.

It's a bit discouraging that my savings rate dropped to 39.80% in June when the budget expanded by $100 BUT also keep in mind that I did NO Rite-Aid shopping at all in June.  My savings rate is very high when I shop at R-A so I sort of got a double whammy this past month......more spending OOP overall and no R-A deals.

The monthly food spending savings percentage went down by 5.73% in June to 39.80% compared to May's 45.53% savings average.   Not quite at my 40% minimum savings rate threshold I like to see but the drop from the previous month isn't as bad as the drop from April's to May's savings rate(14.97%).
But I would like to try to get the rate back up over 40% if possible.

With 6 months accounted for, I have spent a total of $1804.65 on food/toiletries so far in 2016 which averages out to $300.78 per month spent.  The average in May stood at $298.91 per month spent to that point in 2016 so we are up $1.87 spent per month from last month's year-to-date tally. Compared to this point in the year to 2015's totals we have spent $547.01 LESS on food and toiletries in 2016.
Of course, June of 2015 we spent over $600 that month on food(which was a much higher than normal amount).

I can't say what our yearly spending will end up being now that I have 2 more mouths to feed.  I am guessing we won't stay under $4K for the year.

LOOKING AHEAD To July 2016.........

I will continue with my usual shopping ways in loss leaders or great deals which we can use, use a few coupons, cash in points for gift cards or buy discounted gift cards to food stores when possible.
I am going to give myself $450 for July.  We spent $410 in June and we have a cook-out planned for this weekend which will mean more food to buy/prepare/serve to guests.  I am still adjusting the budget to find our sweet spot on food spending.

If you have other ideas or guidelines you follow please leave a comment and share yours with us all.

*  How much did you spend on food/toiletries in June?
*  Do you track your yearly food spending?
*  What was your savings percentage buying on sale and/or with coupons vs. buying at regular retail price last month, if you track that sort of thing?
*  What are your methods for keeping your food spending in check?

Is anyone out there up for tracking expenditures and trying to spend less but still eat well?


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Genealogical Convergence

So if you've been reading this here little blog for any length of time you know that my mom was from the South and my dad was from the North.

Mom's people have been in America with a few exceptions since the early 1600' and large all of them coming here through the Virginia Colony and a large preponderance of these immigrants remaining in Virginia for many generations.  In fact I am the first person in my maternal direct line who has left Virginia to settle in another US state.  Neither of my siblings ever left Virginia either.

Dad's people have only been in America since the last 100 years mostly, with all of them settling in the North-New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. With the exception of John Redfern and three of his sons(my 4th great Uncles)who all ended up in Montana.

So I never dreamed that I'd find any connections between my paternal lines and my maternal lines in my family tree.
Until last week.

Grave marker of my 7 x Great Uncle, Benjamin Sublett, brother to my 6 x Great Granfather, William Abraham Sublett.

I was researching my 6 x great grands on my Sublett lines-William Abraham Sublett and Susannah Allen Sublett.
Their daughter, Martha Sublett, is my 5 x great grand.
Her brother, my 6th great uncle, is Phillip Allen Sublett who married Isabella Whitley.
Isabella' sister, Ann Lewis Whitley, married William D Harper from Kentucky.

Since my maternal grandfather was born a Harper I started meandering up William D's Harper line to see if this branch of Harpers were related to my Virginia Harpers and had gone to KY from my part of VA.
William's father, Adam Harper was born in Virginia(now West Virginia)but I hit a brick wall beyond Adam's father, Jacob Harper.

So I headed up the line from Adam's wife, Barbara Conrad.
Her parents are Hans Jacob Conrad(born in Switzerland)and Hannah Bogard(born in Minisink, Orange Co, NY).

Orange County NY is were my Bowman/Redfern line immigrated to.

Hannah Bogard Conrad's parents were Sarah Hoogteeling(born Ulster Co. NY) and her first husband Johannes Bogard or Bogardus(born in Dutchess Co. NY).
That surname Hoogteeling sounded very familiar to me.......but not in connection to my maternal lines.

So I traced that Hoogteeling line up 3 more generations to a Mathys Coenraddtsen Hoogteeling or Houghtaling.(The surname Hoogteeling was anglicized to Houghtaling at some point and you see it spelled both ways back in the 1700's.)

And a light bulb moment happened!

My 2nd great Uncle, Richard Bowman, obviously on my paternal Bowman line, married a woman named Blanche A Houghtaling.
Blanche's 6 x great grandfather is Mathys Coenraddtsen Hoogteeling or Houghtaling.
So one of my maternal lines married into lines that lead back to the common shared ancestor that's the 6 x GG of my 2 x great uncle on my paternal side.

It's just so strange and I never thought I'd find crossovers from my maternal and my paternal lines.

As a general rule, up until the last 150 years or so, people and families didn't move around much.
Yes, there was a migration out west from both the Southern and Northern states in the East, but people didn't really remove from the South to the North much, and vice versa.
Especially my Virginia ancestors who are mostly still in Virginia to this day!

There may be an individual now and again in your line that bucked the system, moved away from family to do their own thing, the folks that march to a different drummer type.....people like my paternal grandfather.   But they are infrequent and far between.

I found the place in my family story which placed a family from NY(connected to my paternal line)in close proximity to my maternal lines in VA.

Sarah Hoogteeling Bogard's husband died in Augusta VA, in 1747, leaving her with a 3 year old daughter, Hannah Bogard.  In late 1746 Sarah is buying land in Augusta Co., VA and then marrying Henry Thorn, a Scotch-Irish settler to the mountains of Western Virginia.  Sarah dies in 1828 in what would become Pendleton Co., WV.  That move to VA put her daughter, Hannah, and later her granddaughter, Barbara Conrad, in proximity to Adam Harper of Pendleton Co.  Barbara and Adam would remove to Kentucky and put their offspring in the vicinity of the Whitley family and the branch of the Sublett line that would move out of VA into KY, MO, and across the West.

The question though is why did Johannes and Sarah Bogard move from upstate NY to western VA before 1747?
So I looked around her family and found that one of Sarah's uncles died in western VA as did one of her sisters.  This indicates that a family group removed together to VA.  No family stories were left behind so we'll never know the exact reasons that triggered that move.


Monday, June 27, 2016

This Week on the Dining Table

It's the "Trying to Adjust to the New Normal" Edition.............

Ok, so if the worst thing I do to the budget when I get anxious and fall into the deep end of the pool over the changes to my day-to-day life here is to spend $6+ on some canning jars then I guess I'll be alright. ;-)

Moving on......

Onward to the meal planning!

Here's what was planned last week--

1. Sunday--Ravioli w/Italian Sausage
2. Monday--Fish, Cole Slaw, Hush Puppies, Collards(we didn't eat on Sunday)
3. Tuesday--Chicken Gnocchi Soup
4. Wednesday--Kielbasa on Rolls, Beans, Veggie of some kind
5. Thursday--Chicken Risotto, Veggies of some kind
6. Friday--Stuffed Pork Chops, leftover Veggies
7. Saturday--Leftovers or FFY

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Ravioli w/Italian Sausage
2. Monday--Fish, Cole Slaw, Hush Puppies, Mac and Cheese(for BF)
3. Tuesday--Chicken Gnocchi Soup, Biscuits
4. Wednesday--Kielbasa on Rolls, Beans, Leftover Collards
5. Thursday--Chicken Risotto, Spinach Salad
6. Friday--Pork Chops, Stuffing, Asparagus
7. Saturday--Leftovers or FFY(Hubs had Kielbasa/Beans, I had Soup/Biscuits, Kids went out to dinner)

7 meals cooked at home, 1 of them nights of leftovers and 0 nights of Eating Out.

As for my grocery spending..... I spent a total of $83.78 on 3 trips to the store last week(1 main shop + 2 trips to pick up a couple of things).

I have spent $357.36 for June and have $42.64 left of my $400 food budget with 4 days to go in the month.  It looks like I'll stay under budget for June....yay!

Leftovers going into this week.......Enchilada Sauce, Beans, Collards, Soup, Pork Chops, Risotto, Stuffing, Sausage and Spaghetti Sauce.

Here is this week's "food plan"--

1. Sunday--Leftovers or FFY
2. Monday--Spaghetti with Meatballs and Sausage(using leftover sauce and sausage too)
3. Tuesday--Italian Chicken Thighs and Potatoes, Collards
4. Wednesday--Cheese or Pork Enchiladas, Spanich Rice
5. Thursday--Salmon(breaded fish for BF), Mac & Cheese, Veggie TBD
6. Friday--Pizza, Salad
7. Saturday--Leftovers

This week will see 5 new meals cooked and 2 nights of Leftovers. I plan on using up the leftover Enchilada Sauce on cheese enchiladas(duh).  I will also make some pork enchiladas if no one eats the leftover pork chops by then....just shred them up with peppers and onions and Tex/Mex spices.  That way the diners will have a choose of fillings and there will be enough leftover for easy weekend snacking/meals.
The soup got eaten on Sunday.
I didn't fit the risotto and stuffing into this meal plan but I am sure it will all get eaten along the way with lunch and snacking going on here.

My "plan" with meals for the short term at least is to NOT cook on Weekends.  Having to prepare extra dishes(mostly because of BF's dietary requirements)means more work in the kitchen for me so I am taking weekends off from meal prep.  Everyone can find something to eat for themselves on weekends.At least for the Summer and as long as no one else steps up to take over a dinner now and again.
Daughter is taking over making dinner one night a week, at least until school starts so that helps with the workload.

What I need to buy for this menu.....milk, corn tortillas, lettuce.

What is getting fixed and served at your house this week?

I need to plan next week's meal fun soon.  We are having a cookout since Hubs got the deck scrubbed and sealed this weekend.  I am going to smoke some meats either Sat. or Sun. and just heat up/finish them off on Sunday right before the cook-out.  I'll have dogs and burgers available and let everyone cook their own on the grill if and what they want of those foods.  So other than grilling corn I won't be "cooking" on Monday.  8-)

Was last week's plan successful, did you go off plan or did you not even plan what was going to be eaten last week?

Any great deals on food at your stores this week?