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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Scare Tactic or just CYA?

So last night, and this morning, all that was on any of the news stations and talk radio channels was the CDC report of the potential number of hospitalized cases for Swine Flu ... oops, I mean, H1N1 Flu this fall. And the potential number of infected people. Not to mention the number of potential deaths. This irritates me a bit. I mean shoot, this has been around the world since April, that we know of. We've know that the potential for it to rear up again would be when the normal flu season comes around. NOW they are starting to make small panic sounds, in my opinion. Whats up with that? Yes, school has started. Yes, I am well aware that alone increases exposure 100%. Yes, I understand that there is a good possibility my child will be exposed to it. And yes, catch it. But good lord! Do not scare people. All of a sudden, they feel like they have to just jump out of the bushes and say "HEY!!!! YOU ARE GOING TO CATCH THIS AND BE VERY VERY SICK" ... I think they are just trying to cover their butts, truthfully. They downplayed it. Remember when the VP said that he told his family to avoid traveling on planes and public transportation (can't remember EXACTLY what he said, but you get the drift)? And then the government jumped right back in and said that everything is JUST FINE, don't WORRY. Ha. I've been preparing, myself. I've got a decent stock of hand sanitizer. Have some tissues but probably need to get more. Have some cold & flu meds, but probably need to get some more. Lots of tea. Lots of broth. Lots of gatorade/propel. Plenty of food if we have to quarantine (thankfully that food hoarding/stockpiling issue will serve it's purpose) ... Yes, I believe I'm ready. And if I have to stay home, I will. I am a little concerned for hubby as he is asthmatic BUT he's fairly healthy and strong and I know how to be a good nurse if need be. However, I do not believe I would get the vacinnation nor would I want any of my family to do so. This just kind of seems rushed to me to get a 'cure' in place. I keep thinking back to the 70's issue where more people died from the vaccine then the virus itself (ohhh....has anyone seen those WICKED shots they show in the pictures???) So, what are you doing to prepare? You know it's going to happen. Just don't hit the panic button at the last minute, you know what I mean?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Target soon to be a SUPER Target??

I hear that my Target at Federal & Oakland which has been undergoing EXTENSIVE remodeling (making it a huge hassle to get in & out of the plaza parking lot) is destined to be a super target when it's all over & done with in October. Really??!! Honestly??!! YES!!!!! I am so excited. Target always has awesome coupons for food and produce. My Publix will not take the coupons as they do NOT consider Target to be a comeptitive grocery store (YET!) so I'm really really excited. I could be using $1 off 1 lb of apples. 50 cents off 1 lb of bananas. I mean, shoot, that makes almost FREE produce .... I can't wait...I can't I can't I can't!!

Menu Plan Monday

I really am trying to keep up with the Menu Plan Monday ... really. It's just sometimes I get a little side tracked! But since I did the 19 meals off the top I think I can do it! Imagine that, 19 meals off the top of my head ... all with 99% of the ingredients already in house. Whew. That would make for an easy month if I choose to do a no-spend, no-shopping month, huh? Who knows, it may happen on it's own without me making a huge announcement (hint, hint), so long as there are no superb sales going on. Then again, school IS starting back, and all everyone can talk about is the swine flu, phase II once the kids get back to school. Ok, here's what I've got planned: Sunday - Italian Beef served on hoagies with provolone cheese and macaroni salad Monday - chicken breast with veggie rice (chicken leftover from Friday night) Tuesday - Pork chops (crock pot) with pasta (I'm really afraid hubby is going to hate this) Wednsday - Baked tater soup and garden salad Thursday - Pizza, or pepperoni bread (basically just a pizza rolled up and cooked) Friday - Burgers on the grill Saturday - Steak (found some filet mignon in freezer over weekend, need to eat it!) and taters So ... let's see how I do with a reduced shopping trip ... wish me luck and don't forget to vist the organizing junkie for tons of terrific ideas!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

19 meals off the top

It's amazing, all day long on Sunday I added dinner ideas to a list as they came to me. Every single one of these ideas I would not need to shop for as I have all the ingredients (ok, with the exception of any milk, bread or produce needed) in the fridge and/or pantry.

I really could skip some major shopping if I so desired. I do desire, but not sure if I have the willpower!

So here's what I have. 19 days. Almost 3 weeks worth. And of course, there has to be leftovers in between.

So here's what I plan on making for the next 19 days:

Grilled Chix and baked taters DONE
Italian beef sandwiches (crock pot) and macaroni salad DONE and DONE
Italian chops (crock pot)
baked tater soup and salad pizza (or pepperoni bread)
macho nachos
macaroni and cheese with chicken apple sausage brats / hot dogs
steak and taters (filet mignon in freezer, needs to be eaten)
chix picatta and pasta
burgers
smoked sausage and bc taters
salisbury steaks and egg noodles
spaghetti with garlic bread sticks
chili
pulled bbq
chix sandwiches
(premade) snausages, meatballs, tater skins (appetizer night)
cuban pork roast with black beans and rice
Chix marsella is that 19?

So we already had the chix and baked taters last night. Tonight is the italian beef (which I need to go shred up soon). Tomorrow will probably be leftovers ... I'm going to check in with the organizing junkie and do my menu plan monday!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Re-evaluating grocery budget

Of course, this comes AFTER they just had on the news that food prices are going up again. Of course they are! Droughts. Funky weather. Economy in general. Just to be expected. So, I sat down and thought of the things I buy every single time I go to the store. What is bought consistently, week after week. Milk. At least 2 gallons a week. Generally Friday and by Wednesday am, we are low if not out. Eggs. Go through 10 or so a week. Not a lot but it is when it's mostly me, and occasionally Sonny boy eating them. Bread. And buns. Need to get back in habit of bread store (Friday after work) since store brand loafs are over $1.50 now. Soda. Not a lot. Not usually. But Hubby likes his coke with Jack. And Sonny boy likes his soda with friends. And I occasionally have some too. Need to focus more on buying on sale. Cat food and litter. Well not every week. Every other week. Frozen foods, like pizza, ice cream, and such. I know, junk food. Once Sonny boy flies the coop, there will never ever be frozen pizzas in my house again! Hamburger, chicken or meat in general. I am going to group lunchmeat in with this category too. I don't buy all every week. Some weeks I don't buy any meat. But need to really focus more on what we consume & how much I spend on it. Produce. Like lettuce. Strawberries. Grapes. Tomatoes. Bananas, etc. Need to reconsider the produce store again. It's a little out of my way but maybe it would be worth a trip after work one night every 10 days or so. Health & beauty stuff. Like toothpaste, shampoo, tampons, bath soap, etc. Paper products. I am really stocked on everything except paper towels which I just refuse to stock up at the prices they are lately! This also covers plates & cups (oh, need cups soon). So anyways. I did a 'rough' estimate on each category. I must be estimating way low because it would be $208 a month and I KNOW I spend more than that!!! Of course, I didn't include cereal, chips, cookies, etc. because it's not stuff I buy every single week. So. What does this really mean?? It means, if I had to, I could shop for the 3 of us, and the animal, for about $50 a week. Heck, Gayle shops for $60 a week for 6 people. And a dog too now! I took pictures of my pantry and freezers this morning ... and realize that I have way too much food stocked up in this house. Yeah, I know, once I start using it up, the price of food will go up, swine flue will kick in & everyone will be quarantined and I'll be flipping out (as the 3rd medication doesn't seem to be helping much either) ... but it really needs to be done so I can organize!!! So, here's to trying for $50 a week, if not less. I know I can do it. I just need to stick to my goal and stay within MY guidelines. And not let anyone else interfer with my program!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Family entertainment (again)

And again ... and on and on. Hubby is out with a vendor for dinner. Sonny boy is watching a movie off Netflix and the Xbox live ... really a no brainer if you ask me, I pay the $14 a month for netflix and they have the movies you can watch 'now' just by logging on to your Xbox live account. Sweet, huh? Oh, the Xbox live? It's 30 day free trial and then I think like $50 for a year. May consider it ... most likely will as it offer hours of entertainment. Yeah. Really. We did the Markham park thing again with the sea doo. Fun. Went on Saturday instead of Sunday. What a great time. Really. We wasted a lot of gas but it's definately a lot cheaper than the big behmoth boat. I did not get to speak to princess this weekend. Apparently she does NOT get to call every Sunday. That kind of makes me sad. We did get a little 3 paragraph letter from her. But that didn't say much other than, "I'm here, they feed us a lot, do not send letter yet as I do not have my company I'm with" so not a whole lot of information. Sonny boy passed his driving test and now has his license. However we can not find his latest report card and we need that to show he's had a 3.0 gpa. And I'm sure he doesn't ... that really stinks.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Health insurance and prescriptions

Uggg. You know, it's been forever since I've had a prescription. So now I do. My attitude adjustment pills. Which worked great with the 2 week sample the dr. provided. So I have my followup and we agree that I should take them at dinner time & try just a half of a pill ... to see if a few of the side effects go away (not able to wake up in the morning, etc.) ... So I drop it off at the pharmacy, shop & come back. Sorry, but the insurance company is rejecting it, they want a cheaper alternative or generic brand. Ok, give me a generic. There isn't one. So now my dr. is going back & forth with the insurance company and I am now waiting for her to call ME at work. She's called the house twice & left messages (hello, I work!) ... apparently something is up ... for whatever reason she doesn't really want to change the script. Hmmm. So my thing is this: WTF? I don't have any claims, or anything for years, and now I have something and the insurance company is rejecting it. Wanna know what my cost would be for 30 day supply? $80. That's how much it would be without any insurance help. So give me a break, really. What is it going to hurt the insurance company??? My hubby takes something that cost him $75 a month but the insurance supposely saves him over $800 a month (asthma stuff) ... is that excessive or what?? Ok. Now that I got that off my chest. See, 3 days of no meds and I'm slipping back into my old crabby self ... ha.

Family fun - wave runner

A few weekends ago, me, hubby and sonny boy met up with some friends at Markham Park. This place is cool. Shooting Range. Model Airstrip. Bark Park. Bike Trails (heavy duty, now the leisure type), personal watercraft lake, fishing, camping. It has EVERYTHING! We towed the waverunner as we wanted to check out the lake they had just for waverunners. For $1.50 per person entry fee & then the $10 launch fee, not so bad for 3 hours of fun entertainment. Not to mention this photo …

We tossed the big boat cooler & patio chairs in the back of the tahoe, our friends brought along a little hibachi grill and we grilled dogs & chix thighs. Was pretty fun … made for a nice little afternoon outing without being long & drawn out, i.e. sunburned and hung over. Told hubby that maybe we should start rotating our weekend boating plans with this. Definitely need to buy ourselves a little portable bbq grill though! I am thinking that maybe I’ll use my $10 off a $50 purchase coupon tonight just in case we go this weekend again …

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fort Leaonard Wood Missouri

Is where the princess has landed. Oh boy. Look, it says its 78 degrees and I know she is probably a little chilled! On Tuesday it said 90 degrees and I know there are not any ocean breezes. Funny, when they were on the bus from the airport, she texted me and said, wow, there are a lot of hills. Only those who grew up in flat land south Florida ... So anyway, just for kicks, go check out the official site of Fort Leonard Wood ... it has a bits of information in some areas, yet totally lacks in others ... go figure.