Thursday, August 5, 2010

Foodalicious Friday

Food for the coming week!  Again, let me know if you want recipes!

Friday - Pizza and salad
Saturday - Spinach Salad
Sunday - Chile Rellanos, rice and beans
Monday - Steak Skewers, rice and salad
Tuesday - Lemony chicken Pasta, salad
Wednesday - Chicken and Fruit Packets, salad
Thursday - Taco Soup and rolls

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

MYTH BUSTERS - Grocery store checkout!

People tell me every other day that it would be so much cheaper if I would shop at Walmart.  There are two plusses for walmart shopping - generic brands and no tax on food.  Soooooo I decided to take this test on the road.  Myth Busters here we come

I purchased my groceries for the next two weeks at my normal store, the Ft. Knox Commissary.  I wrote down each item and the price and took my notebook to Walmart. At walmart, I wrote down the price for the exact same brand, or a comparable brand, and wrote down the price for the generic brand. I did not include generic brand pricing for generic brand items I would not use. (I will not substitute bottled water, coffee creamer, granola bars, or coffee. Other items I already use a generic brand at the commissary so the similar Walmart product is the generic brand)  For the purpose of this test, the figures below include only 1 of each item on the list.  All items in the test were the same size, or the prices was calculated per ounce and the total price was based upon the per ounce price. Below you will find my results and below that you will find the detailed figures.


General Observations:

Some items were cheaper at Walmart, but much of the produce was icky. Walmart did not carry everything the Commissary carried. Non-food items were generally cheaper at Walmart. Check the detailed list at the bottom for specifics.

Shopping at the Commissary - Total = $196.42 + $9.82 (5% surcharge) = $206.24
Shopping at Walmart with comparable brands - Total = $238.47 + $2.48 (6% tax on non-food items) = $240.95
Shopping at Walmart with generic brands - Total = $224.23 + $2.48(6% tax on non-food items) = $226.71

Results are clear!  Commissary wins by $20.47

So.. here are the prices.  I have highlighted the items that are cheaper at Walmart in a name brand OR a generic brand.

Item Commissary Prices Walmart Name Brands Walmart Generic Brands
Chicken Breast Tenderloins frozen 5.99 7.00 n/a
Chicken boneless skinless breasts - frozen 5.99 6.48 n/a
1 % Milk 2.17 2.28 n/a
Chicken tenderloins - fresh 2.93/lb 1.25/lb n/a
Tombstone Pizza 3.25 4.00 2.70
Mini corn on the cob - 16 count 1.86 3.28 3.60
Mozzarella Cheese 16 oz. 3.00 4.00 3.62
Cheddar Cheese - 32 oz. 4.99 8.16 7.25
Monterey Jack Cheese - 16 oz. 3.00 4.00 3.62
Ricotta Cheese - Light 1.99 2.13 1.83
Sour Cream - 8 oz. 1.11 1.28 .78
Deli Roast Beef - 10 oz. 2.89 3.00 2.88
Pepperoni 1.82 2.98 n/a
Cherry Tomatoes 1.50 2.48 n/a
Hummus 2.99 2.98 n/a
Jumbo pasta shells 1.35 1.96 1.50
Cilantro .79 .88 n/a
Strawberries - 1lb1.981.88n/a
green bell peppers.99/lb.98/lbn/a
poblano peppers1.98/lb2.28/lbn/a
Planters to-go packs - 25 ct.7.9820.00n/a
Deer Park .5L - 6pack.991.32n/a
Northland Cranberry/Black Cherry juice2.002.97n/a
Jolly Time popcorn kernels - 32 oz.1.193.981.48
Honeydew3.502.98 - but it looked ickyn/a
Hamburger Buns - 12 ct1.491.981.48
Eggs - 18 ct.1.401.74n/a
Spaghetti sauce with mushrooms.99.98n/a
Chili Beans.78.86.66
Pinto Beans.68.76.64
Cream of mushroom soup1.19.78n/a
Chopped tomatoes with zesty mild green chilis1.131.141.12
Quaker chewy granola bars - 18 ct.2.793.38n/a
Coffee Mate - Coconut Cream & Cinnamon Vanilla2.50 each3.38 eachn/a
Millstone coffee beans - two flavors5.99/lb each7.97/lb eachn/a
Lipton hot tea - Island Mango, Tuscan lemon, bedtime, blueberry pomegranate2.75 each3.16 eachn/a
Tomato sauce.89.58.50
White Vinegar1.071.50.84
Natural peanut butter with honey1.893.58n/a
V8 juice2.192.582.00
Malt o Meal version of Fruity Pebbles2.893.263.64
Malt o Meal version of Frosted Flakes2.452.222.50
Tortillas - burrito size and fajita size1.691.781.78
Hefty Casserole Pans - disposable - 2 ct.1.333.00n/a
Mushrooms - 16 oz. - whole2.192.98n/a
Romaine Lettuce1.681.88n/a
Green Leaf Lettuce1.681.88n/a
Red Peppers2.00 each1.64 eachn/a
Bagged Baby Spinach1.651.98n/a
Navel Oranges.69 each.78 eachn/a
Sheer Strip Band-aids1.772.431.40
Juicy Juice - 32 ct juice boxes10.269.60n/a
Granny Smith apples.99/lb1.67/lbn/a
Gala Apples.99/lb1.50/lbn/a
Pantene Color treated hair - smooth shampoo and conditioner3.77 each3.97 eachn/a
Olay wet express facial wipes4.504.47n/a
Band-aid flex fabric XL3.542.881.80
Band-aid blister treatment2.903.67n/a
Pantene Color Treatment3.133.97n/a
Degree clinical protection deoderant5.496.87n/a
Goody Girls flower clippies3.492.98n/a
Stay put elastics3.303.10n/a

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

B-12 really *is* important.

Back in January I was told that I had a B-12 deficiency.  I kinda blew it off.  Ehhh, B-12, who needs that?!  Well, apparently I do.  I have been seeing doctor after doctor to figure out my health "issues" and in the process was referred to a hematologist for a sudden and large drop in my HGB levels.  Of course, it took Tricare 600 years 2 1/2 months to get my referral in.  Today I visited with the hematologist.  Basically I have pernicious anemia.

From the Mayo Clinic website:

  • Vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia (pernicious anemia). Rarely, vitamin B-12 deficiency results from a diet lacking in vitamin B-12, which is found mainly in meat, eggs and milk. A shortage occurs because your small intestine can't absorb vitamin B-12. A deficiency is most often due to a lack of a substance called intrinsic factor.

    Vitamin B-12 is released from food in your stomach. Intrinsic factor is a protein secreted by the stomach that joins vitamin B-12 in the stomach and escorts it through the small intestine to be absorbed by your bloodstream. Without intrinsic factor, vitamin B-12 can't be absorbed and leaves your body as waste. Lack of intrinsic factor may be due to an autoimmune reaction, in which your immune system mistakenly attacks the stomach cells that produce it. Vitamin B-12 deficiency ultimately leads to anemia. The Doctor says it is most likely an autoimmune disorder.

    If the deficiency is from a lack of intrinsic factor, it's called pernicious anemia. Pernicious means "deadly." Super Great. Lack of intrinsic factor was often fatal before the availability of vitamin B-12 shots. Because vitamin B-12 is stored in large amounts in your liver, it may take several years before signs of deficiency appear. Makes sense.  I started having the stomach problems about 11 years ago.  Doc said the IBS is most likely a symptom of this autoimmune disorder.

    Vitamin deficiency anemias can result in:
  • Fatigue  check!
  • Pale or yellowish skin
  • Sore mouth and tongue halfway check!
  • Weight loss I wish!
  • Diarrhea
  • Numbness or tingling in your hands and feet check!
  • Muscle weakness sometimes
  • Irritability double check!
  • Unsteady movements you mean the doorways aren't jumping at me??
  • Mental confusion or forgetfulness What was I doing?
Vitamin deficiencies usually develop slowly, over several months to years. Vitamin deficiency symptoms may be subtle at first, but they increase as the deficiency worsens.

  • Complications: Nervous system disorders. While vitamin B-12 is important for the production of red blood cells, it's also important for a healthy nervous system. Untreated, vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to neurological problems, such as persistent tingling in your hands and feet. It can lead to mental confusion and forgetfulness, because vitamin B-12 is necessary for healthy brain function. Vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause these and other health problems before it leads to anemia. So, if it is already at anemia... does that mean it is progressed??  Have I left this untreated for too long??

     Treatment: Vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia (pernicious anemia). You can treat vitamin B-12 deficiency related to a poor diet with changes in your diet and vitamin B-12 supplementation, under a doctor's supervision. If your body can't absorb vitamin B-12, you'll either need lifelong vitamin B-12 injections or nasal B-12 spray. At first you'll need the shots or nasal spray as often as every other day. Eventually you'll need injections or the nasal spray just once a month. Prompt treatment is important, because neurological complications may become permanent if the B-12 deficiency isn't corrected within several months. PERMANENT??

    So.... I am not sure what all this means for me.  I gave 542 vials of blood at the office today.  I go back in a week and may need another CT scan and a chest xray.  He says that if I have one autoimmune disorder, then I will likely have another one.  poo.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

school and school and friends in the army

School starts tomorrow!! What the heck happened to summer vacation.  Phinneas and Ferb have it wrong. We only get 60 days.  This summer was no where what i had in mind.  I had dreams of baseball games, museum visits, pool time, and all around funness.  I think we only went to the pool 2 times.  No zoo or museuming, only 1 baseball trip.  Where did all the time go??  I feel like I missed a bunch of chances to make memories.  I hope that what we did was enough to get us through this year.

With the start of school, we had to gather school supplies and spruce up appearances. School supplies now include 48 pencils, rolls of paper towels, kleenex, wet wipes, and a partridge in a pear tree.  WTH?  Why don't schools supply basic necessities?  What happened to me supplying what MY child needs?  This bothers me.

I have decided that I will be putting off school for a while.  Okay, We decided that.  As much as I want to throw a BF, i have to admit that it really does make some sense.  My house is suffering lately.  I am not able to keep it clean, or complete projects, and I have almost zero time to write articles for the website.  These are things that i want. I want a clean house. I want my projects completed. I want to be able to write an article a week.  NONE of these things are happening lately.  AND add to that a new baby. I want to be able to stay home my new one. I don't want to feel stretched out between house, school and children.  Something has to give.  If i put school off the table, the other things will come together better.  Also, with school off the table I won't have to stress about moving and how my classes will transfer to the new college at the new duty station.

Friends are hard to make when you move every 3 years.  It makes you quick to judge, and I like to think, and good judge of character, or at least a good judge of compatibleness.   I think it also makes you less tolerable of bullshit.
Tthis post seems to have a lot of young wives who are new to the military. I think the military has change in the last 12 years.  And because of the change in soldiers, the wives expect more.  You can not expect the army to just let your husband go every time you hiccup.  You can't bitch if your husband comes home past 5:31.  The mission comes first, and family comes second.  You have to realize that your soldier will miss milestones like birthdays, anniversaries, christmas and first moments in your children's lives.  You have to be able to change your own damn lightbulbs, and sometimes, washing machines, flat tires, and toilets.  That's the life.  That's what you have to do.  I want to tell these wives, that their soldiers WILL miss OB appointments, and if they can't take it, they are in the wrong place. Maybe I am hard, but I don't think it's a bad thing.  The military has taught me that I am strong enough to stand on my own.  I can make it happen.

I don't want friends that i have to coddle.  If you can't take, leave. Go home and live with mommy during deployments.  Don't stay here and cry about how you have no support.  I want friends that are capable. I want friends that i can hang with, that have children who I don't want to tie up and that can handle their own.  Yeah, i want to get together, and play games, have BBQ's and drink it up, but I don't want someone up my ass who is going to freak out if I decide to stay in.  I feel like that isn't too much to ask for, but reading this list.. I am pretty specific.  LOL. I want a certain kind of person.  I guess it's more of an attitude.

I have a group of friends here, but I don't feel connected to the majority of them.  I don't think they would care or really notice if I disappeared. I always feel like they are getting together with out me.  Like I am the smelly one in the room. Maybe it's because my children are older than the majority of the children.  Maybe the majority of the women don't like me but just won't say it.  Who knows... Life is too short to play games, and just thinking about this makes my brain hurt. (I should mention here that this is a group of about 15 women. One of these ladies is a long-time friend, and I am also friends with one of the other ladies.)

I have a new friend, and she is new to active duty, but she doesn't have the attitude of a cry baby.  Maybe it's because she isn't 18.  It's nice to have someone with similar goals and attitudes.  I look forward to our nightly walks, and we have plans to hit the gym.  It is nice to have someone that is completely unattached to any other friends I have.  It's like she is all mine and I don't have to share.  She cares if I am not around, and she wants to be around me as much as I want to be around her.  That sounds like we are dating or something LOL, but really with husbands gone so much it is so important to have friends that care, and will support you when you feel like hiding in bed.

This was kind of convoluted. I guess I just want some friends.  I want friends that I can hang with.  I am not willing to lower my standards to have a big group of friends.  I think that this means I will never have a ton of friends.  Maybe having 2 or 3 great friends is better than having 20 so-so friends.