Thursday, March 26, 2015

Daily Frugal Failures and Successes: 3/26/15

  • I just read a reminder that Spring is the season for unwanted kittens... both our cats were unwanted kittens (one I got from someone giving them away in front of Publix, the other finding our driveway on her own) and a few Springs ago we also had to take another random unwanted kitten to the vet to get it euthanized because it had been hit by a car and had crawled in our backyard.  My kids love cats and I cannot resist kittens BUT having a pet (much less several) can be very expensive and I'm sick and tired of cat dander and hair all over the house.  So I'm steeling myself against accepting any unwanted kittens this summer. Must.resist. Thankfully, my cat loving husband is realistic about my being able to handle a 3rd cat so he's always the one forbidding me from getting another one, lol.  I really hope no one dumps kittens on our block again. Neuter your pets!

  • I pulled weeds from around my house this morning for an hour or so and was going to lay down the cardboard on the berm separating the patio from the backyard and mulch it.  However, I noticed that most of the weeds are creeping from the backyard onto the berm so I'm going to ask Greg if we can go to Lowe's on Saturday with his truck and pick up something to serve as a berm border.  I'll have him install  it (hopefully!) and work on the berm afterwards. He should be able to then edge the weeds and hopefully I won't have to spend hours pulling the darn things anymore.  It won't be very frugal since there's a cost involved, but we'll probably just get the plastic edging rolls that are pretty cheap.  If he says yes, I'll order them online for store pick-up so I can earn the rewards. Also our American Express have $10/$50 offers for Lowe's preloaded on them so it'd be a perfect way to use that discount.  While I'm out, I could stop by Target and get more of that cheap cat litter and free gum.  Hmmm, and they also give out samples and coupons on Saturday. Yes, this plan is sounding better and better the more I think about it!

  • I was planning on having lunch out on the back patio but it rained, even though there wasn't any rain in the forecast.  I could have saved myself the trouble of watering the garden this morning! A short while later I noticed the quick rainshower had stopped so I moved my laptop and lunch outside, hoping to catch some cool birds coming to feed at my bird feeders again.  The squirrels sure were digging in the yard!

  • My daughter drove herself to school and her volunteering activity, saving me gas and time.

  • She brought the lunch that she had packed a couple of nights ago but forgotten yesterday.  My son packed his lunch as well.

  • I used water collected in the shower yesterday to flush the toilet.

  • SavingStar credited my account for last weekend's freebie bought at Publix.  So it took several more days than if I had gotten it at, say CVS or Winn-Dixie (usually I get that credit on Monday mornings) but it was still way faster than Upromise (and it worked, phew!).

  • I used one of my upcycled cat litter jugs and collected rainwater/leaky faucet water to water my garden this morning.

  • I put together my bird feeder pole and added it to my garden, right next to the cardinal bird feeder.  Then I made a hummingbird feeder from materials laying around the house. I was going to walk to Family Dollar to buy fake flowers to glue on it, but I ended up cutting up flowers from red and purple paper that I had laying around (and the red border of the Market Pantry bag of flour that I used up a couple of days ago) and laminating them.

  • I made hummingbird nectar by melting 1 part of sugar into 4 parts of boiling water.

  • I filled the feeder and set it outside. I think I may have cut the straws too long. I might need to rethink that design a little. For now I'm waiting to see if it even attracts any attention...

  • I recycled a cat litter jug by using it to store more rainwater!

  • I repackaged the 4 lbs of spicy hot links I bought on clearance yesterday into 6 packages of 4 hot links each and froze them.  I reused 4 quart-size freezer bags that I had washed and used 2 new ones.

  • I decided not to repackage the 4 packages of brown & serve rolls into smaller portions and just froze them as is.  It should be easy enough to pull just 3-4 rolls at a time.

  • I was torn this morning because I noticed how great my bean patch is doing, growing in soil mixed with homemade compost... and I haven't added anything into my composting bin for a while since I've started freezing veggie peelings and scraps to add to the chicken stock when I make it.  So I decided to just dump everything into the composting bin for a while since I have quite a bit of chicken stock in the freezer at the moment. I took the veggie scraps out of the freezer and composted them,. as well as today's veggie scraps from:
    • cutting up the 2 bags of mini peppers and freezing them
    • cutting up the 1-lb bag of green beans and freezing them
    • cutting up 2 sweet onions and freezing them. I don't have enough room to flash freezer more than 1 large onion at a time, so I'll be doing it in shifts over the next few days. This prevents my eyes from watering too much too. Win-win!

  • When I bought the green beans yesterday, I had reused a produce bag from previous trips (I never tie them and always stuff them back in my coupon organizer so I can reuse them instead of constantly getting new ones and recycling them) and it was a little damp so I draped it over my thrifted mug tree that I use to dry my plastic baggies.  I'll put it back in my coupon organizer once it's dry.

  • I had leftover Easy Loaded Grits for lunch, and a spinach salad with a Roma tomato, some cucumber slices, an avocado that had been in my fridge so lunch that the flesh was all brown and not that plentiful, and the rest of a small bag of fried wonton strips, topped with my homemade grain mustard vinaigrette. Yummy.  I still have 2 servings of the grits!  This made 9-10 big servings.  It was a pretty frugal dish too!

  • Since it was overcast (and rainy) and not all that hot in the morning, I turned off the AC and opened the windows. I had to close them and turn the AC back on in the afternoon, though.

  • Redbox texted me another code for a free movie.  I'll probably give it away on Slickdeals since it expires tonight.

  • CVS emailed me a $5 off $15 coupon that expires on Sunday.  Arggh, I might need to add this to my weekend shopping trip now.  I really need to see if this is even worth it as I don't need anything that I can think off...

  • My daughter had shared her Amazon wishlist with me, where she had put clothing items that she wanted from various websites. I ordered the ones she wanted from Amazon if they qualified for Prime but I wasn't keen on ordering from a bunch of different websites and incurring shipping charges each time. Using her wishlist as a guide, I found similar items on and put a cart together.  I asked her to come home between school and volunteering so I could get her approval before placing the order (there's no point in wasting money by ordering items she wouldn't wear... I remember being a teen!). She liked all of them (just changed the pattern of one of them) and I used several discounts to save even more more (BUNNY30 for 30% off, DRESSLOVE for $10/$30 Junior apparel and FREE4MVC for free shipping). I also went through the SavingStar online portal first so my order will qualify for 4% cashback ($2.56), and earned $10 in Kohl's Cash and 64 Yes2YouRewards (which helps qualify me for a $5 award since I already had points in my account).  For $68.86, I ordered her:
    • a dress
    • a top
    • a pair of skinny jeans
    • a pair of leggings
    • a pair of shoes

  • I baked a loaf of bread. It smells so good!  For dinner I sliced the bread, and served a sliced roasted chicken breast on top of the bread, itself topped with some Monterey Jack cheese and I toasted them. I made a spinach strawberry salad with pecans as the side dish again and thus finished the spinach from the fridge!

  • I planned menus through the end of April, using recipes that I had clipped recently and my freezer inventory.

  • I can't think of any failures today. Yay!

Did you have any frugal successes or failures today? Please do tell!

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