Saturday, March 28, 2015

Daily Frugal Failures and Successes: Saturday 3/28/15



HAPPENINGS AROUND HERE TODAY:

  • A cold front moved in... the high was 70 today and cold enough at night that the windows had lots of moisture on them this morning.

  • Speaking of windows, Home Depot called yesterday to schedule the installation of our new windows, which will happen at the end of April. It's exciting that we'll finally get this done and hopefully our house will feel more comfortable in the summer and the electric bill will be a little lower, but we have to pay out a very large amount of money for them and that's always painful.  The person who came to do the re-measuring last week said he had never seen a house with so many windows... we're replacing 26 windows this time around and replaced another 13 back in 2012.  The new installation will take 3 days, which means 3 days of people in my house... I'm very much an introvert so I'm not looking forward to this at all.

  • My daughter took my car to go volunteering at a local horse ranch. I asked her to see how old you have to be to volunteer there because I wanted my son to go as well, but you have to be 15.

  • The basil seeds that I planted indoors earlier this week have sprouted.
Sorry for the bad picture, the light wasn't right and my phone
doesn't take great photos.


  • I cut 3 basil stems from the plants growing outside and put them in a jar to root... recognize it? It's the jar that contained my favorite candle. I scrubbed all the wax off and run it in the dishwasher and it's a very pleasing-looking glass or jar now.



  • The cucumber seedlings look horrible and the squirrels have been digging near them too.  I have never been able to grow a healthy cucumber plant, it's so aggravating.
Pitiful-looking cucumber and it's the best-looking one of the 6!  Grrr.


  • Meanwhile, the random squash plants growing in my pole bean patch (in homemade compost) are doing GREAT!  I also spotted a second tomato plant growing in there and there is not chance that it will have enough room to be successful so I will be transplanting it and the other one growing in there into one of my self-watering bins. It so happens that 2 of my seedlings hadn't survived being transplanted so I have 2 free spots :)

  • I used the IHeartRadio app on my Roku to listen to my favorite Smooth Jazz radio station (WLOQ!) which is now a streaming-only radio station.

  • The hawk (falcon?) came to visit our backyard again this morning... It also was dragonfly-palooza all day today! I didn't see any other interesting birds and the squirrels also stayed away (they must have seen the hawk). I spent most of the day outside on the back patio, it was just a gorgeous day!  It's close to dinnertime now and I really don't want to go back inside and cook!

  • I typed a long email to my parents and siblings and included pictures of the kids as well. It felt more like a newsletter than anything else, but I'm not on Facebook and I don't write to them all that often.  They don't really write to me either so that's OK :)

FRUGAL SUCCESSES:
  • Very late last night I attained 500 Swagbucks so I ordered another $5 Amazon gift card!


  • I mixed another batch of flavored coffee by mixing in some cinnamon to a bag of Gevalia coffee.  I usually buy my coffee when it's on BOGO sale at Publix and I have coupons for it too and most brands do have flavored versions but I really like cinnamon-flavored coffee and the brands I do buy rarely have that flavor so I make my own instead of splurging for a more expensive brand.

  • I cut up another large sweet onion and flash froze it... my freezer is so full that I only have room for 1 small tray so I have to freeze my 2 lbs of onions 1 onion at a time.

  • I also cut up the cilantro bunch that I had bought on Wednesday, stuffed it into an ice cube tray and poured water over it.  "Cilantro cubes" will allow me to add "fresh cilantro" to recipes when cilantro isn't to be found (or cheap) in the stores later on this year.

  • The bins collected quite a bit of rainwater yesterday but not as much as I would have liked. Still, the one that I situation right under a corner of the roof is completely full.  I will be filling up the cat litter jugs later on.


  • I reused water collected in the shower to flush the toilet.

  • I took the survey on my "bonus" Racetrac receipt from yesterday (the one the station manager gave me when I got the free muffin!) and earned another code for a free bakery item.

  • I did a load of laundry in cold/cold with vinegar as the softener, and hung out the undies/socks/cleaning cloths/cloth napkins and polyester clothing out to dry.  I ran the dryer on the Auto Moisture Sensing setting for the cotton clothing.

  • I ate leftovers for lunch (I finally finished those Easy Loaded Grits that I baked on Monday night!) and enjoyed my back patio :)

  • My daughter was asked to volunteer at the ranch all day but she had planned to come back by noon so she hadn't brought a lunch. She was going to drive back home for lunch but the owner decided to feed the volunteers sandwiches instead.

  • My son and I walked to the closest Racetrac gas station and redeemed 2 survey reward codes for 2 jumbo chocolate muffins. He ate one of them on our walk home and I froze the other for a future snack. It was nice spending a little bit of time together and chatting, as well as observing the houses in our neighborhood (we took side streets) and commenting on trees and other flora. We saw a drainage ditch full of some small fish of some kind, observed a sandhill crane flying over us and saw lots of majestic oaks.
I'm recycling the photo from Wednesday since they're the
same muffins anyway!

  • Staples mailed me $2 in ink rewards.

  • I cooked Monterey Chicken with Roasted Veggies for dinner tonight, as per my menu, using frozen green beans (instead of asparagus) and sweet mini peppers. Instead of just Monterey Jack cheese, I used the rest of the Monterey Jack with the rest of the cheddar and the last 2 slices of Cracker Barrel sharp cheddar cheese that were getting a little hard around the edges. I defrosted 4 wedges of homemade buttermilk-jalapeƱo corn bread to serve with it. It was very, very good!

  • We watched the latest episode of "Community" for free on Yahoo! Screens via our Roku, after dinner.  Greg and our son liked it, I didn't.  


HOWEVER, WE FAILED IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS, BUT LEARNED SOME LESSONS:

  • I had to throw away 1/2 a box of cake mix because my daughter had opened it and left it in the pantry... and the pantry moths found it, of course.

  • I also had to compost a very VERY brown banana that had liquefied. How?! we love bananas and usually we have no waste there.  Anyhoo I realized that the latest batch that I got at Aldi on Wednesday was quite bruised so I set 3 of them aside to make chocolate chip banana bread later on today.  I will need to freeze it in little packages that I can squeeze into the few empty spots in my very full freezer!

  • Tonight I realized that the cup of homemade chicken stock that I had in the fridge had turned so I had to dump it down the sink and used some canned stock since I hadn't defrosted another jar.

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

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