Monday, March 23, 2015

Frugal Failures and Successes: Monday 3/23/15

  • My daughter is back at home for the week so she'll be driving my car to school and her activities.  She told me that she might want to live here full-time starting next month rather than waiting until July (her dad will be moving to his new house which is an hour away, thus making the children's co-living arrangements that we've have in place for 15 years obsolete).  I'd absolutely love to have her here full-time, she my baby girl!  Such an awesome daughter.

  • Disaster averted! My digital camera slipped out of my pocket when I was kneeling down in the backyard this morning and fell to the ground. Thankfully:
    • I realized that it wasn't in my pocket anymore a short while later thanks to my compulsive "patting of the pockets" that I do constantly to make sure that I know where my cell phone is.
    • It fell in the grass and the lens wasn't extended.
    • The rain had stopped at this point but started again right after I found it.  Phew!

  • The baskets of clean laundry waiting to be folded/ironed are making a choo-choo train in my living room... I'll get to it tomorrow.

  • I won't be earning $5 in ECB from CVS for linking my profile to their prescription program, despite their invitation... I had a very bad experience with their pharmacy several years ago and I swore I'd never get any prescriptions there again. They're very expensive anyway.  I go to Publix whenever I need a prescription filled, nowadays. It's convenient and I love their Customer Service policy.  Sorry, CVS!

  • However, I think I might take advantage of this Dunkin Donuts offer on Wednesday since I have a coupon for a free beverage and one for a free donut (with a beverage purchase).

  • We still have mice in the house!  One of them chewed through the ceiling (we have ceiling tiles) in my pantry!  I need to figure out how to deal with this. If I plug the hole, they'll just chew another one right next to it.  Grrr. So sick of those critters. And my 2 cats are totally useless.  We also still have pantry moths, they had completely infested a Rubbermaid container that had lots of packets of instant grits in it. I had to throw the whole thing away. 

  • Greg left for a business trip out of the country today.  The only frugal part of this is that his meals will be covered by his company.

  • The chances of rain for today ended up being 90% and it rained pretty much all day.  Yay for my garden!  It's also supposed to rain Thursday and Friday. I guess I won't be roasting on the back patio much this week.

  • We ran out of bread earlier than anticipated again, despite buying several loaves instead of just one... I think my son might be making Nutella sandwiches for snack more often than I realize?  Anyway, I was thinking about driving to Save A Lot when my daughter got back from school, but instead I decided to make a batch of "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day" dough and bake bread this week. I'll make rolls for dinner, etc. The whole batch will probably cost me less than a loaf of cheap bread.

  • SavingStar credited my account with $1.55 for the purchase I made at Ace Hardware back in February.

  • Swagbucks sent me the Amazon gift card that I had ordered last Wednesday. I tried to take more surveys last night to get closer to 500 Swagbucks again but I kept on getting disqualified :(

  • I ordered my tortilla press from Amazon.  I went through Swagbucks and earned 3 SB per dollar (which might be zero since I use Reward points and Swagbucks gift cards to get it free?!), and elected to NOT get the $1 digital credit for choosing the "no rush shipping option" since I need it this week anyway. I looked for one at local thrift stores for a few weeks but never spotted one so I bit the bullet.  Watch it that now I'll be seeing some every week!

  • Because the rain was predicted to last all day, I didn't think that I would be able to dry as much laundry on the racks as I wanted to, so I used the racks indoors but put most of the clothes in the dryer on the Auto Moisture Sensing "Dry More" setting (since it was a giant load). However, at some point in the early afternoon the sun came out and the sun parted and my weather app decided that it wouldn't rain again until 7 p.m.!  I moved the racks to the patio but I could have saved energy, would they had not lied to me! I was this close to ordering the extra drying rack that I want from Target (1 SB per dollar spent, free shipping with my RedCard and 5% off with the RedCard too) but I'm still holding out for some coupon or Cartwheel code.  Incidentally, you might be able to use Cartwheel offers on if the offers are specifically designated as such. I've never seen any of them. I logged in to Cartwheel on my laptop to check there too and didn't find anything.

  • Since I had reached $20 in my SavingStar account, I requested a payout. I didn't like the idea of crediting my Paypal account because I very rarely use it and didn't want to link to my bank (I rarely link my bank account to anything) so I requested a transfer to my Upromise account. Upromise cuts me a check if I want to. It'll take 30-45 days for the transfer to be effective but I don't care.  I also updated my app and you can now see the status of your receipts right under the "receipts" tab. Awesome, although it takes longer to load.

  • Checked my pantry and realized that I did have a can of Cream of Chicken soup for my Chicken Enchiladas this week so I don't have to buy any. Woohoo!

  • I was going to drive to the library this afternoon since it'd been rainy and humid, but then I realized that I didn't really need to go today (if I miss the coupon inserts, oh well) so I emailed the children's librarian to tell her I'll be dropping off the plastic Easter eggs on Wednesday.

  • Gardening can cost a lot of money... but each year I spend less and less as I have already invested in the "capital".  This morning I was all giddy to reuse my tomato cages from last year, as well as the gardening twisty ties and the bamboo stakes that I had bought over previous years.

  • I also reused 2 pepper cages that were sitting unused to corral my raspberry canes.
I left the right side open since the Home Depot folks are coming back to re-measure the window openings this week and there are 2 windows right there.
  • The bins have been collecting the rainwater, woohoo!  I wish I had more cat litter jugs to store it, though.

  • I baked cupcakes for the kids' after-school snack, using the cupcake mix that I got on clearance for less than $0.12 a box (after coupon) and the accompanying frosting, on clearance as well for about $0.50  (after coupon). The box made 24 cupcakes so less than 2 cents a muffin!  I used the 23 reusable Wilton silicone baking cups that I had gotten last year (they had sent me a 2nd set when I wrote to them to say that one of the cups had split when I had been washing it) and 1 foil baking cup. 
I'm not one of those fancy bakers so I just slathered the frosting
on the cupcakes... not pretty but it saved me tons of time and
they'll get eaten just the same. They're delicious, BTW.
  • I baked the bread right after that to take advantage of the hot oven. I decided to try to shape it into a log instead of a round loaf so it would be easier to use for sandwiches (not that it will last that long!).

  • After putting the bread in the oven, I saved some flour that had fallen on the countertop as I formed the loaf and returned it to the flour container.

  • I sold another book on although I only priced it at $1.50.  I'll have to see if there's an upcycled bubble mailer that I can use for shipping.

  • I fired up my son's computer and printed some extra coupons from (via Swagbucks, of course!) and Target.  While I was at it,  I defaulted his Search Engine to Swagbucks Search so I can accelerate my SB earnings.  He wasn't too happy about it because, like his mother, he doesn't like change, but I got him to agree to keep on using it for the rest of the week.
  • Somehow I didn't get the email until today, but SavingStar has been running a special promotion this month (through 3/31) where you can get up to $1 extra if you redeem several qualifying offers (i.e. offers that are NOT the weekend freebie or weekly healthy savings offers).

  • I had leftover Hearty Meatball Soup for lunch.  What a delicious dish!  

  • As usual. I made notes of upcoming Publix sales that I might be interested in in the next sales cycle, thanks to I Heart Publix's preview post with coupon match-ups.  I can't imagine how long it takes her to put all of this together every week. And there you go, damn it, Gevalia coffee will be on BOGO next week. Arrgh. I should have hung on to my coupon for a free bag of Gevalia that I had earned through Kellogg's Family Rewards!  I was too afraid to let it expire by mistake!

  • I also made a note of the Aldi produce sale that starts on Wednesday. I use Southern Savers' preview although our prices are usually a little higher but at least it's the same items that will be on sale.  Another blogger also posts her Aldi preview but she's up North and their produce sales are completely different from ours.

  • I used my recumbent bike to get my free exercise, while I re-watched an episode from Season 1 of  "The Americans" (using our free Amazon Prime membership) and clipping the coupons that I printed yesterday and today.

  • I rewashed a freezer zipper bag in order to be able to reuse it.

  • I had a delicious snack of warm, homemade bread with homemade orange marmalade.  So satisfying!

  • I earned 25 KFR points by entering bonus code MAGICALCREATIONS in my Kellogg's Family Rewards account (thanks, IHeartPublix!)

  • PinchMe emailed me a confirmation that they're mailing my free samples of Gevalia coffee and PureVia sweetener. OK, then, PinchMe, I'm waiting!

  • Once again I neglected to read a recipe until right before I started cooking... the Loaded Grits were supposed to bake for 1 hour AFTER I had already precooked everything. Arrgh. I was already late getting dinner started since I indulged in watching both episodes of The Middle that air between 6 and 7 p.m., so I fed the kids the other 2 portions of the leftover Hearty Meatball Soup and some slices of fresh bread.  

  • Despite my usual grumblings about this, Greg won't submit his mileage and tolls to and from the airport to his company. He doesn't want to bother with it and says he would be paying for gas and tolls driving to work anyway. Well, yeah but tolls cost more to drive to the airport than to work :(

  • My daughter didn't pack a lunch for school today so I funded her lunch account.  My son will be buying lunch as well, as he does every Monday.  

  • Gotta love a husband who doesn't give you his receipts right away.Not. Grrr!  This morning I found several receipts from Greg's trip to his parents' a couple of weeks ago and realized that some of the items that I had counted as "freebies" in my "Free Hand-Me-Downs" posts had actually been bought by him. Not only that but he dared to pay $9.58 for the box of Hefty trashbags. I guess Ingles doesn't sell store brands (I know that they do!). I' The other items that we paid for were a Sharpie (we have tons of those at home, I got them for free from Staples!) and some sticky name tags that he used to label the bags (I put those in the donation box for the thrift store since we wouldn't use them but now I'm thinking that I might keep them after all). And he paid cash for all his purchases instead of using a credit card for us to earn rewards. No wonder he put those out right before leaving the state for a few days, he knew I would be very annoyed with him :)

  • I'm so annoyed with myself too!  I dropped my favorite glass bowl and it cracked in two. I had had hopes of being able to glue it back together but I found smaller chards around so I had to throw it away.  Arrgh. I got it at the thrift store last year for something like $3, I think, but it was my to-go bowl to get my bread dough to rise and other uses.  I added "big glass bowl" on my thrift store wish list.

Did you have any frugal successes or failures today?  Share in the comments!

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