Friday, March 13, 2015

Today's Frugal Failures and Successes: Friday the 13th Edition (2015)



HAPPENINGS AROUND HERE TODAY:
  • Another hot day in Central Florida... it feels odd saying that it was "hot" as the temperature was only in the high 80s but trust me, the AC was running most of the day.  The thermostat is set for 76 (mainly so that the upstairs doesn't get too hot for comfort) so I don't think we're being extravagant.  This is Florida-living for you.

  • The city's recycling truck skipped my street this week.  It rained that day so now I have to keep a bin full of wet recyclables on my front porch until next Wednesday. Very white trash (although since I already store several empty cardboard boxes on the front porch, it fits right in to the "decor").

  • Speaking of recycling, I do wish we had access to bulk shopping options here in my rural community.  Twice this week I had to transfer foods from their store containers into storing containers so they wouldn't be ruined by various bugs: the quick oats and the flaked coconut. The quick oats container from Aldi was cardboard and plastic and recyclable but the bag that the coconut came in had to be thrown away.  I wish I could have just brought my plastic storage containers and filled them up at the store.  I wouldn't go as far as bringing glass jars to buy my meat (something that  was described in a book I thumbed through recently) but I was annoyed at having to recycle/throw away that packaging as soon as I came home from the store. Not annoyed enough to drive over 45 minutes to buy overpriced food at Whole Foods, though.

  • When I logged into my Amazon account this morning to redeem my Swagbucks gift card, I was greeted by a screen informing me that I was only using 2 of the 5 benefits reserved for Amazon Prime customers.  To wit, I'm currently not using the Kindle Lending Library, their music service or their photo service. And I won't.  I don't like cloud-based applications. I don't trust them and they're not all that convenient for me.  The only exception I made is Google Drive, where I store my price book, my shopping list, and a couple of spreadsheets that I share with my ex-husband or kids. However, even this is failing me today as I'm not able to access my shopping list on Google Drive.  I had another access problem last week. It's kind of ironic because I used to keep it in Excel on my hard drive but moved it to Google Drive so I could consult it on the go in case I forgot it at home. Not being able to access it today is a little annoyance but would be a great annoyance on a Wednesday (since I do my shopping on Wednesdays).  Right now I'm pondering going back to using it on my hard drive since I've only forgotten to bring it with me once and that was before I moved it to Google Drive.

  • I did some light painting in our spare bedroom this morning: instead of applying a second coat of paint over the whole wall, I just painted over those areas where the previous white color was showing through the light green color, and I used my paint brush to paint the last corner of that wall.  I think I'm done after this, it's just a matter of waiting until the paint dries and removing the painter's tape.  Then I need to try and clean up all the flecks of paint on the hardwood floor. Some are old (from the previous owners of the house who were just as crappy remodelers as we are) and some are newish (as in from last year when I painted the ceiling).  I can't wait to put that room back together.  It gets much better air conditioning (because it has 2 vents) so on days when we're too hot in our bedroom, the most uncomfortable person will actually be able to use that bedroom instead of sleeping on the couch downstairs!  Then it'll be time to paint our master bathroom. Ugh.  Have I mentioned how I hate painting?! I'm going to use the same color as that accent wall from the spare bedroom since I still have most of a half-gallon of paint (it's a very small bathroom).

  • I've been filling out the FAFSA for my 2 older sons for a few years, but this year I checked with my ex whether he was going to fill it out for them (he's claiming them on his taxes) and, to my surprise, he said he would.  I'm so happy I don't have to deal with his hellish form this year.  It's a huge PITA.

  • PinchMe sent me 3 separate emails telling me that "my personal box" is on its way so I might yet receive all those samples of PureVia and Gevalia coffee that they had said I was entitled to. That would be very cool.

  • I spent the whole afternoon on my back patio, enjoying the latest book by Dennis Lehane "World Gone By". It was a 7-day book from the library that I needed to return before next Wednesday so I'm happy to say that it will definitely be returned before then.  And the book was very very good.

  • For dinner I made pumpkin soup with homemade pumpkin purée and homemade chicken stock.  I used light sour cream instead of heavy cream. I made grilled cheese (grilled turkey and cheese for our son and Greg) sandwiches  to go with it.

  • After dinner Greg and I watched 2 more episodes of Game of Thrones, season 4.

FRUGAL SUCCESSES:
  • Greg worked from home today, saving us about $20 in gas and tolls.

  • The kids packed their lunches to take to school.

  • My daughter drove herself to school, saving me a round-trip (gas and time savings)

  • Swagbucks finally sent me the $5 Amazon gift card that I had ordered last week. I'm saving for a couple of items that I would like:
    • a tortilla press (still haven't found one at the thrift store)
    • the first season of "The Middle" (maybe it'll become available on Netflix or Amazon before I buy it?  One can hope, no?)

  • I trimmed my own bangs.

  • I am resisting the "Here's your FREE seed starting kit" emails that Burpee keeps sending me because they actually mean "FREE with $75 purchase!" and I don't need a seed starting kit or to spend $75 at Burpee.

  • I used Turbotax Premier (via our credit union) to file our federal taxes and got a $20 discount. Minutes after I filed they emailed me to let me know that their prices were going up after 3/19 so it's a good thing I filed today.

  • Greg and I had leftovers for lunch.

HOWEVER, WE FAILED IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS, BUT LEARNED SOME LESSONS:
  • I mailed the IRS a check for several thousands of dollars to cover our tax bill.  Waaaaaaaa.... It's not a failure per se but frugal me (cheap me?) can't bring herself to see this as a positive thing so...


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

Thanks for stopping by!

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