Monday, March 30, 2015

Today's Frugal Failures and Successes: Monday 3/30/15



HAPPENINGS AROUND HERE TODAY:
  • Greg and our son left early this morning to go visit his parents out of state. While some people might enjoy the time alone, I kind of dread it.  I miss looking forward to them being home in the afternoons and at night!

  • I have a list of projects to accomplish this week, we'll see if I can get myself motivated to actually do them:
    • Finish repainting the door jamb in the upstairs bedroom
    • Clean the wooden floor of the paint splatters in that bedroom
    • Paint the desk from that bedroom
    • Put the bedroom back together again
    • Take down the mini-blinds from the window that will be replaced in that bedroom
    • Clean the bathrooms
    • Repaint the bathroom
    • Mop the kitchen
    • Dust
    • Vacuum
    • Sweep the laundry room
    • Sweep the front porch
    • Empty the shredded and shred what has accumulated
    • File paperwork that's been piling up
    • Clean off the pollen/mildew from outside doors and porches
    • Water the garden with collected rainwater
    • Install the edging around the berm in the backyard since Greg didn't get to it
    • Then lay down the cardboard on the berm and mulch it
    • Finish mulching the beds in the back of the house
    • Harvest lettuce for my lunch
    • Fold the laundry and iron
    • Declutter the house as much as I can, it's driving me nuts
    • Clean the top of my desk
    • File recipes that I have used already away
    • Pay bills and balance the checkbook
    • Exercise every day
    • Go to the library to return books and pick up items waiting for me
    • Go to Racetrac to redeem free bakery item coupons before tomorrow
    • Set goals for April

FRUGAL SUCCESSES:
  • Every morning I start my day by reading the local, national and then international news online. I don't subscribe to any newspapers and I don't watch the news on TV.  I might only get the main headlines this way, but it keeps me "in the know" and it doesn't cost me anything. I'm thankful that one of our local newspapers actually publishes free online articles about important happenings in my little town since the Orlando Sentinel is pretty much useless (they hide all the interesting articles behind their pay wall).  

  • I sliced and put 3/4 of a quart of strawberries in the dehydrator.

  • I cut up a large sweet onion and set it in the freezer to flash freeze it. I use a silicone mat and reused the plastic wrap that I have been using for several days on top of it. I read on a blog this morning that microwaving the onions for a couple of minutes first will help diminish the pungency of the smell, but I totally forgot to do this!

  • I was going to save the onion bag to make a new scrubby for my pots and pans but the mesh was glued to the paper wrapper and when I tried to unstick it, the mesh was all ragged and not very good quality, so I just threw it away instead :(


  • I had cut the cilantro and frozen it in some water in ice cube trays this weekend.  Today I put the cilantro cubes in a recycled freezer bag.


  • I made a new batch of boule bread dough. Later on I baked a small loaf for myself.  I set it to rise next to the dehydrator since it's not very hot today.

  • For my lunches/dinners this week, I cooked a big pot of Spicy Carrot Soup, using homemade chicken stock and 1/2 a diced onion that I needed to freeze anyway.  I was going to cook the soup in the microwave as usual, but this time I decided to cook it on the stove instead. It makes me feel all homemaker-like! 

  • I baked two loaves of chocolate chip banana bread: I used five brown bananas, homemade baking powder and also homemade vanilla.  Instead of oil, I used natural applesauce.  I avoided a disaster when I first caught myself added 1 cup of salt instead of 1 cup of sugar to the batter (phew #1) and then when I caught myself trying to add 2 tsp of baking soda instead of baking powder (phew #2).  I indulged in 1 slice of it after lunch. Uh oh, maybe I ought to freeze it sooner than later :)

  • I washed two plastic freezer bags to reuse later.

  • I had made plans to have dinner out with a friend but she texted me to ask if we could meet later in the evening so I decided to treat her to Starbucks instead since I have a $25 gift card that I had earned and I read that frappuccinos are 50% off today. I need to remember to bring my own cup!

  • For breakfast, I used the croissant that I got last night for free at Racetrac . I toasted it since it was stale, I was too busy dictating this into my Dragon Dictation app and it burned! I still ate it but didn't enjoy it as much as I was hoping to. However I did keep the crumbs that had fallen out when I cut it in half prior to toasting. I'll slightly toast them later on (keeping an eye on them this time!) and will add them to my container of homemade breadcrumbs.


  • I finally had to switch to the prescription glasses I got last year. They're bifocals like the ones I've been using, but the bottom portion is stronger.  I hadn't been wearing them because it actually makes everything on my computer screen blurry (the mid-range distance is my real problem) but the old ones are woefully inadequate to read the directions on packaging.  What I really need to do is pretend my old ones are computer glasses and my "new" ones are the ones to wear at all other times. It's sooooo annoying, which is why I haven't been wearing the new ones (although they're in my purse but I always forget that I'm carrying them around). Getting old really really stinks (she says, putting the old ones back on because she can't handle the blurriness of the laptop as she tries to type with the "new" ones on).  I think that at this year's exam I'm going to tell the doctor that I WILL try the progressive lenses, nausea be damned.  I have very good vision coverage right now so might as well use it.

  • I drove to the library and Racetrac. Not very frugal but I didn't feel like walking for an hour.  I dropped off a magazine in the donation pile and picked up a best-seller and a DVD that were waiting for me.  

  • I redeemed a survey reward code at Racetrac for a free jumbo chocolate muffin which I froze.  Back in my car, I realized that my daughter had left some trash in it... but it's all good because one of the item was a Racetrac receipt (she'd bought herself a drink)... so I got to take another Racetrac survey and earn another code for a free pastry, which I will redeem tomorrow.


  • I had a leftover Florentine Crêpe for lunch, along with a bowl of the Spicy Carrot soup I made this morning. I enjoyed my lunch on my back porch, listening to some birds overhead, one of them with a particularly grating voice, I might add. I hope he/she doesn't build a nest in one of the trees around the house, because that's the kind of bird that will keep you up at all times of night.

  • SavingStar's customer service replied to my email about the half credit for the freebie of the weekend and they said my account will be credited within a couple of days for the difference.

  • I earned 50 KFR points by entering bonus code EASTERISONITSWAY in my Kellogg's Family Rewards account (thanks, Slickdealer!)

  • I saw that Southern Savings' s preview of the Aldi ad includes sweet potatoes at $0.33/lb. I hope we'll see this price down here too. I added them to my shopping list in italics (which means I'm not sure the price is correct) and I'll check our ad on Wednesday morning when it's posted online and before I leave for my shopping trip.

  • I baked a small loaf of bread. However, I forgot to set a timer so it was a little overcooked. Oops. Still delicious, but setting it to rise next to the dehydrator did the job a little too well and what I thought would be a small loaf, ended up being a much larger and less dense loaf as the dough rose very well! I guess I'll be having toast for breakfast tomorrow!

  • I met my friend Jodie for coffee and a good chatting session at Starbucks and treated us both with the Starbucks gift card that I earned a few months back for trying out a retirement tool on one of our investment firms' website.

  • I gave my friend the pair of brand new earrings that I had found in the Walmart parking lot a couple of months ago, for her young daughter.

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

  • I was going to print some extra coupons from my son's desktop computer but when I turned it on, the admin profile wouldn't load up.  I was able to log in as my son (no admin rights) and the C drive is almost full but since Greg has configured the PC with several internal drives and I'm not sure what I can uninstall without causing more trouble, I decided to just let him deal with it when he comes back... it's typical, though, every time he leaves for an extended period of time, things start breaking down (last summer it was the AC, then plumbing problems, then the coffeemaker).  Grrrr. No extra coupons for me, oh well.

  • Not a failure on our part, but a failure on Amex's part, I think... the Shoprunner benefit that we get via our card is changing starting 5/1 and will now require a minimum purchase at "certain" suppliers.  They can hardly call it a benefit now, I think...


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


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