Thursday, April 2, 2015

Daily Frugal Failures and Successes: Thursday 4/2/15

  • I checked my bathroom this morning and the paint looks fine with just 1 coat.  I'll just do touch-ups today.

  • Spring Break is making me lazy(ier?)... by the time I woke up (a little later than usual, thanks, birds, for not chirping too loudly this morning!), drank my coffee and caught up on the news online, it was 10:30 a.m.  Oh no!  I'm supposed to be productive this week!  I jumped in the shower. did a few tasks... and then decided to have lunch on the back porch.  Since I'm encamped with my laptop, a book, drinks and my lunch, I'm thinking I'm probably not going to be too productive this afternoon. Oh well. It's Spring Break for me too and I'm enjoying Spring outdoors.

  • I woke up to a lot more Swagbucks in my account then I had last night: my Orbitz hotel reservation points hit overnight!  I could order a $5 Amazon gift card but since it's a new month, I can get a $25 gift card for fewer points so I'm shooting for this... 1700 more SB to go.

  • For breakfast, I had a bowl of "toasted oats" from Publix. This is their brand of Cheerios.  I bought the book many months ago because I was told by the kids that they loved that cereal but, of course, they never ate it.  I sliced some fresh strawberries in it and it was just fine and dandy.

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

  • I cut up one of the $1.00 pineapples that I bought yesterday and dehydrated it. I collected the peelings and put them in the crockpot insert that I had bought at the thrift store a couple of weeks ago because I wanted to try to make tepache, a fermented pineapple drink.  I knew I shouldn't have thrown away the whey collected from the plain yogurt last week... I need whey for this recipe!  I might get more yogurt from Publix this afternoon as I need to run a few errands today.

  • Target texted new digital coupons. They used to text me on Saturdays so they must have changed the schedule.  I might be able to use the produce coupon...

  • I watered my in-ground and potted plants with the rainwater I had saved in my upcycled cat litter jugs.  I needed to top off the self-watering bins and made sure to place the hose connection in the largest bin that I have since there is a leak the connection... by the time I was done, the bin was full!  I refilled all the cat litter jugs and placed the bin's lid back on so evaporation doesn't waste the water left in the bin (about 1/3 of the bin). Yes, I could replace the hoses but they'd end up in the landfill... and I'm not wasting any water since I collect it in the bin.

  • I had 2 self-watering bins that were growing nothing but weeds so I pulled the weeds and added more potting soil to the bins and transplanted the 11 strawberry plants that I had gotten for free at Lowe's last week.  I had forgotten to take them to Lowe's to exchange them for a flat with 12 plants,oh well. A couple of plants have already grown runners so I buried those so they produce more plants.  I mulched the strawberries with oak leaves that Greg had raked for me. I used plant labels that I had made out of a cat litter jug to mark the planting date.

  • The kohlrabi isn't showing much progress. I added mulch to the bin to see if that might help their growth. Still hoping I can taste kohlrabi some day!

  • I forgot to mention that my first rose bloomed a couple of days ago and today I also had my first Cosmos and another rose bush had a bud about to open on it.  The jasmine is also regrowing and smelling delicious but you have to be close to it since it's still tiny.

  • I had leftover Spicy Carrot soup on the porch for lunch, along with a turkey and bacon sandwich. The bacon was starting to get a little rancid so I nuked some for dinner last night and lunch today. I'll have some more tonight.  Dessert was some of the $0.50/lb grapes that I got yesterday at Save A Lot.  I saved the bacon grease in a jar that I keep in the fridge. I haven't figure out what to do with it just yet (I keep on forgetting to use it to cook greens) but at least it's not going down my pipes!

  • I ordered an 8x10 print from Walgreens for free (with store pick-up) with code FREE2FRAME.  Since it's already ready, I will go to Publix to get more $1.00/lb butter too.

  • Kohl's sent me my $5.00 Yes2You Reward.  I also have $10 in Kohl's cash to use up next week so I'll need to find something good to buy.
  • Discover Card has been my go-to credit card for years.  I use our Mastercard for larger purchases, the Target Redcard Visa at Target and Discover everywhere else.  We got an American Express card earlier this year, though. At first I was nervous that we wouldn't be able to use it anywhere but really, aside from Save A Lot (that doesn't accept it) and Aldi (cash or debit cards only), I have been able to use it everywhere.  Since reaching the required amount of charges to qualify for the $200 Statement Credit, though, I have gone back to using Discover. Why? because I can redeem the rewards in a number of ways, including on Amazon. These days I only redeem them on Amazon.  However, I realized yesterday that American Express will give me 3% back on supermarket expenses.  I looked on the Discover website to see what the rebate was and all I could see was the 5% bonus reward calendar.  For April-June, it's only for restaurants and movies. We rarely eat out nowadays and we never go to the movies.  I emailed their Customer Service to get the breakdown of what rebate I get on my regular purchases and this was their answer:

So I'm getting 1% back when I use Discover for anything right now.  However, here is what I would get back for using American Express as well as how much we have spent in each category as of yesterday, with that card:

I can get 3% back at supermarkets and 2 % back at gas stations, a much better deal than with Discover.  

So I will endeavor to remember to use American Express at gas stations and grocery stores and Discover everywhere else so as to maximize my rewards and I also texted Greg to request he uses Amex for his gas purchases. I believe that his Discover Rewards are still at the 0.25% level!

  • I drove to Publix to pick up one more lb of butter @ $1 after coupon and also buy a new lottery ticket.  I know some people think it's a "tax on stupid" but I only spend $20 every 10 weeks (2 drawings per week), we have no debt beyond our mortgage and live way under our means and I don't spend money on haircare, make-up, manicures or even clothing.

  • I finally remembered to buy another cooler bag while I was there. I already have one and I love it. I also have a cheaper one that is the plastic kind and has snap closures but it doesn't hold as much. Once it starts getting really hot, I'll be needing both bags since I spend several hours doing the grocery shopping. It was only $2.49 anyway.

  • I also swung by Walgreens to pick up my free 8x10 photo. Darn it, I should have remembered to edit it with Photoscape prior to uploading it because it didn't turn out very well, printed in that format. I will pick up a frame at Dollar Tree next week.

  • I went to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore thrift store to see if they had a toilet tank top to replace the one I broke last night. They didn't, but I spotted a bistro table and chairs set for $75.  The table has a concrete-poured top so it's pretty heavy, which is what I need so the umbrella doesn't make it topple over.  I went home to price similar sets online.  I saw similar tables priced at $179.99 for the table only so I went back and bought it. The clerk asked me if I was 55 or older because seniors got 20% off.  I don't lie so I told her no, but I have a feeling that she would have just given me the discount if I had said yes.  Being honest doesn't pay!  I think it looks very well on my patio!

  • CVS emailed me a $6/$30 coupon good only this weekend... unless they end up having wonderful deals on Sunday, I won't use it since I rarely spend $30 in one trip nowadays.  Ooooh, I just noticed that if I look at My Weekly Ad from the link in the email, I can also see the preview for Sunday's ad.  Alright, Cocoa Pebbles will be on sale for $1.99 and there is a $1.25/box rebate on Snap by Groupon without any limits! 

  • I used to have an Ibotta account but when they started pushing Facebook, I deleted my account (a couple of years ago).  I decided to check it out again but the latest version of the app only works on iOS 7 or later. My old phone won't let me upgrade to iOS7 but the app store let me re-download the older version of the app... however when I opened it I got a warning that this version will no longer be supported later on this month!  I emailed Customer Service to ask them if it's true because if it is, then I might as well delete my account right now :(

  • I earned 25 KFR points by entering bonus code FREEPTSCOMINGATU in my Kellogg's Family Rewards account.

  • I sold another book on, this time for $5.  Woohoo!

  • Brighthouse sent us a notice that our internet rates are increasing by $2 a month starting 5/1 AGAIN.  They already raised them by $2 and also started charging $4 for the modem less than a year ago. Since they're the only cable internet provider in our area, we don't have a choice :(

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

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