Sunday, April 5, 2015

Daily Frugal Failures and Successes: Sunday 4/5/15

  • I woke up way earlier than I had hope and took my coffee outside to enjoy the birds waking up and chirping at each other.  The sky was cloudy so I checked the weather app on my phone and we were supposed to get 50% chance of rain in the afternoon!  So I didn't the garden... however, we never did get any rain!

  • Our kids are teens so we don't do anything for Easter anymore and they really don't care.  It saves us money and time.

  • I set a quart of milk (bought on 50% off clearance) to defrost so we have enough milk for tomorrow morning's breakfast.

  • My ex called me yesterday to coordinate my daughter's "moving in" with us full-time starting tonight. It makes life so much easier for everyone, especially the kids, when ex-spouses can actually communicate without arguing. My ex and I have worked very hard, from the time we knew we were separating, to make sure our kids' interests were ALWAYS at the forefront of everything that we did. Anyhoo, we agreed that I will be claiming our daughter on my taxes next year since she'll be living with us more than 6 months (as divorced parents, we have the option to exchange exemption for our children with one another and do so every year).  We have never paid child support to one another. Instead, we share all expenses such as clothing, school expenses, medical expenses 50-50 with the help of a spreadsheet that we keep on Google Drive and both edit as needed.  We also always seek the other parent's approval prior to adding an expense to that spreadsheet or even incurring the expense.  It's worked very well for us for 15 years.  We will continue with this arrangement. Yes, I will spend more money on our daughter due to food, etc, this year, but our middle son went to live with his dad for several months a few years ago so this is evening out.  Also he pays our daughter an allowance based on her grades (and "unfortunately" for him, she has more than excellent grades!) whereas I pay her for chores she accomplishes. We agreed that our daughter will continue spending every other weekend at her dad's and agreed on the transportation arrangements as well.

  • I printed some coupons from my usual sources: via Swagbucks, Smartsource, Redplum, Target, and loaded some digital coupons to my Publix and Walgreens digital wallets.

  • We're very low on bread and Greg doesn't like eating my homemade bread because he claims that the yeast hurts his stomach, so I defrosted a few slices of rye bread for him (I had gotten a loaf at 50% off at Save A Lot, a few weeks back) and I also baked a new loaf of bread for our son and myself.

  • In trying to use up the sour milk, I made 2 batches of chocolate chip pancakes (our son and I had some today and I froze the rest), 2 batches of buttermilk cornbread (using the sour milk as buttermilk, thanks for the tip, Lana!), and a batch of instant chocolate pudding, which I split into 6 smaller containers for our son's snacks - I might freeze half of them since the pudding has set a little, since the milk is already kind of sour). I still have about 1/2 a gallon of milk left so I'll probably make waffles and crêpes tomorrow and freeze them as well. The kids will be happy to have those for breakfast in the mornings and it'll save me some money on cereals so win-win.

  • I received 100 KFR points by entering bonus code CORNYLOVESEASTER in my Kellogg's Family Rewards account (exp 4/12/15).

  • Greg downloaded a free book to his Kindle.

  • I did 2 loads of laundry on cold/cold, using cheap detergent ($1 to $1.50 a bottle after coupons) and vinegar as softener. I dried the undies/socks/ cleaning cloths/cloth napkins/polyester clothing outdoors on the racks or on hangers in my laundry room and put the cotton clothing in the dryer on the Auto Moisture Sensing setting. Hopefully the clothes will dry before the rain starts!

  • My (brand new) patio umbrella is already giving me problems... small nuts and screws keep coming off it by themselves.  Today was the 2nd time that I noticed one of the "arms" had come apart (2 parts joined together by a bolt, a spacer and a nut) and I couldn't find the nut anywhere... it's really tiny.  Our son joined me in looking for it but we couldn't find it. Finally, Greg spotted it just by chance, in the opposite direction of where we had been looking for it.  I put it back in place without the spacer because I think the bolt might be a bit too short so it doesn't grip the nut as well as it should. If it happens again, I'll have to contact Lowe's about exchanging it.

  • I was going to make "Classic Chicken Parmesan" with chicken drumsticks instead of thighs but then I decided to just grill the drumsticks with some of that Ten Things Farm seasoning we like so much and cook some pasta on the side. I used up a 1/2 cup of pasta sauce that was in my fridge and the rest of the veggies from last night's dinner went into it too. Easy, peasy and very tasty!

  • We didn't drive anywhere today either.

  • No frugal failures per se, but I did send some money to my sister who has lost her income pending the resolution of horrible, unfounded accusations about her at work.  You know "guilty until proven innocent?", well, apparently that's not the way it goes in France. Even with all the workers' advantages over American workers when it comes to their jobs, her employer is able to suspend her from work and not pay her one cent for at least 3 months following hearsay accusations. It's a total nightmare for her and my whole family.  The only good thing is that my 2 brothers and I, as well as her parents (she's our half-sister on our mom's side) are rallying around her and helping out as much as we can, which, unfortunately, is probably not as much as she actually needs, but we won't let her and her kids be out on the street without any food.  I sure hope there is some resolution soon and that all goes as best for her as it can. 
Did you have any frugal successes or failures today? Please do tell!


  1. How horrible for your sister! I hope she gets cleared quickly! If they find the charges unsubstantiated, and from what you are saying I'm sure it will happen, will they compensate her with back pay then?

    1. Thanks, TrayceeBee. No one I have talked to seems to know and I doubt that she would receive any back pay since she's not allowed to work at the moment; the consensus in my family seems to be that, since management was quick to sideline her without any proof of any wrongdoing (seems incredible, right?), they will do whatever they can not to "lose face" and reinstate her. She's trying to get an appointment with an attorney to sue them for libel and slander, mostly to clear her name and record because she will never be able to get another job if those charges remain in her file, trying to get a hold of a prosecutor in order to file a complaint against the accusers (her union rep advised her to do this and in France you have to do that in the prosecutor's office) and she is gathering affidavits from co-workers in her favor. It's a huge mess. We're encouraged that the person in charge of the investigation is the one who advised my sister to get an attorney but no one seems to know if management is legally obligated to take her back if the investigator's conclusions are that she shouldn't have been suspended (without pay) or if the investigator's conclusions are just advice that they can take into account... or not.

      It really seems incredible that her employer would be allowed to do this. From what my mom told me, the law in that regard is kind of murky and allows employers to suspend employees for up to 3 months without pay. Without clear guidelines, most employers choose to suspend employees for the longest possible time, so she could be without an income (or any way to get one) for 3 months, having to not only pay for her bills (she has 2 kids) but also pay the lawyer. etc, without any guarantee that she will still have a job at the end... and frankly, would you want to go back to that employer after all that? My heart really aches for her, we all feel so powerless.

  2. You've done great! My husband doesn't love my bread either, he thinks its too dense... which it is, I'm far from a baker.

    Sorry about your sister. How terrible. She is lucky to have such a great family.

    1. Thanks, Hannah, I appreciate that.

      My new favorite way of baking bread is baking the dough from the "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day" method in a bread pan instead of directly onto a stone. It really makes for delicious sandwich bread that way. Greg's stomach can't take the yeast, apparently, but I read on their blog recently that they've revised their original recipe to use less yeast. I keep on forgetting to lower the amount in my dough when I make it. On that note... I'm off to write a note in that cookbook!

  3. I hated to read that about your sister! I am the youngest of 10 kids and although we fight like heck at times, we always rally around each other! Also, much respect to both you and your ex-husband. I have always, always said that it's one thing not to be married to each other as long as you can co-parent effectively. You have definitely earned my respect in that regard.


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