Friday, April 10, 2015

Today's Frugal Failures and Successes: Friday 4/10/15



HAPPENINGS AROUND HERE TODAY:

  • My theory that if I exercised I would sleep well at night didn't work... I was up at 4:00 a.m. this morning!  Ugh.  Maybe I should try melatonin or something. I was outside all day yesterday so I got plenty of sun.  This middle-age thing is really kicking my butt and it's probably downhill from here...

  • Our internet connection was down for several hours last night. I called Brighthouse thinking it was a problem with our modem, but was told there was a major outage in our area. It would have been nice for them to place an automatic recording informing us of this when we provide our phone number instead of having to be on hold for over 15 minutes only to be told this in person!  Without access to Netflix or the internet, we read books and watched some OTA TV. Our son amuses himself with software that was installed on his computer and chatted with a friend on the phone instead of them playing video games online together.  I was relieved that the connection was back on this morning, though.  I think not having internet access might be harder on me than not having power, lol.

  • Since it's supposed to rain all weekend and Greg has several conference calls scheduled today, I am planning on, once again, enjoying my back patio as much as I can.  I'm hoping that when it's not raining this weekend, the weather will be quite overcast so I can work on laying down the landscaping fabric that I got from Ace Hardware on my berm and mulch over it.

  • Why is it that when I reorganize my freezer, I end up with less room than when everything was just thrown in there? On that note, I need to re-inventory it since I used up a lot of items over the past 2 months but also added a lot as well (and didn't add it to the inventory, bad Nathalie!).

  • On the sisterly front, my sister was finally able to cash in the money order that I had sent her.  Her doctor diagnosed her with depression due to the crazy events happening right now, prescribed some anti-depressant and relaxant so she can sleep and function and put her on medical leave until 5/25.  During that time, she cannot be fired or laid off and also she should be able to collect some social security (in France, sick pay is drawn from social security, which is totally different from American social security), although she's not sure how much yet.  So this is good news (as dire as it sounds, actually).  Also, she now has 18 affidavits from colleagues supporting her.

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

  • My daughter drove herself to school, saving us gas and time (one less roundtrip!). She also packed herself a lunch.

  • Our son packed himself a lunch and used his older brother's lunchbag (it's good to not be a minimalist!) as his needs to be repaired.

  • When I went to fill out feedback on my PinchMe (referral link) account for the Gevalia sample received yesterday, I realized that I could request a sample of Equal sweetener as well. I prefer stevia sweetener, but free is free.  Shortly after, they sent me a confirmation.

  • I was looking over my dinner menu for the rest of the week and realized that I had put the shrimp that I need for Sunday's planned dinner on the shopping list for NEXT week.  Doh!  I'll need to improvise something with what we have on hand... which is tons so it won't be a problem.

  • I did it!  I finished the old, large box of Publix-brand cheerios that no one wanted to eat.  I actually grew to like them with fresh or dehydrated strawberries thrown in it.  I'll have to go back to oatmeal, now.

  • I emptied out my countertop composting bin into the larger bin outside and used composting leaves that Greg had raked for me last year (they're well on their way to be compost themselves) as "browns".  After I cleaned the countertop bin, I lined with with paper scraps left from my clipping printable coupons (I keep them all in a large reusable bag just for that purpose). It makes cleaning the bin easier and also provides extra "browns".


  • I reused water collected in the shower to flush the toilet and rainwater collected in the bins to water my rose bushes and potted herbs.

  • I reused water left in Greg's cup from dinner last night to water the indoor herb seedlings.

  • Greg mentioned that my bean plants looked very thirsty and they did!  I collected water from all the rainwater bins and also from the bins collecting under leaky faucets/hoses and was able to water the rest of my garden (in-ground plants and potted plants) with it.  

  • I harvested 4 small blackberries from the wild blackberry plant that's been growing in the back of our property, around an old tree trunk.  This is the 1st year that I beat the birds!

  • I had leftovers for lunch (from 2 nights ago, the Amish Chicken Stew) and a cup of the chocolate pudding that I made with sour milk, along with a chocolate cupcake (also made with sour milk).  Greg decided to have a sandwich for lunch.

  • I received a rebate check for Nature Valley Nut Crisps bars that I had submitted back in January.  The nice thing about it is that they refunded me more than what I paid: I paid $3.39 and they refunded me $3.88... I like to think they refunded me for the stamp?  That would be awesome if companies did that (or if they would let us always submit rebates electronically).

  • I harvested Swiss chard and spinach for dinner.


  • Dinner was Honey Pecan Pork Chops with Baked Potatoes and Stir-Fried Greens. I used 4 pork loin chops cut from a loin roast I had bought at less than $2.00 a lb several months ago, the spinach and Swiss chard from my garden (cooked in a tbsp of bacon fat that I had been keeping in the fridge) and 6 small Idaho Russet potatoes that had cost me $1.99 for 10 lbs at Save A Lot several weeks ago. I also defrosted some homemade corn bread. It was all really, really good but we don't have any leftovers save for one small potato.

  • After dinner we had "Family Movie Night" and we watched the latest 2 episodes of Community, Season 6 on Yahoo! Screen via our Roku (so, free).  The show isn't as funny as it used to be, unfortunately.

  • After our family viewing was over, the kids retired to their own devices and Greg and I watched an episode of "Malcolm in the Middle" on Netflix via Roku.  We had trouble with the Netflix channel at first because it wouldn't play anything and I noticed a lot of people complaining about Netflix not working on their Roku due to a software update. Thankfully, I was able to remove the channel and re-add it and it started working again. Phew!
HOWEVER, WE FAILED IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS, BUT LEARNED SOME LESSONS:
  • I did find 2 potatoes that were starting to go moldy in the bag so I composted them. Next time, I'll need to keep checking the potatoes more often to make sure I cook them before they start being bad.

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

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