Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Today's Frugal Failures and Successes: Wednesday 4/15/15



HAPPENINGS AROUND HERE TODAY:

  • Happy Tax Day. I hope you didn't get a refund or a bill... that would mean that you didn't lend your money to the government for free and you estimated your W-4 correctly... unlike me!

  • I started decluttering the areas under the windows that will be replaced next week. This doesn't mean that I'm throwing anything away, just stuffing items into closets so they're out of the way.  Greg reminded me last night that we'll need to figure out what to do with the cats too. Since we're having windows replaced in pretty much every room of the house, I'll probably have our son corral them into their pet carriers and put them in the downstairs bathroom. I'll ask the workers if they can replace the one window in the large, well cooled guest bedroom upstairs first so then I can just leave the cats in there with their litter box, food and water.  Last time we had windows replaced, I had forgotten about the cats and our male cat jumped out the window they were replacing at the time.  Grrr. Good thing he's a scaredy cat so we were able to grab him pretty easily since he was hugging the bushes alongside the house! Anyhoo, having workers at the house stresses me (I don't like human interaction all that much, although I'm very good at it!) and I can't wait until it's all done.  

  • Last night we rescued the first sparrow of the Spring from our fireplace.  I had been hearing it chirp and chirp all day as he kept on descending the chimney and then finally, as we were settling down to watch Game of Thrones, it fell in the fireplace. We're old hands at this (our 14th year!) so I was able to grab it easily and release it. It was a little stunned so at first I thought I had killed it (oh no!) but it flew off after a few seconds. Phew!  I'm sure a couple more will fall in before the end of Spring.  Earlier this year we got a flying squirrel too. It was so cute! Our roof is way too steep for us to go and block the chimney.

  • My daughter went back to volunteer at the horse ranch this afternoon. She really likes it. However, due to the heat, they will stop ranch operations for the summer starting next week.

  • When my son and I stopped at the library tonight, the teen librarian announced that my son and his teammates won our state's teen video challenge contest!  He should get about $15-$20, we think.  The librarian also sent in his poem for a poetry contest, and the teens entered another video into a county-wide contest.

FRUGAL SUCCESSES:
  • Greg worked from home today (unusual for a Wednesday!), saving us about $20 in gas and tolls.

  • My daughter was able to drive herself to work today since I did my grocery shopping on Monday (and Greg is home if I do need a vehicle).  That saved me a round-trip (so money and time).

  • SavingStar credited my account with the $0.50 from buying the Honey Nut cheerios on Monday.
  • I spent a few minutes earning my daily maximum on Bing Rewards. I'm over 50% of my way towards being able to get a $5 gift card.

  • Dinner was going to be Grilled Italian Sausage over Homemade Linguine but since I was gone in the afternoon.and I was not in the mood to battle with making my own pasta for the first time today, I used a box of Barilla Veggie spaghetti.

  • I harvested 10 jalapeños and the 2 Ichiban eggplants.  Hopefully this will stimulate the plants to grow more fruit. I'm not too worried about the jalapeño plant, though... it still has several fruit in various stages of development as well as flowers.

  • I started a jar of pickled eggs for Greg.  I came across this idea for reusing juice from pickles this past weekend and mentioned it to Greg. We had just finished a jar of homemade zesty pickles so I reused that juice and jar, and added a couple of freshly harvested and sliced jalapeños to the jar as well. We'll let the jar sit in the fridge for a week and see what the results taste like.

  • I baked a loaf of bread and made a new batch of bread dough that I will keep in the fridge for making more loaves over the next week or so.

  • I did last night's (and the previous night's!) dishes and used my homemade scrubby. I made it from onion and clementine mesh bags at some point last year and I'm still using the same one. I use it to scrub pots and pans so my regular sponge doesn't get too gross too quickly and I throw it in the dishwasher a couple of times a week. I can't believe that it has lasted as long as it has!  I probably would have gone through 5-6 Dollar Tree scrub pads in the same time! (which still would have been only a dollar, but still...).

  • I received 25 KFR points when I entered bonus code BLOGSBESTRKTREAT in my Kellogg's Family Rewards account.
  • I decided to harvest a bunch of collard greens.  The bugs have started to make their appearance and the plant had grown very large again.  I also harvested a few leaves from one of the smaller plants.  I cooked them in some bacon grease and ate them for lunch with mashed potato left over from last night's dinner.

  • Yesterday, my daughter brought down 2 full bottles of Shout laundry stain remover that she found under her bathroom sink.  They were left over from when my stepdaughters still lived here.  I'm glad she found them since it's my favorite stain remover and I use it all the time. I was going to buy some next time there was a sale, and now I don't need to!  This reminds me that I need to check my coupon binder for a $1.50 coupon for it. Apparently Publix has it on sale for $1.49 right now. At that price (just the tax), it would be good to get it! Update: Found it!  It expires today so I'm adding a stop at Publix on the list of errands to run after the doctor's appointment.

  • There are several sales that I think I want to get from Publix starting tomorrow: I have really good coupons! It looks like I could get $34.99 worth of food for just $4.99!  If I can find another $15.01 worth of merchandise to buy, I could get a $50 gas card for just $40...  I need to scour the ad a little more...  

  • I also saw, on the Save A Lot ad, that eggs will be on sale for $0.99 a dozen Friday and Saturday. Since I'm planning on going to Lowe's on Saturday, I will do my Save A Lot shopping then too. This works out great since I'm not sure I'll be able to get away next Wednesday due to the window installation.

  • Pinchme confirmed that they'll be sending me samples of Equal sweetener within 5 weeks.

  • The basil and marjoram cuttings that I put in water have really come along. Look at those roots!
Marjoram on the left, basil on the far right.

  • After school, I took my son to the pediatrician for an immunization appointment.  We stopped by Racetrac on the way in order to gas up Greg's truck and I got another one of those receipts with the survey to fill out.  I redeemed a previous survey reward code for a free extra-large hazelnut coffee. I put it in the fridge when I got home and will drink it for breakfast tomorrow.


  • We also stopped by the Habitat for Humanity ReStore thrift store where I inquired whether I could drop off the 2 analog TVs that I was going to take to the dump.  They work perfectly.  They said that. yes, they would accept them!  So I will stop by on Saturday and drop them off.

  • Our last stop was the library, where we picked up a book for my son and some coupons from the donation pile and we were told that my son and his Teen Program teammates won the state contest with their video promoting reading!  This was so exciting! They also entered another video in a county-wide contest. The winners will be announced at a gala on May 1st so we will, of course, be attending that.

  • My daughter received an item she had ordered in a bubble mailer. I kept the bubble mailer so I can reuse it next time I have to mail a book sold through Half.com.



  • I printed a few more coupons today, some of them via Swagbucks. I also uploaded Publix digital coupons to my digital wallet.

  • I took the Racetrac survey and earned a reward code for another any size coffee.

  • My son downloaded a free app on his Kindle :)

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

  • My daughter forgot her packed lunch on the kitchen table so she charged her lunch to the school account that I fund.  I agreed to pay for the lunch since she wasn't lazy in not packing a lunch, she just made an honest mistake. Shit happens.

  • I have been trying to convince Greg to let me use his computer and phone for a few minutes every day to build up his Bing Rewards (so we can earn gift cards faster since he's not trying to get them as assiduously as I am!) but he won't... he thinks I'll do something "nefarious" on his devices (like install a coupon printer, which he is convinced is the gateway to malware, never mind the fact that I have several coupon printers installed on my laptop and I have NO malware!) and it's driving me nuts. My plan is to whine about it every day until he finally relents and lets me do it :)

  • I realized at 8:30 p.m. that I had never turned up the thermostat to 75 after turning it down to 74 last night before going to bed. Arrgh!
Did you have any frugal successes or failures today? Please do tell!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anything you'd like to add? Share away!