Friday, May 1, 2015

Daily Frugal Failures and Successes: Friday 5/1/15



HAPPENINGS AROUND HERE TODAY:
  • Happy May Day!  And Happy Friday!

  • My middle son stayed over last night since he went to a concert that ended late and he had another late drive back to his place.  Good thing I had finally finished changing his old room over to a guest room!  We had a good time visiting for about 45 minutes after he got up and before he had to leave.  I fed him the leftover pancakes and eggs from dinner last night and also defrosted extra chocolate chip pancakes I had made and frozen last week.

  • I redid our Family wall calendar.  I keep a white-board calendar in the kitchen where I note events that might impact the whole family.  We each keep our own calendars, but Greg and I like being able to glance at it when we're having dinner and discussing what is coming up in the next few days.  May is going to be a busy month for my daughter with many important exams and competitions and all the studying that is required. My son and I will go visit the Kissimmee Military Museum on the day when the rest of his class will be going to Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. (Why? because we're going there for free thanks to Greg's employer next weekend and the school wanted over $70 for that "educational" field trip that my son really didn't want to attend anyway. I got the museum tickets via Groupon for 50% off and we both wanted to go visit that museum anyway. It'll be like homeschooling all over again!).

  • Greg came home tonight :)

  • Greg, my daughter, our youngest son and I attended a library-sponsored gala where our son and his teammates were recognized for winning the state-wide video competition.

FRUGAL SUCCESSES:
  • I reused water from the shower to flush the toilet.

  • My daughter packed a lunch  (correction: she put items aside to pack and told me she had her lunch when I asked her as she was out of the door but she didn't actually check that she did, something that ticks me off so much. I found the items on the counter mid-morning, So I told her she was on her own for lunch and that from now on she was to PACK her lunch in her lunch bag every night right after dinner without exceptions.)  She drove herself to school, saving us money.

  • Our son also packed himself a lunch.

  • My daughter asked me to buy her a pair of black sweatpants last night. For some reason known only to her, she wants to customize them herself and wear them as her lucky "exam" pants to all her exams.  Hmm, alright?  Teens are weird sometimes. She had found a pair on Amazon but I didn't trust the sizing so I used the Target website (via Swagbucks) to order her a pair at half-price and with free shipping.  I will get 8 SB from this purchase (the pants were $7.99!)

  • I mixed cinnamon in a fresh bag of coffee to make my own cinnamon-flavored coffee.

  • Swagbucks finally  awarded me 80 SB for coupon redemption over the past 3 days.  I'm past the 500 SB threshold needed to order a $5 Amazon GC but since it's a new month, I'm shooting for the 2,200 to earn a $25 GC. They also confirmed that I will get 482 SB for booking my hotel in Tallahassee through them (I had checked the hotel's website and would have paid a couple of bucks more had I not used Orbitz).

  • I completed my Bing Rewards searches and activities today and reached Gold Level!  This means that I now only need 475 credits to earn an Amazon gift card (I have 205 credit right now), and I also need to perform 150 searches a month in order to maintain that Gold status.

  • SavingStar credited my account with the $0.50 rebate for buying a Glade product at Target on Tuesday. I also signed up for the SavingStar freebie of the weekend (Ortega taco seasoning) and uploaded the new monthly offers.

  • My daughter sets the table and does the dishes at night every other week to earn money for 1) her share of the car insurance (I don't give allowance and I only charge her $30 out of the $90-$100 she costs us a month because she's an excellent student and she's respectful) and 2) for her savings.  I transferred the extra money earned in April to her Savings account this morning.  She doesn't have access to the Savings account we own jointly so we're both sure she won't blow it on snacks or craft supplies at Michael's!

  • I entered a code from the box of Cocoa Puffs on OutnumberHunger.com and General Mills will donate 5 meals to local families.


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

  • I watered my garden with rainwater collected in the bins and cat litter jugs and refilled the self-watering bins with the hose.  I also watered the fruit trees, collecting water that was leaking at the hose connection in a bin.

  • I harvested a few more beans.

  • I planted the 2 nectarine trees that I bought a couple of weeks ago. Hopefully the locations I decided on will work out.

  • The older tomato plants (planted last fall) are looking sick but their tomatoes are ripening.

  • My neighbor alerted me that his family's blackberry farm is open for business right now. I might stop by tomorrow to go pick blackberries.  He wasn't sure how much they charge.

  • The Kindle First book picks were announced and although I could pick one for free, none of them look appealing and I still haven't finished the last book I started anyway. So I'm passing.

  • For lunch I settled on the back patio.  Today is a cooler day for us (high is supposed to be 82) so I opened the windows in the house again (there's a breeze) and I had leftovers from dinner 2 nights ago  (tilapia taco with homemade guacamole and sweet peas) at my patio table. My youngest son declared last night that he LOVED my buttermilk pie (!?!? I was so surprised that he even tried it!) and he promptly ate about half of it. There's a tiny piece left that I'm keeping for him. Anyhow, it was nice being outside again, the tree trimmers have finally left the neighborhood so the only sounds I can hear right now are the cicadas and the birds.  Aaaah... I love my peace and quiet! Update: another neighbor is enjoying having their windows open, however they have a house phone with the old fashioned (i.e. loud!) ring and that phone keeps on ringing.  Grrr. My own house phone is a cell phone that remains turned off with a not very welcoming message that basically says "don't leave me a message unless I have asked you to call. This number is on the DO NOT CALL list.".  I keep that phone line only so that I have a number to give to people and companies that is not my cell phone number. I check the messages once a week or so...

  • Thanks to a Slickdeals heads-up, I printed a Joann's Fabric coupon for 60% off 1 item and texted my artistic daughter about it. It expires tomorrow and she'll be at her dad's in Clermont... where they have a Michael's.  She can use the coupon at Michael's.

  • I went through the clothes that my youngest son purged out of his closet and filled 2 big bags that I will be mailing to Schoola (free shipping and his school will get $2 back for every $5 worth of clothing that I donated that sells).  I also filled a large trash bag with lower quality but in good condition clothing that I will donate to the local thrift store.

  • I finally received the $15 rebate check from my purchase of liquor a few months ago (Father's Day gift, Greg's birthday later on this year...).  

  • Greg made it home right as we were leaving for the gala so he came along, even though he wasn't feeling great.  The gala was a lot of fun, the kids were excited to be honored. There weren't a lot of people in attendance, but everyone was dressed up as though going to prom, which was very cute.  Three kids were selected as finalists for the Best Dressed Award and our son was the only boy to be selected, but he lost out to a girl who had a pretty dress.  His team also lost the county-wide video award to another team, but was recognized for having won the Florida contest for another video award, as a team, they received $150, which means they'll each get $15 and our library will get $50 for in-house programming.

  • The gala included "refreshments", which was some kind of fruity punch with platters of cubed lunchmeat and diced cheeses, yummy pigs in a blanket (in pretzel roll dough no less!), and at the end we got little cups of M&Ms and some brownies. Since not a lot of people showed up, our library coordinator brought us a whole plate of meats and cheese to our table (which only consisted of myself, my daughter and Greg (our son having joined his friends at another table) so my daughter and I snacked on that the whole time.  When it was time to leave, my daughter and I wanted to take the M&Ms home with us so they brought us baggies for them. So my son grabbed the small empty plastic cups that had contained the M&Ms and started filling them up with the left over diced meats and cheeses because he wanted to snack on them in the car... in the end, we decided to just take everything (i,e, including the garnish, which was kale) and Greg had to walk away from us because he was embarrassed, as we walked away with paper plates piled with plastic cups filled with meats and cheeses and a plateful of kale garnishes, lol.  A server came by with another platter and asked if we wanted to take it too and I said OK, as long as we could have the plate since I didn't have a container for the food (actually, I carry brown paper bags in my purse but I had completely forgotten about them!).  The funniest thing was that when the servers would stop by and ask if we wanted to take the food home, both my daughter and son exclaimed "heck yeah! it's free food!"  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, you see.  (as an aside, my kids never talk like this to adults usually, but they had just been laughing a lot and having fun so they got a little carried away, but it was all in good fun.).  After the gala we dropped my daughter off at her father's house and we went to have dinner.  We had a very enjoyable evening, despite Greg not feeling 100% well.
For the trip home, I had to put the food in the only cardboard
box that I had in the trunk!
  • Back home, Greg unpacked his suitcase and I appropriated a reusable bag that he had been given at the conference that he attended.  Swag!  They must give those things for men to give to their wives because I've never seen any man use a reusable bag :)


WE SPLURGED ON:
  • We went out to dinner after the library gala because Greg was really craving a salad. We ended up at Ruby Tuesday and had to pay full price since I hadn't brought my coupons along (what was I thinking?!) but I paid with my Discover card which is linked to my Upromise account so I'm hoping that we'll get a couple of bucks with the Dining program from Upromise.

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

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

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