HAPPENINGS AROUND HERE TODAY:
- My daughter and I had a good night at the hotel. She spent last evening on her laptop and her phone (hopefully doing some schoolwork! I left her alone because I didn't want to stress her) and I put a "Elementary, Season 2" DVD in my laptop, put on my headphones, and set about to clip all the printable coupons that I had brought along and clean out my organizer of the expired ones. Tonight, I will endeavor to sort and file the new ones while I keep on watching "Elementary".
- The hotel is the quietest hotel ever... we didn't hear anyone in the hallways or even in the rooms around us. The beds are very very comfy. I usually don't sleep well in hotel rooms but this was great. The only problem was that at 1:30 a.m. there was a bunch of people sitting on the pool deck (around the building, I could barely see them from my window) being very loud so I called the front desk who said they'd send Security and the noise stopped right away.
- Our schedule was light today... my daughter's interview for the competition was at 11:20 a.m. and we're just 3-4 miles away from the site so we left at 10:45 a.m. only because I wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to park and walk to the building. We actually got there with only time to stop to the bathroom so it was perfect. Her interview only took about 8 minutes and, thankfully, the judges were expecting her. She said it went well. Afterward, I double-checked with the organizers whether we needed to come back at 2:30 p.m. to see if she made it as a finalist, but they contradicted what we were told yesterday (and confirmed what I had seen on the website) and said that the website category finalists and eventual winners would be announced at the Award Ceremony tomorrow morning. I'm glad that I didn't book that 2nd hotel night for nothing, after all :) However, it's been a frustrating experience with all the misinformation we were given.
- After doing our shopping we went back to the hotel to eat our lunch. My daughter worked on her art project and studied while I watched more episodes of "Elementary" on my laptop while sorting the coupons that I clipped last night.
- After we came back from dinner, I watched some more episodes of Elementary on my laptop and flipped through the "America's Cheapest Family" book that I got from the library. My daughter did some studying and relaxed. This might be the first time that we stay in a hotel without turning on the TV even once, lol.
- For breakfast, I had a bowl of Cheerios Medley Crunch (brought from home) with dehydrated strawberries (brought from home) and shelf-stable milk (brought from home). I sipped on my large hazelnut coffee from Racetrac (free.) My daughter had a bowl of Special K (Walgreens, $0.99 a box after coupon last night) with shelf-stable milk from home and an apple ($1.99 for a 5-lb bag at Publix yesterday).
- When we left the hotel for the competition, there was a bowl of oranges at the reception desk. I had just typed the dinner menu for the week and I needed 1 orange for one of my recipes so I grabbed one :)
- I found a Coke product bottle cap in the parking lot of Tallahassee Community College. I entered the code in MyCokeRewards, earned 3 points. This allowed me to be able to order a Target digital coupon for a free 20-oz Coke product :) My daughter was rolling her eyes at me when I picked up the cap in the parking lot (and "Oh, mom!" might even have been uttered...) but she will enjoy the free bottle of Minute Maid that I will get with the coupon.
- I earned the maximum of daily credits on Bing Rewards. I'm about 60% towards the goal of another $5 Amazon gift card.
- I join a Swag Team Challenge on Swagbucks and earned more than enough SB to qualify for the team reward at the end of the week.
- My daughter needed some toothpicks for the art project she is working on. I asked the hotel's front desk clerk if she had any and she got some for me from the restaurant :)
- I also picked up a complimentary copy of USAToday from the hotel lobby. I was hoping to find some coupons in it. The only one I found was an offer to print a coupon for 20% off Fedex packing services (good through 5/31).
- In the evening, the hotel had complimentary cookies available at the reception desk so we picked up 2 chocolate chip cookies for snacks during our trip home tomorrow.
- I used the plastic liner from the ice bucket to keep the banana peels and apple cores so I could compost them once we were home. Hey, "free" food for my garden!
- I rinsed all our drink cups from various restaurants and packed them into our cooler and packed the discarded coupons, paper scraps from the clipped coupons and USAToday issue, so I could recycle them at home.
- I took the Driscoll's surveys on the 2 containers of strawberries that I bought from Target last week and earned 4 more $1.00/1 printable coupons. The links will expire in early July so I will need to print them when I'm home tomorrow and use them before I leave for France.
WE SPLURGED ON:
- We bought a mug with the competition's logo for my daughter's History teacher (also her NHS advisor). It was $5.
- We went to Trader Joe's and I stocked up on several items that were on my TJ shopping list, but also broke down and bought cookie butter, cupcakes, and a pie. But at least, I won't have to pay tolls and go out of my way to visit the TJ in Winter Park. Also, we brought our own bags into the store so we were entered into a weekly raffle for a $25 TJ gift certificate. The cashier said that if we won, we could use the GC at any Trader Joe's and that they would mail it to us. I hope we win! Especially since the $68 I spent today will completely blow my grocery budget this week.
- We had dinner at Boston Market since my daughter loves it and there isn't one close enough to our house. I signed up for their VIP Club earlier in the day so they would email me a $3.00 off $10 coupon. The restaurant crew was nice enough to let me show them the coupon on my phone since I didn't have a printer. It was a lot of food and it was very good. Since the cashier brought our food to our table and they clean the dishes off the table afterward as well, I left him a $2 tip.
HOWEVER, WE FAILED IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS, BUT LEARNED SOME LESSONS:
- Not my failure, but: I was very excited last night, to see that our hotel is very close to a MurphyUSA gas station not only with very good gas prices, but that is also much larger than ours so I think it serves hot food and fountain drinks. Why was I excited? Because every month for the past several months, they have published e-coupons for free hot dogs, free fountain drinks, and other free items that my own MurphyUSA station doesn't carry. Since it's the start of a new month, I was hoping that I would be able to bring up such offers on my phone and get a few freebies while we're out of town... but there aren't any new offers on their site, except a $2 discount off a prepaid credit card. Arrgh. I sent them a tweet, we'll see if anything pops up before we leave tomorrow.
- We pulled into the Publix parking lot with the intention of buying 2 subs for lunch there... but then we saw Panera's... and we decided to treat ourselves. Aaargh. We spent $18 instead of the $10-$11 I was planning on... We took it to go and ate back in our hotel room.
Did you have any frugal successes or failures today? Please do tell!