Sunday, May 3, 2015

Today's Frugal Failures and Successes: Sunday 5/3/15



HAPPENINGS AROUND HERE TODAY:
  • The weather was lovely again this morning so I settled on the back patio for a couple of hours to drink my coffee, eat my cereal, check out the news and blog while listening to the birdies sing.  I rinsed off the hummingbird feeder since it was empty (I still haven't seen any hummingbirds!) and I will make more nectar later on in the week.  UPDATE: about an hour after I wrote this, I looked up my laptop to see a tiny green hummingbird hovering by my salvia plant, just 4-5 ft away from me.  I couldn't stop myself from exclaiming "Oh! Oh!" so that scared him away before I could even grab the camera that I had right at my elbow.  So, so dumb!  But so excited to see another hummingbird :)  I probably sounds weird if you see hummingbirds all the time, but it's really a huge thrill for me. It's like hedgehogs... very common animals in French backyards (like squirrels, really), but here they have them in zoos. That always made me laugh :)

  • My daughter and I drove to Tallahassee this afternoon for her National History Day competition (wish us luck!).  It was a 4-hour drive from our house.  We had a good time listening to music and chatting.  We first stopped by the competition location to register and there was a snafu: the paperwork we had received listed her as presenting an individual website tomorrow at 10:10 a.m. in a certain building and room but they couldn't find her under "individual websites".  We told them to look in "group websites" and there she was, but at a different time (11:20 a.m.) and in a different room.  The confusion comes from the fact that this was created as a group project with another student whose parents moved to Texas quite unexpectedly on the very same day that the kids presented their website at the district competition... and won!  The rules of the contest state that at least one of the group members has to be at State to present so the other student didn't come (Texas is quite a ways away and he has AP exams this week).  Somehow, though, our district coordinator changed my daughter's project category to "individual website" but the state coordinators wanted her to remain in the "group website" category. Still with me?  So at registration they told us not to worry and to just show up for the 11:20 Group Website presentation.  However, my daughter is quite a veteran of competitions and presentations (she's an FFA member and has competed in Creed and other competitions before) and she is used to going to check out the room where she will be presenting before a competition, so we walked to that building to find the room where she needs to be tomorrow. When we got there, there was a schedule posted on the door of each room and sure enough, she wasn't listed at all for the Group Website presentations (the last presentation on that schedule was for 11:10).  We checked the building and room for the Individual Website presentations and, sure enough, she is listed on the schedule over there for 10:10 a.m.  The problem is that the judges are different for each category AND they're supposed to have already visited the websites prior to interviewing the contestant so I was very concerned that there would be a big problem tomorrow. So we walked back to the registration room to talk to the coordinators again.  They didn't seem too worried but double-checked and told us not to worry about the schedule posted on the doors and that the proper judges would have seen her website. Hmmm. I guess. See, I'm very pessimistic by nature and my daughter... well, she won the Optimist Club's district competition with an essay about how optimism will help her succeed (she's competing at the state level with that essay in 2 weeks!). So we're like the yin and the yang in that situation.  Let's hope everything goes smoothly tomorrow!

FRUGAL SUCCESSES:
  • I didn't have enough rainwater to water the garden so I used the hose today. I did collect water from the leaky faucet and hoses connections into bins, and I will reuse that water later on in the year.

  • I harvested another handful of green beans.  Last night I froze the beans that I had harvested this past week since i didn't get around to cooking them.  I put today's harvest in the fridge.


  • I reused water collected in the shower to flush the toilet.

  • I washed 3 freezer baggies in order to reuse them later on.

  • I made Pumpkin Turkey Chili in the crockpot for Greg and our son's dinner. They have enough leftovers for tomorrow night too.  I used ground turkey that I had gotten for 50% off at Save A Lot several weeks ago and homemade pumpkin purée made with pumpkins bought for $2.99 at Save A Lot last fall.  I also defrosted them some homemade corn bread.

  • I printed several coupons from my usual sources (Coupons.com via Swagbucks, Smartsource, Redplum, Target) and uploaded digital coupons to my Publix andWalgreens. I also printed several Driscoll's coupons earned via the Consumer Panel because the links were going to expire this week. I tried accessing my digital coupons on the Winn Dixie app and clip some more but the app wasn't working this morning (network error...) and when I tried emailing them about the problem, the email form wouldn't work either. Total fail, Winn Dixie!  I didn't have time to clip them before leaving for Tallahassee so I packed them along with my scissors and clipped them at night at the hotel :)

  • If you garden, you might want to check out the Walgreens 50% off sale on Burpee seeds.  Not cheaper than the $0.25 packets at Dollar Tree and Family Dollar, but if you don't have one of those stores close by, it might be worth checking out Walgreens :)



  • My daughter and I had lunch at home prior to leaving for Tallahassee.   I had looked at the store location for Racetrac and realized that there are none North and West of Ocala so we stopped at the Racetrac near our house so she could get a free Sodapalooza refill for the road and I got a free large coffee for breakfast tomorrow.  We redeemed 2 coupons for free donuts so we'd have a snack for the road. 

  • I also packed a box of cereal, some dehydrated strawberries, and a box of shelf-stable milk for my breakfast tomorrow.  

  • The hotel description said that the room had a microwave but didn't mention a fridge, so I brought my cooler on wheels and was planning on filling it with ice at the hotel to keep the milk once it was open.  Well, we got to the hotel and lo and behold, there IS a fridge in the room!  I could have brought lunch meat and bread from home, arrgh.  

  • After dinner we stopped a Publix and got a bottle of apple juice, a couple of bananas, and a 5-lb bag of apples for snacks during the trip.  Cheaper than and healthier than buying cookies and candy :)  The 5-lb bag of apples was $1.99.  I meant to buy deli subs for lunch tomorrow too but we were tired and the store layout was very different from ours so we forgot.  It's very close to our hotel, however, so we'll just stop by tomorrow after the competition.

  • We also stopped by Walgreens and got a box of Special K for my daughter's breakfast tomorrow. It's on sale for $1.99 this week and I used a $1.00/1 coupon that I had ordered with some of my Kellogg's Family Rewards points. I'm glad I did that because she had mentioned having breakfast at Burger King (there is one right next door to our hotel) but I'm really trying to limit our expenses during the trip since the hotel is already costing us more than I really should have spent...

  • However, we have free wi-fi so that's definitely a plus :)  There's also a pool and we'll go swimming tomorrow.

  • I earned my daily maximum credits on Bing Rewards.

WE SPLURGED ON:
  • A bag of Trolli sour worms.  My daughter and I both love them and they were calling us from the vending machine at one of the rest stops today :)

  • We had dinner at Denny's, which is a mother-daughter tradition since she was very little. We used to go there for dinner after her soccer games when she was in elementary school.  I did use a $5 off coupon.  When it was time to go, I still have an almost full cup of sweet tea so I asked for a to-go cup so the tea wouldn't get wasted, but they brought me a cup already full of sweet tea and proceeded to throw away the tea that I wanted to bring back to the hotel with me... so my "no waste" effort was... WASTED!
She had the Grand Slam but I was reasonable and had a chicken avocado sandwich
with cut veggies as a side (still trying to lose a few pounds before leaving for France!).
That Grand Slam looked so good, though!


HOWEVER, WE FAILED IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS, BUT LEARNED SOME LESSONS:
  • I can't think of any failures today.

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

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