Friday, July 31, 2015

Frugal Failures and Successes: Friday 7/31/15



HAPPENINGS AROUND HERE TODAY:
  • It seems so weird that today is the last day of July.  Already?! The kids are going back to school in less than a month.

  • My guys came back today, I couldn't wait to see them!

  • We have lots of storms in the forecast for today. It's a good thing that I'm a homebody :)


  • On my to-do list today: I removed the painter's tape from the entry room, put all the outlet covers and AC vents back in place, swept and took care of any paint spills on the tiles, put the furniture back in place, straightened out the kitchen, and did the dishes. Oh, and I got started on that book that's due on Monday :)


FRUGAL SUCCESSES:
  • I obtained my daily Bing Rewards credits (I'm at 76% of my goal) and worked on reaching my Swagbucks goal. It was harder today because I had to attempt many surveys in order to receive points for just 1 survey (including disqualification points, grrr).  Today was the last day of the Survey Soiree event and I realized that I had been doing it wrong!  I thought I only had to try take 5 surveys per day but I needed to attempt at least 6!  The problem is that the vast majority of the surveys wouldn't even give me disqualification points so they didn't count towards the 6 surveys.  Swagbucks really annoys me with that because they already collect our information for "free" so I feel that they should make sure that we, at the very least, get 1 SB for each attempt. Sorry for this small rant :) I did complete a couple of surveys later on this morning so I'm hoping I did qualify for a Swag-Up Award but I won't know until Monday.

  • Greg and our son are driving all the way down from North Carolina today but they packed sandwiches and drinks so aside from the gas, this should be a frugal trip :)

  • I wanted some jam toast for a snack but when I opened my container of strawberry jam, I saw a couple of moldy spots. I removed them with a spoon, threw them away, and enjoyed my jam toast.  The jar is almost empty so I will endeavor to finish it this weekend, maybe by baking some cookies for my son.

  • I wanted to finish last night's Jalapeño Soup for lunch (I had made enough for 2 servings) but there wasn't a lot of chicken in that last serving (the breast I used last night was on the smallish size) so I used the meat from 2 drumsticks that I had cooked on Tuesday night and froze the bones to make chicken stock next week. I also used the last 1/4 of the avocado that was left in my fridge.  Gosh this soup is goo-ood!  

  • So my lunch was the Jalapeño Soup, 2 hard-boiled eggs (I cooked them last week so I wanted to finish them today), a banana and a hot cup of caramel tea.  I used my new-to-me electric kettle, of course. I ought to figure out if it's cheaper to use than the microwave to boil my water...


  • CVS sent me a coupon for 25% off my purchases... I might even use that one, especially since it doesn't expire for a couple of weeks!



  • I refilled the upstairs hand soap dispenser with the rest of my refill bottle... this was my favorite hand soap "Grapefruit Bergamot". I do have those essential oils so I'm going to try and recreate the scent next time I have to refill the bottle because the refills are very expensive and I no longer belong to the co-op through which I ordered it at a somewhat reasonable price.


  • I watered my zombie celery plant with rainwater collected outside :) It's grown quite a bit this past week!


  • I recycled a plastic mayo jar (recycle bin) and a foam egg carton (will drop off in Publix's foam egg carton bin).

  • I washed the following plastic bags so I could reuse them: 2 gallon bags, 1 quart bag, 1 sandwich bag.

  • I put away the 2 plastic meat trays that I ran through the dishwasher yesterday.  I will use them as watering trays for some of my plants.


  • Dinner for my men was spaghetti and some chicken strips that I cooked in my cast iron pan.  I wasn't hungry so I skipped dinner.

WE SPLURGED ON:
  • Some gas... the weather looked threatening so I took the car to Racetrac to get my last 2 free caffeine free Diet Coke refills and my free cookie. When I asked the staff to confirm that today was indeed the last day for the free refills, they did, but they also told me that if I kept the cups to buy refills, I'd get a discount on the refills ($0.95 for the sodas, $1.17 for the frozen drinks). I don't plan on buying refills, but I like the idea of getting a discount so I'll keep the cups in my car, just in case.

  • A bathtub full of water!  To reward myself for painting the entryway, I took a long bubble bath with my thriller this afternoon. I hadn't taken a bubble bath in months and it felt very luxurious :)

  • Greg brought me back a bird bottle from Colonial Williamsburg. I was scratching my head as I had never heard of one, but this is the information that I found online, along with a picture of how it's supposed to be used: Nestled under the eaves or beside a favorite entryway, these glazed clay creations have made happy homes for small birds since 1699. A distinctly WILLIAMSBURG accent, our bird bottles are reproduced from an original excavated from the yard of the James Geddy House. Hand-thrown earthenware. Instructions for mounting and maintenance included. Perch—a sturdy stick from your yard—not included. 

    These unusual birdhouses were apparently quite popular in 18th-century Williamsburg. Fragments have been unearthed throughout the area, and a 1746 inventory and 1752 advertisement provide further evidence. Though it's tempting to attribute their use to an enthusiasm for bird watching, bird bottles served a more practical purpose: nesting birds made ideal insect control around homes, kitchens, and stables.


HOWEVER, WE FAILED IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS, BUT LEARNED SOME LESSONS:
  • No failures today.

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

My Daily Freebies: Friday 7/31/15


Here is what I got/found for free today!

  • An extra large chocolate chip cookie from Racetrac, free after redemption of a survey code reward.

  •  2 caffeine free Diet Coke refills from Racetrac, free with my Sodapalooza cups -- the last ones this year!


  •  The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine (free subscription earned through RecycleBank)




Did you get any freebies today?

Food Waste Friday: 7/31/15



  • This chagrined me to say... but I threw away the rest of the bag of cherries that I had bought on manager special at Save A Lot.  I waited way too long to do anything with them and they went bad.  So I composted them.



    • I bought grapes at Target last Friday (on sale @ $0.99/lb and I was supposed to get 20% back from SavingStar) but they were too green so I first left them on the table to ripen. Then I left them out so my son and his GF might snack on them. Well, no one did and when I went to get some today, I realized than most of the bag had rotten. Rotten!  Arrgh. I picked through the grapes and ate those that were OK but I had to compost the rest.


    • I had to compost several jalapeños that I had harvested last week because I had left them on my countertop (so I wouldn't forget about them) and they spoiled :(

    • I also composted a salad bowl-ful of watermelon cubes (from 3 weeks ago!) that had turned.











      • About a cup of grapes that I rescued from the rotten ones.  I ate them as dessert for my lunch that day.


      I'd love to hear how YOU did this week! Feel free to post links back to your own Food Waste Friday posts in the comments.


      This post was inspired by Kristen at The Frugal Girl, who has been blogging about her food waste since 2008!

      Thursday, July 30, 2015

      Frugal Failures and Successes: Thursday 7/30/15



      HAPPENINGS AROUND HERE TODAY:
      • Happy Thursday!  I'm hoping the weather won't be as wet today as it was yesterday.  I want some sunshine!

      • Plans for today: I can't postpone it any longer, I have to paint the entry room. aaaaaaaaaargh. OK, it's 9:35 a.m. and I will start at 10 a.m. Promise! Update #1: I painted from 10 to 11:45 a.m. and I'll still need to put on a 2nd coat later on today.  Have I mentioned that I hate painting?  You know those home improvement shows where the cute thin trendy girl comes in with her paintbrush and proceeds to paint a tight spot and she doesn't even use a drop cloth and somehow manages to not drip paint anywhere? Yeah, that's not me.  Within 2 seconds of opening the can of paint, I already had paint all over my hands, I had "ruined" one of the rags and had to throw it away and I had dribbled paint on the floor.  Arrgh. Update #2: I spent another 30 minutes doing touch-ups in the afternoon. I think I might be done but I won't pull the painter's tape until tomorrow, to make sure everything is well dried and doesn't peel off as I take off the tape. 


      FRUGAL SUCCESSES:
      • Last night I caught up with "Last Tango in Halifax" on the PBS app of my Roku while I kept earning Swagbucks via a few mobile apps and the redesigned "Watch" section of the Swagbucks site.  Have you checked out the new Swagbucks homepage yet?  As with all redesigns, you have to do a few more clicks and scroll more to get the same info (ugh) but it's not so bad. And this is coming from someone who doesn't like change!

      • Greg's parents have offered to let us have their second car (an old Saturn) for free. It needs major AC repairs though (as in a compressor) and then we'd have to figure out how to get it back to Florida so it might not be such a deal after all.  We're going to research the repair costs and also how reliable that car would be. There's no sense in getting a "free" car that will cost us thousands in repairs. Yet they were the only owners (I think) and so we would know the whole repair and maintenance history of the car, which is a plus.

      • It's the last day that my son and his GF are here this week and they're working at the high school all day and only coming home to load up their car and go back to East Orlando.  So I upped the thermostat back up to 76.

      • As I do every day, I started the day with earning my daily Bing Rewards and worked on getting as many SB as I could. Today I qualified for 1 survey for 36 SB, and once again reached my 2nd daily goal.  I earned several 15 or 16 SB awards, over the past couple of days, for doing searches. Earlier in the week I was only earning 4 SB for searches so I'm welcoming the increase, lol.  As usual I had SBTV running on my phone (and then several other apps allowing me to earn SB for "watching" videos, while I ran Ngage  and then SB Watch on my laptop (with windows minimized so I can do my usual laptop-y activities at the same time).

      • I reused some plastic sheeting that Greg and I had previously used on other painting projects to protect my floor while I was painting the entry room. When I'm done, I'll refold it and put it away for future uses :)


      • I also saved my clothes from paint damage by wearing an old T-shirt and Greg's painting shorts :)

      • For lunch I had 2 egg salad sandwiches, a spinach and strawberry salad, the rest of the grapes that hadn't rotten yet (see: Failures) and a tall glass of strawberry lemonade.

      • Thanks to CouponPro, I was able to request a sample gift box from CeraVe.

      • After waiting all day for rain, we finally got a huge rainstorm at 5:15 p.m. Better late than never!  Greg will have some lawn to mow this weekend, for sure, which will make him happy, and I saved on water by not having to water my weeds err garden.

      • I checked the CVS and Walgreens ads for next week (I love that they post them in advance!) and added a couple of items to my shopping list for next Wednesday. CVS will have milk on sale with a $1 ECB (limit 2) and a sale on Kelloggs Mini Wheats with $2/2 in ECBs too.  Yay!
      • I got my 2 Sodapalooza cups back from my son and his GF since they were leaving tonight and tomorrow is the last day to get free refills :(

      • Confession time: when my son and his GF left tonight, they had a bag of trash that they had collected from their room.  I took it because I noticed that there was a plastic bottle in there so  thought I'd recycle it.  They left and as I looked through the trash bag, I found a plastic food container and fork that just needed to be washed and could be recycled (so I did), 2 brand new Ziploc bags (gallon size), that had just been used to carry their toiletries (I will wash them and reuse them), an almost-but-not-quite-empty tube of Clearasil acne gel (which I suspect was the one I had left in the bathroom they were using anyway) and about 1/2 a sleeve of Ritz crackers.  The crackers look fine so I will reuse them. The rest of the bag was just papers and wrappers so nothing gross, don't worry :)


      • At dinnertime I was looking through the fridge and decided to compost the rest of that watermelon that I had bought 3 weeks ago since it had turned.  For some reason there was an uncooked chicken breast in a plastic baggie resting on top of it (?). I smelled it and it was fine so I made a quick batch of jalapeño soup for dinner (recipe posted here).  I heated the water in my new-to-me electric kettle and used the soup base that I had gotten on clearance last year.  (funny story: the first time I made the soup with that base, it had tasted very salty to me so the next time I halved the amount of base but it still tasted too salty so today I was going to reduce it even more... and then I checked the label again and realized that what I had read as "add 1 tablespoon for 8 oz of water" actually read "1 teaspoon". Argh! No wonder it was way too salty!).  Then I added the chicken breast cut in small strips, and 3 jalapeños that I had harvested last week. Before serving it, I added 1/4 of an avocado. I also made a small Caprese salad (with basil from my garden) and decided to have yogurt for dessert. I also made a cup of instant coffee since I had heated up too much water.


      WE SPLURGED ON:
      • Laundry-related electricity... my son did a load of laundry last night and went to sleep. He needed just 3 pieces of clothing this morning and they were all wet.  Instead of getting up early enough to dry the whole load, he just threw those 3 pieces in the dryer on their own for 30 minutes... and then threw the rest of the load in the dryer just before going to work :(  Can you tell he's a young adult who hasn't had to pay for his own electric bill yet?

      • A stamp to mail the jury summons to my middle son.  I could have scanned it and emailed it, but one of the options he has to request an excuse involves signing the form and mailing it back.

      HOWEVER, WE FAILED IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS, BUT LEARNED SOME LESSONS:
      • I bought grapes at Target last Friday (on sale @ $0.99/lb and I was supposed to get 20% back from SavingStar) but they were too green so I first left them on the table to ripen. Then I left them out so my son and his GF might snack on them. Well, no one did and when I went to get some today, I realized than most of the bag had rotten. Rotten!  Arrgh. I picked through the grapes and ate those that were OK but I had to compost the rest.

      • Hanes.com got hacked and some customer data stolen and they sent me an email to alert me (no, I wasn't the person who alerted Consumerist). I had ordered a couple of bras from there these past couple of years so I'm sure we'll have to get one of our credit cards replaced yet again.  I really getting sick of these companies not doing enough to protect customers' data. I don't even have an account with them, having used their "check out as a guest" option so why would they store my credit card number?!

      • I didn't get any freebies today (aside from ordering the CeraVe samples) and I'm OK with that... a "frugal failure" for sure since I love getting freebies almost every day, but I also stayed home, didn't spend any money, and didn't use any gas (and Greg didn't use his truck today so this was No Drive Day #21 for us), so definitely a successful day :)  

      • I had to compost several jalapeños that I had harvested last week. I had left them on my countertop to remember to use them up. Well, I didn't and they started spoiling.  I put the ones that I harvested yesterday in the fridge :)

      • I was just reading a random blog post where the blogger spoke about inheriting her mom's button box when it occurred to me that when I turned those 2 shirts of Greg's into rags a couple of weeks ago, I totally neglected to collect the buttons and keep them!  Granted, I rarely need buttons these days and I already have a little stash of them, but it seems incredibly wasteful to just have thrown them away with the pieces of the shirt that I couldn't use (cuffs, collar, button holes... and buttons!).  Arrgh.


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

      Recipe: Jalapeño Soup



      Note: this is a recipe from "The Soup Bible". I love that book!

      This recipe is very very easy to make and I really like the taste of it. It's an easy way to use up some jalapeños if you grow them, as I do.  I usually half the recipe, as it makes 2 good-size servings (so 2 meals for just me!)


      Serves 6

      Ingredients:

      • 1.5 quarts of chicken stock (I use chicken soup base that I got on clearance to make a broth or you could just use chicken broth too)
      • 2 cooked boneless chicken breasts halves, skinned and cut into large strips (oops, I just realized that I have been added uncooked chicken breast strips and letting them cook into the broth... I think that's probably OK but you probably should cook the chicken first. It's a great way to use up roast chicken leftovers!)
      • 1 drained canned jalapeño or chipotle chili, rinsed (I use fresh jalapeño and/or serrano chili that I grow in my garden)
      • 1 avocado
      Instructions:
      1. Heat up the stock in a large saucepan.  Add the chicken and peppers and summer over very low heat for 5 minutes (I actually let it boil for 5 minutes since I use raw chicken) to heat the chicken through and release the flavor from the chili.
      2. Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, and peel. Slice the avocado flesh lengthwise into neat strips. (confession: I just spoon out the avocado flesh. It doesn't look as nice but takes less time and tastes just the same).
      3. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chili from the stock and discard.  Add the avocado slices and serve while still hot.

      Wednesday, July 29, 2015

      Today's Frugal Failures and Successes: Wednesday 7/29/15



      HAPPENINGS AROUND HERE TODAY:
      • I know I'm definitely in a funk when I can't muster any enthusiasm for Grocery Shopping Day, which, for me, is usually on Wednesdays. I'm currently (8:45 a.m.) debating whether I should take advantage of the fact that I have to drive into Clermont for my eye doctor appointment anyway to do my shopping as usual (albeit later in the day) OR just come home and start painting my entry room. The thing is, I would save gas (and therefore money) by going today and I would also be able to get those $1.89/lb chicken breasts at Aldi. But I'm not ready: I haven't really looked at what I'll need for meals next week andI haven't gotten my coupons out (I still have a bunch to sort and file).  I need to kick myself in the pants and get out of this funk, that's what I need to do! Update: I filed my coupons and got my s*** together.  My shopping trip is going to be fairly small and I'm not expecting or even trying to get ANY freebies today.  I told you I was in a funk! On the other hand, I don't need to buy much because I'm really stocked (I need to do a pantry/freezer challenge!) and I don't know what food Greg will bring back from his trip.

      • I spent hours reading through a new-to-me frugality-oriented blog last night called A Frugal Spinster and I added it to my Feedly too.  She blogs from the Pacific Northwest and I like her posts about thrift stores. I bookmarked a couple of her recipes too.

      • What I really should be doing is read my 7-day-only thriller that's due on Monday!  The blogs will still be here on Monday but I have to return that book, I can't renew it. I love reading so not having cracked a book open in several weeks is another sign that I'm in a funk.  Ugh, ugh, ugh.

      • My middle son received a jury summons (his first).  The problem is that it's for the whole week of August 24, his first week back at school in Daytona Beach. However he never changed his address on his driver's license (hence why we got the summons here at my house) when he moved in with his dad, so technically he cannot say that he doesn't live in Lake County anymore. Plus, he's moving into an apartment in Orange County on September 1. If he changes his address to his dad's address now (and pays for the address change), he's going to need to do that again on 9/1 (and pay again).  I'm going to let him handle this and I hope he takes it seriously.

      • One of the movie trailers being advertised on my phone while I'm "watching" SBTV to earn Swagbucks is this one: TheSecretLifeofPets.  The movie comes out next Summer and I think my youngest son and I will definitely go see it.  The cat in the fridge is... hysterical and reminds me of our female cat :)


      • Walmart finally received my laser cat toy and I have to go pick it up. Thankfully I can pick it up next Wednesday so I don't have to make an extra trip to Clermont just for that :)

      FRUGAL SUCCESSES:
      • As I have done the rest of this week, I participated in the Survey Soiree event on Swagbucks, got qualified for 1 survey and disqualified 4 times.  I also earned my daily Bing Rewards credits (up to 69% of my goal) and working on earning as many Swagbucks as painlessly as I can today. Sadly, my earnings will be lesser in the next few days as I need to focus on painting that darn entry room.

      • For breakfast I had a medley of cereals (bottom of the bag of Fit&Active "Special K red berries" cereal plus some Aldi Millville "Rice Chex" squares) with some freshly sliced strawberries. I realized that I never soaked the strawberries in diluted vinegar when I bought them on Friday.  I ought to do that. I might also try to make strawberry freezer jam.

      • I ventured into my garden and harvested a bunch of jalapeños and serrano chile peppers as well as 3 Ichiban eggplants. These are the only plants producing anything at this time of year in my garden.


      • I'm skipping all the blog posts and ads about school supply sales because I have boxes of school supplies at home, accumulated from years of having 6 kids at home and shopping the sales/getting freebies. Also, I recycle supplies from year to year. I get things out of the trash when I think they're still good (even though my kids might not agree) although I have to admit that the 2 kids who are still home are my most frugal kids so they really don't throw away much.  We reuse backpacks from year to year, as well as lunch boxes, pencils, binders, notebooks that have barely been used, pens, rules, staplers, etc, etc. etc.  I'll probably have to buy *some* supplies but I have to hold off as most teachers can't be bothered to post their supply lists online BEFORE school starts. Oh no, we have to wait until "Meet the Teacher" event or even until after school has started. This pisses me off to no end because the sales are at the end of July (school starts on 8/24 for us) and honestly, most teachers just request the same supply list every year so why make parents wait until the sales are over and the stores over-crowded? I think that Stacey Tracey (sorry!) at Keep Swimming, Mama Fish thinks along the same line. What about the rest of my readership? How to you handle school supplies?

      • I went to my eye doctor appointment and the good news is that my vision hadn't changed since last year so I didn't need new glasses. Yay!  The other good news is that they're finally taking credit cards (they used to only accept checks or cash) so I was able to pay my visit co-pay directly with my Health FSA Visa card, which deducts the cost from the $400 we set aside in that account (tax free) at the beginning of the year.  I'll have to scan the receipt and submit it to the FSA company once they request it, but that'll be easy enough.

      • I dropped off all my donations at the South Lake Animal League thrift store.  After that I went inside to see if any of the items on my wishlist were available. They weren't, but I did find a skillet in good enough shape (better shape than the one I currently use!). It's an "Ecolution", which is supposedly healthier than Teflon. It was priced at $5.


      • I also bought a metal spatula for $0.75 (to use in my cast iron skillet), and a small strainer for just $0.50.

      • Lastly, I bought an electric kettle for $5.00. I'd been eyeing new ones for several months because my mom and dad each have one and they're really handy when you want a cup or two of tea or instant coffee.  No, I did not need another kitchen gadget.  (Read the rest of the story under "Failures").

      • I did leave this nifty metallic egg slicer on the shelf even though it was only 50 cents. The one I have may have a broken "string" but it still slices just fine.


      • I stopped by Racetrac in Clermont and filled up my tank. I only needed 1/4 tank and gas was $2.39/gallon so my total was just a little over $10.  I took the survey on the receipt to earn a reward code for a free extra large chocolate chip cookie :)


      • Sometimes buying the largest size of something (therefore paying less per oz or unit) does NOT make sense.  I needed potting soil because I want to start my lettuce, tomato and pepper seeds indoors.  Home Depot had a 64 quart bag for $13.97 ($0.22 per quart). However, the last couple of times I bought a huge bag and left it outside in a bin, the ants colonized it and I couldn't use it as a result.  So this time I bought 4 small bags of 4 quarts each on clearance at Walgreens for $1.19 each.  That makes each quart $0.29, which even more much expensive than the larger bag and ensures that I will use it all up before the ants can get to it because I can easily store this in my house (not so the huge bag from Home Depot). Also: I didn't throw my bag putting them in the trunk of my car, lol. Also, I earned 40 Balance Rewards points with this purchase :)



      • I bought a 6-outlet surge protector thingie at Aldi. It was marked down to $1.99, which I thought was a good price.  I'm thinking that I will set it up near the coffeemaker so I can plug the electric kettle and the coffee maker in it and turn off the power at the strip so it sucks a little less power during the day.


      • At CVS, I resisted buying milk, even though it was on sale, I had coupons, and there was a $1 ECB offer on it (limit 2).  The thing is, I have 1.5 gallons in my fridge already, and no room in my freezer. It was hard to give up on those ECBs but there will be more sales and my coupons are good until the end of September.

      • I need a new nail brush. I looked at the Dollar Tree and only saw this kit for $1... but the nail brush is really small and I don't need all the other stuff. So I left it on the shelf.


      • At Walgreens, I saw these, but they're $3.99 each and too soft. So I left them on the shelf as well.

      • So I will continue to look for a decent nail brush for $1 or less.  I can't remember where I bought the last one... maybe Walmart. I'll need to look for one there when I go pick up my cat toy, whenever that order comes in.

      • Swagbucks finally sent me the code for the $25 Amazon gift card that I earned and ordered last week.  Since 9/29/14, I have earned $285 from Swagbucks!


      • My "homemade" car air freshener had all dried out so I refilled it: took out the dried out Glade cartridge and reused the velcro to attach a new Glade square to the old Febreeze Car cartridge holder. The set of 2 refills was bought for $1.00 after clearance and coupon at Publix several months ago, so each of my refill costs me just $0.50 and they last a couple of months in my car :)

      • I ran the dishwasher with a full load (dishes from the previous 2 nights).

      • Not sure if this is a frugal victory or defeat: my oldest son and his GF decided to go out to dinner.  Frugal victory because I didn't have to feed them but frugal failure because I had bought extra lean ground beef to make a WW Morrocan meatballs recipe for dinner tonight and I would have never paid that much for ground beef if it hadn't been for their WW needs. Sure, I can freeze it and use it for us in the future so not a total failure. OK, I'm counting it as a frugal success :)

      • So for my dinner I had leftover chicken from last night and I also made a stir-fry with a large mushroom (Aldi, a couple of weeks ago), some shaved Brussel Sprouts (Target, a couple of weeks ago), asparagus (Aldi, today) and spinach (Aldi, last week).  I  cooked it with a little of Orange Ginger Wok Sauce (Aldi, several months ago).  It was very good!  I finished my meal with the last mango that I had bought at Save A Lot last week.  Here are some pictures for Susan :)


      WE SPLURGED ON:
      • I reminded Greg to buy a couple of jars of "good" honey while he's in the NC mountains. I'd get cheaper honey at Aldi but he likes his NC honey.

      • I bought a 100-ft hose at Home Depot. I totally didn't research the ratings on that particular hose but I do know that it was less than half price than all the other 100-ft hoses they had.  The 2 hoses that we have connected so I can reach the back of the yard and water the trees have cracked pretty badly.  They already leaked at the connection but with the new cracks, they're pretty much useless. My cost was a little over $20 after tax, which I think is a fair price.  It's a splurge because I saw a similar hose at Goodwill for just $5.99 but I wasn't sure that it was 100-ft (the length wasn't indicated) and didn't know that it wasn't cracked. The new one has a lifetime warranty on it, although admittedly I haven't read the particulars of the warranty.



      HOWEVER, WE FAILED IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS, BUT LEARNED SOME LESSONS:
      • I wasn't thinking straight when I left for my errands today and didn't think to bring a drink or snack along. It was very hot and humid and I was shopping at lunchtime... so I bought myself a drink and bought too many snacks :(

      • Right after I bought the used electric kettle for $5, I went to Goodwill where I saw a better and cleaner one for just $2.99. Argh. The SLAL shop doesn't do returns :(


      • I bought a gift for my BFF's birthday at Goodwill. It was priced at $1.99, which ended up being $2.13 with tax.  They always ask if you want to round your purchase up to the next dollar and I said no and handed the clerk $20.13.  She gave me back $17 in change and I thought nothing of it. I was just looking at my receipt back at home and realized that she gave me the change back on the "rounded amount", which means that I paid almost a whole dollar over the price (which I already wrongly thought was 50% off). I'm really pissed about that because I think that was very deceptive of her. I know for a fact that she heard me when I said that I did not want to round up my purchase. Call me cheap but I don't care that it's "for charity".  I didn't agree to pay more than the sticker price and yet I was charged more. That is theft, in my book.  Grrr.

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