Friday, July 31, 2015

Frugal Failures and Successes: Friday 7/31/15

  • 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 :)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • No failures today.

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


  1. Never heard of a bird bottle before. It is really cute. Love that you got a little gift from your boys.

    You made great use of your recyclables. I keep the Blue box in my kitchen, and I also wash out my containers thoroughly. Since Blue Box collection is every other week, staggered with the Gray Box collection (paper), I always have a collection of clean tin cans and plastic containers at the ready. I often make use of these containers (especially for crafting) so they rarely make it to the curb. I keep ALL glass containers and use them instead of my mason jars for storage of dry goods.

    My liquid hand soap is watered down body wash that I receive as gifts. I would rather use a bar of soap in the shower and occasional bubble bath *sigh*, but I use the liquid soap at all the sinks including the kitchen. The body wash lasts for ages.

    I have to try that soup recipe. Unfortunately I didn't grow Jalapenos this summer, but that soup looks wonderful as does the rest of your lunch. That red tray underneath looks like you paid good money for that meal. Ha. Just wondering what I would have to spend to eat that in a restaurant. The caramel tea sounds so exotic.

    You have so many excellent ideas in this post, I can't seem to shut up. When I go to the Bulk Barn to pick up my dried herbs and spices for making my different home-made soup mixes, I can never find dried celery leaves which is in so many soup recipes. Then I notice today how many celery leaves you are growing from your celery end. Light bulb why hadn't I thought of that? Du-u-uh!

    1. You make me laugh, I'm glad I'm not the only one who can go on and on when she leaves a comment :) Yes, I hope you remember to try and regrow your celery end...It's so easy and, as you say, you can reuse the leaves!

      That red tray you mention is from Boca Burger (sometimes you can see the lettering under the plates). I got it for free (of course!), along with an apron and an oven mitt (both of which I use all the time) for doing a HouseParty for that brand several years ago. That tray came in very handy these past 2 weeks as I prefer to have lunch in the living room when I'm alone!

      I like your idea of using the body wash to refill your soap bottles! As I had mentioned, I've stopped using body wash in the shower as I prefer bar soap but I have a stock of body wash. I'll have to remember to use it that way, thanks!


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