Thursday, July 30, 2015

Frugal Failures and Successes: Thursday 7/30/15

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!


  1. Your lunches always look so incredible. That dark green spinach with red sliced strawberries.....hmmhmmm.

    And your entry room is painted. Yay! Doesn't it look great....and don't you feel like you've accomplished a lot?

    1. I'm especially really relieved that it's over, LOL! As far as looking "great", it looks like did it before (the paint is the same) albeit with a new ceiling (thanks to my honey, as the old one was really, really bad) and without all the old homeschooling posters up on the walls. I think I might just keep it "plain" for now and just display some of my daughter's paintings as well as some of my middle son's pictures.


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