Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Failures and Successes: Tuesday 8/4/15



HAPPENINGS AROUND HERE TODAY:
  • Only 40% chance of rain today but it's pretty overcast at 8:30 a.m. This is the wettest we have been in a long time!  I heard that Bush Gardens in Tampa didn't even open yesterday due to all the rain they were having.

  • Today I plan on being frugal by staying home (what a surprise!) and earning Swagbucks :)  My youngest son is a homebody who is happy to sleep in while he still can and to stay home as well.  He goes to the nearby park a couple of times a day to use the swings (who doesn't like to swing?!) and has invited a friend to come over today to play D&D at some point this week.

  • My oldest son and his GF are back with us for a few days while they work at the local high school's band camp.  They will be eating dinner at the camp, though.

  • I did some general straightening out: putting out the trash, replacing the old watering hoses with the new 100 ft hose, pulling a little bit of weeds (it was too humid to do much more than that), putting away some camping supplied in the large shed.

  • I also scrubbed the front of our front porch because a lot of mildew/mold had been growing there. It's not perfect but it's better, which is what I was aiming for.  I usually wash it all off with bleach but I couldn't find it today so I used Fabuloso (floor cleaner) and then I rinsed it all off with diluted vinegar. I figured that since rinsing the strawberries in diluted vinegar keeps the mold spores away, it should work on the porch too :)


FRUGAL SUCCESSES:
  • I packed leftovers for Greg's lunch.

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

  • I earned a $5 Amazon gift card with Bing Rewards :)


  • You know how to buy something that's not exactly how you want it to be and you tell yourself that you have the materials at home to make it just right? So you buy it and you get home and you're tired so you never complete the project? No? It's just me, then.  Well, I had an unfinished coat rack that I had bought over 10 years ago and meant to paint but I just put it up (I really needed a coat rack!) and of course... never painted it. I was about to put it back up as is when I painted our entry room last week but I caught myself. Today I found an almost empty white enamel paint spray bottle in my stash. Perfect!  I used 2 flattened out soda cartons to protect the grass and went to town with the paint. Not perfect, but it'll do.


  • My favorite coffee mug, that Greg had broken and reglued back together while I was in France, broke again. Once again I used some generic superglue (bought at Dollar Tree, $1 for 2 tubes) to reglue it. I hope it will work! Thankfully it had fallen apart while it was in the sink, not while I was drinking hot coffee! I also used a flattened tissue box from my recycling bin to protect my countertop.


  • I cut up and froze the 3 Ichiban eggplants that I had harvested last week.  I realized that I have a lot of frozen vegetables and fruit so I'm going to try to remember not to buy anything new (aside from stuff for salads and fresh fruit as the fruit I have frozen will be used in baking) until I use up some of what I have in the freezer.

  • I contacted SavingStar to ask why I still haven't gotten a credit for the 20% off grapes rebate that I submitted on 7/24. I also signed up for this week's Heathy Savings offer on loose corn, although I don't anticipate using it since I just said that I shouldn't be buying any more veggies for a while!

  • I had put the plastic roller paint liner that I used last week in the trash but this morning I fished it out again... the paint has dried nicely, and I can reuse it when I do some spot painting in the kitchen (same paint color).

  • I installed a free Flash Blocker Chrome extension since Flash is one of the major culprits when it comes to transmitting computer viruses.  But that means that I can't use Pic Monkey anymore, a free online photo editor that I really like :(

  • I paid a bill online: convenient and free :)

  • American Express credited us with $15.24 in Rewards for the last billing cycle.  Not a ton of money, but better than nothing :) We don't carry credit card balances and we don't have annual fees either so all the rewards are gravy.



  • My son went to the local park and I asked him to swing by the library to pick up the "Dungeons & Dragons for Dummies" book that was waiting for me.  I saved some gas and he got some (more) exercise. Plus: free entertainment from the library, of course.

  • Swagbucks sent me my $25 Amazon gift card and also explained that the "Swag-Up" award is a rebate, not a discount. So I still had to spend 2,200 SB to get the gift card, but I got 50 SB back after I ordered it. Woohoo!  As of 1:00 p.m. today I'm already up to 1,204 SB despite not qualifying for any surveys... this time I'll need 2,500 SB for the $25 gift card.  I've earned in GC between Swagbucks and Bing Rewards since July 18 :)

  • My son had a corn dog and an apple for lunch.  I made myself a taco salad with the leftover ground beef and shredded lettuce from Sunday night, some tortilla chips, guacamole from the freezer, sour cream, and shredded cheese. And a cup of caramel tea.

  • For snack I made us mug insta-cakes again, but I had ran out of semi-sweet chocolate chips so I used Andes Peppermint Crunch chips instead (I had gotten them on clearance at Target for $0.68 a bag after Christmas).  Delicious!  I brewed myself a second cup of caramel tea (with the same tea bag as the cup I brewed for lunch).


  • I reused my one of my "seed nurseries" (actual nursery pots in a large shallowish plastic bin, covered with plastic wrap) to fashion a greenhouse for my future seedlings.  used 2 of the small bags of potting soil that I bought last week to fill all the pots and moved the old wire shelf back into our entry room (facing South). I planted 18 seeds of Burpee Supersweet 100 tomatoes (bought on clearance at Walgreens), 12 pots of Romaine lettuce (seeds collected from my own garden back in May), and 6 pots of collard greens (Ferry Morse, bought on clearance last winter). I watered the seeds with rainwater and we'll see if anything germinates.


  • I reached my 2nd Swagbucks goal again today! I'm aiming to get as many SB and bonuses as I can. The downside is that it ties me to my laptop a lot so I won't be able to sustain that forever... I need to read, bake and clean as well!

  • CVS sent me a $2 ECB coupon, "just because".  Alright!

  • I sorted and filed all my coupons for my shopping trip tomorrow and prepped my shopping list.  Being organized saves money!

  • Dinner was zucchini soup made with the cut-up onion from my fridge, a large zucchini, 6 cups of broth made with my clearance soup base, 1/4 bag of egg noodles that was kicking in my pantry, and a 4-pack of chicken sausages from Aldi that Greg had taken camping but that he never cooked (they were in the cooler on ice the whole time). I cut up the chicken sausages and put them into the soup and it was delicious. I still have enough for my lunch tomorrow too!

  • After dinner I ran the dishwasher with last night's dishes and tonight's too to make a full load, and washed 2 sandwich bags, a snack bag and 2 quart bags so I can reuse them later.

  • I checked on my "zombie" plants and both the celery and the basil are growing roots!  I wonder if I'll be able to replant the celery?


WE SPLURGED ON:
  • Nothing today.

HOWEVER, WE FAILED IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS, BUT LEARNED SOME LESSONS:
  • I had to compost a banana that had gone almost liquid. I should have thrown it in the freezer before it got to that point and I meant to... next time I walked by it. Yeah. Not proud of that!

  • The Racetrac Insider "freebie" of the month is a BOGO coupon for an energy drink so I'll be skipping that.  No freebie for me :(

  • I looked again at the list of Museums participating in Museum Day this year to see if I should book a couple of free tickets for my youngest son and me (my daughter declined to attend).  The only museum that's reasonably close by and that would interest him is the Military History Museum in Kissimmee, but we just went there in May.  So I guess we'll sit this freebie out.

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

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