Monday, August 17, 2015

Frugal Failures and Successes: Monday 8/17/15

  • Monday, Monday... school starts in a week so we're all trying to go back on a more regular schedule.  I showered as soon as I got up, which helps my productivity a lot, lol. My son is getting up at 9 a.m. instead of noon... of course he'll have to get up even earlier than that starting next week since middle school starts at about 9:10 a.m. My daughter is getting up early as well to exercise. She arranged her school schedule so she doesn't have a first period so she could exercise before going to school. 

  • This isn't something that I have done with my older children, but I added my daughter as an authorized user on my Discover Card account.  Doing this will allow her to build up her credit history before she gets to college.  I decided to do this since she is more trustworthy than my older children at the same age, and since she'll be driving around a lot more and doesn't keep a lot of money in her checking account (well, that might change once she gets a paycheck!), she might have a need for a credit card at some point (even just to pay for car repairs if she were stuck somewhere!).

  • I packed Greg a lunch to take to work. Unfortunately last night's Ratatouille Bake leftovers didn't agree with him at all so I'll be having the leftovers of the leftovers and I packed him a PBJ with a yogurt and hard-boiled eggs.

  • I used a reusable sandwich wrap to pack his sandwich.

  • My daughter packed a lunch to take with her to her meeting.

  • I earned my daily Bing Rewards credits and am working on Swagbucks all day again.  My son lent me his phone yesterday and again today. I downloaded an app on it whereby I can earn SB by watching videos so when he doesn't need his phone, I'm using it for that, on top of using my own phone as well.  I wanted to run the app on my old Ipod Touch but it can't handle the app :( Poop.  I'll have to see if Greg's old iPhone 4S can since my son will be taking his phone with him to school starting next week!

  • I did 2 "super" loads of laundry in cold/cold, using cheap detergent with vinegar as the softener.  Despite the high humidity (it rained all night), I put the undies/socks/cleaning cloths/cloth napkins out to dry on the laundry racks but dried all cotton clothing and bath towels in the dryer on the Auto Moisture Sensing setting (1 load).  I hung the polyester exercise clothes and my bras out to dry in the laundry room on hangers.

  • I baked a small loaf of bread using 1/4 of the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day basic dough that I prepped yesterday.

  • Right after it was done baking, I waited for the oven to cool off by about 100 degrees and baked a batch of Peanut Butter & Jelly Granola Bars. Information for this recipe is listed on my "Recipes" page.

  • There was peanut butter left at the bottom of the large plastic jar and I couldn't get it out, so I cut it in half so I could scoop it out!

  • I used all the chicken bones that I had as well as half a bag of veggie scraps that I had been keeping in the freezer to make a huge pot of chicken stock. Since I need it for several recipes this week, I won't freeze it. It made a gallon and about 3-4 cups of stock! Not bad for something that I used to throw away in the past while buying cans of very unhealthy chicken stock or broth!

  • I harvested some jalapeƱos, several serrano peppers, and 2 Ichiban eggplants from my garden. 

  • I also harvested oregano and put it in a bowl on my kitchen windowsill to dry.

  • I also cut off the runners from the strawberry bins. Most of them had already established roots in the smaller pots I had put at the base of the large bin so hopefully they'll survive.

  • Since I had empty cat litter jugs and milk jugs kicking around, I refilled them with rainwater collected in the bins that I keep under the roof line.  They'll come in handy once the rainy season is over!

  • I also used rainwater for my indoor seedlings and zombie plants.

  • Catastrophe averted! I thought I had lost of garden shears and I was quite upset with myself... but I finally found them.  A mind is a terrible thing to lose!

  • I earned 100 KFR bonus points by entering bonus code BONUSCODEFORMOMS in my Kellogg's Family Rewards account (thanks, Slickdeals!)

  • Amazon had the Kindle Fire 6 on sale today ($69) and just last night Greg was lamenting that his wasn't powerful enough to run some app that he wanted. I forwarded the details of the sale to him and asked if he wanted a new one and his reply was "I'm going to be super frugalicious and just stick with my old one for now.". The "for now" is what worries me, because it usually means we end up spending more than if we had just bought the thing in the first place. But I guess he is being frugal and reasonable. Not being able to use that app isn't the end of the world.

  • I made a batch of Lemon Basil All Purpose Cleaner. It needs to sit for a few days and then it should be ready.  I hope it smells good!  I used white vinegar ($2.49 a gallon at Save A Lot), 2 lemons ($0.35 each at Aldi) and basil leaves from my garden. Easy, peasy.

  • For lunch I had too much food as I combined both the rest of the delicious Cabbage & Smoked Sausage leftovers from several nights ago and of the Ratatouille Bake leftovers that Greg didn't take to work. Of course I also had a slice of my delicious homemade (and warm!) bread with it, and a quarter of cantaloupe. That cantaloupe (from Aldi last week) has been very delicious.

  • I made 2 "draft stoppers" with free materials: a pair of hose (bought many years ago), kitty litter (free after coupons), part of a ruffle from an unused bed skirt (bought many years ago and never used) and ribbons from various gift packages!  One of the draft stopper went to block bugs and very hot air from our non-insulated attic into our daughter's bedroom and her staircase.  The other went to block very hot air flowing from our "under the non-insulated eaves" master closet into our bedroom. I really hope they help keep both upstairs rooms more comfortable :)  I should have made those 14 years ago but never did.

  • After my daughter got back from her meeting, I drove to the library to see if they had any coupon inserts in the donation pile.  There were 4, woohoo!  One of them included the Clearasil coupon and rebate that I needed for my Walgreens trip and the coupon ended up being for $2 off instead of $1 (as advertised in the Walgreens weekly ad).  Double woohoo!

  • I also borrowed a book (that I suspect I have already read... I'll have to check Shelfari) and dropped off the latest issue of Equus magazine in the donation pile since my daughter no longer reads it.

  • I stopped by Racetrac and got a free hot dog with one of the survey reward codes that I had earned via their receipt surveys.  I'll pack it for Greg's lunch tomorrow.

  • Then I drove to Walgreens and got the Clearasil Ultra pads for my son (free after sale, $2.00 manufacturer coupon from insert and MIR rebate from insert), a tube of Colgate Total ($0.50 money maker after sale, $1.00 off printable manufacturer coupon and issue of $2.50 in Register Rewards), a 16G USB stick, on sale for $6.99 (so I can take pictures of my son's childhood pictures for him!), and 4 large cans of Arizona tea for $2.00 after store coupon (for my daughter). Since I spent more than $10 OOP, I qualified for 5X the amount of Balance Reward points so I received 1,440 points today. 

  • As I was looking through the coupon inserts that I got today, I spotted another "Free after MIR" offer for Lysol wipes. These come in handy when I clean the bathrooms so I will be getting those too!  

  • All in all, I got over $15 in free/free after MIR merchandise or offers today so this was a very fruitful mini shopping trip!  

  • I received 5 differents samples from today, including a kitchen sponge. Yay!

  • The day keeps getting better... I received the $25 Amazon gift card that I ordered from Swagbucks a couple of days ago :)

  • I washed a length of foil so it could be reused again (I've already reused it several times).

  • I had turned the AC to 76 in the living room and 75 in the kitchen while Greg and my daughter were away. I turned the kitchen AC back to 73 at 4:30 p.m. since the end of the day is always the hottest in my daughter's room. Greg will turn the AC to 74 in the living room when we go to bed at the end of the night so we're not too hot. We keep the curtains and blinds closed at all times in the bedrooms, but since they're right under the roof and there is no insulation (the way the house was built leaves no space for insulation!), it gets pretty dang hot upstairs.

  • I was hoping to be able to wait until after dinner to run the dishwasher but after the cooking and baking that I did today, the kitchen was a mess so I run a full load at about 5 p.m.

  • When I cut the Peanut Butter & Jelly Granola bars into pieces, there were quite a bit of "crumbs" left in the dish (those bars are pretty crumbly!). I scraped the crumbs and added them to a strawberry yogurt and had that for snack.

  • I picked about 1 cup of chicken meat off the bones that I cooked into stock this morning.

  • I harvested fresh rosemary for dinner tonight.

  • I peeled and cooked the small sweet potatoes that I had harvested from my garden last week :)

  • Dinner was Rosemary Orange Chicken and Sweet Potato Puffs.  The chicken dish contained orange juice from oranges grown in my garden, as rosemary grown in my garden and homemade chicken stock.  The Sweet Potato Puffs were made with sweet potatoes grown in my garden and I also added orange zest from oranges grown in my garden!  I love it when I use produce that I have grown, it feels so good!

  • I also served a side salad.  I set the "foot" of the Romaine heart in water to see if it would regrow some leaves. I used a ceramic dish that my son had made for me in 3rd grade.

  • Greg got gas for his truck today so I took the survey on his receipt and earned another survey reward code for a free roller grill item.


  • So you know how I was shocked that the 50% off candle sale at Bath & Body Works still meant that the candles were $12.50 each?  Well.... today they sent me a code for free shipping with a $10 purchase so I went ahead and ordered 2 of the Sea Grass candles that Greg and I really like. He can give them to me for my birthday, in a few months.  My reasoning was that I'm almost never near a Bath & Body Works store so going there for the next sale would mean a 30+ minute trip (gas expense plus I'd probably buy more things since it's in a commercial center) and chances are they might not have the Sea Grass scent then since it'd be the holidays (about the only time I go to that commercial center).  Upon being told that he had bought me candles for my birthday present, Greg was very proud of his frugality, lol.

  • Somehow the huge chicken breast that I cooked for dinner was very tough and almost crunchy! It was very weird and chewing it felt like chewing raw chicken even though it was cooked.  Greg ate his but my daughter, son and I couldn't and we just threw it away :( Greg surmises that perhaps the chicken had been an old chicken.

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

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