Sunday, August 9, 2015

Frugal Failures and Successes: Sunday 8/9/15

  • I forgot to mention yesterday that I got notification that my scanner from NCP (National Consumer Panel) is supposed to come in on Tuesday.  I'll have to figure out how that works and then I'll need to be scanning pretty much everything that comes into this house (purchases, samples, gifts...). I'm hoping this will results in some good freebies!

  • We had sunny (and hot!) weather in the morning but storms were forecast in the afternoon. Guess what? Yep. Didn't rain. I might actually have to water my garden tomorrow!

  • Greg finished packing all his camping equipment and putting it away while I watched the 3rd episode of "Daredevil" since my middle son texted me yesterday that "it picked up" significantly after the 2nd episode.

  • I was re-reading through older blog posts and came across a comment left by Rustown Mom of The Cannary Family blog so I started on a rabbit trail, reading through her blog and bookmarking some of her recipes to try. You should check her blog out, she has some good ones, including some interesting Freezer Meals suggestions and recipes.  Now I need to empty out my freezer so I can prep some of those!

  • Greg was really happy when I told him that there was an NFL ore-season game on OTA TV tonight!

  • Greg is building me a veggie protective screen to replace one of my veggie tents that was torn by the harsh Florida weather. Since he's mostly using materials that we already have, I'm hoping that it will be much cheaper - and durable - than the tents I have purchased via Gardener's Supply. He's doing this one as a prototype and if it works out, I'll have him build me one or two more. Yeah, never mind. We had a disagreement about what he had done so far so he decided to not build anything after all. I'll have to figure out something on my own.

  • We've decided to forego buying a used car from a dealership and take his parents' offer of their older car.  His dad will take care of getting the AC fixed (about $1,200 repair, yikes) and we will refund him.  We also need to have something fixed that pertains to the front wheels and that should be about $400.  The car had much lower mileage than we thought (70K instead of 140-170K) but we'll still have to make the trip to NC to go pick it up before winter arrives and possibly much sooner, depending on my daughter's schedule when school starts. So it's a frugal win because despite all the costs associated with it, it'll still be cheaper than buying a used car from a dealer. The pros is that the car has had 1 owner who used to be a car engineer so it was maintained pretty well and that it'll help Greg's parents if we take it off their hands.  It also was based in a state that mandates yearly emission checks. The cons is that we have to drive a loooong way to pick it up, register a "new" car in Florida (which will cost us more than if we had bought a car already in Florida), and that it's an automatic. I really wanted a manual so we could use it to teach our son to drive a manual transmission car when he is of age.

  • Later on my daughter called to say that she now also wants to register for college Algebra and that would be an in-person class at the local Community College so she would definitely need a car pretty soon. In the meantime, we're thinking Greg will try to work from home on the day when our son has cross country meets to we can ride to the meets together and she can have my car...

  • I printed coupons from my usual sources today ( via Swagbucks, Smartsource, Target coupons) and uploaded digital coupons to my Publix and Walgreens digital wallets. I was re-reading blog posts from earlier this year, which reminded me that my usual routine had been to clip those coupons on Monday mornings while I was using my stationary bike so I'll start doing that again.

  • My lunch was the leftover jalapeño soup from yesterday, in which I threw the bits of chicken meat that I had scavenged from the chicken breast bones that I had cooked on Friday night.  I also make an "egg salad" sandwich with a thin slice of homemade bread and a hard-boiled egg, and had some grapes.  Greg and our son made themselves sandwiches.

  • I earned my daily Bing Rewards credits and worked on my Swagbucks accumulation. My first Daily Goal today was just 76 SB and I reached it very easily but my 2nd one is 230 so that might be harder to reach... especially since I had the same problem with a survey today as I had yesterday (took the survey, didn't get the SB). So far they have shorted me 100 SB. I submitted another ticket.  Update: I did reach my 2nd Daily Goal, woohoo!

  • I harvested a couple of tiny strawberries... and ate them on the spot :)

  • My volunteer squash plants has blooms!

  • A couple of Cosmos heads had dried on their stems so I freed the seeds and let them fall into the planter (on the other side) so hopefully new ones will grow, at some point.

Aagh, I was taking this picture while it was sunny so I couldn't see the screen at all... 

  • My Ichiban eggplant is growing slowly... it's funny how the plant looks like it's about to die but it's still producing a fruit!

  • This is one of my jalapeño plants, still blooming and producing delicious jalapeños for my soup and pickled cucumbers!

  • This little guy was resting on one of my pineapple plants. I think that I'm going to plant the larger ones directly into the soil and use their pots to re-pot those that need larger digs.

  • Another little guy... what a convenient spot for him, don't you think?  Also, green pepper growing!  Yes!

  • And another one!  It makes me laugh that I take pictures of each individual veggie. I should name them too. This is what happens when you have a not-so-prolific garden!

  • For snack time I made a couple of Insta-Cakes for my son and me. Greg is back watching what he eats (me: envious of his results and of his resolve but not quite ready to punish myself by dieting and exercising a lot!) so he declined.

  • Woohoo! I earned enough Swagbucks today to take me to the 2500 SB level that I needed to order my next $25 Amazon gift card so I did, and earned a 150 SB bonus rebate (I had qualified for it a couple of weeks ago during the Survey Soiree event).

  • Dinner was Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glaze Pork Loin, White Rice, and Brussels Sprouts & Red Pepper Stir-Fry.  I used the rest of the Shredded Brussels Sprouts that I bought at Target several weeks ago (and that were still good) and one of the red peppers that I had bought at Save A Lot 2-3 weeks ago. The pork loin was cooked in the crockpot. Since there are only 3 of us at home, I used a 1-lb chunk of pork loin that I had bought at $2.29/lb from Aldi several months ago.  I had enough leftovers to pack a lunch for Greg tomorrow and then also my own lunch tomorrow... and some!

  • I prepped a batch of Boule Bread dough (from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day) and I will cook it in the oven this week. I meant to cook it in the breadmaker but then I realized that it would have already risen and been mixed... so I'll try to add just a small amount of the ingredient to the breadmaker and see if it works... In the meantime, I put the batch of dough to rise outside since it is so hot and humid there anyway.
  • Oh my, oh my, my Romaine lettuce seedlings are growing fast! I also have 1 collard greens seedling...
The lone collard greens seedling on the right
  • I also have several Supersweet 100 Tomato seedlings!
On the right side of the screen, they're kind of hard to see... I see 6 of them plus another one that's hidden off camera.

  • I was wondering outloud how Greg had gotten away with not filling up his truck recently but he remembered that he had gotten gas on Friday and forgotten the receipt in his pants. I went to get it, took the survey and earned a code for a free grill roller item, and also collected 8 cents in coins from his pocket that I put in our coin jar :)

  • I finally listed items from my fridge that needed to be used up and designed a menu for the coming week that used up most of what I have in the fridge! I only had to add very few things to my shopping list too, which is awesome.

  • Screening and hardware for my veggie protective screens that Greg is was building me. He also bought himself a new pair of work gloves.

  • Calling my mom in France for 90 minutes :)  The frugal part of it is that I called her landline, which is cheaper than calling her cell. But more expensive than email.

  • My $12.49 Mast General Store Clean Linen candle that Greg had gifted me this Spring won't light up anymore despite there still being 1/2 inch of wax in the jar.  I'll need to figure out how to fix that.  Considering the price of the candle, I should be able to burn it all!

  • I just realized that when my daughter left to go to her dad, 3 weeks ago, I forgot to open the AC vents in the kitchen (they're usually closed so the air is rerouted to her bedroom, due to the weirdness of our AC vents in that part of the house)... this whole time I've been cooling her empty room and the AC has been coming on due to the thermostat being in the kitchen. Arrgh, arrgh, arrgh!

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

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