Thursday, August 13, 2015

Frugal Failures and Successes: Thursday 8/13/15



HAPPENINGS AROUND HERE TODAY:
  • My middle son never made it here last night, he decided to spend the night at a friend's after all. We texted back and forth today and he agreed to our terms for coming to live here and even proposes to pay us all of the rent in advance!  Of course, our agreement is that we would charge him $100 a month if he were to live here Thursdays through Sundays or $200 a month if he were to live here full time.  Way cheaper than renting his own studio. He would be responsible for his own food (his choice). Right now he's trying to decide whether to split the weeks between his dad's and our house or just move in here full time.  Oh, and it's only through December as he is planning on taking an apartment in Daytona Beach with his best friend come January.


FRUGAL SUCCESSES:
  • Greg worked from home today, saving us about $20 in gas and tolls (and 2 hours of his life not spent in the truck!).

  • I earned my Daily Bing Rewards and have reached 50% of my goal.


  • SavingStar credited my account for the corn muffin mix that I bought on Monday.

  • I sipped on my free Racetrac hazelnut coffee from yesterday for breakfast... they were out of the hazelnut creamer, though, and the hazelnut coffee without the hazelnut creamers is...a tad bitter. Still, I like free :) I had gotten the Irish Cream creamers instead, and I'm planning on using them next time I brew unflavored coffee.

  • I'm sure you've all seen countless number of articles about how people are saving on cleaning and personal care products by just using baking powder (alone of in combination with other products).  In case you want more ideas of what to clean with baking powder, the Arm & Hammer website has a whole page with ideas.  Check it out!  (scroll to the bottom for links to all the ideas). I sometimes use baking powder. It's worked when trying to unclog my kitchen sink a couple of times (although not always).  My son has complained about his teeth being too yellow despite getting cleanings twice a year and brushing twice a day so I'm thinking about getting him to use baking powder after his toothpaste (he uses Prevadent since he's prone to cavities too, poor kid). How do you use baking powder in your home?

  • As I went to look for meat to defrost for dinner, I got annoyed by the mess in the chest freezer and the fact that there was (again!) half an inch of frost all the way around the top of the walls and the lip where the cover lands so I got everything out, took my trusty solid plastic spatula and chiseled the frost and ice out. It was much easier than the last time and I seemed to remember putting something on the side of the freezer to prevent the ice from sticking so much... hmmm. I couldn't be bothered to research it in the middle of the project so I put some olive oil on half a sheet of Bounty paper towels and rubbed it where the worst of the ice was. Hopefully that's what I had done last time? Then I scooped all the ice out and reorganized everything. I use the bag method that Lifehacker had turned me on a few years ago.  Not perfect, but manageable.  While I was at it, I inventoried everything so now I know exactly what I have when planning meals.  I can stop buying chicken breasts for a while, I'm out of ground chicken or turkey, however. I have TONS of bread products that I have to use up.  I guess we'll be making Flat-out Artisan pizzas for a few weeks :) It feels really good to be reorganized. I'm going to type up my list in a spreadsheet. Printing it and crossing it off didn't work for me the last time. However I'm on my laptop all the time so that should be easier.
The ice I scraped off. It doesn't look like much but it was. I'd like to say I did something
frugal with it like waited for it to melt and used it to water my plants, but as
I type this we have big storms rolling in so I guess I'll just dump it in in the sink.

My empty freezer. I don't get to see this very often so I took a picture of it!

I just put all the bags on the ground and the loose items in plastic hampers
while I was inventoring and organizing everything.

Now everything fits in just right. Also: I cannot fit anything else in there! It's
time to have a freezer/pantry challenge, I think.
My best idea of the day: gathering all the smaller packages of lunch meat and
putting them in a large Ziploc bag so I don't have to hunt for them every time.
Leave the bag at the top of the freezer. I'm a genius!
  • I also defrosted a few items that we will consume over the next couple of days.
An Ham, Egg and Cheese croissant for my son's lunch, half a loaf of chocolate chip
banana bread for snack, a few waffle quarters to snack on too, a chicken breast to
go with the one I have in the fridge for dinner tonight (along with 6 tortillas that I
also defrosted but aren't in this picture), and a package of smoked turkey sausage
for tomorrow night's dinner.
  • Most of my seeds have germinated!  Well, all of the Romaine lettuce have. I'm batting 50/50 for the collard greens (3/6) and the Superweet 100 tomatoes (9/18).  I took off the plastic wrap since the seedlings are already tall and leggy.

  • My lunch today was leftover Spicy Shrimp fettucini from a couple of night ago and a whole bunch of strawberries that needed to be eaten.  Greg and our son made themselves sandwiches. I guess our son decided to keep the egg and ham croissant for a snack.

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

  • I did the ironing and the laundry folding while watching the latest episode of "Last Tango in Halifax" on my Roku's PBS app for free, as well as rewatching the last episode of the 3rd season of "The Americans" on Amazon Prime Instant Video.

  • I took the survey on my Racetrac receipt from yesterday and earned a reward code for a free roller grill item.

  • I sneaked a peak at next week's CVS and Walgreens ads and added the items that I'll be purchasing there to my grocery shopping list: Special K cereal and Propel water at CVS (ECB will be issued for the Propel water), plus the eggs with my raincheck; Colgate toothpaste and Clearasil Ultra from Walgreens (Register Rewards issued for the toothpaste and manufacturer rebate from Clearasil, which should be different from the one I sent for in April since that one expired on 6/6).


  • I took 2 Driscoll's Consumer Panel surveys on berries I bought in May and June and earned 4 more $1.00/1 coupons which I printed right away!  Raspberries were $1.99/6 oz and strawberries were $2.79/12 oz this week at my Super Target... even though the strawberries are more expensive in terms of pure cost, they're still a better deal than the raspberries... I guess.

  • I mixed 1/2 a gallon of water with 1/2 a gallon of whole milk to make it last longer.

  • I reused a small length of aluminum foil to wrap the leftover quesadilla after dinner. The rest of the leftovers were put away in glass containers, as usual.

  • I ran a full load in the dishwasher by doing last night's dishes along with today's dishes.

  • I realized that I already have 2 presents for my daughter's upcoming birthday, that I had bought in advance. I'll also allow her to skip one month of car insurance payment as part of her present.

  • Dinner was Spicy Chicken and Mushroom Quesadillas, cooked in my waffle iron.  I made them with 2 chicken breasts cut into strips that I cooked in my skillet (love my new-to-me ceramic-coated skillet from the thrift store. It was a steal at $5!), 4 oz of mushrooms that were getting stinky, and some smoked Gouda.  I served them with Zatarain's Caribbean Rice as a side.



  • I've been frustrated with our tea ball because it is a screw-on type and when there is tea in it and you steep it, the tea swells and then the ball becomes impossible to open. So I went on Amazon to look for a new one (I haven't seen any at the thrift stores) and got one for free with my Swagbucks gift card... well, it was only $1.58 with free shipping (from China) to start with. It'll probably take a while to get here. I'm not understanding how they can justified shipping this all the way from China for free but, OK.


WE SPLURGED ON:
  • I was going to splurge on a "Hidden Objects" game bundle on some website for a couple of dollars but Greg warned me against it saying that the site probably wasn't legit and since he knows about gaming websites, I tend to listen to him when it comes to this :) No games for me.

HOWEVER, WE FAILED IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS, BUT LEARNED SOME LESSONS:
  • No failures today!

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

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