Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Frugal Failures and Successes: Tuesday 8/11/15

Sorry if you're seeing this in your email or RSS Feed again. I realized today that I had uploaded any pictures to go with this post, and since I mainly blog for myself (I like to re-read my posts and reminisce!), I thought I'd do that today :)

  • We took Greg's truck in to our favorite garage today to get an oil change, tire rotation and the brakes looked at since they've been squeaking.

  • No rain in the forecast, once again, and temps predicted to be at about 94°, which means it will feel like 105°.  So I went outside while the backyard was still shady and cool, and pulled some weeds.  I need to formulate a plan for the garden this season. I'm not really sure of what I'll do and what I'll need. I'd love to keep the costs really low (finally!) but I also would like it to look nicer, you know?

  • I tried watching "Brooklyn 99" last night but I found it unwatchable so I'll be returning that DVD to the library tomorrow.  And after watching the very over-the-top violent 4th episode of "Daredevil", I gave up on that too. Greg and I finished watching the remaining episodes of "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" and laughed a lot :)

  • If you live(d) in Central Florida, you know of Scott McKenzie from Mix 105.1.  Sadly, he died of cancer today. I listened to him and Erica Lee in the mornings for many, many years from the very beginning of their show although I stopped listening once the station fired Erica.  However,  I am heart-broken that he passed away as he was an awesome person. He was only 59. Damn cancer. #OrlandoLovesScott, indeed.

  • Greg worked from home today, saving us about $20 in gas and tolls. However, due to our garage trips, we don't get to have a No Drive Day today :(

  • I set the thermostat to 76 this morning, after it being on 74 for the night.

  • We were able to install Office 2010 on our son's PC last night without any problems, using the same product key code that we had used on his old PC, and we didn't even have to call Microsoft.  Sweet.

  • As usual, I earned my daily Bing Rewards and worked on earning Swagbucks.  My 1st daily goal today was 100 SB.

  • I made tea for Greg's breakfast this morning and later on, when he wanted another cup, he reused the tea bag :)

  • I'm confused because Swagbucks is showing that I have another 150SB Swag-Up Award available through 8/31... and that it's for the SurveySoiree. I guess the one I redeemed last week was for something else, I didn't really pay attention (as long as I get the SBs, lol!).  Well, that's great news! I want to earn more SB and see if I could get a Lowe's or Home Depot e-gift card this time to get some supplies for the garden :)

  • I made Alison P's Focaccia Bread today. Since it's hot and humid today, I set the dough outside to rise.  Unfortunately, it didn't turn out for me but it was all operator error, I'm afraid. First off, I think I might have warmed up the water too much and it probably killed my yeast. The dough did rise, but after 2 hours outside in the heat and humidity it still hasn't really doubled.  Then it was wayyyy too liquid.  I'm not sure how that happened since I'm sure I used 2 cups of water and 4 cups of flour. Anyhoo, the 2nd rise wasn't going to happen (after 30 minutes in the sun, all the dough did was spread out and try to escape my cookie sheet!) so I melted some butter, put it on top, sprinkle homemade garlic salt, homegrown rosemary and oregano, and set it to cook. I had misread the directions so I had warmed up the oven to 450 instead of 425 and didn't realize it until it was time to lower the temp to 375. Arrgh. So my first focaccia might just be my last one, lol. Sorry, Alison!  Update: despite its pitiful appearance (it's as thick as a thick pizza crust), we all loved it, LOL.  OK, maybe I'll try it again.
My focaccia before I baked it (them).  They didn't rise at all and I was disappointed. However, they were still delicious!  So delicious, in fact, that the three of us had eaten them all by the end of the day. Yeah...
  • I decided to declutter my kitchen cabinets a little so I put the 7 ice cream sundae cups that I still had in the donation box to be taken to the thrift store.  I doubt any of my kids would want those for their apartments and Greg and our son tend to eat the ice cream in cereal bowls or straight out of the box anyway!  I also got rid of a JustBARE salt and pepper shaker that I had gotten as a freebie (will go in the attic in case one of the kids wants it), some plastic containers (mismatched cheapie ones in the recycling, better ones will be used for gardening, matched ones put away in the attic for future kid needs). 

  • I found a package of decaff coffee in the back of one of my cabinets as well as a jar of Chocolate Mocha spread. It's a little rancid but you know I'll eat it anyway... on fresh bread and dunked in my coffee, it'll be just fine :)

  • Still in a decluttering mood, I set off to clean the downstairs bathroom.  We built-in shelves that I populated with baskets when we moved in, each basket containing specific personal care or health care products. Well, we moved in 13 years ago and in all that time I have decluttered those baskets maybe 3 times, tops.  So today I was able to get rid of a few items by disposing of them (old razors handles that we weren't using anymore, hair products that no one uses these days), putting in the donation box (electric razors, small mirror), putting aside for my daughter (magnifying mirror) or myself (foot products that I actually needed, nail files, clear nail polish...), moving to the kitchen (reusable latex gloves).  

  • Next, I decluttered our drug cabinet.  Expired drugs will be dropped off at the police station tomorrow because they are a drop-off point for expired drugs, which then get disposed off the proper way. Whatever that is.

  • I used the rest of a box of Lysol wipes that I had gotten for free to clean our sink and toilet, and then a box of dried-up baby wipes that I re-moistened to clean the shelves and dusty containers. I also used my homemade glass cleaner to wash the mirror. I'll have to post the recipe, I got it from AllYou Magazine a while back.

  • My National Consumer Panel scanner came in. I printed instructions, practiced scanning and then... the scanner wouldn't work on my computer.  A look at the troubleshooting said that I needed to make sure my PC was fully updated and for personal reasons, I don't want to do it. The whole time I was reading the instructions, I had realized that it would have taken a lot more time than I intended to spend on scanning my purchases (because you also have to input all coupons and discounts and the scanner is actually quite low tech) so I decided to just send it back and not participate in the program. I'll be dropping it off at Fedex tomorrow.

  • Greg made himself a sandwich for lunch. I had the leftover potatoes and honey glazed carrots from last night (we still have another serving of the carrots in the fridge) and the leftover brussel sprouts and red pepper stir-fry from 2 nights ago, along with a "egg salad" sandwich, a mango and I drank water from the tap :)  Our son woke up very late so he had cereal for his "brunch"!

  • I requested a free sample of Yoplait yogurt, thanks to the Pillsbury e-newsletter that I got via email.

  • I washed the comforter that I'm using as a futon cover right now and draped it over 2 chairs on the patio for it to dry in the sun.

  • I reused an empty foaming soap bottle to mix some hand liquid soap. I used Bergamot and Grapefruit essential oils but it didn't produce the delicious scent that I was expecting. Still, it's a little better than the remnants of bar soap in water that we had in a regular bottle of liquid soap (it squirted everywhere but on our hands so that was annoying!).  

  • For dinner I was supposed to make shrimp scampi and a side dish with cabbage. However, at the last minute I decided to make the Weight Watchers shrimp recipe that I had planned on cooking for my son and his GF a couple of weeks ago but never did.  It was awesome and we have lots of leftovers for tomorrow. And I still have 2 heads of cabbage in my fridge. Darn it.

  • Nothing today!

  • While decluttering my kitchen cabinets, I also found a drinking cup that I had forgotten that I had. Right as I was marveling that it wasn't even broken (I've had a few that I dropped and that broke but I kept on thinking I could glue them back together so I kept them longer than I should have), I dropped it and it broke and it cannot be glued back. Arrgh. So I threw it away.

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


  1. LOL!! I am so sorry that the herb bread didn't work. Gotta love that Florida heat. I think that it might be the problem. I literally leave it on the counter in my air conditioned kitchen and it rises. I do hope that you try it again!! I promise it really isn't that hard to make :) If you run out of things to clean and organize, we are totally in need of that here so come on up :)

    1. I was so frustrated because yours looked so good and mine... just didn't (the finished product photo didn't turn out but it was the same as the one I posted, only baked). But O.M.Z. it was still sooooo delicious! So I'll definitely do it again, although it is very very bad for our hips since we couldn't stop eating it! I thought that having it rise outside would be better (my other doughs all rise much better outside than indoors) but maybe you're right. I'm thinking maybe the extreme humidity was the problem since it stayed so liquid.


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