Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Frugal Failures and Successes: Wednesday 8/12/15



HAPPENINGS AROUND HERE TODAY:
  • Greg has planned on working from home today originally but a former colleague asked him to go to lunch so he decided to go to the office after all.

  • My son's BFF came to spend the afternoon here and was initiated into the world of Dungeons & Dragons, LOL.  They had a good time.

  • Wednesday is my weekly shopping day and I didn't feel like making tons of stops today so I pared down my usual list quite a bit: I bought most of what I needed from Aldi, as usual, and will make do with the contents of the freezers and pantry for the rest.

  • My middle son texted to ask if he could spend the night at our home tonight. He also asked if he might be able to live at home part-time or even full-time during his first semester instead of taking an apartment on his own... it seems he's decided that instead of locking himself into a 1-year lease, he'd rather wait until his best friend is able to rejoin him in Daytona Beach in the Spring and they would take an apartment together then. So we are in negotiations about the amount of rent he would pay us. I also texted him requirements as far as guests, house rules, etc.  I guess we'll discuss all of that tomorrow before coming to a decision. If you think I'm a hard ass... you're right. My view is that I raise my kids until they're 18 and then it's time for them to learn to be adults. And being an adult means paying rent :)

FRUGAL SUCCESSES:
  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.  Since plans change, he decided to take a lunch as a back-up. Good thing too since his friend backed out on him... again.

  • I earned my daily Bing Rewards :)

  • I stopped by the vet's office with the bag of cat food that we won't be using anymore and they will credit my account for the unused portion after they weigh it. The bag is mostly unused so it could be as high as $62.50!

  • I also dropped off the cat poop sample that they needed (I know, ewwww...) and they called me back to say that the cats were free of worms so no extra vet expenses this month. Yay.

  • I found 7 cents in the Save A Lot parking lot and then I found a brand new, good quality nail clipper in the Publix parking lot. This one will go in my purse as sometimes I wish I had one with me.


  • I went to Target to get my Cartwheel refund ($0.75 from last week) and some Driscoll's berries and Gold'n Plump chicken.  I had forgotten to print the Driscoll's coupons and there weren't any discounted packs of GNP chicken so I didn't buy anything.  

  • At Customer Service I asked to speak with the rep who had given me her name last week and said to ask for her but she was busy counting the money in the Cash Office and couldn't come. The C.S. rep couldn't help me because she didn't have the authority to issue the $0.75 refund (whaaaat?!) so she called her manager who was stumped because she didn't know "how to account for it in the register".  At this point, I'd been waiting for about 10 minutes just to get a $0.75 refund because their system hadn't been programmed properly to start with. I am not a patient woman and I was trying hard to hide my annoyance.  I guess I'm spoiled with Publix who will issue refunds without all this fuss.  I was thinking "Why don't you give me the $0.75, let me be on my way, and then figure out how to account for it?!".  However, she called back the rep to whom I had spoken and was directed to just give me a "$3 apology coupon". I didn't even know those existed!  So I guess it was worth not getting annoyed and definitely worth having to call in and wait a little :)

  • If you do need milk this week, I noticed that it was cheaper at my Super Target ($2.89-$2.99/gallon for Market Pantry brand) than at Aldi ($3.39) this week. However, Walgreens has the DairyPure milk on sale for $2.99 and there was a $1.00 printable DairyPure coupon available a couple of weeks ago on Coupons.com (no longer available).

  • CVS was out of the $1.99/dozen eggs but I asked for a raincheck.  And then when I took a picture of it for the blog, I realized that the clerk wrote it for $1.29 a dozen! 

  • I needed some feminine pads (since I didn't get the Tena pads last week) and I had a 25% off CVS brand feminine care coupon.  The large packs of CVS pads were $5.49 each but you could earn a $2 ECB if you purchased $10 worth.  So I bought 2, paid $8.81 after tax and coupon, and got a $2 ECB which I will use on groceries next week. However, I mistakenly used $4 in ECBs to pay for part of my bill... I meant to use the ECBs for my grocery items (i.e. the eggs) so now I have to do special adjustments in my grocery budget, which is a PITA.

  • In the "always check your receipt before leaving the store" category, I checked my CVS receipt before leaving the parking lot and realized that the cashier had only scanned one of the two $2.00 off ECBs that I had handed her. (I shouldn't have used them at all, see "Failures" but she did collect both but only scanned one). I went back and she was able to find the ECBs in her drawer and refund me the $2.00 in cash :)

  • I had an $8.00 Kohl's gift coupon to redeem this week, and, as usual, I didn't really know what to get with it. Since Greg and I have been enjoying lighting up a scented candle in the living room at night, I looked for a new scented candle in the clearance section.  Good thing I looked around because pricing wasn't consistent between candles!  I picked the $8.99 candle in the plain jar, but it rang up for $9.99. I caught the mistake before I ran my card so the cashier was able to make a price adjustment. I used the 20% discount that they had mailed me and paid just $0.85 after tax.
The top candles were 7 oz, the bottom ones were 10 oz.  I bought the one at the bottom right, of course!
There were cheaper candles (but not Yankee Candle brand) but I didn't like their smell.
  • Later on I was talking to my daughter, asking her if she needed anything from Kohl's that I could order online since a Slickdealer had posted the 30% off discount code and I got free shipping for being an MVC member. She did need a pair of black boots for her ag class and volunteering at the horse ranch and she found a pair online marked down to $34.99. So I was able to order it for $24.49 after all discounts... I didn't pay any tax on it since we're in the middle of Florida's Tax Free Week for school supplies, including clothes. Also, I shopped through the Swagbucks' Shop Portal and will thus be earning 6 SB per dollar spent so 144 SB. (referral link)

  • I topped off my tank at Racetrac for $2.29 a gallon (and 30 minutes later the price had gone up to $3.31!) and got another receipt with a survey to take for a free roller grill item.

  • I'd been thinking about buying a 3rd laundry drying rack and resisting buying my favorite rack from Target.com because it's over $20.  I have one from Aldi  that I got last year for just $9.99 and that works just fine... and I noticed that Aldi will have them back in stock next week. So I will buy an extra one for me, as well as a couple to keep for my kids for when they're on their own (in case the price goes up).  I texted my middle son to ask him if he would use it instead of paying for a dryer (and having to wait for the clothes to dry at the common laundry room...).


  • Dollar tree still didn't have the Orowheat bread that I was hoping to get for free after coupons, but I did get 2 packs of the Dial soap (3-bars each). The $2/2 printable coupon from Redplum was scrutinized by both the cashier and the manager but they did accept it so I got 6 bars of soap for free. I didn't want to tempt fate by getting more than 6 bars even though I have more of the coupons but if we end up near Dollar Tree again before the coupons expire, I will get more.


  • I stopped by the police station to drop off my shoebox filled with expired medications. They still have the collection box but the person manning the station wasn't very pleasant and acted pretty put upon that I was dropping them off!  First off she told me that only pills in bottles would be accepted (?!) I had loose pills that had fallen out in my medicine cabinet and I didn't really know what kind of pills they were so I just tucked them into other bottle. Then she sternly warned me that the drawer was very small and that I couldn't "stuff everything in there". When I asked her when I could come back to dispose of the rest if not everything would fit in, she told me she had no idea.  Then I couldn't get the drawer to open so she came back out to try to open it, and ended up just taking my whole shoebox, telling me that she would just give it to the person who came to collect them. Well, geez lady, why couldn't you just do that in the first place without giving me an attitude and a hard time? It's not like I was trying to do anything illegal like dumping pills and cough syrup down the drain!  I sure hope SHE doesn't just dump it down the toilet...

  • My lunch was the corn dog I got for free from Racetrac, the rest of the leftover honey glazed carrots from a couple of nights ago, some grapes, and my 2nd cup of coffee of the day. My son made himself a sandwich and had grapes too.

  • I submitted a $0.25 rebate to Checkout 51 for the bananas that I bought, and it was credited to my account almost right away. Since that brought my account balance to $20 exactly, I was able to request a payout check. Woohoo! Cash in my wallet...
  • My son was using Greg's old desk chair as his computer chair, but today something happened to the pneumatic mechanism and the chair is now stuck in the bottom position.  Since I don't get rid of things that I could reuse, I just went to the spare bedroom and got my old computer chair.  He now has an almost brand new chair that works, and it frees up some space in the spare bedroom too! Win-win.  I put the broken chair aside and will ask Greg to look at it to see if he can fix it. You never know.


  • I forgot to defrost ground chicken this morning so I switched my dinner plans around and decided to make cheeseburgers tonight instead of Saturday since the ground beef was easily accessible in my freezer.

  • I created a Visa Checkout account via Swagbucks and earned 500 SB for doing so, which let me achieve my 2nd Daily Goal so I'll get a 35 SB bonus too :)

  • Walgreens sent me an email with special digital coupons reserved for their "best customers". I feel so special :) Did you get the same email?  Lol.



  • Since I had good luck with the celery, I decided to put the romaine heart "foot" in a bowl of water to see if any leaves (or better yet, roots!) would regrow too!

  • Dinner was cheeseburgers, fries, and salad.  I used 1 lb of ground beef that I had bought at $2.79/lb at Aldi, hamburger buns from Aldi, and cheese from Aldi!  The spice mix was homemade Chicago Steak Seasoning, as were the pickles. The fries were the rest of a bag of Alexia fries that I had opened when my oldest son and his GF were here, and I made a salad with a Romaine heart, grape tomatoes, some cucumber slices, half an avocado and some croutons.  The dressing was homemade as well.  There is a cheeseburger left over for Greg's lunch tomorrow, as well some salad.


WE SPLURGED ON:
  • Snacks... I took a drink and a snack along on my shopping expedition so I wouldn't be tempted to buy extra things... but I bought extra things anyway. Not a lot, but they weren't on my shopping list.

  • Cheese.  I wasn't buying milk this week so I bought some Brie and fresh mozzarella too instead. I love Brie with freshly baked bread and I have bread dough in my fridge, ready to be baked!


HOWEVER, WE FAILED IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS, BUT LEARNED SOME LESSONS:
  • Greg was going to work from home today but then his friend asked him to go to lunch so he drove in to the office just for that reason... and then the friend flaked out.  So we're out the gas and tolls.

  • I bought 2 bottles of Xtra laundry detergent on sale and with a coupon for $1.49 each at CVS. The Dollar Tree has the same size bottles of generic (their brand?) laundry detergent for just $1.00 but I don't like the smell of it.  However I have a couple of bottles of  Purex Crystals that I had bought several years ago, so next time I need laundry detergent, I'll buy it at Dollar Tree and start using up the Purex Crystals with it. In the meantime, I overpaid for laundry detergent when I thought I was getting a good deal.

Update: and I just saw that Southern Savers posted a link to a Purex Crystals rebate too!  I might just have to get another bottle (for free!), then!
  • I stopped by Racetrac to top off my gas tank since I was down 1/4 tank.  However, the pump I used malfunctioned and didn't stop when my tank was full so gas spilled on the ground. Probably about a cup or two. Grrr.  I mentioned it to the attendant and he apologized but didn't offer any kind of compensation. I should have asked to speak to a manager...

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

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