Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Frugal Failures and Successes: Wednesday 8/19/15

  • I'm pooped and yet I wasn't very productive today!  Wednesday is my shopping day. I invited my daughter to come along today since we needed to get her some things for her room and we got a late start.  She spent some time on the phone helping a friend register for dual enrollment classes while I sorted and filed my coupons in a panic before we left, since I had just realized that I had a huge pile of coupons that I hadn't filed yet.  There's nothing I hate more than seeing a good deal in a store, thinking that I have a coupon for it, and then realizing that I have left it at home on the coffee table!  

  • It was horribly hot today. I don't even know how hot it got, but it was unbearable every time we got into the car and we were quite tired and happy to be home, some four and a half hours later!

  • This isn't going to be a very interesting post, visually, because I only took photos of our shopping trip and I have already posted those on my "Grocery Shopping" and "Great Deals" posts. Sorry!

  • Greg had been invited to a business lunch today but there was a chance that he might not make it so I packed him a PBJ, yogurt, and hard-boiled eggs just in case. Good thing too because another meeting ran too long so he did miss the business lunch.

  • I used rainwater to water my indoor zombie plants.  I thought for sure that it would rain today but it didn't so I might need to water the garden tomorrow morning. There is lightning and thunder right now (8:50 p.m.) so I'm hoping it'll rain overnight.

  • My daughter and I each brought a drink and snacks with us on our shopping expedition.

  • The main reason why we got a late start was that I wanted to stop by the Habitat for Humanity ReStore thrift store first and their website said that they opened at 9:30 a.m. I loaded all the donations and decided to drop them off at that thrift store instead of the South Lake Animal League Thrift Store, for once. We got there at 9:45 a.m. but were told they didn't accept donations until 10 a.m.  The lady saw that I was annoyed so she asked the intakers if they could open a little early and they did.  We looked around for a shelf or dresser that we could use for my daughter but there wasn't anything that would fit in her room.

  • I got free hot dogs from 2 separate Racetrac stations (as well as a free drink) and also gassed up my car for $2.28/gallon.  I received another receipt with which I will take a survey tomorrow to earn another free roller grill item.

  • We stopped by Goodwill and, again, couldn't locate a suitable dresser or shelf.  But we did, very serendipitously, find a Blu Ray disc player, which I had wanted and had been looking for for months.  "Serendipitously" because as I was scanning the shelf and only seeing DVD player, I was dejected and thinking of telling my daughter "Surely, someone will one day donate a Blu Ray player!" and at that exact moment, one of the staff member put one on the shelf right in front of my nose! I think it must have been the shortest amount of time that an item ever was on a shelf because they put it on the shelf, I saw the logo and I grabbed it immediately.  The price?  $6.99.  I hooked it up to the TV after dinner and it works great.  The same model sells (used) on Amazon for $32+.  I only need to buy an HDMI cable so I can connect it permanently.  It will replace our very old Sony DVD/VCR combo that we bought 14 years ago.  I'll be keeping the old combo, however, as I still have videocassettes that I haven't transferred digitally yet. Our streak of luck ended, though, since we didn't find an apple slicer at Goodwill (the other item that I really would like to find!). 

  • My daughter asked if she could buy a 24-oz water bottle from Goodwill, but I told her to check the water bottles we already had at home since we have quite a few. When we got home, she found one that she liked in my kitchen cabinets!

  • Then we made our way to Target where we picked up some 1-subject notebooks and a couple of packets of loose leaf paper for the kids' school supplies.  We decided not to get any of the shoe racks that they had since I was hoping that Aldi still had their.  We did get a cube organizer for my daughter's room and we hope this will be able to serve as dresser AND shelf.  I told her we wouldn't get the fabric drawers for it until I had checked Dollar Tree since the Target brand was $6.99 per cube and I had seen some at the Dollar Tree.  Our purchase was more than $50 so I was able to redeem a coupon to get a $5 gift card that I will use for groceries next week :)

  • We picked up the items we needed at CVS and the cashier did honor the egg raincheck that had been (erroneously) written for $1.29 a dozen instead of $1.99 a dozen.  They were out of the Propel water that was on sale for $1.25 with a $1.25 ECB but I asked if I could have a raincheck.  The manager offered to check the back room but didn't find any so he offered to substitute another brand and still give me the ECB.  I was tempted but I also just wanted to be on my way (I had already checked out) so I told him I'd just redeem the raincheck next week. The cashier did note that there was an ECB on it and they will issue it to me then. Woohoo!  We also stocked up on almonds since they were on sale and the kiosk printed a coupon for them. On top of that I was issued a $5.00 ECB for buying them.  We have enough almonds to last us a while, I hope!

  • From there we stopped by Murphy USA to redeem my last August freebie coupon. It was for a Murphy brand of soda. 

  • Our next stop was at Aldi where a gentleman offered us his cart and refused to take our quarter. Score!  We found the shoe rack that we wanted ($16.99), the laundry racks that I wanted ($9.99) and the protein bars to replace the Clif bars that Greg has been buying from the vending machine at $3.00 a pop.  Aldi had several options so I got a couple of different boxes and pictures of all the flavors so Greg would tell me what he would want from now on. I hope he likes them.  The Clif bars (box of 6) are $5.89 at Target and $5.79 at Publix.  The Aldi brand sells for $3.99 for a box of 6 for the Fit & Active type, and for $1.99 for a box of 5 for the regular kind. They also have 1/2 the amount of sugar of the Clif bars, although the fat content is a little higher.  We also got the cereal bars that my daughter had priced last week, to replace the Special K cereal bars that she wanted me to get.  We looked for the mandarin fruit cups that were in the brochure but didn't find them. This actually worked in our favor since they would have been $1.69 for 4 cups at Aldi, but we found packs of 3 cups for just $1.00 at Dollar Tree later on :) Oh, and I resisted buying mini croissants this week.

  • Neither Aldi nor the Dollar Tree carried roach traps. I priced them at Publix and decided not to get them until I have a coupon for them.  I'll check via Swagbucks tomorrow.

  • Dollar Tree didn't carry the right size of cubby drawers so we stopped by Michael's to see if we could find something that would work. I had a 20% off your whole purchase (even sale items) coupon.  However, we left empty handed.  Arrgh. We discussed making our own cubbies but we need something durable so we'll buy the ones from Target.

  • By that time it was past noon and we were quite hungry (our snacks were long gone) so we broke into one of the bags of grapes that we had bought at Save A Lot earlier.  They weren't washed but oh well.

  • We did stop by the South Lake Animal League Thrift Store where I dropped off all the pet coupons that  had printed and clipped.  They didn't have an apple slicer either so we also left empty handed.

  • Our last stop was Publix, where we picked up a couple of items and priced the Clif bars for future reference.  I just realized that we totally forgot to pick up plastic bags from their recycling bin (my daughter wanted some to use as trashcan liners since I rarely have any plastic bags at home).  Darn it. By the time we got home, it was 2 p.m. and we were exhausted!

  • For lunch I had one of the hot dogs that I had picked up from Racetrac that morning. My daughter had some of the chicken breasts that I had baked and shredded for her on Sunday.

  • I had left bread dough to rise the whole time we were gone, which worked very well. I baked the loaf when we got back. We enjoyed some for dinner and there will be some left over (for once!) for my breakfast, woohoo!

  • As I was inputting my receipts in my spreadsheets and totalling my shopping trip, I realized that the CVS cashier once again took my ECBs but only scanned one of them. So I was overcharged by $2.00.  I would have usually realized it right away but I was dealing with several kinds of coupons and also the raincheck situation so I got distracted.  It was a different cashier than last time, though. I called the store and spoke with a different attendant who asked me for my Extracare card number and told me she would look for the vouchers in the appropriate register and leave a note or call me.  She was very nice but she never did call me back so I will try calling again tomorrow and ask for her to find out what the deal is.

  • For dinner tonight I had defrosted 2 packs of Ginger Sesame Tofu that I had gotten for free at Publix several months ago.  The packaging had warned not to freeze the tofu but it was fine.  However, my recipe called for oyster sauce and when I got my bottle of oyster sauce out of the pantry,  I realized that it was all moldy. Arrgh. I guess I should have kept it in the fridge!  Since the tofu itself was flavored, I decided to just warm it up with the broccoli florets that I had steamed in the microwave and served it with the thin spaghetti.  Greg was mystified by the meal. guessed that it was tofu but then said no, it couldn't be tofu... so I told him it was "mushy pork". My daughter was in on the joke since we had talked about the fact that I had never used tofu in my cooking before and we finally told Greg after dinner was over that it had in fact been tofu. Greg is a meat and potato guy but he liked it OK.  Well, I hope he did since he's getting leftovers for lunch tomorrow! Hmm, bean curd and broccoli... good thing I got him gas pills at Dollar Tree today too!

And that is pretty much my day today.  See? Boring :)

  • Greg bought himself a Clif bar at the vending machine today. Ka-ching!

  • No failures today!

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


  1. We bought those cubes from Target and I remember thinking how expensive they were but I found a two pack so you might want to check to see if they have any of those. There were more limited colors and designed but I got tan and navy. I think that my cousin got pink and brown. I don't remember where else I looked but I am almost positive that nothing else fits into those little cubes right but the fabric cubes. We put books, shoes and some other small things in some cubbies without bins so we didn't need to fill all of them. Sadly they don't sell the one that we got and now that we are at the new house, we want to get a second one :( Good luck!!!

    1. I checked on the Target website last night (in case they were cheaper online but they weren't and they don't even seem to carry all the colors we saw at our store) and they only seemed to sell them individually. The cubes are about 10 in by 10 in on the inside. I had ordered another cubbie organizer from for Greg's desk and that one's cubes were larger but they sold the fabric drawers in packs of 2 which weren't that much cheaper. There should be an industry standard for those things! (the one we got for Greg was smaller than the one we got for Aimee but a little more expensive too). I'll start by buying her 4 of the fabric cubes and then maybe she'll decide she doesn't need the other 4. Well, I'm hoping!


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