Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Frugal Failures and Successes: Wednesday 8/26/15

  • Wednesday is my shopping day. Since we still don't have a spare car for my daughter to use, I drop her off at school and have to pick her up.  This year she doesn't have a 1st period and Wednesdays are early release days, so I drop her off at about 8:05 a.m. and have to pick her up at about 12:30 p.m.  It seems like plenty of time to do all the marketing, but I usually have many stops to make so it might be cutting it short. I need to be very organized so I can start the shopping as soon as I drop her off without going home first!

  • T.S. Erika still looks like it's coming to Florida early next week as a hurricane.  Ugh.

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work. My daughter and our son packed their lunch as well.

  • No idea whether we're still under boil water alert or not so I decided that we weren't since it's been more than 48 hours since the sinkhole broke the water main.  I put a load of laundry in the machine before leaving for my shopping trip.

  • I also set up my laptop to back up automatically to my external drive while I was gone. It's one of those wi-fi back-up utilities and since it'd been a few months since I had backed it up, I knew it would take a long time (and tie up the wi-fi) so running it while we were all out of the house was the best solution.

  • I dropped off my daughter at school and went shopping right away, which saved me from gas by not going home and going out again.

  • I got a rain check at Publix for the State Fair corn dogs that were on BOGO this week.  They were out of the "meat" variety (a mix of beef and pork). I wanted that variety because they are 6-ct boxes instead of being 5-ct boxes. My coupons are good through 9/11 so I hope they'll have them back in stock before then.

  • I took my coupons into Save A Lot as an afterthought (I was only planning on buying grapes) and I'm glad I did because I was able to snag Kraft barbecue bottles for only $0.24 a bottle. Woohoo!  Those are awesome for crockpot cooking in the winter. When I was putting them away at home, I dropped one and it cracked open, but the crack is behind the paper label on the neck so I barely wasted any sauce at all (just a splatter) and I put the bottle in the fridge so it would keep.  The ground beef was slightly cheaper at Save A Lot too, and I will earn Discover Rewards on my purchase so I gladly bought it there instead of at Aldi, as was my plan.

  • I had the most delightful visit at Racetrac in Clermont. I gassed up my car, collected my receipt (I'll be able to take a survey for a free roller grill item) and went inside to redeem a previous receipt for a free hot dog.  I was very thirsty and realized that I had forgotten to bring a drink along so I decided to splurge and buy myself a Diet Coke.  I had a coupon for a free sandwich with the purchase of a free 20 oz Coke bottle and I figure they might be about $1.29 or so. I picked the hot dog and the sandwich first, and I was feeling guilty, walking by the soda fountain, because a soda fountain drink would be cheaper and larger too.  But by then I really wanted that free sandwich AND the 3 MCR points from the Coke bottle cap!  When I got to the Coke display, the 20 oz bottles were $1.79, not $1.29. Yikes!  They also had a promotion where you could get a 2nd bottle for only $1 more. I was torn.  Finally, I decided to just get the one bottle (because I wanted the free sandwich and MCR points, darn it!) and put it under "eating out" in my budget. When I got to the counter, the manager checked me out and when he was about to scan the Coke bottle, he suddenly said "You know what?" and showed me a store coupon for a free fountain drink that he was keeping at the register. "You go ahead and get a free 32 oz fountain drink instead of the Coke bottle, it's a better deal for you!" I pointed out that I was using a coupon to get a free sandwich and he replied "Yes, you can use that, I'll just substitute the 20 oz bottle requirement for a 32 oz fountain drink requirement and let you use that free coupon too, that way your whole order will be free. And here is a receipt too, so you can take the survey and keep that freebie train going!"  LOL. Can you believe it?!  It was like one of those dreams where everything is free.  Anyhoo, I thanked him profusely. On top of that my gas was 7 cents a gallon cheaper than at the Racetrac station near my house. Double woohoo! So I left with a free hot dog, a free sandwich, and a free 32-oz Diet Coke :)

  • I stopped by Staples to buy my daughter's calculator (see "Splurges") and decided to also get the ream of paper that was 1 cent after coupon and rebate since I was there anyway and I turned in 3 empty ink cartridges for a future $6 Reward.  I asked the cashier if, in the future, I could just drop off ink cartridges without buying anything and still get the $2 credit per cartridge and she said yes. I'll need to remember that! Back home, I submitted the $4.79 rebate on the ream of paper, online.

  • Target didn't have any conventional raspberries at all this week (only organic). I was hoping to find the Driscoll's raspberries at $1.99 each so, poop.  The strawberries had gone up to $2.99 a quart so double poop, but I got them anyway since I had a $5 Target gift card to use anyway.   I also picked up a couple more things, including the cloth cubes to put in my daughter's cube organizer.
Her room is painted white, black and turquoise, so she really wanted those colors
for the storage bins.
  • I also stopped by the Target CafĂ© and asked about the free Icee promo. The old guy at the counter had a laugh while leading me on, saying that it was just a rumor, but then he laughed and asked me to show him my REDcard and gave me a free Icee anyway. Yay! I had to drink it myself since I still had a couple more hours of shopping to do.

  • At CVS, my favorite cashier was working today. Yay!  I love her, she is no nice and helpful! Anyway, I explained what had happened last week when the other cashier hadn't scanned a $2 ECB that I had given her and told her I had called and the lady who had answered the phone said she would research it and leave a note at the register for me if she found it. I didn't have much hope that she had, but she had!  So I was able to use my $2 ECB today :) I was hoping to get the Propel water with the $1.25 ECB on it from last week but they were still out of stock. They were out of eggs as well so I got a raincheck for that as well. My favorite cashier told me that the CVS rainchecks didn't expire.  Yay!  The store manager was standing right there so I paid her a compliment on the spot and told him that she was so wonderful that I looked forward to my CVS trip every week. She was beaming :)

  • At Aldi I found a scale marked down by $3 for my daughter and my hamburger buns rang for just $0.50 although the shelf price was $0.89!  The cashier almost overcharged me on the yogurts but when I told her I was buying 14 cups, she counted them on her register and realized that she had charged me for 15.  Hooray for conscientious and honest cashiers! The I found a penny as I was returning my cart to the corral!

  • My next stop was at the South Lake Animal League thrift store.  I dropped off a box of toys, books and clothes and pet coupons.  I looked for an apple slicer but didn't find one and didn't buy anything at all.

  • My last stop was at the Racetrac near my house, where I redeemed another survey reward code for a free hot dog. That will be my lunch tomorrow.

  • Back home, I had time to take pictures of my groceries for the blog, put everything away, hang the first load of laundry to dry, start another load, and eat lunch before my daughter called me to go pick her up (we weren't sure at what time she would be able to leave).

  • My lunch was one of the free hot dogs from Racetrac topped with my homemade zesty pickles, some strawberries, and the rest of the free Diet Coke from Racetrac.

  • My daughter had said that I needed to go sign her out at the Attendance Office so I did. She is a student aide there during 3rd period and the Attendance Clerk loves her.  I met her today and she was raving about my daughter (always so nice to hear!) so I asked her if I needed to come in and sign her out every Wednesday (which sounds weird since, if she had been driving my car today, she could have just left on her own!) and she reassured me that I didn't need to since my daughter's schedule reflects that she doesn't have that last period.  That'll save me some time every Wednesday!  

  • We stopped by the library because they had a book waiting for me and I was able to pick up a small coupon insert as well as a video game magazine from the donation pile. My son was happy to receive the magazine :)

  • Back home, I hung the rest of the laundry out to dry. I had to put together my new laundry rack since I was 2 days late doing the laundry and my pile had really grown! It was so hot today that everything dried in under an hour.  I had put the undies, cleaning cloths and cloth napkins on the racks, the exercise clothes were hanging in the laundry room, and the cotton clothing went into the dryer on the Auto Moisture Sensing setting. I used vinegar as softener and washed everything on cold/cold, as usual. I've been using the Ajax laundry detergent that I had bought at Ace and I really like the clean, no nonsense, smell of it.

  • I submitted my Aldi receipt to Checkout 51 for a $0.25 rebate off the bananas that I bought.  I noticed that they had gone back up to $0.44/lb :( It's odd that they went back up because Save A Lot had theirs for several cents cheaper today. but I forgot to write down the price and I don't remember exactly what it was. I want to say $0.49/lb.
I only have $0.50 in my account because I cashed it out last week or so. They just
emailed me today that my $20 check is in the mail :)
  • We had a good rain storm at about 5:30 p.m. so I won't need to water the garden tomorrow!

  • Since my darling husband can't be trusted to actually give me his empty Grape Nuts boxes so I can clip out the coupons before he throws them away (I don't trust that he recycles them either!), I now open them first, clip the coupon, and store the cereal in a plastic canister.

  • I submitted the Staples Easy Rebate for the ream of copy paper, online.

  • My son's science teacher sent a form saying that they are being issued iPads in the classroom and that we had to assume full responsibility should the iPad be broken or stolen. I put a note saying that I refused to sign the form and that I won't be held responsible for that piece of machinery.  Are you kidding?  A $300+ piece of equipment that could be stolen from school or dropped on the floor if a kid (not mine, he's extremely careful with his equipment) jostles him or something? Nope.  Unlike Trayceebee's daughter's school, mine didn't offer any kind of insurance on it.  Their insurance is my wallet. So no.

  • Dinner was changed a bit. I did make tuna patties but since we had a lot more lettuce in the fridge than I thought (and then I went and bought more today!), I decided to make a salad instead of rice to go with them. The kids had grapes afterwards and I had a delicious mango. 

  • I finally made my first daily goal in Swagbucks today. I really want to try to make it for the whole month!  I had earned my Bing Rewards credits first thing in the morning.  If everything goes right, I should be able to order my 4th $25 Amazon gift card of the month via Swagbucks tomorrow!

  • Gas!  Since it was Shopping Day and I had many stops, my gas mileage was horrendous. Also, I had to go home and then go out again to pick my daughter up. 

  • I stopped by Staples next to get my daughter's scientific calculator for her College Algrebra class.  Last night I had decided to get a Texas Instrument calculator that wasn't on sale (so I could use the 15% off coupon I had printed yesterday) but that had a $4 rebate on it.  I would have paid $12.74 for it, minus the $4 rebate, for a total of $8.74 plus tax.  However, I found a Casio calculator that was on sale for $11.99 (so I couldn't use the coupon and there wasn't a rebate on that one). It wasn't the best deal but comparing the two, I felt that it was the better calculator so I decided to get that one.

  • An apple slicer, damn it.  I'd been looking for one at thrift stores forever but never found one. With the price of berries going up, I need to ramp up my kids' consumption of apples this winter and the slicer helps a lot in getting them interested in eating them.  So I caved and ordered one on Amazon. It has great reviews, the company stands 100% behind it, it's "restaurant-quality" and it was on sale, down from $19.99 to just $6.99.  I paid for it with a gift card earned via Swagbucks, of course, and picked the No Rush Shipping option to get yet another $1.00 digital credit.

  • The AC in the living room part of the house ran all night and all day (we have 2 AC units), almost non-stop, because the under-the-house main duct to the living room had fallen off.  I could have survived without it being on because the temperature remained at 78 (I had turned it off in the evening before Greg went to bed when I realized what had happened) and I could just turn on the fan and sleep on the couch downstairs (where it is cooler), but Greg insisted on sleeping upstairs and turned the thermostat back down to 75 before going up. The duct to the upstairs bedrooms was still in place, however the thermostat is in the living room... hence the AC ran all night and most of the day too. Our bill won't be pretty. I hope he doesn't wait until the weekend to go under the house to put it back in place, but I think that's his plan :(

  • My gamble that Amazon would still mail me the fungicide with 2-day shipping despite my picking the "no rush shipping" option didn't pan out this time. I won't get it until next Tuesday :(

  • For once that I wanted to take plastic bags OUT of the Publix recycling bin so my daughter could use them as trashcan liners, they had just completely emptied their bins :(  No free plastic bags for us. I'll check again next week.

  • I had hoped that the 10% Cartwheel offer off Room Essentials storage bins would apply to the cloth storage cubes that I got for my daughter's Room Essential cube organizer (since they're Room Essentials storage bins!) but it didn't get deducted at the register. Well, triple poop. I just checked the details (guess I should have done that first, eh?) and it excluded "decorative styles", so I guess there's no reason to email them.
  • I had to compost the 2 eggplants that I had harvested last week. I completely forgot to cut them up and freeze them and they got bad in the fridge. Ugh.

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


  1. That's crazy about your son's science class! Did I understand that right? These will only be used at school? No taking them home? When the Guppies were in the elementary school, the 5th and 6th grade classes were allowed to use IPads in the classrooms. Nothing came home to us and all about responsibility should something happen. Hopefully you are not the only parent who "declined" to sign this craziness and the school will rethink this whole idea! I guess I am grateful to have the insurance on G2's Chromebook...though I haven't needed it yet.

    1. Yes, the form didn't mention that they would take it home, just use it in the classroom. My view is that if they're going to be used in the classroom under a teacher's supposed supervision, then the teacher (or school) should be responsible for them and sign the form! What next? We're going to need to sign forms to be responsible for the gym equipment during P.E.? For the terminals where they enter their lunch numbers in the cafeteria?! We don't even sign a contract saying that we're responsible for textbooks for Pete's sake. This really gets my goat :) I was wondering if Greg was going to say that I was making a mountain out of a molehill but he completely agrees with me so, yay.

      I'm glad G2 is being careful with the Chromebook! Accidents happen, though, which is why the insurance is a good thing. If the iPad was to come home, it would come under my supervision so then I would feel that signing the contract is more appropriate. I suppose it would be covered under our HOI, although I would never file a claim for that.

  2. Hi Nathalie, wow you had a busy day! It amazes me how much you manage to get done on your shopping day. I think I must be lazy ha ha. It did make me laugh about hubbies cereal and not trusting him to give you the coupon or recycle, that just sound so familiar x

    1. Some things are international, eh?!

  3. Great use of your time throwing in a laundry load and backing up your laptop while you were out. Even having all your grocery lists and coupons ready for shopping after dropping off your daughter, means you are so-o-o-o much more organized than I am.


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