Thursday, August 27, 2015

Frugal Successes and Failures: Thursday 8/27/15

  • Would you believe that despite the huge sink hole stabilizing and being filled, the water main broke again in the same location yesterday?  So we're under extended boil water alert, still.  Oh, and we again had to hear it in the news because our town officials have been incompetent. Not only that but they covered their incompetency by adding details to the small alert that they had posted on their website late on Sunday night and backdated the update (made last night) to Sunday so it didn't look like they had completely dropped the ball on this. Oh, and the "subscribe to our page" alerts are either not working or here is another proof that they backdated the update because I'm subscribed (I subscribed on Sunday night or Monday morning, I think, so I would receive emails when anything new was posted) and I didn't receive any emails.  Believe me, I will remember this at election time. Too bad we don't elect our City Manager.  I texted my neighbor with the news since I'm pretty sure he didn't know about it either. Update at 1:45 p.m.: Well, well, well, guess what just showed up on my front door?  The "Official Notice" that we have been under boil water alert since 8/23/15 (they very helpfully dated the notice).  It is now 8/27/15.  Excuse my French, but what a bunch of fucktards.

  • Oh and another much smaller sink hole has formed just a few blocks away from the original one, within 0.5 a mile from my house. Since that one is on private property (store parking lot), the city isn't getting involved beyond blocking access.  At this point, I'm just hoping that one doesn't open right underneath the middle school or the city park since our son goes to both!  And of course, not under my house either.  Arrgh.

  • In a bit a good news, Tropical Storm (soon to become Hurricane) Erika looks like it might be veering to the East so we wouldn't get the brunt of it, but being on the West side of it as it lunges the East coast isn't going to be fun either.  The path of TS Erika (soon to become Hurricane Erika) is now bringing it pretty much on top of us. Tornadoes are a very real possibility and we don't have basements here in Florida. So East coast followers, watch out!  You can track the projected path via the NOAA Hurricane Center website. We're about where the "L" in the "FL" is on the map.  I suggested to Greg that we might want to go to Home Depot and Lowe's tonight instead of waiting until the weekend to see if they still have generators, but he's one of those who loves to wait until the last minute (and then will moan that the stores are too busy, the prices are too high, and there are none in stock anyway!) so I guess we're not going tonight.  Grrr. Update: I went to do some research on what they have in stock. Greg will review my photos tonight (hopefully) and tell me which one we should get.  I'll order it online (via Swagbucks or SavingStar, whichever has the best rewards) and have them set it aside for us for store pick-up and we'll get it on Saturday morning.

  • Greg worked from home tonight, saving us about $20 in gas and tolls.

  • Our son and daughter packed their lunches to bring to school.

  • I emailed SB Customer Service this morning because I signed up for a Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football account a couple of days ago in order to get 45 SB but never got them.  Honestly, I don't think I'll look at the account because I couldn't figure out how to use the darn thing and... too many stats and numbers. I hate math so things like this just make my eyes roll back in their sockets!

  • I forgot to mention yesterday that my lettuce seedlings from 2.5 weeks ago have been at a standstill.  I wonder if I should plant them outside?  It's still so hot...  The ones that I planted last Thursday have germinated and I'm leaving the plastic cover on the bin for now.

  • Since we're still on boil-water alert I had instant coffee again this morning (water boiled in my thrifted electric kettle) but today I used a Irish creme creamer pot that I had gotten from Racetrac with my free coffee a couple of weeks ago.  Meh. Next time I'll pick a different flavor.

  • My daughter asked to go to the volleyball game at her school tonight after her college class and offered to pay the $5 admission fee (since she's not on the team this year, she has to pay like anyone else).  She didn't have the cash though so she borrowed it from me.

  • I mixed half a gallon of bottled spring water with 1/2 a gallon of whole milk to stretch it.

  • Greg had poured himself a glass of tap water by mistake so I used the water for my indoor zombie plants (and poured him a glass of spring water!).

  • I was an airhead and had convinced myself that my Green Chile Pork Stew recipe for tonight was a crockpot recipe. Not so!  Too late. I put the frozen pork loin roast and extra chunks of loin that I had frozen too into the crockpot with the cumin, flour and a can of corn kernels. The recipe calls for frozen corn and 3/4 cup of water but the juice of the corn was exactly 3/4 cup so I used that instead.  I'll cook it on high for 6 hours and then set it on low for another 3 hours and it should be OK.

  • I defrosted the last 3 pieces of JalapeƱo corn bread that I had baked earlier in the year instead of baking more.  This should be enough for dinner since my daughter won't be eating with us.

  • I also defrosted the last 3 pieces of Praline Cantaloupe bread that I had baked last year with a not-so-good cantaloupe that our neighbor's family had grown and gifted us.  I'm the only one who likes the bread so I'll have it for snack over the next few days. It'll free a little bit of room in my freezer... pumpkin bread season is around the corner!

  • I collected water in the shower while it was warming up and used it to flush the toilet.

  • Greg and I loaded the truck with items that needed to be dropped off at the county dump (old paints, CFL bulbs, batteries, the old TV from our bedroom) and I drove there, hoping to be able to pick up free mulch at the same time, but they didn't have any :( I did declutter the house and the shed a little, though, so it wasn't a total waste of time. Next time I'll need to remember to call them first.

  • On the way home I decided to swing by Clermont and check out what generators were in stock at Home Depot and Lowe's.  Lowe's had the better stock but I took pictures of everything and will let Greg decide if any of them is what we want.  I picked up a couple of bottle of wasp & hornet spray at Lowe's too because they had them on sale for $1.97. I could have paid only $1.57 each if I had picked up a case of 12, which now I'm thinking I probably should have done because we're forever spraying under the house's eaves and behind the fake wooden shutters.  Oh well, hindsight!

  • I gassed up Greg's truck at the Clermont Racetrac while I was there.  I hadn't brought my coupon organizer (doh! I should always bring it with me!) so I couldn't pick up any freebies.  I swiped my Mastercard at the pump without paying attention to the machine but an unusual message flashed without the card being accepted so I looked more closely and the number pad was taped to the machine with clear Scotch tape!  An attendant was walking by so I called him and asked him if that could be a skimmer. He told me to get gas from another pump while he looked at it, and then said he wasn't sure so he went to get the manager. The manager looked at it and deemed that "everything was in order" but I'm not so sure!  I'm going to monitor my credit card more closely for a few days just in case.

  • Lunch was the 2nd free hot dog that I picked up at Racetrac 2 days ago, the leftover Beef & Bean Taco Casserole (with stale tortilla chips that I microwaved to get them crunchy), and orange, and the rest of the Mango Passionfruit tea that I had brewed a couple of days ago.  Greg had leftover tuna patties from last night.

  • I zested my orange and froze the zest to use in future recipes.

  • A tweet from Racetrac reminded me that they send a freebie when it's your birthday month if you're a member of Racetrac Insider. Greg's is coming up soon so I signed him up for the program. 

  • I earned a $25 gift card from Swagbucks!  Woohoo! My 4th this month :)

  • My darling husband braved the heat and the crawly critters, went under the house and re-affixed the AC duct that had fallen off. He secured it with more duct tape and even made a little "stanchion" for it so its weight is better supported and it doesn't fall off anymore:)

  • While he was doing that, I swept and vacuumed the house and did some dusting too. 

For the perch, I used an old wooden toy arrow shaft that we were going to throw away!
  • Then I got carried away with weeding and ended up pulling a large trash can's worth of weeds. Yay me!

  • My middle son called to ask if he could move in on Saturday morning.  We agreed.  So now I have to type up our rental agreement with him. 
  • I was tired after pulling all those weeds so I was very happy to have made the mistake of cooking the dinner in the crockpot!  It came out very good too :)

  • I mixed a bottle of liquid hand soap for our bathroom.
Even though the bottle says "Sea Island Cotton", I made Bergamot Grapefruit liquid hand soap.
The bottle is upcycled, of course!


  • I saw an alert on SlickDeals last night letting us know that Prime subscribers got $10 off the new Halo 5 video game if they preordered it. We almost never pay full price for video games, preferring to wait until they go on sale or not buying them at all since Greg has a Gamefly membership anyway. All 3 of my sons and Greg are avid video gamers and love the Halo series so I went ahead and preordered it, got the $10 off and use the remainder of my Swagbucks/Bing Rewards gift card credit to lower my total cost down to $21.42, on which I should earn 5% back from Discover and we will receive it the day of the release instead of having to drive somewhere to buy it. That also qualified "me" to get some free weapon code for the game as a promotion.  Greg and our son were pretty happy to hear the news this morning, lol. I'm guessing I won't be made fun of for trying to get as many SB as possible from now on...

  • Gas: my daughter drove my car to and from school in the morning and then to and from the college in the evening. She stopped by her high school at night to attend the volleyball game too.

  • Panera Bread sent me a $5 promotional credit for their Rapid Pick Up program. My daughter was talking about buying dinner tonight between her college class and the volleyball game so I told her about that. She downloaded the app, I signed in as me, and now she'll be able to save $5 on her dinner tonight.  I had told her, a couple of weeks ago, to sign up for her own Panera's Reward card but she didn't. But she just did now :)  Since you can specify at what time you want to pick up your order, she placed an order on the app for tonight using my login, and got the $5 discount. I charged it to the Discover card that we share (in case they ask to see the card) so she'll refund me in cash.  She brought me back the side order of baguette too!

  • Bing Rewards reminded me that I had a free mug from Shutterfly offer through them. I knew that I'd have to pay tax and shipping but since my favorite mug has already been reglued twice, I figured I could order a new one with pictures of my family on it and have my youngest son give it to me for Christmas or something (yeah, yeah, yeah, I was itching to use the "freebie" promo so I'm rationalizing). I looked for free shipping offers but in doing so, all I found was an offer from Discover Deals for a free personalized magnet. Free, you say?!  OK, then. So I put together a magnet with photos of my brother and his new wife, my kids, my siblings and my mom, and created a magnet that I'll use as a Christmas present for my brother and his wife. So my total came to $12 and change, which will go under "Christmas presents" on my budget and on which I will earn Discover Rewards.  Woohoo!

  • No failures today!

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


  1. Great deal from Shutterfly. And another Christmas gift knocked off the list.
    Is your birthday coming up in September??

    1. (blush) I've actually been using the mug ever since it's come in, lol. I couldn't resist my kids' and husband's cute... mugs on it :) My birthday is actually at the end of the year. I'm in the habit of buying things for myself and telling Greg that he can "give" them to me for my birthday, Mother's Day, Christmas, our anniversary... because he hates shopping and if I leave him to his own devices, he tends to buy me stuff that... I don't really want, you know? So I get what I want, I earn rewards (which he doesn't bother with... he just told me that he didn't get a receipt from the gas station just now because there were "25" people in line and he didn't want to wait... so no free hot dog for me. I'm annoyed, LOL!), and he doesn't have to shop at all, which he appreciates. Everyone is happy.


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