HAPPENINGS AROUND HERE TODAY:
- It's a gloomy Saturday today. I should be working in the garden. Yes, I should. Update: I did! I didn't make any progress on my garden project though, as I was in maintenance mode, not "finish the project" mode.
- However, I just realized that "Blue Bloods" is on Amazon Prime Instant and I like that series (saw a few episodes on late night TV recently) so I decided to just watch that. So lazy! BUT: I did do the dishes first thing this morning! Update: after watching several episodes of Blue Bloods in a row, I'm starting to find it very...cloying. I have it on for background noise but I stopped paying much attention to it.
- OK, not so lazy: in between episodes I did some cleaning (swept, cleaned out coffee table).
- My daughter finished a cereal box today so I saved the box itself for my gardening project and the bag to freeze meat.
- I checked the Yelp reviews on the 2 dealerships where I had spotted other cars that I might be interested in and the ratings were dismal so I decided to not even bother with them.
- My daughter and I drove to the 3rd dealership, about 30 minutes away via toll roads. We had talked about what we wanted to accomplish and how we should be willing to walk away if the car was not what we expected. Well the car had been sold yesterday. This dealership offers no haggling pricing and there wasn't any pressure from the salesman, just an offer to check what else they might have available that might fit our criteria, but there wasn't anything, so we left.
- We stopped by 3 dealerships closer to our house and at every one of them salesmen tried to waste my time by telling us they had car "slightly above" my price range. Slightly above as in double what my price range was and the cars didn't have manual transmissions either and I had to press them to get that information before they wasted my time walking me all over their parking lots. So each time we left without even looking at the cars and a resolve that we will never be shopping at those dealerships :) The good thing is that my daughter got front row experience with dealing with used car salesmen!
- My lunch was the 2nd hot dog I got for free from Racetrac yesterday, as always topped with my homemade zesty pickles, the rest of the fried rice from 2 nights ago, and a banana.
- My laptop's battery is almost completely dead so I ordered a replacement on Amazon. I used some of my Discover Rewards to get it for free with free shipping via Amazon Prime and then picked the "No Rush Shipping" option to get a $1.00 digital credit good toward ebooks, music, movie/TV shows rentals...
- Mid afternoon, I spent about an hour watering the plants in the garden: squash, potted plants, refilling the self-watering bins. Despite the latest drought, I still had a lot of rainwater in my collecting bins so I used that to water everything, using an upcycled cat litter jug that I kept on refilling. I noticed a lot of weeds in the pots and the bins so I pulled all (well, most) of those out. Weeds are like terrorists: they like to hide in the general population, thinking that they won't be eradicated because they're surrounded by innocents. Well, I'm not a patient woman but when it comes to weeds hiding among my little vinca seedlings, you will find me on all fours on my back porch, picking the weeds one by one. I pulled weeds from the berm too. Susan asked me recently if putting landscape fabric and re-mulching the berm had kept the weeds away and my answer is: somewhat. The suckers keep on reseeding themselves IN the mulch and also will grow THROUGH the landscape fabric, but there are much fewer than before.
- I started pulling weeds from between the patio pavers, but I remembered that I had bought vinegar to make Susan's Natural Weed Killer so I made a batch. Unfortunately, I re-read the paragraph that she had written and that I had saved (from her blog): ""I also pulled out some weeds from our gravel driveway. I need to buy some more table salt and vinegar to use as weed control there and in the cracks between our patio stones. Recipe is 1 gallon vinegar to 1 cup salt to one tbsp of dish soap. I only use this on areas where I don't want anything to grow. It will kill soil and any vegetation it touches, so in my garden and lawns, I dig out or pull weeds." From http://sues-
retirementfunds.blogspot.com/ 2014/05/my-old-fashioned-red- and-yellow-tulips.html
I loved the idea of nothing being able to grow in between the pavers so I just poured the weed killer over the first few weeds... and my gallon didn't go far! I'll give it a few days to see how it worked and if it did. I will get several more gallons of vinegar and containers of salt at Save A Lot and Aldi next Wednesday.
- So, of course, on the one day that I finally decide to water my plants and kill weeds, it does rain! It didn't last long, only a few minutes, though.
- Hey, made it past 2,500 SB, which means that I can technically order another $25 Amazon gift card.
- Thanks to the SB I earned with my Kohl's.com purchase last month, I also reached my 2nd Daily Goal today. This hasn't happened much this month!
- I took a Racetrac survey and earned another survey reward code for a free roller grill item :)
- I paid several bills online.
- I badgered my middle son into finally sending me the photos he had taken during my daughter's birthday breakfast last weekend because I had found a code to get a free 8 x 10 photo print from Walgreens Photo. I chose a picture of my daughter being pensive, which she is quite often :) I will use a $1.00 picture frame from Dollar Tree to frame it.
WE SPLURGED ON:
- Gas and tolls to go to the car dealership, then gas for my daughter to drive to work.
My youngest son and I decided to treat ourselves to a take-out diner from Domino's. I used their online coupon our food items and redeemed the coupon code I had gotten for a free Coke Zero bottle.
- OK, this is a splurge, failure and success all rolled into one: the Domino's app tracker alerted me that our order was ready right when it was absolutely pouring outside. Ugh. My son and I drove Greg's truck to the store. When we got there, the attendant couldn't find our order. We waited and waited and finally he told me "it's not ready yet". Whaatt? The app said it was 10 minutes earlier so it'd better be ready! Did I mention that I'm not a patient person? I'm sure that I also mentioned that I don't like incompetence. So I ask the guy how long it's going to be until it's ready. Another attendant then mentions that the box of the pasta bread bowl is ready "right there" (albeit minus the food) and the manager, who's been working on the line, suddenly pipes up "Bread bowl? what bread bowl? I didn't hear anything about a bread bowl!" So apparently he's the one who screwed up. Now, last time I picked up my food, he couldn't find our order and now this. So I felt the heat rising. He said he was sorry and that he'd work on it right away. So again, I asked how long I would have to wait. He said "7 and a half minutes" and he could see that I wasn't happy about it and he said "or if you don't want to wait, I'll give you the sandwich for free". Well, at that point I didn't care about any freebies, all I could think of is that it was pouring outside, and now I was going to have to drive somewhere else to get at least part of my order (because I didn't want to give Domino's my money at that point) so I said "forget it, I don't want any of it", and left. Not my finest hour. The failure is that I guess I could have gotten my sandwich for free and that I used even more gas by driving somewhere else. One of the successes is that Domino's is bad for us anyway so now I can confidently say that we won't order from there anymore(ha!). The other success is that we decided to go to Publix and pick up their fried chicken family combo, which is priced at $11.99 and contains a heck of a lot more food than what we would have gotten at Domino's. PLUS I remembered that there was a store coupon for $2 off a 2L bottle of Coke if we bought the Family Combo Meal AND the brochure with the coupon was in stock in the store (because I hadn't brought my coupon organizer). So we ended up getting 8 pieces of fried chicken, 2 containers of potato salad, 4 Hawaiian rolls, and a bottle of Coke for $12.96. The Coke was $1.99 so it was completely free with the coupon... and I got 2L instead of a measly 20 oz. Plus I can still redeem the cap code on My Coke Rewards. See how I turned several failures into a "victory"? Ha, some victory!
- My daughter was supposed to get a free dinner at work, but she was too busy to eat so we agreed she would get dinner from Burger King on her way home and I told her to charge it to our shared credit card.
- I needed a loaf of bread (well, I had said I would bake one but I kind of forgot about that!) so I meant to stop by Save A Lot on the way home, but my daughter and I were chatting and I totally missed it. So we went to Publix where I paid $1.50 for a loaf of bread ($0.85 at Aldi!).
- The engine light came back on in Greg's truck. Arrgh. I texted him to let him know and suggested he makes an appointment with the garage next week for them to check it out (again).
Did you have any frugal successes or failures today? Please do tell!