Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Frugal Failures and Successes: Tuesday 9/1/15

  • It's September!  Happy September!  I greeted the kids with this song playing on my iPhone as they each came down for breakfast, a tradition :)

  • I exercised, folded a ton of laundry (6 laundry baskets!), and made waffle iron cookies for my son's after school snack... I overindulged in them myself and at 5 p.m. I was seriously ready for a nap (eating any kind of carbs in the afternoon just wipes me out!), so I made myself some instant coffee. I got to use my new free coffee mug from Shutterfly as it came in today!  The mug was free thanks to Bing Rewards but I had to pay shipping. However, it's a mug with pictures of Greg, my kids, and my mom and siblings so I didn't mind paying some money for it.  

  • I forgot to mention yesterday that I mixed 1/2 a gallon of water with 1/2 a gallon of whole milk to stretch it :)

  • I started the morning by resisting the temptation of buying something on Burpee.com.  I'm a sucker for free shipping offers!  However, I don't need anything and the item I had been interested in buying (red "mulch" plastic film for my tomatoes) is probably just a gimmick so I'm saving myself $20.

  • Have you joined the Swagbucks Team Challenge this week?  It's actually really easy to reach the 200 team points to qualify for the 150 SB Swag-up reward (and to reach your Daily Goals every day), if you can run one of the apps on your phone while you do activities on your computer! (referral link). I'm trying to get my 1st $25 Amazon gift card of the month, I'm up to 1,373 SB as of 8:10 a.m. today and I'll need 2,200 for the gift card.  I should be getting all my bonuses for having hit my daily goals every day last month so that's help me a lot.

  • I earned my daily Bing Rewards credits. This is much slower going than Swagbucks AND the payout is much less, but it's also faster to earn (it takes me about 10 minutes a day, tops) and free money anyway. Who doesn't want free money?! (referral link as well).

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work. The kids packed their lunches for school again :)

  • My daughter drove herself to her high school and later on to her college classes.  This actually saves me time and money since my not driving her saves us a round-trip each time.

  • Greg reported that he'd had the best night in weeks thanks to the Lifeway kefir that he drank last night. Probiotics FTW!  I was wincing at the cost ($2.59 for 24 oz) but if it works for him, I guess it's marginally cheaper than going to the doctor's (although our health insurance is pretty good) and taking drugs?  Aldi used to sell it so I'll look for it tomorrow to see if they still have it.  My grocery budget is definitely going to be $100 this week, though, and I'm gonna go over it too (since I stocked up on meats this weekend and I'm counting that for September).

  • I received the bottle of Natria Disease Control that I had ordered from Amazon to try and control the mildew problem on my guest acorn squash plant, so I submitted my receipt with their online rebate process. I should get $3 back. Woohoo!  I had paid for it with a gift card earned via Swagbucks anyway, so more free money :)

  • Today is trash pick-up day so I ventured in my middle son's room to see if he had deigned put any trash in the trashcan that I had provided in the room. Of course not, everything was on the floor.  We're gonna have to have a talk. Sigh. I didn't miss his messiness at all.  I should have left it there but 1) it's doubtful he would have picked it up and I'm picking my battles and 2) I spotted plastic bags that he got with his purchases yesterday and I know he's just going to throw them away.  So I snagged them. One of them went to line my youngest son's trashcan (his trashcan is a mesh wire trashcan that I had gotten from the Dollar Tree and he tends to empty his pencil shavings in it even when there isn't a bag so this will help keep the mess down), the other will go to my daughter for her own trashcan.

  • I finished the box of nasty rice flakes from Publix for my breakfast and upcycled both the box (will keep weeds out of my garden) and the bag (will use to freeze meat).
All 3 items in this picture will be reused!
  • A lot of coupons have reset on Coupons.com so I printed tons of them (over 160 coupons as I printed everything twice), via Swagbucks of course. It was frustrating because after I carefully selected 90+ coupons, I tried to print them only to discover that today is the day that Chrome stopped supporting the Java-based coupon printers.  Argh.  So I opened IE (I haven't patched it in years so it's a big security risk and I don't like that browser) and tested it by printing 3 coupons. It worked.  I moved my laptop next to the laser printer, which isn't wifi, and I left my laptop charging cable in the kitchen, thinking I'd be gone 10 minutes.  Only IE is slow as molasses so it took longer than that. I was able to print 1 set of coupons but as I was about to print the 2nd set (each time you have to reselected all the coupons, in any browser, that's a huge PITA for those of us who just want to print 2 copies of the same coupons legally, i.e. with different bar codes each time!) when my laptop battery died.  Arrgh. I had to reboot the laptop, which takes forever and then reselect everything (I was afraid it would have marked the coupons as having printed already but it didn't. Phew!) and then print them again. That took forever and a day and now I feel stressed that I wasted all this time. Plus now I have 160+ coupons to clip (hello recumbent bike time!) and file.  I love coupons but I hate filing them!

  • Murphy USA has new free offers.  Chrome (again) wouldn't display the bar code when I loaded the first one so I enabled flash on that page (it's disabled for security measures) and reloaded the page but then it had marked the coupon as printed. ARRGH. So I signed up for another account with another email address and I'll print them from my son's PC.

  • I lost the to-do list that I had made yesterday and my bad memory can only remember a few of the tasks that I had listed and not accomplished. I told you this was a frustrating morning.  I started a new list (on a piece of scrap paper, of course). Watch that I'll find the old one at the end of the day, lol.

  • I signed both my and Greg's Discover accounts for the October through December 5% Rewards Bonus offer: Amazon.com, department stores and clothing stores. The Amazon discount will be heavily used as nowadays I do most of my Christmas shopping there.
  • Remember how I said yesterday that I might cancel Netflix?  I was mentioning it at dinnertime and both my daughter and son protested: she watches it when she exercises (and also on her laptop but she uses her dad's Netflix account on her laptop), and my son does watch it on his Kindle, which I suspected but wasn't sure.  So I guess we're keeping it.  Well, I am going to check my account to see just how much my son is using it. If it's only once a month, then it's not such a compelling argument!  Update: hmm, Amazon Prime Instant Video just added the ability to download (some of) their offerings to watch offline... interesting.

  • I uploaded a ton of new offers to my SavingStar account and realized that I had redeemed a 50 cent rebate when I bought the Zatarain boxes at Winn Dixie on Sunday!  Woohoo. This means that since each box was $1.00 and I used a $0.50/2 coupon and now a $0.50/2 rebate, one of my boxes was free so I'm adding that to my freebie post for today :)

  • I filled out a Racetrac survey and earned another survey reward code for a free roller grill item.

  • My lunch was the free hot dog from Racetrac yesterday, topped with homemade zesty pickles, the leftovers of a salad from several nights go, drenched in homemade Maille Vinaigrette and an orange.

  • I zested the orange and froze the zest to use in future baking and cooking activities. Then I composted the peel.

  • I entered my biking activity in Walgreens's Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices and earned 160 BR points.

  • I earned 70 KFR points by entering bonus codes EARNGREATREWARDS and NUTRITIONINABOWL  in my Kellogg's Family Rewards account.

  • We had a real downpour at about 3 p.m. so I didn't need to water the garden and I can skip it tomorrow as well.  My acorn squash continues to grow by leaps and bounds, it's about the size of my fist right now!
This is actually a picture taken earlier this summer.
  • The Jewish Lady posted an alert to check our MyPanera's accounts for either a free coffee during September or $5 off freebie alert.  I didn't have anything on my card (I had the $5 off last week and my daughter used it) so I texted my daughter to check hers since Panera's is on her way home from the community college and asked her to pick me up a free coffee if she had that freebie.  She didn't but she has 2 free pastries for signing up for her own account and for her birthday this week, so she offered one of them to me since she's on a diet. What a sweetie!  
She made sure to pick something she wouldn't like so she wasn't tempted to
eat it herself, lol!
  • Dinner was my favorite cabbage recipe, tater tots and sausages. I used the 2nd head of organic cabbage that I had gotten for $0.68 at Target several weeks ago and that was starting to go bad, and mild italian chicken sausages from Aldi bought a couple of weeks ago ($2.99). Since Greg can't have cabbage, I also cooked a bag of Alexia potato puffs (aka tater tots) on the side.  Everybody loved it and it was a very easy dinner to make.

  • That cabbage was so ready to be cooked that it had started growing roots!  I stuck the end of it in the same dish full of water as one of my zombie Romaine lettuces to see if I might be able to eventually plant it in ground...

  • I would say "gas" for my daughter to drive to her high school and then the community college for her classes, but it was also a frugal success so I never know where to put this!

  • A plane ticket and car rental for Greg who decided to go to his college reunion. The cost wasn't too bad but certainly it wasn't planned.  There'll be incidentals though, and that's where we're really not going to be frugal since he's not in charge of the arrangements.  I wanted  to book it for him and go through Swagbucks and Orbitz so we could earn SB, but he insisted on making his own reservations and doesn't do SB (the fool!) and then Orbitz wasn't working for him so he used Travelocity.  Arrgh. And no, the wives aren't invited, apparently. (old ROTC unit so a bunch of "macho" guys, apparently).  

  • No failures today!

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


  1. Mmm cake! Well done on the exercise (I haven't done that for six week oops) and six loads of washing wow I did two and thought that was good. Its getting more difficult to get it dry now the weather is cooling down.

    I've never thought of zesting an orange before eating it.

    Is Greg going away this weekend? Does that mean you get a quiet weekend? Ben goes away with work every so often and its fine if it's for a couple of days but once it's any longer than that I start to get lonely (lonely? With five kids, how?).

    How is the hurricane news?


    1. Hi there Tara! No hurricanes on the horizon for now as far as I know (keeping my fingers and toes crossed). Greg likes to read, work in the yard and play videogames (with headphones on, I insist on it since his PC is in our living room) so it's usually very quiet at our house (now that the older kids have all moved out, lol). I will be lonely when he leaves, I hate it when he travels.
      He'll actually be flying on 9/11, which I hate even more, on an airline that we dislike (but he got a good deal), through a city where he got stuck because of that airline, last year! So I think he should just stay home :)
      I know single parents can manage just fine on their own, but it's nice to have someone who comes home at night, isn't it?

  2. Mmmmm. Kielbasa and cabbage.
    I am glad you finally finished those terrible rice flakes. Each morning that you forced yourself to eat them, they seemed to get worse and worse. They started out as "when eaten with sliced strawberries, they are not too bad." to just plain nasty. Ha.


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