Thursday, September 10, 2015

Frugal Successes and Failures: Thursday 9/10/15

  • It''s Thursday AND almost the middle of the month and I feel like I haven't accomplished anything. Well, that's because I haven't.  I'm in a slump!  The garden project hasn't been finished, I have yet to declog the bathroom sink plumbing, I haven't even started on the Grocery Budget Recap for August, never went to the accountant, the list goes on and on... and honestly, I don't feel like doing any of it. Why? It's hot, so humid, and right now it's not even sunny. The amount of sun is directly proportionate to my energy level.

  • Cat diet and exercise plan update: well I decided NOT to chase the female cat today since all she does is hide anyway and it's frustrating.  She didn't seem to care to eat  this morning despite the fact that she had barely eaten last night and that there was no food available.  My son put the food out and the male cat came to eat some but she wouldn't move from her comfy armchair so I put the bowl near her.  A few minutes later. she couldn't be found. I left the food out for 2 hours and she was still hiding and the male cat had gone to take a nap. After 2 hours I put the food away. The male cat heard me make cat food noises and came to investigate (a little too late, buddy!) so now (11a.m.) he is being all awake and wondering where the heck the food went. She is sleeping, hiding away in the cat tower. 
This makes me snort every time I see it, LOL.
  • Today is the start of the NFL season, Greg's favorite day of the year, I'm pretty sure. His beloved (blech, I can't stand him!) Tom Brady is playing tonight. I usually decorate his reclining chair area with football-related items.  One year I made him cookies too. They were football players and I stuck a printout of Peyton Manning's face on every one of them (he hates him, Peyton is my favorite football player!).  If I had the energy, I would make him "Tom Brady is a cheater!" cookies today but he won't eat them anyway.  LOL.  Do you all watch football? NFL? College? Which team is your favorite?
I texted this picture to Greg.  There are 151 days until
the Superbowl. I plan on texting him a "I Hate Tom Brady"
picture every day until then :)

  • It's Picture Day at the middle school today but we won't be buying the pictures. Instead, I'll ask my middle son to take photos of his brother. They'll be much better and he can earn some money. Plus, I like promoting a little brotherly bonding time as they're not as close as they once were.

  • I packed a lunch for Greg to take to work. No leftovers today so he got a sandwich and a yogurt.

  • The kids packed their lunches to take to school.

  • A box of cereal was finished so I put the box in my cardboard stash (my front porch is starting to resemble a hoarder's front porch!) and rinsed, dried the bag to reuse next time I freeze meat.

  • I earned my daily Bing Rewards credits.

  • I reused water left in last night's cups we used at dinner to water my indoor seedlings (lettuce, collard greens, tomatoes).

  • I dish all.the.dishes. Yay me!  I'm sure you all know how much stress would be alleviated if I could just make myself do them every night after dinner, right?  Arrgh. Maybe my late September goal should be to do the dishes every night for the rest of the month. Who's with me?  Oh? You all already do that? That's a thing?  Well, then.  Carry on.

  • I washed a length of aluminum foil that Greg had used to store the chicken breasts that I had roasted (on Monday night!) in the fridge. We will ignore the fact that he used brand new foil when there were glass storage containers that would have worked just fine or (even) that there were already rewashed lengths of aluminum on the counter (and under the sink, right next to the new roll of foil) that he could have reused.

  • I was about to brew a new pitcher of fruity iced tea with new tea bags when I remembered that I had stored last pitcher's raspberry zinger tea bags in the fridge to see if reusing them would work. So I got them out and reused them.  I let them sit in the pitcher for 30 minutes because 1) herbal tea and 2) the tea was a little too weak after just 10 minutes.  Then I composted them because I doubted that they would produce another "good" pitcher after that. The tea was still pretty weak and I just put it in the fridge to get cool.

  • Before scrubbing my roasting pan with my homemade pot scrubber made of mesh bags (salvaged from onion and orange/mandarin bags), I scrapped it with a metal spatula. Since the crud was mostly grease from the mini meatloaves I cooked last night, it came off easily and I discarded it in the trash.  This saved me a couple of Bounty paper towels.  We do what we can!

  • I finally got to making zesty refrigerator pickles again. I used the 2 pickles that I had bought for that purpose last Wednesday.  Of course, they had gotten somewhat soft so I had to discard a little bit of them.  Also they're going to be very zesty as I used all of the serrano peppers (and a couple of jalapeƱos too) that I had in the fridge because I was mad at myself that once again I had to compost a few. I didn't even take the seeds out (because lazy) so watch out mouth, in the next few weeks!  

  • I logged my weight into Walgreens' Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices and earned 20 points. I'm trying a new thing where I weigh myself every day to keep motivated. It seems to have worked for Greg.  I was really bad yesterday afternoon as I tore into the Spekuloos cookies while reading my book.  I can't seem to enjoy a good book as much if I don't eat something while I'm reading, and no, carrot sticks don't work.  Neither does gum for that matter.  Instant coffee does seem to work a little.  Ugh.

  • My middle son asked if I had a Kindle cable. I do.  He needs his Kindle recharged (once he brings it back from his dad's). He also asked me if I had a Garmin cable. I do.  He needs his GPS recharged.  A long time ago (last year), he had both cables and somehow he doesn't know where either are.  I suspect they might have been rescued by me from the trash he left him in his room when he moved about after high school graduation.  I didn't tell him that because I'm not sure, actually. I have to see if I have duplicates in my stash. In the meantime, I told him I'd be happy to charge his devices for him but that the cables stayed with me since he doesn't seem to be able to keep track of his possessions and I'll be damned if he loses mine too.  I'm charging the GPS today :) 

  • I noticed that Swagbucks finally credited me with some coupon redemption SB. Only 2, when I have used more than that, but there's no way to tracking what they do credit vs. what I have actually used and where.  I'm suspecting that either some stores don't bother redeeming the coupons with the coupon processor or that along the line someone else is being lazy and that's the reason why I'm not being credited all the SB that I should be getting.  It sounds like a conspiracy theory, but I think it's just incompetence.

  • Redbox sent me a R1G1F code, which means I could be getting a free movie (if you just rent 1 movie with those codes, you usually get it for free, no need to rent the 2nd one).  I checked their line-up online, out of curiosity (I could ask my daughter to stop by the kiosk at Publix to pick a movie for me) but there's just nothing that I would want to see. Nothing.  Ugh.

  • I made a batch of football-themed sugar cookies for Greg (and everyone else!).  I used a stick of margarine that had been in my fridge for a while and I used the rest of the cream cheese icing from last Saturday's Red Velvet pancakes to ice some of them (the football) and my food markers to taunt Greg with the football jersey cookies since I was feeling too lazy to actually ice them :)

  • I placed my Kohl's order that I didn't place this past weekend.  I had been waiting for the free shipping discount to become available.  Thankfully the items were still in my basket so I didn't have to start all over again!. One of the exercise tops wasn't available anymore but I found another one. I also ordered a pair of running capris and a pair of exercise shorts. I wanted PJ shorts but they were all more expensive than the exercise shorts. All the items were on sale, I used the SLURGE30 code to get 30% off, and the SHIP4MVC code to get free shipping.  I also earned $10 in Kohl's cash, 51 Yes2You Reward points, and about 100 SB since I went through the Swagbucks portal (2 SB per dollar spent).
  • My lunch was one of those turkey wraps using a spinach Flatout wrap, half a baked potato (I steamed 3 baking potatoes a couple of days ago to have a quick and filling side dish at lunchtime) with some light sour cream and dried chives, and a container of raspberries.  I did break down and have one of the Starbucks Iced Coffee bottles that I bought at Target on Monday.

  • I requested a free sample of Plenti yogurt, thanks to a link sent to me in the Betty Crocker e-newsletter.

  • I clipped a bunch of Boxtops for Education labels that I had been saving so my son can turn them in to this school tomorrow (they get 10 cents per label from General Mills).

  • I took a Racetrac survey and earned a survey reward code for a free roller grill item.

  • Swagbucks announced some stackable Swag-Up Rewards in this blog post.  It looks like I'll be getting a 100 SB rebate in October because between 9/8 and 9/10 I have already racked up over 100 SB in searches!  Woohoo!

  • Dinner was Dad's Fried Rice. It was easy enough to make and pretty good (the recipe itself wasn't published online). I wasn't sure that my frozen peas hadn't been used repeatedly as an ice pack when I hurt my knee earlier in the year so I used a can of peas instead.  We have enough leftovers for 2 people.
I don't have a wok so I made it in my cast iron skillet.

  • Gas for my daughter to drive to the state college for her class and lab.

  • Exercise clothing for me: I ordered 3 Fila exercise tops, 1 pair of Fila running capris and 1 pair of Champion exercise shorts (that I'll use as PJs, probably, the actual pajama shorts were more expensive than those). My total OOP was $54.64.

  • Major, MAJOR failure: so Greg's dad called to let us know that he had a mechanic look at the car he was going to give us and the car has significant transmission problems. It's a Saturn (no longer made) so we decided not to get the car.  That's not in itself the failure since, before his dad offered us the car, we were going to buy one anyway.  The failure is that Greg had bought a $300+ plane ticket on Travelocity to fly to his parents' place so he could help with their move and drive back to Florida with the car.  The ticket is NON-refundable.  What's worse, is that he could have bought a round-trip ticket for just $20 more (albeit on a worse airline) but he didn't think he'd need a return ticket.  So we've lost $300+.  He's now going to drive his truck to and from his parents' home so he can still help them with the move.  So that means 20+ hours of driving plus the gas expenses, of course (and mileage added to his truck).
Because we are back to square one, I've started looking for used cars again. I've found one that we might be interested in, but Greg is gone this weekend and who knows if it'll still be available next week. So my daughter and I will go on Saturday morning to see if they still have it and possibly buy it. I was thinking about calling them first to see if the car is still there, but I'm leery of them then deciding to up the price if someone shows official interest in it.

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


  1. I feel so badly about the airline ticket. Can you try to sell it at a discount on-line? I thought that perhaps if you cancelled far enough in advance, the airline would refund partially (and keep some for processing) That would be devastating to lose that much money on something that I couldn't refund. I feel your pain...and then some.

    I also know how it feels to be that unambitious when the heat and humidity saps every ounce of motivation out of you. That was me the week after the Toronto Hospital ordeal. I did a lot of sleeping and laying about and blamed it on the stress of the surgery.
    But it really is hard to move when it's that hot, so you feel like doing nothing. You feel like that cat looks in the post.

    Good job on the cookies. How fun to decorate for the first of the football season. And do you wear a costume???Hmmm???

    1. No, no costume, hahaha! Years ago Greg spent big bucks to buy me an official NFL jersey with Peyton Manning's (or was it Brett Favre's? I used to love him too) number on it for Christmas because he swore I had asked for one for Christmas. I would NEVER ask for something like that and NEVER want him to spend what was at the time $80+ on that jersey! So we returned it.

      As far as the plane ticket is concerned, it states no refunds, no name change so we can't resell it. I've asked him to contact Travelocity when he comes back from TX, asking if they would be willing to grant him a credit toward another ticket in the future. With his folks moving 18 hours away and his dad with cancer, I'm thinking he'll be flying there a few times. He (reluctantly! the nerve!) said that he would, but I hope he'll remember to tell them that he never created a Travelocity account so they create one for him and he writes down the login information.

      So on the "upside" of the whole thing, I guess that now that he will be driving his truck to his parents instead flying, he will be able to bring back some stuff that they won't be wanting anymore. I know that apparently his dad has told him he could have his brand new monster barbecue. Mind you, I don't want it. We have a small barbecue that is just for what I (rarely) cook on it (and Greg doesn't cook) and I'm not looking forward to having a huge thing like this on my back patio. We'll see what else be brings back, but probably mostly stuff that we'll donate, I would think.

      My garden is in such a poor shape! The weeds have taken over AGAIN (I hate the darn things!), They're in the pots and self-watering bins and peaking in between planters that I haven't remulched yet and even growing through the landscape fabric that laid down in some plots. Ugh. I wish we could eat weeds :)

    2. Ha ha ha Love the Tom Brady has beady eyes cookie and love that you wind Greg up so much (sorry Greg but too funny). Ok I think my eldest was talking about Tom Brady this morning was he the guy that deflated the ball so it was easier to hold in the final last year?

      Sorry to hear about the plane ticket, what a nightmare, still its better that you find out now rather than it break down on the way back. Fingers crossed that they let you use the credit on a letter flight.

      Ooh I eat a big chocolate cookie earlier whilst reading what you had been up to. (its that twin thing again ha ha).

      Still jealous that you have heat and we are cold. Also its starting to get dark really early here now. I hate that

      Have a lovely weekend xx

    3. Yep, that's him, although rabid fans (like Greg) will swear up and down that the man is a saint (A SAINT!) and didn't do it. He might not have done it personally but I have no doubt that he was in on whatever shenanigans went down. I hated him way before that though (before it was cool to hate Tom Brady!). I can't stand the sight of him. I don't know what it is, he just repulses me. I do have to admit that he's not bad at football though. Don't tell Greg I said that.

      Dang it, Tara, we're supposed to be GOOD. Why are we both eating cookies?! (Do you guys also call them cookies now, I thought you called them biscuits?). I had a stressful day (not an excuse but I'm using it anyway) so I'm not exercising and I did eat some of the football cookies (plus waffles I made this morning, plus we're having breakfast for dinner tonight.aargh). I'm getting back on track next week.

      Psst: I hate it when it gets dark early too! I remember being in class in high school, back in France, and it was dark out. I left the house when it was dark and came home when it was dark. Ugh. I don't remember when it'll be dark much earlier here, but at Halloween (Oct 31), it's usually barely dark at about 8, if I remember properly.

  2. Your cookies are the best! I hate Tom Brady!

    1. LOL, Tom Brady haters, UNITE! Greg asked me yesterday if I was going to post the picture on the "Wives Who Hate Tom Brady" blog and I was tempted to check if there was one for real, hahaha.

      Thanks for stopping by and letting me know that I'm not alone in my... dislike!

  3. Oh how I can identify with the dishes dilemna and the not wanting to do anything. I've been in a funk here too. Heck, I think I've been in a housekeeping funk most of my adult life, if I'm honest. LOL I have a really hard time doing the dishes every night. It just gets so old!

    So glad I'm in good company here with the whole "I can't read without eating something sweet at the same time" disease. LOL Too funny.

    Good luck with the car search! My daughter has a 2007 Saturn Vue that is getting to be a huge problem for her. The A/C is going out and no one can seem to find parts since they don't make them anymore. Hopefully it holds out until April when she can get something else. But this is Oklahoma so it could be November before summer ends. LOL

    1. Another twin! Yay! I'm ALSO so glad to know I'm not the only "I hate doing the dishes, give me all the snacks while I read this book" woman around. We should form a club. Well, a support group, I suppose. I try to justify my not-doing-the-dishes as a frugal measure (doing them every 2 days saves water and soap!) but I haven't come up with a frugal excuse for not being able to enjoy a good book without a good snack... yet. Help me, will ya?

      I'm glad (well not for your daughter, that stinks) to know about the problems with finding parts for the Saturn Vue. I didn't want the Saturn to start with but since we were helping my in-laws with taking it, I really couldn't say anything. But I was thinking that the car would turn into a money pit pretty fast. Of course, there is no guarantee that any other used car we get won't also turn into a money pit. It's such a crap shot, unless you personally know a mechanic who can come with you to evaluate the car. I don't so that's that. Roll the dice!


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