Thursday, September 24, 2015

Frugal Successes and Failures: Thursday 9/24/15

  • predicts 40% chance of rain for today but I think I'll go water the plantings anyway. I forgot to do it yesterday.  Two of my bean seeds had already germinated, though!

  • Several companies have seriously annoyed me in the past few days (what a surprise!) with their sloppy or shady practices:
  1. Staples passing the buck from department to department when I asked why the ream of paper that was advertised in their brochure, on their coupon and on the rebate as being "1 cent after coupon and easy rebate" is going to end up costing me $1.00 + tax.
  2. for advertising a shirt at $2.40 on clearance but when I clicked on the link, the shirt was actually $13.99
  3. The Ford dealership that I've been checking out online for a used car,  for having a big banner on their website advertising their "Used Car Clearance Event" going on right now but not answering any questions as to "what makes this event different from your every day sale since the prices on the vehicles have not changed at all?!" All I got (via IM) was salesman pitch asking for my phone number so they can discuss pricing of specific vehicles. Nope. They need to indicate what the price of a vehicle is (since their dealership's is touting its bottom-line pricing, no haggling, blah blah blah) or I won't be their customer.  They really missed the boat on that one and now I need to find somewhere else to buy a used car from. I'm disappointed in them because I really was hoping they wouldn't be just another crappy car dealership, but they are.
Sometimes it's as easy as contacting Customer Service and getting the situation corrected.  In the cases above, contacting Customer Service won't do any good: Staples is proving to be itself a horrible company when it comes to Customer Service as this is my 2nd encounter with them with a situation of bait and switch (as I see it), Kohl's will just blame the webmaster for a bad link (I don't even need to try and contact them about that, their online customer service hasn't been good in the past either. Twice I ordered items that ended up being "out of stock" after my order had been confirmed so I'm not even bothering with contacting them any more.  The Ford dealership fiasco isn't worth my time. There are other sources for used cars and really, I shouldn't be surprised that used car salesmen don't seem to be too interested in being transparent.  They don't have the best reputation to start with.  I know I'm making a blanket statement, but I'm really peeved.
So what am I to do?  Well, for Staples I'll probably stop trusting their advertising and not buy an item with a rebate attached.  I'm waiting for my current rebates and ink cartridges rewards to be posted, I'll use them, and then I'll probably just use Amazon.  For Kohl's, I've resigned myself that I can't count on an order being fulfilled until it's actually shipped.  I could probably find a better source for clothing but the Kohl's card is in my name and I like to maintain my own credit history independently from Greg. For the used car, I don't know... CarMax and AutoNation are way overpriced. I'm starting to think that maybe buying a new, inexpensive car might be the ticket... warranty, wouldn't have to worry as much about all those recalls that might not have been taken care off (there have been tons of recalls on Hondas and Toyotas in the past few years, and those are 2 of the brands I'm looking at), fuel economy should be better on a newer car than an old one... I don't think Greg will go for it, though. It would at least double what we were looking at spending, which actually means quadruple what Greg thought we might be able to pay for a used car.  Arrgh.

    • I'm tempted... to get a new trimmer.  Lowe's has one on special for $89 this weekend and I have a $10/$50 coupon so that would make it $79.  I emailed Greg asking if I should get it.  I'll bet his answer is "no." Update: his answer was no.  Do I know my husband or what?  lol.

    • My daughter drove herself to school, saving me a round trip (time and money).

    • I packed a lunch and snacks for Greg to take on his trip. He didn't finish his morning tea so he poured it into a travel mug to drink on the road.

    • The kids brought a packed lunch to school.

    • SavingStar credited me with $1.00 for the Pillsbury offer and $2.49 for the Prego Ready Meal offer.
    • While my morning oatmeal was cooking in the microwave, I went into the garden to water my plantings.  I immediately got distracted (Susan will understand what I'm saying, I think) by my plants and I started dead-heading the roses, trimming the raspberry canes, pulling weeds from planters and the berm.  Next thing I knew, it was 2 hours later and I had pulled about 3/4 of a large trashcan's worth of weeds (mostly from around Greg's shed). The weather was so nice (cool!), I didn't realized I was out there so long!  I was starting to go back indoors when I realized that I had never watered my plantings so I went right back outside and watered what needed to be watered.  Some of the seeds have already germinated, woohoo!  I'm going to type a short Gardening Update post.  Then I thought I might as well plant the carrots and radishes while I was out.  I dumped 2 bags of potting soil into the 2 self-watering bins that needed more soil, mixed in some perlite and planted the seeds.  Then I cut one of the cattle rebar "sheets" and fashioned a tent for the bin where I had planted spinach seeds. I used more screening material and binder clips for it.  I also made a tent for the 2 bins containing the carrot and radish seeds.  

    • I harvested a tomato that had started to ripen but also to split, some serrano peppers, a jalapeƱo and a couple of Ichiban eggplants that didn't do well in the transplant last week.

    • Lastly I reused a portion of the cattle "rebar" to finish containing the raspberry canes in their planter.  I also reused a green tie that I had found in the remnants of screening material to tie it to the other piece of "fencing" that was already in place.

    • When I went back inside it was past 12:30 p.m. I had been out for 3 hours and still hadn't had breakfast!  So I went straight to lunch.  My lunch was: the free hot dog from Racetrac (yesterday), topped with my homemade zesty pickles, the rest of the BBQ pork & veggies crockpot dinner from last night, 2 Hawaiian rolls and a quarter of a cantaloupe. I also swiped a large can of Arizona Green Tea and Ginseng from my daughter's stash, LOL.  What can I say? I was starving since I hadn't had breakfast.  I guess I'll have oatmeal for my snack later on today.

    • I reused water from boiling eggs a few days ago to water my zombie celery and rainwater collected in a bin outside to water my tomato and lettuce indoor seedlings.
    This one is very slow to zombify...
    • The latest free issue of Publix Family Style magazine came in (They're going digital in a couple of months). In today's issue there was a recipe for Chicken, Pear, and Spinach Skillet Dinner that sounds very good and for which I happen to have all the ingredients on hand. I will make that for dinner since I'm defrosting chicken anyway.

    • My garden shed was delivered.  Where was that box when I needed it last week?  LOL.  I might need to mulch another area of my garden so it doesn't go to waste...

    • I made a double batch of baking powder since I was almost out and baking season is pretty much upon us!

    • I baked a loaf of chocolate chip banana bread.

    • I brewed my afternoon cup of tea by reusing Greg's tea bag from his breakfast :)

    • Dinner was good.  It made 4 portions so I'll have some more for lunch tomorrow.

    • I earned my daily Bing Rewards, I'm up to 99% of my goal, will be getting a $5 gift card tomorrow, woohoo!  I also reached my first daily goal in Swagbucks.  I'm aiming to reach it every day this month so I can get a 400 SB bonus.

    • Swagbucks sent me the $25 gift card that I had requested several days ago.  I had put a replacement utensil dishwasher basket on my wish list, waiting for the gift card to come in, so I ordered it.  I'll feature it in the Daily Freebies post tomorrow since I've already published today's post. The order page indicated that it was back ordered and wouldn't ship until the 26th at the earliest, so I chose the "no rush shipping" option at checkout and earned another $1.00 digital credit.  Greg reads almost exclusively on his Kindle so he can use the credits to get books that he's interested in.

    • Another pair of jogging capris for me from   I went through the Swagbucks 100 Million Memories Shop portal and earned 4 SB per $ spent plus I'll be getting a 100 SB swag-up award. So that should be 67 SB plus the award.  I used the TREAT30 code to get 30% off and the FREE4MVC code to get free shipping.  I earned 17 Yes2YouRewards point but didn't earn any Kohl's Cash.
    The "Your Savings" section is preposterous. Only an idiot
    would pay the original price of $40 for a price of jogging

    • Later on, my daughter emailed me with a pair of pants that she had spotted on their website so I ordered it for her. I went through Swagbucks again and earned 4 SB per $ spent (so about 48 SB), and got the 30% off and the free shipping again (the Swag-Up Rebate is only a one-time thing). I also earned another 14 Yes2You Rewards points.

    • I poured off the water from Greg's water bottle to refill it without thinking... I could have reused the water for my indoor seedlings!

    • I watered the outdoor plantings.
    • I pulled weeds for 2 hours.
    • I planted radishes and carrots.
    • I fashioned 2 more "tents" for the self-watering bins.
    • I cut down a small tree that was growing on the side of the house.
    • I watered the indoor seedlings.
    • I baked a loaf of banana bread.
    • I made more baking powder.
    • I put the garden shed together and stored the potting soil and the perlite in it. I couldn't store the peat moss there, though, because ants have invaded the bag... again.  I'm sick of ants!  So my yard isn't completely non-white trash yet.
    • I did the dinner dishes.
    • I put up some of the Fall decorations in the house. They're minimal but they're up :)
    • I updated my Gardening calendar with the dates of my plantings and estimated dates of expected harvests.
    Did you have any frugal successes or failures today? Please do tell!


    1. OMG. That chicken, pear and spinach dinner of yours looks so good. Thank you for writing out the recipe. I will have to try that.

      Your garden looks amazing, and all that hard work has really paid off. Yes I can understand going out to the garden and completely getting distracted by what else needs doing. And I certainly can relate to being outside for two or three hours and losing track of time. I don't understand how you come into the house and not fall into bed exhausted. No. You have to do some baking, wash dishes and decorate your house for Autumn. Who are you? By the way, if you wanted to take pictures of how you decorate the house for Fall, I would certainly take a look. Just sayin'

      1. I can promise you that there are plenty of long pauses where I don't do anything but read blog posts or watch TV throughout the day, ha! I am putting up a small collage of my Fall decorations today but they're REALLY minimal: a Fall sign on the front door, a couple of decorations in the kitchen, the Fall-"themed" plates and glasses that I'll be using in the kitchen, my table runner for the kitchen and a small sign in the living room. THAT IS IT. Decorating can be fun (although it certainly has never really been a favorite activity of mine) but the cleaning up is horrible so I try to do as little as possible nowadays. How about you? Do you go all out for the holidays? Do your granddaughters come to visit for any of the holidays?


    Anything you'd like to add? Share away!