Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Frugal Successes and Failures: Tuesday 9/8/15

  • You can really tell the day are getting shorter as it is darker now in the mornings when I get up.  With the weather pretty much staying sunny in Florida most days, it's hard to remember that other parts of the country and the world are entering Fall.  Technically we are too but in reality our "Fall" is in February, when the oak leaves start falling.

  • I'm feeling some *stress* today: 
    • my Swagbucks daily goal is at 108... these days I'm finding it hard to reach the first goal (forget about the 2nd one!) since I've been busy with other tasks.
    • my library book is due TODAY. I have to return it by 8 p.m. or I'll incurr a fine of $1.00 a day, I believe.  I'm not even at the halfway mark.  Ugh.  I wanted to read all day but...
    • I have a vet's appointment for the cats this morning. They're getting their weight checked since they were put on diet food a month ago.  So that'll take a chunk of the mornings (and of my wallet, for sure)
    • I have to go to Aldi.  Greg needs kefir, my son needs bread (he has classes in Daytona Beach today) and I found out late last night that my daughter is supposed to bring the snacks for an FFA officer meeting tonight. So I have to buy snacks for 20 people.  Since I'm footing the bill (I'm nice!), I'll get the cookies at Aldi instead of baking them myself since... I have to try and finish my book!
    • I have dishes to do, pickles to make, ironing, the house could stand some cleaning... of course I don't have to go shopping tomorrow now so I could do all of that tomorrow.

  • I remembered last night, in a panic, that I was supposed to have roasted 2 chicken breasts for my daughter yesterday so she could have chicken for her salads all week long.  Yikes. I defrosted them in the microwave and roasted them (and Greg put them in the fridge for me last night as he was doing a check of the house before he went to bed, because I had forgotten them on the counter, oops, thanks honey!). This morning I pulled the meat and froze the bones to make chicken stock in the future.

  • I earned my daily Bing Rewards credits and I'm working on my Swagbucks.

  • I weighed myself and logged my weight into Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices and earned 20 points.

  • I ordered a used copy of Tom McCubbin's "Month by Month Gardening in Florida" from Amazon.  It cost $8.10 after shipping but I paid for it with my stash of gift cards so it actually was free to me. I could just check his monthly tips for free in his newspaper column but that means either bookmarking more pages or printing pages that I might never look at again (because I'll forget to file them in my Gardening notebook, I know myself).  So this is actually a tiny splurge. I did leaf through the book a little yesterday when I was at Lowe's so I know that it will be useful to me.

  • I took the cats to the vet's... 30 minute wait just to get them weighed.  The male cat has lost 0.2 lbs (yay!) while the lazy oh so lazy female cat has put ON 0.2 lbs.  On diet food. Ugh!  I don't have a way of separating them so I think she's been eating more than her share plus she's lazy and won't move (unless it's to eat or to go pee/poop) while he's been chasing the laser from time to time.  I had been told to also bring some of their litter (they share a litterbox) so a urine test could be performed.  They didn't tell me, last month, that it needed to be litter that is NOT absorbent.  Grrr.  They offered to "extract" the urine from the cats but I told them I was done paying for the cats beyond their annual shots and their monthly prescription food.  The cats are acting normal so I'm not going to worry about their urine (I mean, they're on Rx urinary problem prevention food AND drink only filtered water so come on!).  We did switch the Rx food to the more expensive one that he had wanted me to try last month (it won't make a lick of difference, I think this is all bullshit, pardon my French!) and I didn't have to pay for it, technically, since I had a credit from the food I had returned.  I also wasn't charged an office visit fee for today since the tech is the one who talked to me and the vet never entered the room.  So I left with another appointment to get them weighed again in a month.  Ugh.  I love the staff of the clinic though, they are so nice.  And I'm such a cranky pet owner (well, I was today!) so they deserve a treat :)
Disclaimer: this is not my cat. It's not nearly fat enough...
  • Back home, I mixed the rest of the diet food from last month with the new diet food.  It will "transition" them and I won't waste that expensive food (there wasn't that much left so I wasn't going to return it).  I also decided that the female cat needed exercise so her new exercise diet, since she doesn't care to run after laser dots of anything, really, but she hates me, is to chase her throughout the house, every day. It's good exercise for me and for her too.  I did that for about 5 minutes this morning while Greg was laughing and filming us :)  I was so winded afterwards and she was looking at me like "You've gotta to be kidding me!" (or, as one of my sons's Tshirts says "You've gotta be kitten me!" ha.).  I bet she'll be slimmer next month! Or have died of a heart attack.

  • I went back out to Aldi.  I did add some things to my cart that I hadn't planned on buying (oranges, cantaloupe, Spekuloos cookies, chicken sausages, string cheese) so my grocery spending will be higher than I had planned for the week.

  • I did find a cart that someone hadn't returned in the parking lot, so I used it and collected the quarter when I returned it. Profit: $0.25!

  • I stopped by Publix to pick up my son's prescription and found a penny in the parking lot. Profit: $0.01!

  • I paid for the $10 co-pay with my Health FSA credit card (prepaid funds put aside tax-free).

  • I stopped by the library to return my book.  I decided this morning that I wasn't going to be stressed all day trying to finish it before 8 p.m., especially since it wasn't especially good and I wasn't even at the halfway mark.  I can always request it again in a few months.   I spotted another book that I was interested in reading and then the clerk told me that a book I had put on hold some months back was waiting for me... so now I have 2 books that I need to stress about reading!  I can hear Alison going "tsk, tsk" :)

  • There weren't any coupon inserts or interesting magazines in the donation pile, but I did find a coupon for McDonald's, to get free fries if you buy their new buttermilk fried chicken sandwich, as well as a sheet of Steak'n Shake couons.  I will give them to my middle son who likes those things.

  • While I was there, I remembered that I had decided to read my favorite local columnist's column in the local paper since the online version is behind a pay wall now.  So I did that, for free!

  • My lunch was a turkey wrap (I used one of those spinach Flatout wraps that I got for $0.09 a package a couple of weeks ago!), half a baking potato, and an orange. I also sliced an apple that had started to go bad, and I had a large glass of raspberry zinger iced tea.

  • I zested the orange and froze the zest to use in future baking and cooking projects.

  • I kept the mesh bag from the oranges to make more pot scrubbers.

  • I took the survey on one of my Racetrac receipts from yesterday (my daughter gassed up my car before going to her dad's) and earned a survey reward code for a free roller grill item.

  • I submitted the Checkout 51 rebate on the bananas that I bought this morning and they credited my account almost instantaneously.

  • I realized that I should be getting a $0.50 rebate on the box of Reese's Puffs that I bought yesterday, from SavingStar.

  • I submitted the $4.79 Staples Easy Rebate on the ream of paper that I bought yesterday.

  • For dinner, I harvested fresh rosemary and sage.

  • I was supposed to use some tomato paste that I had frozen but I couldn't find it and didn't have the patience to take everything out in order to locate it, so I just opened a new can, and froze the rest of what I didn't use. I'll make sure to put those in the basket, where I'll find them more easily next time!

  • I forgot to take a picture of dinner after it was cooked so here it is while cooking (not as appetizing). It was good!  I only cooked 1 thigh per person instead of the two the recipe calls for (mine were quite big). I made the braised chicken thighs with potatoes and carrots.  I used up a jar of manzanilla olives that had been opened last Christmas (!), a bag of baby carrots bought a couple of weeks ago that had been opened too, some small Klondike Gold potatoes bought yesterday and organic white wine bought on BOGO 2 years ago.

  • My son gifted me a print of a self-portrait.  He printed it at school on their special photo printer (he studies Photography)  for a school assignment (so it's really good quality) and has no more use for it.  I put it in one of the 8 x 10 frames that I got at Dollar Tree yesterday. It will look very nice above my desk :)

  • I ordered a sample of Jergens Wet Skin moisturizer from Target.

  • Woohoo!  Someone on Slickdeals posted the 30% off discount code AND the free shipping code for MVC members available starting on 9/10.  So I will be ordering some new exercise tank tops, hopefully :)  Both codes will be valid 9/10 through 10/16: 30 % off code SPLURGE30.  Free shipping for MVC members: FREE4MVC.

  • Prescription Diet Food for the cats... oh wait!  I had a credit from the bag of food that I had returned! Still, it was $38.99 for a smallish bag that should only last us about a month.  Grrr.

  • Gas to go to the vet's and then go back to Aldi. Yes, it was open today. I elected not to go back to Target to get my $0.99 back, though. It would have cost me more in gas.

  • I bought some groceries for my middle son but I won't charge him. I'll just deduct them from my "School Supplies" budget.

  • This is to confess of a failure from yesterday that I had forgotten to mention: I had done a super-duper load of laundry in the afternoon (I forgot to start it before I left for my shopping trip yesterday) and since I know that we'd be playing D&D most of the afternoon, I didn't take the time to hang my usual stuff outdoors or even on racks inside. I stuffed everything in the dryer.  It was nice not to have to worry about it beyond that.

  • I was thinking about stopping by Racetrac to fill Greg's truck again since I used 1/4 tank of gas between yesterday's errands and today's, and redeem a survey reward code for a free hot dog, but I hadn't written down a list so it completely skipped my mind!

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


  1. Today was my son's first day back to school and I started writing a huge list of all the things that I needed to do while he was in school. I can't believe all the things that were on my list and that I didn't get done. I knew that it was going to get busy so I started trying to do my list in the morning with washing dishes but as soon as I did all the dishes and put them away, more appeared and I still have two more pots and pans to wash :( Here is hoping that I get a few more things done with my last two hours. I better get busy!! Good luck with your list.

    1. ... aaaaaand this is how I realize that instead of saving this post to DRAFT, I published it already. Ooops. :P So, hmm, don't be alarmed if you don't see your comment tonight as when I republish it, I think it will erase it. Oh wait, I'm going to copy it and put it aside and repost it tonight, giving you full credit :) You should still get an email from me with this reply, I think...

      So, first off, happy first day of school! Secondly... I so completely understand about the dirty dishes that never end. How the heck does this happen?! I can never have a clean kitchen unless I do the dishes while everyone is at school/work and I don't cook... anything. I really should just take a picture when that happens :)


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